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What Can You Do With a PhD in Public Health?

Graduates with a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Health qualify for various jobs in research and postsecondary education. Learn more about this degree program, possible employers and sample job titles.

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Career Options for Graduates with a PhD in Public Health

A Ph.D. in Public Health prepares graduates for jobs in research, postsecondary teaching, policy development and analysis, public health program evaluation and management, community practice and healthcare administration. Job titles and duties vary depending upon a graduate's area of concentration.

For example, jobs could include public health program evaluator, epidemiologist, biostatistician, behavioral scientist, policy developer, public health administrator, nutritionist and epidemiologist. Possible employers include colleges and universities, research facilities and government agencies.

Degree Program Information

Coursework

A Ph.D. in Public Health is an academic degree that prepares students to teach and conduct research at colleges, universities and other settings. Typical college courses in a public health Ph.D. program include environmental health, public health statistics, epidemiology, ethics, health promotion, infectious diseases, scientific writing, industrial hygiene, food safety and toxicology, pollution and environmental law. Students can choose to concentrate in areas such as international health, epidemiology, nutrition, social and environmental science, biostatistics and health management.

Specialty Areas

Core areas of concentration include epidemiology, social, behavioral and environmental health science, biostatistics, occupational health and healthcare policy and management. Additional concentrations include child, maternal and global health and nutrition.

Admissions Requirements

Students need a Master of Public Health (MPH) in order to be accepted into a Ph.D. program. Students who do not meet this requirement generally must complete MPH courses after enrollment but prior to beginning the Ph.D. program.

Writing Requirements

Students enrolled in the public health Ph.D. program must also complete a dissertation. A dissertation is a written report outlining the findings of original, independent research conducted by the student. Dissertations may include topics such as family planning, HIV infection, mad cow disease, childhood obesity, cancer risk, air pollution and sexual behavior.

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  • School locations:
    • Connecticut (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Connecticut include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
      • Public Health and Safety
        • Public Health Medicine, Treatment
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Wayne State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
      • Public Health and Safety
        • Environmental Health
        • Health Physics
        • Medical Scientist
        • Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Indiana University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Health and Fitness
      • Optometric and Ophthalmic Services
      • Public Health and Safety
        • Community Health and Preventive Medicine
        • Public Health Medicine, Treatment
  • School locations:
    • Alabama (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Alabama include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Optometric and Ophthalmic Services
      • Public Health and Safety
        • Environmental Health
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Informatics and Illustration
      • Medical Residency Programs
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Public Health and Safety
        • Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene
        • Public Health Medicine, Treatment
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Ethics and Bioethics
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety
        • Environmental Health
        • Medical Scientist
        • Public Health Medicine, Treatment
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Ethics and Bioethics
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Public Health and Safety
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