Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

The Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degree signifies distinguished scholarly accomplishment in the professional field. It is primarily designed for those who plan careers involving professional practice, teaching, or research. Students will be affiliated with one of the departments listed below; however, course selection is not restricted to that department.

In order to complete a degree with appropriate public health breadth, DrPH students are required to complete a minimum of 48 semester credit hours of required coursework and one minor area of study in one of the five public health disciplines (separate from the major area) and one public health breadth area. Each doctoral student requires two minors or a minor and a breadth area. A disciplinary minor requires the successful completion of at least nine semester credit hours that address competencies as specified by the student’s advisory committee (it is strongly recommended that either the minor or breadth area be focused on leadership). The disciplinary minor is based on the student s degree plan and the recommended minor courses from the department. For more information regarding a minor, please see the catalog.

Each degree has a set of competencies explaining the content students will have learned upon completing the degree.

DrPH Degree Programs and Degree Plans

Environmental Health

As of Fall 2017, the DrPH degree in Environmental Health will no longer be offered. Students enrolled in this degree program prior to and up to Fall 2017 will continue with the same program requirements per the catalog under which they were enrolled. 

The DrPH program in Environmental Health offers interdisciplinary training for students who wish to practice at an advanced level or pursue academic careers in public health practice. For more information on a DrPH degree in Environmental Health, please visit the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences program web page.

Campuses: Houston, San Antonio

Fall 2017 DrPH EOHS Degree Planner
Fall 2016 to Summer 2017 DrPH EOHS Degree Planner
Fall 2015 to Summer 2016 DrPH EOHS Degree Planner
Fall 2014 to Summer 2015 DrPH EOHS Degree Planner
Fall 2013 to Summer 2014 DrPH EOHS Degree Planner
Fall 2012 to Summer 2013 DrPH EOHS Degree Planner
 

Epidemiology

As of Fall 2017, the DrPH degree in Epidemiology will no longer be offered. Students enrolled in this degree program prior to and up to Fall 2017 will continue with the same program requirements per the catalog under which they were enrolled.

The DrPH degree in Epidemiology signifies distinguished scholarly and practical accomplishments in the field of Epidemiology. It is primarily designed for those who plan careers involving professional practice, teaching or research. For more information on a DrPH degree in Epidemiology, please visit the Epidemiology program web page.

Campus: Houston

Fall 2017 DrPH Epidemiology Degree Planner
Fall 2016 to Summer 2017 DrPH Epidemiology Degree Planner
Fall 2015 to Summer 2016 DrPH Epidemiology Degree Planner
Fall 2014 to Summer 2015 DrPH Epidemiology Degree Planner
Fall 2013 to Summer 2014 DrPH Epidemiology Degree Planner
Fall 2012 to Summer 2013 DrPH Epidemiology Degree Planner
 

Health Promotion/Health Education

The DrPH degree in health promotion/health education is designed to train students for leadership roles as public health professionals in governmental and non-governmental agencies, health departments, or for work in the research or academic setting Students receiving a DrPH are expected to contribute to and apply scientific discoveries in public health settings. For more information on a DrPH degree in Health Promotion/Health Education, please visit the Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences Department web page.

Campuses: Houston, Austin, Brownsville, Dallas, El Paso

Fall 2018 to Summer 2019 DrPH HP/BS Degree Planner
Fall 2017 to Summer 2018 DrPH HP/BS Degree Planner
Fall 2016 to Summer 2017 DrPH HP/BS Degree Planner
Fall 2015 to Summer 2016 DrPH HP/BS Degree Planner
Fall 2014 to Summer 2015 DrPH HP/BS Degree Planner
Fall 2013 to Summer 2014 DrPH HP/BS Degree Planner
Fall 2012 to Summer 2013 DrPH HP/BS Degree Planner
 

Management, Policy and Community Health (MPACH)

The DrPH program in the Department of Management, Policy and Community Health offers interdisciplinary training for students who wish to practice at an advanced level or pursue academic careers in public health. For more information on DrPH degrees in MPACH, please visit the MPACH Department web page.

For a sample degree plan of a DrPH degree in MPACH, please click here:

Community Health Practice (Campus: Houston)

Fall 2018 to Summer 2019 DrPH Community Health Practice
Fall 2017 to Summer 2018 DrPH Community Health Practice
Fall 2016 to Summer 2017 DrPH Community Health Practice
Fall 2015 to Summer 2016 DrPH Community Health Practice
Fall 2014 to Summer 2015 DrPH Community Health Practice
Fall 2013 to Summer 2014 DrPH Community Health Practice
Fall 2012 to Summer 2013 DrPH Community Health Practice
 

Health Services Organizations (Campus: Houston)

(currently not accepting students for the DrPH Health Services Organizations, 4/3/13)

Fall 2012 to Summer 2013 DrPH Health Services Organizations
Fall 2011 to Summer 2012 DrPH Health Services Organizations
 

 

Please note: The full range of courses to support a minor or breadth area may not be available at all regional campuses.

