Dramatic changes in our nation’s healthcare delivery system, coupled with a national priority on disease prevention and healthy living, are prompting a growing demand for highly qualified public health leaders.

In our Ph.D. in Public Health program, you can study current public health initiatives, explore what makes them successful, and discuss strategies for creating and leading your own initiatives.

When you earn your Ph.D. in Public Health from Walden, you won’t just change your world, you’ll change the world of others, too. You’ll explore strategies that help promote positive health changes for entire populations and play an important role in improving the health of individuals, your community, and beyond.


"I now have the language, the confidence and the understanding to really go and make an impact." - Melissa Thomas

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  • Getting Recognition for Your Research

    Tony Cappello, Ph.D.A Walden Ph.D. in Public Health graduate offers advice about how doctoral students can gain more exposure for their research.

    View this article

  • Healthcare Career Guide

    Careers in Health PDF

    New interactive tool can help you take the first step toward a career in public health or healthcare administration.

    Discover the path that is right for you.

  • Move Ahead

    Complete your doctoral study or dissertation with the added support of a Capstone Intensive Retreat.

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  • Writing Support for Going Back to School

    Has it been five, 10, or even 20 years since you’ve written an academic paper? Walden’s Writing Center can help. Learn More

  • Curriculum

  • Tuition and Fees

  • Career Options

  • Highlights

  • Learning Outcomes

  • Program Data

  • Learn More

The Ph.D. in Public Health program has two tracks designed to match your academic background and interests.

If you hold a Master of Public Health (MPH) or an M.S. in Public Health, select Track I. The program requires completion of 83 to 84 quarter credits and offers two specializations:

If you hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in an academic discipline other than the public health field, select Track II. The program requires 114 to 115 quarter credits and offers two specializations:

 

Find out more about the Ph.D. in Public Health now.  Request Information

Track I: Community Health Education

Health education is critical to promoting healthy lifestyles. The Community Health Education specialization addresses how to assess and improve the well-being of communities and public health systems. Learn to analyze a community’s overall health by examining available health resources and the quality of living conditions. Explore how to develop programs that can lead to healthier environments and better health for individuals. Your study culminates in a community health assessment and the development of a public health program to address that community’s needs.

Track I is designed for students with a Master of Public Health (MPH) or an M.S. in Public Health.

Completion Requirements

  • 83 total quarter credits
    • Foundation courses (2 cr.)
    • Core courses (38 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (23 cr.)
    • Research proposal, dissertation, and oral presentation (20 cr.)
  • Four Ph.D. residencies to equal a minimum of 16 days

You may be eligible to transfer a maximum of 46 graduate-level credits into the program.

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Track I: Epidemiology

Infectious and chronic diseases can devastate entire communities. The Epidemiology specialization broadens your understanding of how these diseases affect populations and explores strategies for maintaining the health of communities. Study how the prevalence of chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes can stress communities and learn to create education programs that can help prevent the spread of chronic disease. As part of your coursework, you will conduct an epidemiological field study that includes original research.

Track I is designed for students with a Master of Public Health (MPH) or an M.S. in Public Health.

Completion Requirements

  • 84 total quarter credits
    • Foundation courses (2 cr.)
    • Core courses (38 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (24 cr.)
    • Research proposal, dissertation, and oral presentation (20 cr.)
  • Four Ph.D. residencies to equal a minimum of 16 days

You may be eligible to transfer a maximum of 46 graduate-level credits into the program.

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Track II: Community Health Education

Health education is critical to promoting healthy lifestyles. The Community Health Education specialization addresses how to assess and improve the well-being of communities and public health systems. Learn to analyze a community’s overall health by examining available health resources and the quality of living conditions. Explore how to develop programs that can lead to healthier environments and better health for individuals. Your study culminates in a community health assessment and the development of a public health program to address that community’s needs.

Track II is designed for students who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in an academic discipline other than the public health field. In addition to specialization coursework, Track II explores public health fundamentals including case studies and research methods, public health management, and environmental health.

Completion Requirements

  • 114 total quarter credits
    • Introductory course (2 cr.)
    • Foundation courses (31 cr.)
    • Core courses (31 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (30 cr.)
    • Research proposal, dissertation, and oral presentation (20 cr.)
  • Four Ph.D. residencies to equal a minimum of 16 residency units

You may be eligible to transfer a maximum of 46 graduate-level credits into the program.

