Doctor of Public Health

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DrPH Information Booklet

Thank you for your interest in the Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degree program at the University of Georgia College of Public Health.  The DrPH degree is designed to prepare graduates for senior level public health practice careers, although some of our students have interests in academic and applied research careers in public health.  The degree is targeted at both full-time and part-time students with either an earned Master of Public Health or equivalent degree, or a profession doctorate in an area such as medicine, veterinary medicine, or law degree.  Based upon the nature of the DrPH degree we require a minimum of three years of relevant public health practice experience, enabling our students to share knowledge and learn from each other as well as the faculty.  Our enrollment is diverse, and students include current and former employees of state and local health agencies, non-profit organizations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Environmental Protection Agency.  While the majority of courses are offered at the UGA Health Science campus in Athens, some courses are offered at the UGA Gwinnett Campus with a goal of expanding those offerings to offer a complete degree program at Gwinnett.

The Doctor of Public Health degree was first developed in the United States with its earliest award in 1911.  In its 2003 report Who Will Keep the Public Healthy? the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine stated “the basic public health degree is the master of public health (M.P.H.), while the doctor of public health (Dr.P.H.) is offered for advanced training in public health leadership.  In recent years the number and reputation of DrPH degree programs has grown globally, and in 2007-2009 I had the privilege to participate in the Association of Schools of Public Health, Consensus Conference on the Future of the DrPH Degree and Doctoral-Level Education for Public Health Leadership, leading to the establishment of the Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) Core Competency Model ( that forms the basis for the UGA DrPH Curriculum. 

Through its mission, the UGA College of Public Health creates an opportunity to focus on teaching excellence, public health practice, and community service and engagement complemented by our excellence in research.  The College is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), and in addition the UGA DrPH Program is one of five U.S. universities to participate in the International Network for Doctoral Training in Health Leadership (NetDoc), and its mission to increase capacity globally to produce first-rate future health leaders and to maximize the quality of doctoral programs in the network.

Additional information about the College of Public Health, the DrPH degree program, open houses for prospective students, and admissions procedures may be found at the College’s web site

We want to provide an educational experience of the highest quality and to offer you responsive service, and welcome your questions about the Doctor of Public Health Program.  Please contact us at or 706.583.0059.

With my best wishes,
Joel Lee, DrPH


General Information

The doctor of public health program is designed to be an advanced professional degree congruent with the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) recommendations for linkages of academic and field experiences in public health. The program’s competency-based curriculum will prepare public health professionals to address complex public health problems through mastery of multiple skills. Distinct from the College’s Ph.D. program, which focuses on the preparation of researchers, the DrPH’s interdisciplinary program will provide students with generalist training in public health. Components of the program will include the acquisition of core as well as specialized knowledge through coursework, interdisciplinary seminars, special studies and the development of a doctoral dissertation relevant to the practice of public health. This interdisciplinary approach distinguishes the DrPH curriculum from other doctoral programs in the College that follow specific academic models. The DrPH program provides comprehensive public health training and draws on a variety of academic disciplines to educate mid- to senior-level professionals in public health.

Graduates of the DrPH program are expected to:

  • Act as public health leaders
  • Comprehend and integrate knowledge across traditional academic disciplines
  • Provide sound recommendations and advice to national and international agencies in public health
  • Communicate effectively with governments, academia, non-governmental organizations and the public