Earning Your Doctor of Public Health Online

A Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) helps professionals in public health add to their skill sets and bring new knowledge to the workplace and to the community they serve. This leadership-oriented degree that also can prepare students for advanced work in research, public health theory, statistics, and more. Read on to learn more about top schools with online DrPH programs and what it’s like to earn your Doctor of Public Health degree online.

Today’s Best Online DrPH Programs: 2020

A Doctor of Public Health online degree is a major commitment, with students investing a great deal of time and money to earn it. Finding a school that’s going to help you achieve your educational and professional goals is the first step to getting your online DrPH moving forward. To help, we’ve identified some of the best online DrPH programs in the U.S. Not only does this list include a selection of accredited programs from across the country, but it also allows you to isolate the school and program features that are most important to you, so you can personalize the list based on what you want in your higher education experience. See which schools with online DrPH programs stand out for the 2020 school year.

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School Rank Number School Name City, State PROGRAM INFORMATION Total online programs Get Info School Information AmeriCorps match Top Peace Corps School Online Students Academic Counseling Career Placement Students Institutional Aid Total Cost (In-State) Median Earnings 10 Years Post-Entry
1 Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN ONLINE DRPH PROGRAM INFORMATION Total online programs1 Get Info

Indiana University offers its DrPH in Global Health Leadership online. The three-year, 45-credit curriculum addresses international health leadership issues featuring a global faculty and students from around the world. Graduates are prepared to assume senior leadership roles at for-profit and non-profit organizations and government entities. All coursework is conducted online; however, students meet their cohorts three times in both their second and third years and undertake either a dissertation or a field project. To satisfy graduation requirements, students must complete 19 leadership, public health and research courses. Topics include organizational leadership, law ands ethics, informatics, finance, policy analysis, and marketing/public relations. Applicants must hold a master's degree in any approved field, have substantial management experience, and have prior experience working in public health.

School Information AmeriCorps MatchYes ×Participates in the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award Matching Program. Gives a minimum of $1,000 in matching financial aid or other benefits to at least one AmeriCorps alumnus each year. Top Peace Corps SchoolNo ×Ranked among the highest-producing colleges of Peace Corps volunteers in 2018. Online Students11,185 Academic CounselingYes Career PlacementYes Institutional Financial Aid57% ×Percentage of students with scholarships or fellowships awarded and funded by the college. Only applies to full-time, first-time undergraduates. Total Cost
(In-State)$$ ×Tuition and fees charged per academic year to full-time students qualifying for in-state residency.
Post-College Earnings$42,500 ×Median earnings of former students 10 years after entering the college. Only represents earnings of students who received federal financial aid.
2 University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA ONLINE DRPH PROGRAM INFORMATION Total online programs2 Get Info

Students can earn their DrPH degree online through the USF College of Public Health. Students residing within commuting distance can take online, on-campus courses, or a blend of each. There are two DrPH degree concentration options: Advanced Practice Leadership in Public Health or Public Health and Clinical Laboratory Science and Practice. Students choosing the advanced leadership path will complete 13 credits of common core classes plus 12 hours of studies in policy and advocacy, cultural health disparities, education and PR/marketing. Those in the clinical pathway complete the common core along with coursework in laboratory management, bioinformatics, and microbiology. Applicants must hold a MPH, MHA, or MSPH, and also need to provide letters of recombination, GRE scores, a resume and statement of purpose.

School Information AmeriCorps MatchYes ×Participates in the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award Matching Program. Gives a minimum of $1,000 in matching financial aid or other benefits to at least one AmeriCorps alumnus each year. Top Peace Corps SchoolNo ×Ranked among the highest-producing colleges of Peace Corps volunteers in 2018. Online Students601 Academic CounselingYes Career PlacementYes Institutional Financial Aid82% ×Percentage of students with scholarships or fellowships awarded and funded by the college. Only applies to full-time, first-time undergraduates. Total Cost
(In-State)$$$$ ×Tuition and fees charged per academic year to full-time students qualifying for in-state residency.
Post-College Earnings$62,300 ×Median earnings of former students 10 years after entering the college. Only represents earnings of students who received federal financial aid.
3 Capella University Minneapolis, MN ONLINE DRPH PROGRAM INFORMATION Total online programs1 Get Info

Capella University's Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) can be completed entirely online, save for an on-site capstone project. The five-year program is designed around core courses totaling 76 quarter units. The capstone experience requires a minimum of 100 hours in a public health setting. Courses include studies in health promotion, advocacy, public policy, health research and addressing health disparities. Students learn about policy design, health trends and ethics. They prepare to work in advocacy at local, regional, national, and global levels. Upon completion graduates are prepared to work on college faculties, in research organizations and governmental agencies. To apply, prospective students must provide master's degree transcripts indicating a GRE of at least 3.0 in their courses. There is no requirement to submit GRE or GMAT scores.