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Track II: Epidemiology

Infectious and chronic diseases can devastate entire communities. The Epidemiology specialization broadens your understanding of how these diseases affect populations and explores strategies for maintaining the health of communities. Study how the prevalence of chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes can distress communities and learn to create education programs that can help prevent the spread of chronic disease. As part of your coursework, you will conduct an epidemiological field study that includes original research.

Track II is designed for students who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in an academic discipline other than the public health field. In addition to specialization coursework, Track II explores public health fundamentals including case studies and research methods, public health management, and environmental health.

Completion Requirements

  • 115 total quarter credits
    • Introductory course (2 cr.)
    • Foundation courses (31 cr.)
    • Core courses (31 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (31 cr.)
    • Research proposal, dissertation, and oral presentation (20 cr.)
  • Four Ph.D. residencies to equal a minimum of 16 residency units 

You may be eligible to transfer a maximum of 46 graduate-level credits into the program.

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Curriculum Component Requirements Cost
Courses, independent research 82–111 total quarter credit hours $520 per quarter credit hour
4-Day Residency Fee 4 during your program
(Residency 2 and Residency 4 may be virtual.)
$1,160 each, plus travel, lodging, other expenses
Virtual: $1,260 each
Technology Fee per quarter $120

Tuition and fees are subject to change.

Call 1-866-492-5336 for information about a full range of options for:

No Application Fee - Applying has never been easier.

Whether you’re interested in raising public awareness of health issues, managing healthcare organizations, or contributing to the policymaking process, the public health field offers a wide range of career options. Career options include:

  • Health department director
  • Health officer
  • Public health information officer
  • Biostatistician
  • Epidemiologist
  • Health policy advisor
  • Public health researcher
  • Faculty/professor
  • Post-doctoral fellow
  • Global health professional/consultant
  • Public health consultant
  • Public health policy advisor

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

Healthcare Career Guide

Careers in Health PDF

New interactive tool can help you take the first step toward a career in public health or healthcare administration.

Discover the path that is right for you.

In Walden’s Ph.D. in Public Health program, you can:

  • Choose from a specialization in Community Health Education or Epidemiology.
  • Broaden your research skills through an original dissertation that contributes to the field.
  • Benefit from a program informed by new legislation including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Healthy People 2020 initiative.
  • Learn about the latest developments in the field by studying current research—and conducting your own.
  • Learn from respected scholars and experts in the field.

When you choose Walden’s online Ph.D. in Public Health, you can benefit from the flexibility of online learning and from MobileLearn®. Offered exclusively at Walden, MobileLearn not only enables you to choose where and when you learn, but it also gives you the ability to choose how you learn. Learn more.

Find out more about what defines Walden’s Ph.D. in Public Health program:

Doctoral Research

As a Ph.D. in Public Health student, you have the opportunity to engage in original research as part of your dissertation. Our faculty and staff work closely with you so you can successfully complete your doctoral research. An experienced faculty mentor guides you through each step of the process and offers a fresh perspective on your research.

Choose an area of special interest, then apply your knowledge and expertise to conduct original research that addresses current issues in the public health field. Your research can help facilitate positive social change and solve critical challenges for your organization, the public health profession, or your community.

Examples of past student research topics include:

  • Childhood obesity and legislation
  • Adolescent STD prevention, intervention, and health
  • Youth and urban violence
  • Risk behavior among college students
  • Emerging infectious diseases and bioterrorism
  • Alternative and complementary health
  • Self-management of health using the Internet
  • The public health sector and inspecting the food supply
  • Immigrant oral health
  • Public health and national resource conservancy
  • Influence of faith and spirituality on health status and health behavior

Meet Students and Alumni

Meet a few of the students and graduates of the Ph.D. in Public Health program. Their unique perspective on Walden and on this program can offer you a glimpse of what to expect from your student experience. These students and alumni offer insights into learning at Walden, applying the Ph.D. in Public Health in the real world, and how earning a Ph.D. in Public Health has helped them make a difference in the field of public health.

