Academic Requirements for DrPH Students

Course requirements will be provided prior to the start of the program’s first academic year. The required courses serve to demonstrate that the student has gained expertise in the competencies of the program and is prepared to be examined during qualifying examinations as well as undertake the DELTA Project.

All courses applied to the DrPH must be taken for ordinal credits and with a grade of B- or better for each course taken.

Students who have received a master’s degree from the Harvard Chan School will have the same timetable and will not be accelerated in the program.

Required Courses

Doctoral students will be required to take courses as specified on the DrPH website,

Course Performance

Throughout the doctoral student’s career at the School, the Committee on Admission and Degrees (CAD) and Registrar’s Office monitor student performance in course work. Grades of B- or better (Harvard Business School grade equivalents are I and II) must be obtained in all courses taken to meet the DrPH degree requirements. As noted above, a passing grade must be obtained in all courses offered as only Pass/Fail.

Students making unsatisfactory progress will either be required to withdraw from degree candidacy or be permitted to register for the subsequent semester, subject to specific academic conditions. If specified conditions are not fulfilled by the date set by the registrar, degree candidacy may be terminated.

DrPH Student Timetable

DrPH students must adhere to the following timetable in order to be considered in satisfactory academic standing. This process must be reported to and approved by the CAD. The timetable outlines the academic year in which each progressive task and/or milestone must be completed. Since the DrPH program begins in July, an academic year goes from July to June.


Tasks & Milestones Timing
Advisor Meetings At least quarterly throughout program
DELTA Project Topic Form Submitted for Approval
Anticipated Academic Coursework Form Submitted for Approval
Middle of Year 2 (December)
Both forms are to be created
Qualifying Examinations
DELTA Project Topic Approved
Program Portfolio up to date
: DELTA Personal Development Goals Finalized
End of Year 2 (May – June)
Progress Reports From Advisor: Quarterly during year 2
From Students: Quarterly during DELTA Project
DELTA Project Commences Beginning of Year 3 (Summer)
DELTA Project Portfolio
DELTA Project Personal Self-assessment
Year 3, Spring

Students in non-compliance with the timetable will have an administrative hold placed on their records. They will be unable to register until the required milestones are met, or appropriate paperwork submitted. Receipt of the appropriate form(s) by the Registrar’s Office and/or the completion or submission of the progress milestone will clear this administrative hold. Students who fail to clear these holds by the specified date will be administratively withdrawn from Harvard Chan School degree candidacy. Questions regarding the doctoral timetable may be directed to the Registrar, Joann Wilson-Singleton, or Laura Ruggiero via email at or phone at (617)-432-1032.

DrPH students have three academic years from date of entry into the program (July of academic year 1) to complete required course work, and to defend and to submit the DELTA Project results. Any deviation from the three-year limit must be approved by the CAD and the DrPH Faculty Director prior to the second semester in the third year.