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Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


FAQs for the Schoolwide DrPH Program

What is the difference between the PhD and the part-time DrPH?

The PhD program prepares students for careers as advanced researchers and academicians, while the DrPH program is designed to prepare experienced public health professionals for leadership positions in a variety of public health settings--both international and domestic, and is more practice oriented. Students finishing with a DrPH also can pursue a career as a tenure track or adjunct faculty. The DrPH Program is a part-time program that permits professionals to continue working full time wherever they are while pursuing their studies. PhD programs are full-time and require residency in Baltimore.

Is the part-time DrPH program available online?

Yes, the DrPH program is available entirely online.  Students are encouraged to supplement their program through intensive onsite course work in summer and winter institutes--about a week in June and January respectively. The institutes take place in Baltimore and students should plan to attend during their first and second years in the program. Otherwise, DrPH foundational and concentration courses are offered in an online format. Additional course options may be available onsite and students also are welcome to attend courses on campus if they wish.

What is the workload of the part-time DrPH and how many courses do students take a term?

The DrPH program is very flexible and we encourage students to complete the program at a pace consonant with their work-life balance and their budgets, and these may fluctuate throughout the program.

Most students take 1-2 courses per 8-week term. Most of our courses are 3 credits, and for each credit, students can expect approximately 3 hours of study per week. This may vary slightly throughout a course and change slightly from course to course.

The program is designed to allow full-time professionals to continue working while pursuing their studies.

What are online courses like--are lectures recorded?

The lectures in an online course are recorded (asynchronous), typically in segments of 20 minutes, so you can watch them at times convenient for you. In addition, courses typically have 3-4 "LiveTalks" in which faculty or field experts offer lectures and discussion synchronously, allowing you to interact and network in real time; LiveTalks are always recorded in case you can't attend.

Some onsite courses also may be available in an online, synchronous format (via Zoom). See our course catalog.

Courses typically comprise a balance of individual and group work. Students also interact through discussion forums and presentations.

The School organizes and presents all course material using an in-house, online Learning Management System called CoursePlus.

Can the program be completed on a full-time basis?

The very large majority of students entering the DrPH program will be part-time students and the program typically only allow students to matriculate full-time if they have external funding sources that require full-time enrollment. Please contact the DrPH Program Office if you anticipate requiring full-time enrollment; this also should be noted in the SOPHAS application.

Student Sponsorship

This program does not qualify for F-1 or J-1 student sponsorship. Legal Permanent Residents and non-immigrants who are otherwise physically present in the U.S. and in a status that allows for full or part-time study, may pursue this program.

When are classes offered?

The Bloomberg School of Public Health has four 8-week regular terms (1-4), summer term (not required), and summer and winter institutes. Courses during the four regular terms are typically online and asynchronous, while institute courses typically are offered onsite intensively during June and January.

Please see our Academic Calendar for more information.

What is the number of credits required to complete the part-time DrPH Program?

The DrPH program requires 57 didactic credits and a minimum of 7 proposal/thesis research credits. Depending on students' backgrounds, additional core coursework or waiver exams in epidemiology and biostatistics may be required; these credits would not count toward the didactic credit requirement of the DrPH.

Students' master's transcripts will be evaluated after matriculation to determine if any additional course work or waiver exams will be required. Waiver exams are offered free of charge and some preparation materials are provided.

If students have previously taken a required DrPH course, they would seek waiver for the required course and, if approved, would take an equivalent number of elective credits of their choosing. Materials and instructions for submitting a waiver are provided during the onboarding process; waiver reviews are not conducted prior to matriculation.

How long does it take to complete the part-time DrPH Program?

The program can be completed in a minimum of four years. We anticipate that most students will complete the program in a period of 4-6 years. Students must complete their coursework, comprehensive exams and preliminary oral exams within five years of matriculation, and have up to nine years, if needed, to complete the full program requirements.

Is funding available for the part-time DrPH Program?