Degree Requirements

Satisfactory completion of a prescribed course of study, comprising a minimum of at least 48 semester credit hours (only three (3) credit hours of practicum and six (6) credit hours of dissertation count toward the minimum of 48 credit hours; therefore, at least 39 credit hours of courses other than practicum, thesis, or dissertation must be successfully completed).Two minors or a minor and a breadth area are required; Satisfactory completion of one Epidemiology course, if not already covered in the major, minor or breadth area; Satisfactory completion of a planned, supervised, and evaluated practice experience that includes the application of public health science and theory; Satisfactory performance on a preliminary examination as described by the degree program (the preliminary examination may be taken after the courses prescribed by the degree program have been successfully completed); Satisfactory defense of the dissertation proposal; and Satisfactory completion of an original research dissertation, written in English, that constitutes a substantial contribution to the body of knowledge in public health.

For more information on the written research dissertation, please see the Student Research webpage.

All doctoral students must present their dissertation research in a public forum at the School prior to graduation. All completed dissertations will be made available to the public. If a student is unable to successfully complete the preliminary examination demonstrate competence) after two attempts the student will be dismissed from the DrPH program. That student may be provided an opportunity to complete the MPH degree program (if the student does not already possess a MPH degree), but the opportunity is not automatic, and acceptance into the MPH program is decided collectively by departmental faculty.

Click here for details about the Steps for Doctoral Students Electing a Major, Minor and Breadth.

Practicing Your Skills

The DrPH practicum is designed to:

  • Relate to the student’s academic goals and professional interests, and specific learning objectives
  • Provide opportunities for professional advancement of specific competencies that the student has not yet mastered in their coursework or prior professional experience
  • Facilitate the application of public health leadership principles to address a need identified by the host organization through service learning
  • Demonstrate the student s application of public health concepts through observational and performance-based evaluation by the preceptor, faculty, and student
  • Provide experiences in developing advocacy and/or leadership skills through collaboration with senior public health practitioners

The student is expected to spend a minimum of 180 contact hours towards the project. Community preceptors selected based on evidence of specific skills, provide extensive mentoring to students.

Mentorship and Advising

Preliminary Committee

All DrPH students are admitted with an academic advisor who will assist the student in preparing for the preliminary examination. Successful completion of the preliminary examination advances the doctoral student to a doctoral candidate. At this time, the student will constitute a Dissertation Committee.

Dissertation Committee

Upon successful completion of the preliminary exam, students will constitute a dissertation committee composed of a dissertation advisor (who may or may not be the academic advisor) and two other members representing the breadth and minor areas of interest. The dissertation committee will help develop curriculum that supports the student s research and career goals. This committee can be changed as research interests become more focused. The dissertation committee will also be responsible for evaluating the oral defense of the dissertation research proposal and the oral defense of the completed dissertation. The Committee membership must be approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The dissertation requirement will be fulfilled when the document has been approved and signed by all members of the Dissertation Committee, a copy has been filed in the Dean’s office, and an oral presentation of the work has taken place.

PRE-EXAM Committee
* Advisor (same department required)

 ADDITIONAL MEMBERS NOT REQUIRED PRIOR TO PRELIMINARY EXAM, BUT MAY BE ADDED
* 2nd member (“minor” department/discipline)
* 3rd member (“breadth” department/discipline) - 2nd and 3rd members must represent different departments
4th member (optional)

POST EXAM Committee

 DrPH Dissertation Committee
* Chair (major department required)
* 2nd member (“minor” department/discipline)
* 3rd member (“breadth” (or "second minor") department/discipline) - 2nd and 3rd members must represent different departments
4th member (optional/ may be dissertation supervisor)

For further information, please see the Doctoral Student Dissertation Committee Composition Guideline

NOTES:
*UTHealth SPH Faculty
Any Committee Member may serve as the supervisor for the project, but must have training in the student's major area
ALL COMMITTEE MEMBERS CANNOT BE PRIMARY FACULTY IN ONE DEPARTMENT
Concentration(s) – if applicable, must be represented on committee
Minor = 9 credit hours and at least 3 courses beyond the core

Checking Your Progress

Required Review and Degree Time Limits

Any student who has been admitted to candidacy for a DrPH degree (i.e., following successful completion of the preliminary examination and dissertation proposal defense to proceed to candidacy) is expected to complete the degree within four years from the date of admission to candidacy, not to exceed seven years total time in the degree program. The dissertation committee will review the case at the end of the four-year period following successful completion of the preliminary examination and will consider such recommendations as (1) a one-year extension of the degree program, or (2) dismissal. A second extension may be granted. Recommendations of the dissertation committee are forwarded to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.