DrPH Frequently Asked Questions

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How is a DrPH different from a PhD?

It is important to differentiate a PhD from a DrPH program. The doctor of philosophy (PhD) is an advanced degree in research training, theory and methodology. The program stresses knowledge and competency in statistical methods and research design. Recipients of this degree have a comprehensive understanding of research methods and the application of these methods. Usually PhD programs emphasize the utilization of experimental and quasi-experimental research designs. Such training prepares PhD graduates for academic and related professions that involve teaching and research. Universities, other academic institutions, or organizations conducting research generally employ these graduates. The UGA College of Public Health currently offers PhD programs in Toxicology and in Health Promotion and Behavior.

This program focuses on a “professional” DrPH degree targeting toward administrators and practitioners who have three or more years of professional experience beyond the MPH degree. As an advanced professional degree emphasizing methods, applications, and applied research, the DrPH links theory to practice. Its graduates solve significant public health issues using innovative methods and new knowledge. Prospective careers include high-level administration, teaching, policy-making, applied research, or program evaluation positions in which graduates will utilize the advanced analysis, critical evaluation, and problem-solving skills at the core of the DrPH program.


Is the UGA Gwinnett DrPH CEPH accredited?

Yes , the DrPH program is accredited through the Council on Education for Public Health.


What is SOPHAS?

SOPHAS is the Public Health Application Process. It is designed to provide a simple application process for prospective students when applying to graduate public health programs.

How many students will you admit?

Due to the program redesign, the DrPH is looking to a class size around 15 with hopes to expand this class size in the future.

Is there a minimum grade point average?

Our program looks for a B or 3.0 grade point average attainted in prior academic work.

Experience: How do you define relevant experience?  Would social work meet the expectation, nursing? etc.?  Would internships, volunteer work, fellowships count? Entry vs. midlevel, vs. senior level.  

Applicants must have three years of relevant work experience for admission to the DrPH Program. Each candidate is evaluated on an individual basis in regards to that relevant experience and how it applies to the admissions of the candidate. While we are looking for full-time employment in the public health sector, we understand and take into consideration other types of work including that of internships, volunteer work and fellowships.  

Who should I use as references?

The DrPH candidate should seek references from those individuals who can speak not only to the candidate's work under their management and/or supervision, but their character and work ethic. We strive to gain an understanding of a candidate in their work environment and seek candidates who contribute in a collaborative and academic setting. 

Prerequisite requirements:

How many of the prerequisites must I have completed to apply?

The required pre-requisite courses for admission to the DrPH program are five standard Master of Public Health core courses.  At UGA College of Public Health, these are Biostatistics 7010, Environmental Health Science 7010, Epidemiology 7010, Health Policy and Management 7010, Health Promotion and Behavior 7010. This is a total of 15 hours of prerequisite work.

How many of the prerequisites must I have completed to matriculate?

Completion of the 5 prerequisite courses must be completed prior to matriculation into the program.

I have already taken a required course as part of my master’s degree, do I need to repeat it?

While we will not require the candidate to repeat a required course taken to satisfy another degree, the course in question will be replaced by an equivalent course within the DrPH scope.

I have taken a similar course in my non MPH master’s degree. Can I count this and what is the process for approval? Examples, MSN and epidemiology, MSW and HPB, MBA and HPAM.

At the DrPH program, we recognize and encourage applicants with various education backgrounds, helping bring diversity of thought to our program. With that, if you as an applicant feel as though prior coursework closely aligns with prerequisite courses, there is an opportunity to have the course syllabus reviewed so that our committee can make a determination on whether or not the course can be waived. In regards to required DrPH courses, we would again operate in a similar manner, however, these courses would have to be replaced by another graduate level course that aligns with the DrPH program and candidate’s area of interest.

Where can I take prerequisite courses?

Prerequisite credit can be obtained at any accredited college or university. The University of Georgia offers all of the prerequisites online.

Residency Requirement:

I am already employed, why do I need to meet this requirement?

CEPH requires all student complete a field placement to earn the DrPH degree.

Can I count past experience to meet this requirement?

No, a past experience cannot be used to meet this requirement per CEPH.

Can I use my current job to meet this requirement?

Yes, however, we ask that you be placed in a new department or internal team different from your current work responsibilities.

Can I purse a Certificate concurrently to the DrPH (Global, Gerontology, DMAN, Qualitative Research)?  Will certificate courses count as selective courses for the DrPH?


Can I use the Global Health Certificate field requirement to meet the DrPH residency requirement?

It has to meet DrPH requirements. The base courses we have, we can control. If they want to do gerontology, we cannot control when and where those courses will be taught.


I travel for work; can I miss classes? How many?

Yes, but this will be professor specific. While we realize you are working professional, too many absences may reflect that the program isn’t viable to the student.

If I am assigned to work outside of the country and miss a semester, how does this affect my status?

The candidate will still have the opportunity to sequence back into the cohort upon their return. If the student misses a spring semester, he/she will be able to pick courses back up in the order scheduled that following fall. However, the spring courses missed will need to be completed the following spring semester. We will work with students to ensure they keep as close the scheduled sequence of courses throughout their time at UGA.

Time and day of classes?

The Program will be operated in an Executive style format, with two courses per semester being offered on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 4:30 pm to 7:15 pm, and courses will be strictly sequenced to enhance efficiency for both students and faculty.

How long will it take to complete the degree?

The Program will operate on a Fall, Spring and Summer schedule that will allow for completion in four years.  Students who wish an accelerated schedule may be accommodated, but requests will have to be handled on a case-by-case basis, and it may require travel to the Athens campus for certain courses.  Again, there could be online or video conferencing options available but we cannot guarantee these options beforehand.

Can I use the Global Health Certificate field requirement to meet the DrPH residency requirement?

Yes. The residency would need to be leadership and management focused and in compliance with the Global Health Certificate field requirement. 

What is the tuition?

In the first year of the new program, the cost per semester hour will be $412, plus there is a $642 UGA services fee.  In the base program, the total in-state cost should be approximately $3,114 per semester. The out-of-state cost per semester hour will be $1,049, plus the $642 UGA service fee, yielding a total cost of $6,936 per semester. Additional credit hours will involve additional fees.

Is there financial assistance available to support enrollment?  UGA?  CDC?

Currently, the University of Georgia does not provide financial assistance to support enrollment.

Currently, the program does not offer financial assistance from outside companies or entities to assist financially with enrollment.   

Can I take relevant courses in Athens?

While the courses specific to the DrPH program are to be taught at the Gwinnett campus, students may take relevant courses in Athens if they so desire.