At this time, the Bloomberg American Health Initiative provides 8-10 highly competitive fellowships to incoming DrPH students focusing in one of the Initiative's five focus areas; this fellowship is open only to students working in domestic organizations.

Interested students must apply for both the DrPH program and the Fellowship (two separate applications) by December 1st in order to be considered for funding when they matriculate. 

For further details regarding eligibility and application process please visit the Bloomberg Fellows application page.

Please note that only about 12% of fellowship applicants receive an award. It is important that students consider additional funding means prior to application for the DrPH Program.


Are GRE or GMAT scores required?

No. The DrPH Program no longer requires GRE or GMAT scores for application to the program and these scores will not be considered if submitted. The Admissions Committees evaluate applications holistically, weighing applicants' work experience, past academic performance, the focus of the statement of purpose and alignment with the program/concentration/track, and the strength of the letters of recommendation.

What degrees are considered equivalent to an MPH?

Applicants who have completed an applied master's degree in a topic relevant to public health (such as health service administration, environmental health, an MBA with a health services focus, or similar) will be considered eligible to apply for the program. In one of our recent cohorts, 73% of incoming students had an MPH. In addition to the MBA, MPP, and MSPH, other degrees included a master's in health administration, economics, epidemiology, biomedical engineering, health information systems, health, urban planning, and nursing.

Matriculated students who do not have an MPH may need to take additional courses to fill gaps in their learning. Please note that these courses can be taken during the coursework phase of the DrPH program, but core course credits do not apply towards the didactic credit requirement for the DrPH. Corresponding waiver exams also are offered free of charge.

The DrPH Program will not evaluate transcripts for fulfillment of core courses in advance of matriculation; however, applicants are encouraged to consider their prior graduate coursework in light of the core course requirements indicated on the DrPH website.  

Does the program require a dissertation?

Yes, Johns Hopkins believes that dissertations are a critical component of doctoral degree studies – and employers with whom we have spoken to agree with us! Dissertations enable students to gain experience addressing high-level and complex public health problems, and also expose students to the whole cycle of identifying problems, collecting and analyzing data and developing public health solutions. We are committed to making DrPH dissertations practice-oriented, and to supporting students as they identify and develop their dissertation proposals from the very beginning of the program. 

Are incoming students assigned an advisor or do I need to arrange an advisor myself?

All admitted DrPH students are assigned a faculty advisor and the advisor is shared with students shortly after receiving their offers of admission. If students indicate faculty in their applications with whom they would like to collaborate, all efforts are made to connect students with these faculty; however, sometimes due to advising capacity or other constraints it is not possible. In that case, a faculty member will be identified based on the students' academic and professional interests expressed in the application.

It is unnecessary to contact faculty during the application process. We will personally connect you with your faculty advisor shortly after admission to the program!

How can I identify research topics Bloomberg School faculty are working on if I want to reference them in my SOPHAS application?

There are a few resources that may be helpful if you would like to search for faculty by department or interests.

  •  When you view a faculty member’s profile in the Bloomberg School faculty directory, many will have a link to their SciVal profile and/or specific research interests noted in a tab in the middle of their page.
  • You can also search SciVal information directly. 
  • Centers and Institutes may have faculty affiliated with particular interests.
  • You can find additional information regarding faculty and centers and research under each of the individual department websites as well.
If I am an alum of the Bloomberg School who has already submitted a credential evaluation for an international degree, do I need to resubmit?

No - if we already have an official credential evaluation of an international degree from WES or another agency on file from a previous application to the School of Public Health, you do not need to resubmit an evaluation. Please let us know if this applies for your application, so that we can verify that the credential evaluation is on file and add it to your new application. Please keep in mind that the existing evaluation would only be valid for JHSPH applications. if you are applying to programs at multiple schools, other academic institutions would require their own copy of the evaluation. 

State-Specific Information for Online Students

Students should be aware of additional state-specific information for online programs.