School Information AmeriCorps MatchNo ×Participates in the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award Matching Program. Gives a minimum of $1,000 in matching financial aid or other benefits to at least one AmeriCorps alumnus each year. Top Peace Corps SchoolNo ×Ranked among the highest-producing colleges of Peace Corps volunteers in 2018. Online Students36,284 Academic CounselingYes Career PlacementYes Institutional Financial Aid50% ×Percentage of students with scholarships or fellowships awarded and funded by the college. Only applies to full-time, first-time undergraduates. Total Cost
(In-State)$$ ×Tuition and fees charged per academic year to full-time students qualifying for in-state residency.
Post-College Earnings$63,600 ×Median earnings of former students 10 years after entering the college. Only represents earnings of students who received federal financial aid.
4 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC ONLINE DRPH PROGRAM INFORMATION Total online programs1 Get Info

UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health offers a DrPH degree program designed for working healthcare professionals seeking advancement into leadership roles. All of the classes in the program are offered through online video once per week. Students get a head start on their dissertation in their dissertation the first year, with a commitment to complete the dissertation between three and five years. Courses include studies in population perspectives, evidence-based practice, program evaluation, health policy analysis for leaders, and a review of pertinent literature. The online program requires three-day campus visits in August, January, and May. Students must also complete a practicum to integrate their skills. The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredits the School of Public Health. Students can apply through the UNC Graduate School.

School Information AmeriCorps MatchNo ×Participates in the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award Matching Program. Gives a minimum of $1,000 in matching financial aid or other benefits to at least one AmeriCorps alumnus each year. Top Peace Corps SchoolNo ×Ranked among the highest-producing colleges of Peace Corps volunteers in 2018. Online Students4,348 Academic CounselingYes Career PlacementYes Institutional Financial Aid41% ×Percentage of students with scholarships or fellowships awarded and funded by the college. Only applies to full-time, first-time undergraduates. Total Cost
(In-State)$$ ×Tuition and fees charged per academic year to full-time students qualifying for in-state residency.
Post-College Earnings$55,600 ×Median earnings of former students 10 years after entering the college. Only represents earnings of students who received federal financial aid.
5 Samford University Birmingham, AL ONLINE DRPH PROGRAM INFORMATION Total online programs2 Get Info

Samford University's online DrPH degree is tailored towards students seeking senior leadership positions with public health institutions. Courses are delivered entirely online with full- and part-time options. Two concentrations within the program include Health Management and Policy, and Population Health Analytics and Decision Making. The 45-56 credit DrPH program can be completed in two years, plus one summer. There are courses in management, clinical populations, financial management, strategic planning, policy and advocacy, bioinformatics, and data design and analysis. Graduates are prepared to lead in education, healthcare administration, public health advocacy, and executive program directorships. To qualify for admission, students must have earned a Master of Public Health (MPH), Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA), or Master of Social Work (MSW). Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and a statement addressing a public health issue.

School Information AmeriCorps MatchNo ×Participates in the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award Matching Program. Gives a minimum of $1,000 in matching financial aid or other benefits to at least one AmeriCorps alumnus each year. Top Peace Corps SchoolNo ×Ranked among the highest-producing colleges of Peace Corps volunteers in 2018. Online Students1,572 Academic CounselingYes Career PlacementYes Institutional Financial Aid97% ×Percentage of students with scholarships or fellowships awarded and funded by the college. Only applies to full-time, first-time undergraduates. Total Cost
(In-State)$$$$ ×Tuition and fees charged per academic year to full-time students qualifying for in-state residency.
Post-College Earnings$49,900 ×Median earnings of former students 10 years after entering the college. Only represents earnings of students who received federal financial aid.
6 University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL ONLINE DRPH PROGRAM INFORMATION Total online programs1 Get Info

The University of Illinois offers an online Doctor in Public Health Leadership (DrPH) degree that addresses the professional requirements for public health leadership. The curriculum combines research, theory and practice. A minimum of 96 hours is required for the degree, with a minimum 28 semester hours dedicated to the student’s dissertation. It takes from 4-6 years to graduate. Studies include courses and seminars in public health leadership, integrated methods, leadership tools, and biostatistics. The DrPH program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). Applicants to the program may receive academic credit for up to 32 credit hours spent earning their previous masters of public health (MPH). To apply, students must hold a master’s degree from an accredited school of public health and three-plus years of full-time employment in a public health leadership position. No GRE is required.

