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Online PhD in Public Health

Build your skills and conduct important research in your field with our online PhD in Public Health degree program.
Build your skills and conduct important research in your field with our online PhD in Public Health degree program.

Ready to Get Started?

Fill out the form and we will contact you to provide information about furthering your education.

Please use our International Form if you live outside of the U.S.

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Two public health professionals conducting research.

Online PhD in Public Health

Ready to Get Started?

Fill out the form and we will contact you to provide information about furthering your education.

Please use our International Form if you live outside of the U.S.

  • Current 01 Step 1: About You
  • 02 Step 2: Contact Information

Why Choose Walden?

Scholarly Research

Integrate scholarly research with practical solutions that address today’s most pressing health issues through a scholar-practitioner learning model.

Accelerated Journey

Earn your PhD in Public Health degree sooner if you already have a Master of Public Health (MPH) or MS in Public Health.


Broaden your research skills through an original dissertation that contributes to the field.

Expert Faculty

Learn from scholars, researchers, and distinguished leaders from all over the world who are selected for their academic and public health industry credentials and expertise.

Walden PhD in Public Health

Walden's doctoral program in public health gives you the skills to influence policy and save lives in your community and around the world. Whether you want to conduct research, raise public awareness, or manage public healthcare organizations, Walden's PhD in Public Health will help you succeed.

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Program Details

Learning Tracks

TRACK I: Choose this track if you have a Master of Public Health (MPH) or an MS in Public Health.

TRACK II: Choose this track if you hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in an academic discipline other than the public health field.

Admission Requirements

Program Admission Considerations: Master of Public Health (MPH) or MS in Public Health for Track 1 or bachelor’s degree or higher for Track 2

General Admission Requirements: Completed online application and transcripts. Please note that the materials you are required to submit may vary depending on the academic program to which you apply. More information for international applicants.

Your Doctoral Journey

At Walden, we’ll guide you every step of the way with a comprehensive suite of support resources designed to help you confidently pursue the finish line, including our Doctoral Degree CoachTM. Are you ready to reach a higher level in your field?

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A Personalized Guide to Completing Your Doctorate

Earning your PhD in Public Health requires commitment, perseverance, and hard work. You can do it, and Walden is here to help—with our Doctoral Degree Coach™.

  • Map and Track Milestones: Break your research down into manageable, sequential steps. See where you are, what’s ahead, and what you’ve already accomplished—all in one place.
  • Meet Weekly Targets: No more guesswork. Set prompts based on your to-do list and receive reminders and updates directly to your inbox.
  • Connect With Faculty: Stay on the same page and keep your progress on track. With shared access to your dashboard, your chair can easily guide you through your checklists, goals, and timelines.
  • Access Helpful Resources: Quickly find support from the right person at the right time. Our comprehensive resource guide points you in the right direction—no more frustrating searches.

Program Outcomes

Career Outlook

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

Whether you’re interested in conducting research, raising public awareness of health issues, managing healthcare organizations, or contributing to policy development, the public health field offers an exciting array of career possibilities.

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

Top Public Health Employers

The field of public health touches numerous sectors, from government agencies to business organizations to charities. Some of the major public health employers in America today include:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Academia
  • Managed care organizations
  • State and local public health departments
  • Hospitals and medical facilities
  • Nonprofits
  • Corporate sector

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

Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. employs approximately 100,000 health educators, community health workers, and epidemiologists in traditional public health settings. The first two categories are each projected to grow 21% by the year 2022.2

Learning Outcomes

Our PhD in Public Health online degree program is designed to prepare graduates to:

  • Apply ethical decision-making in public health research.
  • Design public health research proposals that are evidence based and competitive.
  • Critically evaluate scholarly literature in public health and related disciplines.
  • Demonstrate leadership skills to facilitate evidence-based public health solutions.
  • Conduct original public health research that has the ability to promote positive social change in diverse populations.
  • Demonstrate appropriate communication skills necessary to deliver complex public health research and information to professional audiences.



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FAQ About Walden’s Online PhD in Public Health

What can you do with a PhD in Public Health?

With a PhD in Public Health, career options include health department director, public health information officer, epidemiologist, professor, public health consultant, and much more. Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

How long does it take to earn a PhD in Public Health?

The amount of time it takes to complete your PhD in Public Health will depend on your previous educational experience and how long you work on your dissertation. The PhD in Public Health program offers a Track I for those entering with a master’s degree in public health and a Track II for those entering with a bachelor’s degree or with a graduate degree that is not in public health. Students in Track I complete a minimum of 83 quarter credits and students in Track II complete a minimum of 109 quarter credits. The minimum amount of time required to complete the coursework and dissertation is 2.75 years. Students have up to 8 years to complete their doctoral degree requirements.

What is the difference between a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) and a PhD in Public Health?

In the simplest terms, a PhD in Public Health is designed for scientists while a DrPH is designed for public health professionals. If you want to conduct research into issues affecting public health, the PhD in Public Health can help you focus on a research specialty, kick-start your research career, and put you on the path to making important contributions to our understanding of public health problems and solutions. If you want to work in the field, enacting programs and policies, the DrPH can help you acquire the top-level knowledge you’ll need to be an effective leader.

Why should you earn your PhD in Public Health degree online

Online education makes it more possible than ever to earn your doctoral degree while continuing to work full time. When you enroll in a PhD in Public Health degree program online, you can learn alongside students from all over the world, gaining new perspectives on public health issues and best practices. It’s also convenient. You can earn your advanced degree from home or anywhere with an internet connection. Online learning also offers you the flexibility to complete your coursework on whatever days and times are convenient you. That makes it easier to balance your education with your work—and it can even save you time and money.

How do you choose the best PhD in Public Health program?

PhD in Public Health degree-seekers have many options when it comes to choosing the program that is right for them. However, a few key factors should always be considered before deciding, including flexibility, diversity, and support. First, flexible scheduling can be key for working professionals, which is why online degree programs are such a popular choice. It’s also important for you to be able to connect with other professionals with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences, which can greatly enhance your doctoral experience. Lastly, be sure you choose a university with a strong support team that is invested in helping you succeed as you work toward earning your PhD.

What are some potential PhD in Public Health focus areas?

Top PhD in Public Health programs will often offer you a choice of focus areas so that you can align your program with your interests and career goals. At Walden, students can choose between three specializations: Epidemiology, Community Health, and Environmental and Occupational Health. The Epidemiology specialization centers on infectious and chronic diseases, how these diseases affect community health, and the strategies used to maintain the health of communities. If you’re more interested in improving the overall health of communities by examining available resources, living conditions and environment, and public health systems, the Community Health specialization may be right for you. If you want to gain a holistic view of how environmental and occupational factors affect human health on a local, global, and national scale, choose the Environmental and Occupational Health specialization. You’ll cover innovative solutions to the complex environmental health challenges impacting your community and beyond.

What career options might you choose from with a PhD in Public Health?

Public health PhD program graduates often become:

  • Biostatisticians
  • Public health researchers
  • Postdoctoral fellows
  • Public health consultants
  • Biotech/lab researchers
  • Epidemiologists
  • Faculty members or professors
  • Global health professionals or consultants
  • Public health policy advisors
  • Health policy advisors

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

What is the job outlook for public health

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that more than 120,000 health educators and community health workers are employed in the U.S.—many in public health settings—with employment projected to grow 11% by 2028.1 However, the pandemic has certainly changed the public health landscape, highlighting the need for highly trained and educated experts in the field. This will likely drive an even greater need for public health professionals in the near future.


1Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) IPEDS database. Based on the most recent year of completions survey data available, using CIP code family 51.2201 “Public Health, General” for Doctor’s degree – Research/Scholarship. Available at (Retrieved January 2021; may consist of or include provisional release data.)

2Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014–2015 Edition, Health Educators and Community Health Workers, on the Internet at (viewed online March 11, 2015). National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.

Note: Time to completion and cost are not estimates of individual experience and will vary based on individual factors applicable to the student. Factors may be programmatic or academic, such as tuition and fee increases; transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; writing, research, and editing skills; use of external data for the doctoral study/dissertation; and individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations, caregiving responsibilities, or health issues; leaves of absence; or other personal circumstances.