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Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) in Public Health Policy and Management

Offered On Campus in Tucson

The DrPH is an advanced, professional degree program that focuses on developing future leaders in public health practice, who will advance the public's health through the integration and application of a broad range of knowledge and analytical skills in leadership, practice, policy analysis, research, program management and professional communication. Knowledge and skills are based on the DrPH competencies from the Association of Schools of Public Health.

The DrPH program in Public Health Policy and Management is offered by the Department of Community, Environment and Policy.  This degree program is designed to further develop the knowledge and skills of public health practitioners who are currently serving in the public or private sector.  Areas of emphasis include analyzing public health problems, managing the public health workforce, crafting evidence-based recommendations and translating those recommendations into public policy.  Because of the program's unique setting and activities, graduates will be prepared to work collaboratively with a broad range of organizations that serve the diverse communities and populations residing in the Southwest.

The program is designed for students who have been awarded a Master's degree, preferably a Master of Public Health degree, and at least two years of public health work related experience.  Students entering without a prior MPH degree will be required to complete the five core MPH courses offered through MEZCOPH, or their equivalent, in addition to the minimum DrPH credit hours of course work in the major.


DrPH in Public Health Policy and Management Concentration Competencies


Required Courses (14 units)

§ Alternative courses addressing that content with the minimum or greater course units may be considered (e.g. with a major grant development component; advanced or typically second semester graduate statistics course; advanced evaluation methods).  Such a substitution requires approval of the Program Director and Faculty Advisor.


Required Public Health Policy and Management Courses (14 units)

* Approval from Faculty Advisor

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Concentration Electives (minimum 9 units)


Dissertation (minimum 18 units)

The dissertation is expected to analyze and propose solutions to health management or policy issues by applying new theoretical or analytic advances to current problems in health care.


Minor (minimum 9 units)

The minor area of study can be in other academic doctoral programs in Public Health or in other doctoral programs throughout the University. The minor area of study specifies the number of required minor units (minimum 9 units).


Total Minimum Credit Requirements = 64 units


Application Deadlines

Fall Application Deadlines

Priority:  December 1
Secondary: April 1

Students who apply by the priority deadline will be given the highest priority for admissions and consideration for scholarships and assistantships.

Admissions Criteria

Admissions Criteria

  • The program is designed for students who have a previously awarded Master's degree, preferably a Master of Public Health, and at least two years of public health experience
  • GPA of 3.2 or higher
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume or CV
  • Statement of purpose and objectives
  • Research Statement
  • Writing Sample
  • Mission and values statement
  • Official GRE scores (Due to issues related to the COVID-19 outbreak, the GRE requirement is waived for Fall 2021 admissions.)​
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores are required for international applicants
  • Relevant work/volunteer experience strengthens all applications
  • Detailed admissions criteria

How to Apply

Apply online through SOPHAS, the centralized application service for all of the accredited schools and programs of public health.

View more details on the steps to our application process.

Additional Information

Admissions Events > Join us for an upcoming admissions event.

Meet Our Students > Get to know our students.

International Students > Find admissions information specific to international students.


Typical time to completion: 3-5 years (2-3 years for coursework, 1-2 years for dissertation work) for full-time students. 5-8 years for part-time students.

Average time to completion: 5.08

Program Steps to Completion (Full-time student timeline):

  • Attend mandatory new student orientation
  • Students are expected to serve as a Teaching Assistantship at least once during their time in the program
  • First year is devoted to course work (Students entering without an MPH must complete the MPH core courses in addition to degree requirements)
  • Work with Faculty Advisor to form an initial, tentative Plan of Study
  • Each Spring, complete an Annual Progress Report with Faculty Advisor
  • Second year is devoted to course work and forming Comprehensive Exam Committee
  • Formalize Plan of Study by end of second year
  • Second/third year formalize Committee Chair and Comprehensive Exam Committee
  • Take and pass Comprehensive Exams (written and oral)
  • Form and formalize Dissertation Committee
  • Develop a Dissertation Research Proposal
  • Defend and gain approval for Proposal before Dissertation Committee
  • If necessary, begin process for human subjects approval for dissertation
  • Third/fourth year, research, develop and write dissertation
  • Fourth/fifth year, successfully defend dissertation and finalize revisions

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