100% Online Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) Programs

When you’re a lifelong learner, there’s no end to your thirst for knowledge. Achieving the highest-possible degree within the public health sector can provide an unmatched sense of satisfaction—beyond what can be gained through undergraduate and master’s programs. In the public health field, Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) programs prepare individuals to advance their knowledge and earn a DrPH. 

If you’re considering a DrPH degree program and require a flexible schedule, you’ll be pleased to know there are many reputable Doctor of Public Health online programs available. With the managerial and leadership skill sets earned through an online DrPH degree program, you can help public health agencies across the country improve the health and wellness of individuals, families and communities.

What Is an Online Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) Degree?

An online DrPH degree offers the flexibility many students need to continue working or attending to family obligations while earning credits. Although classes are delivered online, the admissions and curriculum are similar to in-person programs, and many carry accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). 

Without CEPH accreditation, a degree program may not meet certain standards of excellence. This page provides a list of accredited online DrPH programs to help you pursue your Doctor of Public Health online with confidence—and gain the education necessary to be an effective leader within the field. 

Reasons to Consider an Online Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) Degree

Doctor of Public Health online degree programs offer a virtual alternative to learning in-depth information about the application of public health policy and management in the field. With more format options and no required in-person meetings, an online DrPH program offers significant freedom and flexibility, which are essential to students juggling family obligations or full-time jobs alongside their education. 

In undergraduate and online masters in public health, courses help broaden students’ understanding of the field from a professional point of view. Depending on whether you choose a specialty, you may gain a more focused perspective on a certain concentration. At the DrPH level, your impact stretches even further. Students are given the opportunity to learn more about how to lead teams of public health professionals in a way that promotes validity and positive change for society’s overall health. Online DrPH students are called upon to dedicate their time and energy to investigating—and improving—the principles and policies of public health agencies. 

Demonstrating that you have the dedication and knowledge of a doctoral-level learner can be more fulfilling than you’ve ever imagined. Your decision to advance to an online DrPH program opens doors to higher-tier positions within government agencies and local government, as well as the health care and business realms. If you have the desire to pursue a Doctor of Public Health online, you may consider enrolling in a CEPH-accredited, 100 percent online DrPH program today.

Concentrations Available for Online DrPH Programs

When pursuing a Doctor of Public Health online, you may come across concentration options. A concentration offers the opportunity to gain more specialized focus in the field—complementing the core curriculum and empowering you to delve deeper into the public health topics that interest you most. Below are a handful of the most common online DrPH concentrations.

  • Public Health Practice: Public Health Practice fosters advanced expertise and leadership with community health assessments, improvements and planning, and evaluations. Designed for individuals striving to become leaders and innovators, this concentration prepares you with the skills you need to protect and promote the overall health of various populations.
  • Health Leadership: The Health Leadership specialization prepares advanced practice professionals for leadership roles within the health care field. Curriculum concepts may include health informatics and health policy, which are both relevant to hospitals and health care centers that provide patient care on a regular basis. Through this concentration, you learn to organize and manage large groups of employees to maximize effectiveness in the health care field.
  • Health Education: Educating the public is a huge component of what public health seeks to achieve, making Health Education a popular concentration for DrPH students. Many graduates who pursue this specialization use their expertise to teach other aspiring health professionals. This type of degree program is an excellent choice for professionals who want to work for colleges or universities that offer public health education.
  • Health Equity and Social Justice: Disadvantaged and marginalized populations across income levels are the focus of a DrPH concentration in Health Equity and Social Justice. As an advocate for the most vulnerable individuals and communities, you’ll leave this program with the epidemiological, social and behavioral tools needed to evaluate and improve programs and outcomes in underserved communities.
  • Environmental Health: The Environmental Health concentration provides the leadership and management skills needed to develop policy and regulatory frameworks around multidisciplinary environmental issues. Graduates with this specialization are able to analyze, assess and resolve complex environmental risks and problems at the regional, national and international levels.
  • Implementation Science: Implementation Science takes a deep dive into the formulation, execution and scaling of new health policies and programs. If you’re seeking a career as a physician manager, health program manager or policy advisor, this concentration will help you learn how to integrate diverse perspectives into sound intervention designs and implementation strategies.

Frequently Asked Questions on Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) Online Programs

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about online DrPH programs, including what sets them apart and what you can do with your degree.

DrPH vs. PhD in Public Health: What are the differences?

The DrPH degree is focused on the professional and practical elements of the field, while the PhD is heavily steeped in academia. If you’re eager to enact policies and programs, DrPH programs give you the leadership skills to do so. On the other hand, a PhD degree prepares you to make important contributions to research and our understanding of issues affecting public health. While you can pursue a DrPH online, there are no CEPH-accredited online programs for a PhD in public health currently available.

