Online PhD Programs in Public Health

A Ph.D. in Public Health can train working healthcare administrators for career advancement or a career change into postsecondary teaching. Keep reading to see what you'll learn, how online programs are delivered and what typical prerequisites are. Get details about the career outlook in this field. Schools offering Public Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Will I Learn in an Online Ph.D. Program in Public Health?

There are a limited number of online public health Ph.D. programs available. The available online programs require on-campus visits several times each year to meet with your peers and participate in group discussions as well as to meet one-on-one with your instructors and advisors. Public health curriculum focuses on the medical, political and economic factors that influence public healthcare systems and will prepare you for a leadership role in either healthcare organizations or academia. You will typically focus on the required core courses during the first two years in the program and concentrate on electives and completing your dissertation during your third year. Your courses will combine theory and practical expertise through courses similar to the following:

  • Public health essentials
  • Community organization
  • Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology
  • Quantitative reasoning and analysis
  • Administration and leadership
  • Public health informatics

Common Courses Biostatistics, public health informatics, epidemiology, community organization, public health essentials
Online Learning Access course materials and assignments on a course website, access recorded or live web-based classes online
Prerequisites Master's degree in public health or related field, two years of public health management experience for some programs
Job Outlook (2016-2026)20% growth (for medical and health services managers)*
Median Salary (2018)$99,730 (for medical and health services managers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Do Online Classes Work?

Online public health Ph.D. programs typically consist of synchronous Web-based classes and may be interactive using Internet video technology. Synchronous classes will be conducted at a specified day and time, and all students will progress through the curriculum at the same pace. Your course materials, case studies and required reading assignments will typically be accessed on the course Website. You will need a high-speed Internet connection with these course delivery methods.

Are There Any Prerequisites?

Public health Ph.D. programs typically require you to have a master's degree in public health or related field. If you do not have a master's in public health, you may be required to take additional courses. In addition to a graduate degree, some programs may require at least two years of demonstrated management experience in the public health field.

What is the Career Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), career opportunities for medical and health services managers will increase by 20% from 2016-2026 due to the continued expansion of the healthcare industry ( As of May 2018, the median annual salary for medical and health services managers was $99,730.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Wayne State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Detroit
  • Indiana University

    Campus Locations:

    • Indiana: Bloomington
  • University of Alabama

    Campus Locations:

    • Alabama: Birmingham
  • Yale University

    Campus Locations:

    • Connecticut: New Haven
  • West Virginia University

    Campus Locations:

    • West Virginia: Morgantown
  • University of the Sciences

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia
  • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: Dallas
  • University of Connecticut

    Campus Locations:

    • Connecticut: Storrs
  • University of North Texas Health Science Center

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: Fort Worth