2023 Best Online Doctorate in Public Health Programs

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Deciding which college to attend can be a daunting task. For many, it will be the most important decision that they make in their lives. To make an informed decision, you have to consider a lot of variables, such as cost of attendance, financial aid, student/teacher ratio, academics, student life, and more. These factors will either positively or negatively impact the quality of education that you receive.

Do you want to acquire an online doctorate in public health, but don’t know what institution you should attend? Well, if you are as ambitious as I was in my late teens, then you want to attend a top school, instead of an average or mediocre one. Fortunately, we have already done the legwork for you. To help you find the right school for your interests and goals, we’ve compiled a list of 2022’s best online doctorate in public health programs.

What institution did we forget? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

  1. University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL

A state research institution situated near the Chicago Loop, UIC’s online degree options consist of a doctor of public health in leadership for veteran professionals. Beginning in the fall semester, the part-time degree program grants admission to mid-career public health specialists who want to improve their leadership skills and experience. UIC’s doctor of public health online emphasizes practice-based research, public health policy, and directorship in the broader public health community.

Requiring 96 credit hours in total, UIC’s PhD public health online degree program includes 28 core class credits, eight credits in a focus area, and a 28-credit dissertation project. Learners may also transfer a maximum of 32 credits of graduate-level classwork from a master’s in public health. During the dissertation project, distance learners contribute original information to the larger public health evidence base. Candidates may select to finish a research-based project, design an intervention project, assess a complex degree program or policy, or formulate an original policy.

Prospective learners should hold a master’s degree from a sanctioned public health school or public health training degree program and three or more years of full-time professional experience in a public health leadership position or a mid- to senior-level management position. While UIC may admit learners without a master’s degree, these candidates must finish additional foundational classwork. Candidates should provide transcripts, a resume or CV, an individual statement, and three letters of recommendation. UIC does not require GRE scores but encourages candidates to submit them as supplemented material.

  1. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

UNC’s  online doctor of public health in health leadership is a three-year executive doctoral degree program that couples online classwork with some required campus visits. The doctor of public health online degree program grants admission to working healthcare professionals with at least five years of managerial or supervisory experience in a healthcare setting.

Working within a cohort, learners finish 45–51 class credits and six on-campus residencies over two years. The public health doctorate coursework includes classes in population perspectives for health, practice-based research, degree program evaluation for health leaders, and health policy analysis. Doctoral candidates spend their third year composing a dissertation on a current or historical issue or problem connected to healthcare, health policy, or organizational development. Before graduation, all learners must pass written and oral exams.

Prospective learners may hold a master’s or doctoral degree in any field. UNC prioritizes candidates who demonstrate leadership skills and a history of full-time employment in the health field. Candidates should boast at least five years of professional experience with management or leadership responsibilities. Candidates are expected to provide transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a resume, GRE or GMAT scores, and an essay describing their career objectives and reasons for applying to the degree program. UNC’s online PhD public health programs feature fall semester start dates. The institution has a tuition discount for North Carolina residents and sponsors need- and merit-based scholarships.

  1. University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

A state research institution with over 50,000 learners, the University of South Florida is rated as one of the state’s largest public institutions. Distance learners enrolled in USF’s online doctor of public health degree program may pursue a concentration in advanced practice leadership in public health or public health and clinical laboratory science and practice. This practice-based doctorate in public health emphasizes applied skills, preparing candidates for leadership positions in health departments, nonprofit organizations, international agencies, and health services organizations.

The 43-credit coursework includes 13 core class credits, 12 credits within the learner’s concentration area, and 12 elective credits. Learners also finish six credits, including applied practice experiences, a qualifying examination, and a public health doctoral project. The leadership concentration introduces advanced concepts in developing, implementing, and assessing public health practices. The public health laboratories emphasis instills the applied skills needed to excel in laboratory leadership positions. All distance learners must attend three on-site residencies at USF’s Tampa campus.

Prospective learners must hold a master’s in public health, master of healthcare administration, or a related master’s degree from a sanctioned institution. Candidates must also demonstrate a minimum 3.0 GPA in graduate classwork, at least two years of advanced work experience in a public health field and provide current GRE scores. USF waives the standardized test score requirement for candidates with a minimum 3.5 GPA or those who hold a terminal or advanced professional degree. Candidates should also submit a resume, three letters of recommendation, and an individual statement.

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