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Degree Programs

Application for this degree program is available through SOPHAS at

Accepting for Fall admission only

About the Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) Degree

The Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) Degree in Leadership, Practice, and Research prepares mid- to senior-career public health professionals to gain knowledge and skills in leadership, practice, and research that will assist them in assuming positions of greater responsibility and helping to achieve public health impact at local, state, national and international levels.


Online (synchronous and asynchronous) and in-person hybrid at the Rutgers School of Public Health in Newark and Piscataway New Jersey.


Applicants for admission must have completed a master’s degree program accredited in the United States or its equivalent and must have demonstrated academic achievement in an appropriate discipline. In addition, applicants must have a minimum of five years professional experience within a public health or health-related setting. Students who have graduated from an institution outside of the United States must have an official course by course evaluation of foreign transcripts through the World Education Services (WES) and show a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Applicants are expected to have academic credentials equivalent to those required for admissions to PhD programs. For more detailed information, consult the Rutgers School of Public Health catalogue.

The following must be submitted:

  • Official transcripts of all prior academic work;
  • Letter of Intent, which addresses why the DrPH is of interest at this stage of their career, key knowledge and skills they hope to gain from the program, and how the degree will help to advance their leadership in the field of public health; and
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • (OPTIONAL) Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or its equivalent (e.g. MCAT, GMAT). Applicants may choose to submit GRE or equivalent scores if they feel it will strengthen their application. However, not submitting GRE scores will not negatively impact a student’s application.

Application for this degree program is available through SOPHAS at

Program Format

The DrPH in Leadership, Practice, and Research degree program is a hybrid program. Courses are completed online (synchronous and asynchronous formats), and supplemented with executive format face-to-face meetings. Students are required to come to campus a maximum of 7-8 times during the first two years of study (each visit is 2-3 days). Students will complete coursework as a cohort, taking six (6) credits (two courses) each semester (Fall, Spring and Summer) of designated coursework. Following the completion of the course requirements, students will complete a comprehensive qualifying exam based on the course content, as well as an applied practice experience and a dissertation (integrative learning experience). Full-time study is not permitted.


Students seeking the DrPH degree must complete a minimum of 48 credits, a practice experience and defend a dissertation.

Curriculum Requirements (48 credits total) – no electives are permitted

    UGPH 0711 - Leadership and Management I: Organizations Contributing to Public Health
    UGPH 0715 - Leadership and Management II: Organizations Contributing to Public Health
    UGPH 0723 - Leadership and Management III: Organizations Contributing to Public Health
    BIST 0714 - Intermediate Biostatistics
    EPID 0721 - Using Public Health Surveillance to Assess Public Health Needs
    HBSP 0722 - Mixed Methods Research for Public Health
    UGPH 0716 - Evaluation and Evidence for Public Health
    SBHS 0705 - Intermediate Survey Research Methods
    HBSP 0713 - Public Health Ethics and Law
    HBSP 0724 - Effectively Teaching and Training Adults
    UGPH 0712 - Creating Interventions for Impact
    UGPH 0724 - Policy, Power and Advancing Public Health
  • QUALIFYING EXAM (0 credits) – written and oral
  • RESH 0760 – DOCTORAL RESEARCH (Integrative Learning Experience) (9 credits)

Other Curriculum Requirements: Transferred courses will be not be accepted unless the transferred courses were taken at a doctoral level, are equivalent to the required DrPH in Leadership, Practice, and Research coursework, and meet the School’s Transfer Credit policy.

A student, who does not have an MPH degree from a Council on Education for Public Health-accredited school or program of public health, will also need to complete the coursework equivalent to the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Population Health. The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Population Health (15 credits) may be taken before or during the DrPH coursework but must be completed prior to sitting for the DrPH qualifying exam.

DrPH Applied Practice Experience

Regardless of the amount or level of prior experience, all DrPH students will engage in a 3-credit Applied Practice Experience, in which students will be responsible for the completion of at least one project that is meaningful for an organization and advances public health practice. The work product may be a single project or a set of related projects that demonstrate a depth of skills and expertise. The Applied Practice Experience must also contain a reflective component that includes the student’s expression of personal and/or professional reactions to the experience. This may be undertaken at the student’s current workplace as long as the project is not part of their regular job responsibilities and approved by their academic advisor.

Qualifying Exam

The purpose of the Qualifying Exam is to establish that the student has acquired sufficient proficiency and competency in public health leadership, practice, and research for admission to Candidacy for the DrPH Degree. The qualifying exam is usually taken at the beginning of the 3rd year of studies. The faculty advisor, together with DrPH Program Director, is responsible for proposing a qualifying examination committee and providing guidance for the student's preparation for the exam. The Office of Student Affairs will schedule the qualifying examination. As a student nears completion of the DrPH coursework, the advisor shall propose to the DrPH Program Director a committee to administer the qualifying examination to the student. This committee shall consist of at least four members of the Rutgers School of Public Health faculty and will include, at a minimum: the faculty advisor, a faculty member responsible for questions on general public health; and the DrPH Program Director or his/her designee. Each of the parts of the exam will be graded on a pass/fail basis and may be passed with up to one dissenting vote.

Publication of Dissertation and Academic Data

After the granting of the doctorate, the Rutgers School of Public Health will have their dissertation archived. The dissertation must, therefore, be prepared with the same care as if it were to appear in printed form. The abstract that must accompany the dissertation will be published in dissertation abstracts and, therefore, must be ready for publication when it is submitted to the Dean. Rutgers University Libraries and ProQuest LLC, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, will archive the dissertation and publish the abstract. Information concerning the preparation of the dissertation and abstract and the online publishing agreement details that the doctoral candidate must provide to ProQuest are available in the Office of Student Affairs, School of Public Health, Rutgers University, Piscataway.

Dissertation and Defense

To complete the DrPH degree, the candidate must pursue appropriate dissertation research (RESH 0760) and present the results in a dissertation. The DrPH dissertation is completed under the direction of a thesis advisor, and must be approved by a Dissertation Committee of (at least) four faculty members, one of which is an ''outside member.” The candidate must submit a written dissertation proposal that presents the projected content of the dissertation within one year of passing the Qualifying Examination.

Program Contacts

At the School of Public Health:
Kamal Kornegay, Director of Admissions and Recruitment
Vince Silenzio, MD, MPH, Professor