Doctor of Public Health

The DrPH in Public Health Practice is a 54-credit hour online, asynchronous professional doctoral degree program designed for those interested in working in public health practice. The degree prepares students to work as a leader or administrator in a variety of practice-based settings within the public, private, or academic sectors. DrPH students will attain training and skills in the areas of leadership, management, and governance; data and analysis, policy and programs; and education and workforce development.

The DrPH in Public Health Practice offers focus areas in epidemiology, emergency preparedness, and advocacy and leadership. Students complete 18 credit hours of core courses, 12 credit hours of concentration courses, 12 credit hours of elective courses, 6 credit hours of practicum experience, 6 credit hours of dissertation/integrative learning experience, plus a zero-credit hour Digital Portfolio. The program is flexible, so students can design an individualized educational experience to meet their career goals and complete the program while working full-time. Students are also able to complete their practicum and practice-based dissertation in their own work setting.

DrPH Core Curriculum (18 credit hours)

The current core curriculum (left column) applies to students who started the DrPH program in fall 2023 or prior. The new core curriculum (right column) will be implemented with the fall 2024 cohort. Students who began the program before fall 2024 can switch to this new curriculum and should consult with their advisor and/or the Director of Professional Programs.

Current CORE Courses (18 Cr. Hrs.)

(New) Fall 2024 CORE Courses (18 Cr. Hrs.)

CPH 545 - Health Disparities and Health Equity

CPH 700 - Health Equity and Community Engagement

HPRO 916 - Implementation Science

CPH 704 - Health Policy and Advocacy

CPH 563 - Strategic Planning and Management

CPH 705 - Public Health Teaching and Training  

CPH 718 - Leadership Theory and Practice

CPH 707 - Advanced Public Health Leadership & Management

CPH 705 - Public Health Teaching and Training

CPH 711 - Communication for Public Health Leaders

CPH 628 - Epidemiologic Methods

CPH 712 - Systems and Strategic Thinking


ELECTIVE REQUIREMENTS (12 Cr. Hrs. - At least 3 credit hours must be 700-level)

Elective Credits are selected in consultation with a student’s academic advisor and allow the student to gain further knowledge and skills in areas of interest to the student.




Advocacy and Leadership

The Advocacy and Leadership concentration is designed for public health practitioners who want training and skills in communication, community organizing, evaluation, and leadership theory. Courses are focused on engaging and organizing stakeholders, analyzing programs and policies for gaps, advocating for public health change, and building partnerships to improve health equity. Students are also trained in translating research into public health practice. Graduates will be prepared to examine approaches to programs and policies using advanced evaluation methods to prioritize opportunities to advocate for improvement in public health settings. 

PRE-REQUISITE COURSES (up to 6 credit hours)           


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The Epidemiology concentration offers rigorous training in epidemiologic concepts and methodology. The curriculum allows students to acquire core competencies in epidemiologic methods as well as the flexibility to tailor course work to best serve individual career goals as public health leaders.  The Epidemiology concentration is designed to develop public health leaders who are skilled identifying the factors that affect the health of a population and developing, implementing and evaluating disease control and prevention strategies to improve public health. Graduates will be prepared to hold leadership positions and conduct applied research in public health practice at the local, state or national levels, industry and academia.

PRE-REQUISITE COURSES (up to 6 credit hours)     


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Emergency Preparedness

The DrPH concentration in is designed to provide high level problem solving, and critical thinking knowledge and skills that can be used in preparing for, and responding to emergencies.  Courses focused on the concepts inherent to leadership and the management of complex events in Emergency Preparedness through the phases of prevention, protection, response and recovery, to prepare students for high level leadership positions both in public health and healthcare.  Additional courses such as Exercise Development and Managing Complex Incidents provide essential strategies to prepare their organization/community for a disaster, as well as how to operate in a leading role during a disaster response.  The DrPH concentration in Emergency Preparedness at UNMC is a degree that will enhance the practice of disaster planning and response for both healthcare, public health, humanitarian, and private sector emergency managers.

PRE-REQUISITE COURSES (up to 6 credit hours)          


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The UNMC College of Public Health is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).  

For more information on the accreditation process and documents, please click here to go to the Accreditation page.