How are online DrPH programs different from on-campus ones?

Pursuing a Doctor of Public Health online provides more flexibility and freedom than an on-campus program. Although the course material is delivered online in online DrPH programs, the admissions and curricula are very similar to in-person classes—and both offer options accredited by CEPH. Many online DrPH programs offer part-time and full-time opportunities.

How long does it take to complete an online DrPH degree?

The lengths of online DrPH programs vary depending on whether you choose to attend part time or full time. Many schools offer part-time Doctor of Public Health online programs that can be completed in four years but may take six years depending on the student’s dissertation and defense. Those who choose the full-time route can typically complete their program in two to four years, depending on the time it takes them to complete their dissertations.

Who should consider an online DrPH degree?

Those who are looking for greater flexibility with work and family life—but also require self-discipline and accountability—should consider pursuing online DrPH programs. Because online classes are taught through live streams or recorded videos, it’s best to have technological skills before applying to a Doctor of Public Health online program.

What can you do with a doctorate in public health?

Online DrPH programs offer graduates the opportunity to seek out positions in government agencies, health care facilities or even community organizations. Professionals at the doctoral level have the potential to become instructors of public health at universities, policy advisors for global health initiatives and directors of nonprofit agencies. We’ve compiled a list of jobs you can pursue with a doctorate in public health.

CEPH-Accredited Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) Online Programs

To increase your chances of finding a job after graduation, it’s important to receive your online degree from a CEPH-accredited program. There are currently 11 online DrPH programs at six schools that hold this important accreditation.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Program Name: Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) Program
Introduction: The Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) program at the Bloomberg School is designed for those who have an MPH or equivalent degree and intend to pursue a leadership position as a public health professional.
Credit Hours: 64
Specializations Offered: Environmental Health, Health Equity and Social Justice, Health Policy and Management, Implementation Science, Individual Track
Program Options: Traditional and online
Minimum GPA to Apply: Not available
GRE: Official GRE or GMAT test scores from exams taken within the last five years
Location: Baltimore, MD

Loma Linda University School of Public Health

Program Name: Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
Introduction: The overall DrPH curriculum at Loma Linda University and the School of Public Health is designed using a faith-based lens to accurately reflect its overall mission and vision. You’ll receive training for careers that require advanced expertise in program planning, implementation, evaluation and policy analysis.
Credit Hours: 54
Specializations Offered: Health Education, Health Policy & Leadership, Preventive Care
Program Options: Online
Minimum GPA to Apply: 3.5
GRE: GRE or equivalent is required
Location: Loma Linda, CA

Medical College of Wisconsin

Program Name: Doctorate of Public Health Program
Introduction: The DrPH curriculum at the Medical College of Wisconsin is delivered using a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities including three summer visits to campus.
Credit Hours: 45
Specializations Offered: Public Health Practice
Program Options: Online
Minimum GPA to Apply: 3.0
GRE: GRE and MCAT scores accepted as far back as five years
Location: Milwaukee, WI

University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health

Program Name: Doctor of Public Health Leadership
Introduction: This doctoral-level program is tailored to meet the goals of mid-career public health professionals who want to expand their knowledge and practice of public health. Throughout your study, you’ll build skills in public health practice and attain the leadership ability to address today’s complex challenges.
Credit Hours: 96
Specializations Offered: Leadership
Program Options: Online
Minimum GPA to Apply: 3.0
GRE: Scores not required
Location: Chicago, IL

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Global Public Health

Program Name: Executive Doctoral Program in Health Leadership
Introduction: The DrPH program is designed for mid- to senior-level professionals who want to achieve leadership roles in either public or private sector settings at the local, national and international levels. You’ll learn how to shape public health policy, lead and effect change in a wide range of organizations and institutions and conduct and capitalize on practice-based research.
Credit Hours: 45+
Specializations Offered: Health Leadership
Program Options: Traditional & Online
Minimum GPA to Apply: 3.0
GRE: Combined score of 1000 or score of 50th percentile or greater in the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE or GMAT. Scores must not be more than five years old
Location: Chapel Hill, NC

University of South Florida College of Public Health

Program Name: Doctor of Public Health
Introduction: The DrPH is designed to prepare you for leadership roles in practice-based settings such as health departments, nonprofit organizations, health service, international agencies and community-based organizations. You’ll study an applied curriculum in community engagement, leadership and management, communication and education and evidence-based public health.
Credit Hours: 43
Specializations Offered: Advanced Practice Leadership in Public Health, Public Health and Clinical Laboratory Science and Practice
Program Options: Traditional and online
Minimum GPA to Apply: 3.0
GRE: GRE or equivalent required
Location: Tampa, FL

Information last updated July 2020