The DrPH Program is a professional doctoral level program designed to develop research leaders, public health policy-makers and public health practitioners who are able to address complex public health issues. Individuals with the DrPH degree combine sophisticated analytic and research skills with a broad-based understanding of the environmental, political, social, medical, ethical, and economic factors that contribute to health and wellness in the community.
The DrPH degree prepares students for leadership positions that have major influence on the policies, programs and institutions of public health. This will often involve taking a leadership role in defining public health needs, designing public health strategies and programs to address those needs, and evaluating the effectiveness of policies and programs in meeting public health objectives. Typical worksites for individuals with a DrPH degree include local, state, national and international public health agencies, non-profit foundations, and universities.
In addition to gaining leadership, management and advocacy skills, graduates of the ColoradoSPH DrPH program will develop strong research and practice skills in a Focus Area of public health (major area), and develop a secondary area of expertise in another core area of public health (minor area).
How does a DrPH program differ from a PhD program?
The DrPH is primarily a professional degree with a focus on leadership and application of state-of-the-art knowledge and approaches to public health problems. Graduates are expected to occupy leadership positions that have a major influence on progress towards achieving important, broad-reaching, public health objectives.
DrPH students complete a significant public health practicum experience in which they develop and demonstrate their leadership, management and advocacy skills.
PhD programs are primarily designed for students wishing to pursue careers in academic teaching and research. PhD curriculum is typically focused on developing strong content area knowledge and research skills and pursuing the acquisition of new knowledge through research. Although students in the DrPH program will conduct original research in their dissertation, DrPH research will typically be directed towards solving public health problems that have immediate practice implications, rather than more basic knowledge in the field. While DrPH graduates may pursue academic careers, this is not the intent of the program.
DrPH Programs offered at the Colorado School of Public Health
The school currently offers the following focus areas of study: