The Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) is a first-of-its-kind, multidisciplinary degree that provides advanced education in public health along with mastery of skills in leadership, management, communication, and innovative thinking. The program is designed for experienced professionals with a master’s degree and at least six years of full-time public health or public service experience in a relevant discipline. The DrPH prepares professionals for high-impact leadership roles in public health and health care through advanced training in foundational concepts, theories, and methods of public health; application of social and managerial sciences; and development of leadership and management skills.
The program blends traditional academic training with experiential learning and competency development to enable systematic change. Through the completion of their capstone project, also known as the Doctoral Project, degree candidates practice and develop personal leadership skills while engaging in a project that contributes to the advancement of public health or healthcare.
- Abbreviation: DrPH
- Degree format: On campus
- Time commitment: Full-time
- Average program length: 3 years full-time
- The first 2 years are completed full-time on campus
- The third year focuses on the Doctoral Project
- Estimated cohort size: 10 students per year
- Start term: Summer
- The Doctor of Public Health fosters a highly collaborative, small group learning environment.
- DrPH students receive hands-on experience working to achieve a specific public health objective under the guidance of Harvard’s world-renowned faculty.
- The DrPH degree teaches the intricacies of data translation and application to achieve real results in the field.
Harvard DrPH graduates are ready to lead and are equipped with experience gained through real-world fieldwork. Graduates have the skills to start new organizations or work from within to change existing ones and know how to translate public health research into effective policies, programs, and initiatives that dramatically improve individual and population health.
Graduates of the DrPH program are trained to pursue careers in a variety of industries:
- Health ministry
- Hospital/Health care delivery
- Private sector
Resources and community
Students in the Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) program are supported by the Harvard Chan School staff through graduation. Students are closely connected with faculty, staff, and academic advisors to meet their educational and professional goals.
All DrPH students have access to the Office of Career and Professional Development, other Harvard Chan faculty who may serve as professional mentors, and the extended Harvard Alumni Network.
The Doctor of Public Health program is for talented professionals who aim to apply their experience to advance public health or health care.
Eligible DrPH applicants should have at a minimum:
- A master’s or doctoral degree in the health sciences or in another related field or non-US equivalent.
- At least six years of full-time public health and/or public service experience in a relevant discipline. Advanced degrees will not be considered in lieu of work experience as coursework will build directly on professional skills and experiences.
- Prior coursework in public health-related methods and in specific technical areas of public health is also beneficial.
Candidate applications should display a history of energy, creativity, and passion for public health as well as an appetite and vision to effect change. The DrPH Admissions Committee seeks to admit students with interest and experience across a broad cross-section of public and private areas of public health and health care locally, nationally, and internationally.
All applications must be submitted through SOPHAS – the centralized application for schools and programs of public health. In addition to the application, applicants must submit:
- Statement of purpose and objectives
- Official test scores (optional)
- Three letters of reference
- Resumé/curriculum vitae
- Post-secondary transcripts or mark sheets (World Education Services credential evaluation for applicants with degrees from outside of the United States.)
- English language proficiency (TOEFL/IELTS), if applicable
Applicants may apply to only one degree program for either full- or part-time status. Applications are reviewed in their entirety and decisions are released via email in late February/early March. Decisions are not released until all application components are received.