“Earning a Ph.D. in Public Health at Walden University will allow me to be more seriously considered a researcher and allow me to become the principal investigator of more studies in my areas of interest. The more I learn about what interests me, the better service I can provide to my community. Down the line, I’d also like to practice epidemiology globally and hope to be in the position to provide philanthropic services on a global scale.”
Ronessa Strickland-Roberts, Ph.D. in Public Health Student

“I have become more of a leader since attending Walden. I’ve taken on projects that have had positive outcomes. Prior to Walden, I was usually hesitant to volunteer. Now, I feel confident in my abilities.”
Lanise A. Hutchins, Ph.D. in Public Health Student

“Walden’s student community is so diverse that in any given class, a student is exposed to a global view on an issue. The faculty also brings diverse sociocultural views, which is a great benefit to academic learning.”
Elizabeth Ndubisi-Ukandu, Ph.D. in Public Health Student

“Residencies give me a confidence boost. I know I can complete my program requirements if I persevere. I come away with new knowledge, tools, ideas, and strategies along with great advice from both faculty and staff. I leave feeling that Walden cares about its student population and will do whatever possible to make the experience one in a lifetime. There’s no better feeling than leaving each residency with long-lasting networks of new friends.”
Elizabeth Ndubisi-Ukandu, Ph.D. in Public Health Student

Which Program is Right for You?

Public Health Doctoral Comparison ChartWhen exploring Walden’s Ph.D. in Public Health and Doctor of Public Health programs, consider which features are right for your learning style and career aspirations.

The chart below provides some of the differences between the Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) and the Ph.D. in Public Health, but view the PDF for a more complete overview of both programs in order to help determine which program is right for you.

  Ph.D. in Public Health Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
Program Structure/Learning Style 
  • Deepen your knowledge and understanding of the field of public health and become an expert in the profession.
  • Expand your knowledge and expertise in a specific content area with an emphasis on academic research.
  • Conduct original research with the intent of adding to scholarship in the field.
  • Complete a traditional doctoral dissertation that results in a scholarly paper.
  • Deepen your understanding of public health budgeting, advocacy, communication, critical analysis, ethics, and program evaluation.
  • Enhance your leadership and critical-thinking skills.
  • Learn how to apply evidence-based research to advance public health objectives.
  • Gain insight into today’s most pressing public health challenges from both a domestic and global perspective.
Career Aspirations
  • Transition into a faculty teaching position in higher education.
  • Publish research as an expert author.
  • Serve as a leader and expert within an organization.
  • Serve as an evaluator of public health agencies.

Career Options*

  • Faculty member/professor
  • Public health researcher
  • Biostatistician
  • Epidemiologist
  • Post-doctoral fellow
  • Advance into an administrative or leadership role within a practice-based setting.
  • Gain the skills and credentials to develop, implement, and evaluate public health programs and policies.
  • Have a greater impact in solving 21st-century public health problems.

Career Options*

  • Health department director
  • Public health information officer
  • Health policy advisor
  • Public health consultant
  • Health officer
  • Public health program director
  • Community health manager/director

*Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

Getting Recognition for Your Research

A Walden Ph.D. in Public Health graduate offers advice about how doctoral students can gain more exposure for their research.

View this article

Graduates of this program will be prepared to:

  1. Utilize critical-thinking and assessment skills in order to analyze barriers, assess needs, and advance the knowledge and practice of public health.
  2. Evaluate and apply population-based theories and strategies used in the prevention of disease and disability.
  3. Lead and inform professional communication, marketing, and public relations on key issues in public health.
  4. Apply fiscal and organizational tenets to public health program leadership.
  5. Demonstrate advanced competency in health informatics and surveillance techniques used in public health programs.
  6. Apply public health research to promote positive social change concerning the health of diverse populations.

Additional Learning Outcomes for the Community Health Education Specialization

  1. Engage in scientific inquiry that advances the knowledge base of research and practice in community health assessment and education.
  2. Examine evidence-based community health education and intervention programs and activities designed to improve public health.

Additional Learning Outcomes for the Epidemiology Specialization

  1. Engage in scientific inquiry that advances the knowledge base of research and practice in epidemiology.
  2. Apply epidemiologic concepts and analytical approaches to public health problems.

Walden is committed to providing the information you need to make an informed decision about where you pursue your education. Click here to find detailed information for the Ph.D. in Public Health relating to the types of occupations this program may lead to, completion rate, program costs, and median loan debt of students who have graduated from this program. 

For assistance in deciding which specialization fits your goals, request information or speak with an enrollment advisor by calling 1-866-492-5336. A list of international toll-free phone numbers is available for students outside the United States.