Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

The Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degree signifies distinguished scholarly accomplishment and is available to those who plan careers in advanced professional practice, academia, or community-based research. Most full-time students take approximately three to five years to complete the degree program. Curricula for this degree are offered in the fields of Community Health Practice and Health Promotion/Health Education. The DrPH degree requires successful completion of a minimum of 54 semester credit hours.

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 2019 to Summer 2020 DrPH HP/HE Degree Planner
Fall 2018 to Summer 2019 DrPH HP/HE Degree Planner

Fall 2017 to Summer 2018 DrPH HP/HE Degree Planner
Fall 2016 to Summer 2017 DrPH HP/HE Degree Planner
Fall 2015 to Summer 2016 DrPH HP/HE Degree Planner
Fall 2014 to Summer 2015 DrPH HP/HE Degree Planner
Fall 2013 to Summer 2014 DrPH HP/HE Degree Planner
Fall 2012 to Summer 2013 DrPH HP/HE 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 2019 to Summer 2020 DrPH Community Health Practice
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

The Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degree signifies distinguished scholarly accomplishment. The DrPH degree is a minimum of 54 semester credit hours (effective Fall 2019). In order to complete a degree with appropriate public health breadth, DrPH students are required to complete one minor area of study (nine (9) credit hours) in one of the nine available public health disciplines (separate from the major area). Students should discuss their minor area of interest with their advisor to determine the required minor coursework. The full range of courses to support a minor may not be available at all campuses.

DrPH Degree Requirements

  • Satisfactory completion of a prescribed course of study, comprising a minimum of at least 54 semester credit hours (a maximum of three (3) credit hours of practicum and six (6) credit hours of dissertation count toward the minimum of 54 credit hours; therefore, at least 45 credit hours of coursework other than practicum and dissertation must be successfully completed). A minor is required;
  • Satisfactory completion of PH 101 Foundations in Public Health (online, not-for-credit course that covers the Foundational Knowledge Competencies set forth by CEPH) within the first year of the student’s program;
  • Satisfactory completion of an original research dissertation, written in English, through which the student produces field-based products consistent with advanced practice and are designed to influence programs, policies, or systems addressing public health. The dissertation requirement will be fulfilled when an oral defense of the dissertation research proposal and of the completed dissertation have been successfully completed, the document has been approved and signed by all members of the dissertation committee, and a copy has been filed in the Dean’s Office. All completed dissertations will be made available to the public. For more information on the written research dissertation, please see the Student Research webpage.

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 admitted DrPH students are assigned a Faculty Advisor who will assist the student in preparing for the preliminary examination. After successful completion of the preliminary examination, the student will constitute a Dissertation Committee.

For additional information on committees and requirements, please refer to SPH Policy 102, Doctoral Committees Structure and the Doctoral Student (PhD/DrPH) Dissertation Committee Composition Guideline.

Before Preliminary Examination Committee
* Faculty Advisor (faculty member from within student’s discipline)

Dissertation Committee

Upon successful completion of the preliminary examination, students will constitute a Dissertation Committee composed of a Committee Chair (who is the student's Faculty Advisor) and at least two other UTHealth School of Public Health faculty members representing the minor(s) and/or breadth areas of interest. DrPH students who matriculated Fall 2018 or later are required to complete one minor only as a breadth area and coursework is built into the curriculum, thus do not need a breadth committee member. A Dissertation Supervisor may be added, and may come from an outside institution. The Dissertation Committee will help develop curriculum that supports the student’s research and career goals. Committee membership can be changed as research interests become more focused. The Dissertation Committee is responsible for evaluating the oral defense of the dissertation research proposal and completed dissertation. Committee membership must be approved by the Director of 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 is filed in the Dean’s office, and an oral presentation of the work has taken place.

Dissertation Committee DrPH students who matriculated prior to Fall 2018
* Faculty Advisor (serves as Chair)                 
* 2nd member (Minor discipline)                                   
* 3rd member (second Minor/Breadth discipline)
  4th member –not required
       -This may be an Optional Member or Dissertation Supervisor if not filled by Faculty Advisor    

Dissertation Committee - DrPH students who matriculated Fall 2018 or later
* Faculty Advisor (serves as Chair)                 
* 2nd member (Minor discipline)                                   
* 3rd member –required
        -This may be an Optional Member or Dissertation Supervisor if not filled by Faculty Advisor   
  4th member –not required
        -This may be an Optional Member

Please submit the completed forms to the Office of Academic Affairs and Student Services for final approval. DrPH student forms can be found on the DrPH Student Forms webpage.

*UTHealth School of Public Health Faculty = an appointed assistant, associate or full professor; with a primary appointment at the school

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.