School Information AmeriCorps MatchNo ×Participates in the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award Matching Program. Gives a minimum of $1,000 in matching financial aid or other benefits to at least one AmeriCorps alumnus each year. Top Peace Corps SchoolNo ×Ranked among the highest-producing colleges of Peace Corps volunteers in 2018. Online Students6,404 Academic CounselingYes Career PlacementYes Institutional Financial Aid67% ×Percentage of students with scholarships or fellowships awarded and funded by the college. Only applies to full-time, first-time undergraduates. Total Cost
(In-State)$$$ ×Tuition and fees charged per academic year to full-time students qualifying for in-state residency.
Post-College Earnings$54,300 ×Median earnings of former students 10 years after entering the college. Only represents earnings of students who received federal financial aid.
7 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD ONLINE DRPH PROGRAM INFORMATION Total online programs1 Get Info

The Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) program at Johns Hopkins University is part of the Bloomberg School. The 64-credit program may be completed in as little as four years, however students have a maximum of 9 years to finish required courses, a comprehensive examination, and the completion/defense of a dissertation. DrPH specializations include Environmental Health, Health Equity and Social Justice, Health Policy and Management, and Implementation Science. Students can also choose a customized course plan. Foundational courses address the opioid epidemic; public policy and advocacy; and promotion, learning and leading in education. Applicants must hold an MPH (or equivalent) degree, a minimum of three years of public health experience and they must submit their GRE or GMAT test scores. Johns Hopkins is approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission to offer reciprocity agreements.

School Information AmeriCorps MatchNo ×Participates in the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award Matching Program. Gives a minimum of $1,000 in matching financial aid or other benefits to at least one AmeriCorps alumnus each year. Top Peace Corps SchoolNo ×Ranked among the highest-producing colleges of Peace Corps volunteers in 2018. Online Students9,822 Academic CounselingYes Career PlacementYes Institutional Financial Aid52% ×Percentage of students with scholarships or fellowships awarded and funded by the college. Only applies to full-time, first-time undergraduates. Total Cost
(In-State)$$$$ ×Tuition and fees charged per academic year to full-time students qualifying for in-state residency.
Post-College Earnings$73,200 ×Median earnings of former students 10 years after entering the college. Only represents earnings of students who received federal financial aid.
8 Walden University Minneapolis, MN ONLINE DRPH PROGRAM INFORMATION Total online programs2 Get Info

The online DrPH degree at Walden University is offered through two academic tracks. The first is for students with a master’s degree in public health, which requires a minimum of 78 quarter credits for completion. The second track is designed for students holding a master’s degree outside the field of health. The option for students with a public health degree can be completed more quickly since the other pathway requires additional coursework bringing the minimum credit total to 104 units. Students in either track must complete the graduation requirements within 8 years. The curriculum includes foundation courses, core studies, and a research component. Two residencies totaling 8 days are required. Finally, students must complete a public health capstone project or dissertation. Applicants may transfer up to 37 credits upon entering the program and must also demonstrate professional experience to be considered.

School Information AmeriCorps MatchNo ×Participates in the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award Matching Program. Gives a minimum of $1,000 in matching financial aid or other benefits to at least one AmeriCorps alumnus each year. Top Peace Corps SchoolNo ×Ranked among the highest-producing colleges of Peace Corps volunteers in 2018. Online Students49,680 Academic CounselingYes Career PlacementNo Institutional Financial Aid0% ×Percentage of students with scholarships or fellowships awarded and funded by the college. Only applies to full-time, first-time undergraduates. Total Cost
(In-State)$$ ×Tuition and fees charged per academic year to full-time students qualifying for in-state residency.
Post-College Earnings$50,100 ×Median earnings of former students 10 years after entering the college. Only represents earnings of students who received federal financial aid.
9 Loma Linda University Loma Linda, CA ONLINE DRPH PROGRAM INFORMATION Total online programs3 Get Info

At Loma Linda University, online students can choose from three concentrations for their DrPH degree. These include Health Education, Health Policy & Leadership, and Preventive Care. In each option, students must complete a minimum of 54 class units along with an in-person, applied practice experience. Online courses are comprised of synchronous learning, blended courses, and campus visits for their dissertation defense. Health education students must complete a total of 95 units. The policy and leadership track requires completion of 60-65 units within 12 policy areas. Because Loma Linda University is a religious institution, DrPH students are required to complete nine units of studies from the LLU School of Religion. They do not have to declare a religious affiliation. Graduation competencies from the DrPH program include critical analysis, leadership and management, policy and advocacy, and education and workforce development. To apply, students must have their MPH degree or master's degree in a related field and submit GRE scores.

School Information AmeriCorps MatchNo ×Participates in the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award Matching Program. Gives a minimum of $1,000 in matching financial aid or other benefits to at least one AmeriCorps alumnus each year. Top Peace Corps SchoolNo ×Ranked among the highest-producing colleges of Peace Corps volunteers in 2018. Online Students690 Academic CounselingYes Career PlacementNo Institutional Financial Aid0% ×Percentage of students with scholarships or fellowships awarded and funded by the college. Only applies to full-time, first-time undergraduates. Total Cost
(In-State)$$$$ ×Tuition and fees charged per academic year to full-time students qualifying for in-state residency.
Post-College Earnings$80,600 ×Median earnings of former students 10 years after entering the college. Only represents earnings of students who received federal financial aid.

Earning a Doctor of Public Health Online

The Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degree targets mid-career professionals in the field who are looking to grow as leaders in the health community. In contrast to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Public Health, the DrPH is more clinical in nature, helping students build knowledge and skills that apply directly to patient-oriented environments. Graduates of DrPH programs often build on current careers as health policy analysts, public health advisors or directors, or executives at non-profit organizations or private businesses. Luckily, today’s colleges and universities are making it more convenient to earn a DrPH with the expansion of hybrid and online programs. Let’s see how these online DrPH programs work, and see if this higher educational path might be right for you.

Is the Online DrPH Right for Me?

Earning a Doctor of Public Health online degree can be a great way to boost your career. It’s also a way to bring what you learn back to the community in which you work. But does a PhD make more sense? And, should you consider face-to-face learning before exploring hybrid or online solutions? Each professional has his or her own preferences when it comes to higher education and career aspirations. Here are three ways to figure out if online DrPH programs make sense for you.

Career experience. Online DrPH programs usually attract public health professionals with at least three years of experience in a leadership position. Programs focus on sharpening existing skills and learning how to better serve community health needs both medically and administratively. Coursework may include public policy, crafting and managing public health campaigns, and how to communicate effectively with people from different backgrounds. If these skills fit into what you want to learn and how you want to grow in public health, then a DrPH might be a good choice.

Career goals. If you’re considering an online DrPH online degree, start by mapping out where you want to go in the field. If you have your eye on a practical leadership position such as public health information officer, community health director, or research analyst, earning your Doctor of Public Health degree online could be a great way to achieve those goals. However, if you feel research and academia might be more your calling, the PhD could be the smarter move.

Flexibility. Online DrPH programs are built for flexibility, with most communication and collaboration taking place via the web. Asynchronous programs add even more convenience to the equation, allowing you to concentrate on schoolwork after hours and on whichever days work best for you. You may have deadlines to meet, but when and how you work toward those deadlines is up to you. Synchronous programs are less flexible, but still leverage the online platform. For example, students and professors often meet during pre-set hours, with presentations and other activities happening in real-time, as well. If you like flexible work and/or study schedules, the DrPH could be your ticket.

Are DrPH Programs Fully or Partially Online?

Depending on the program, DrPH students may be able to complete their studies entirely online, while other programs require that students complete some work online and some work on campus. In these programs, much of the curriculum can be done independently, so courses in areas such as organizational leadership, health behavior theory, epidemiology methods, health care marketing and public relations, and health policy can be taken online. However, in some cases, students are required to receive hands-on training. For example, Capella University offers an online DrPH program that requires a practicum, where students are expected to receive 100 hours of supervised training in a public health setting that has been approved by the school. During this time, students apply the skills they learned to the real-world, day-to-day issues that public health professionals face, and at the end of the practicum, they write a capstone paper that is the culmination of the competencies they gained throughout the program.

Can I Get into an Online DrPH Program?

Admissions requirements for online DrPH programs vary from one school to the next. However, prospective students are generally expected to:

  • have a public health master’s degree from a school accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health
  • earn a certain minimum score on the GRE
  • submit writing samples
  • have a 3.5 minimum grade point average
  • submit letters of recommendation
  • submit a statement of purpose
  • submit a resume
  • have work experience in the public health field

Can I Specialize When Earning my Doctor of Public Health Online?

What’s the Difference Between an Online DrPH and a PhD?

What Is a Capstone Project? Is It Different from a Dissertation?

How Much Does an Online DrPH Cost?

What Type of Accreditation Should I Look for?