2017-2018 Walden University Catalog (September 2017) 
    Sep 22, 2020  
2017-2018 Walden University Catalog (September 2017) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

PhD in Public Health

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“My Walden experience has transformed my vision of public health practice, helped me to redefine my role as a public health practitioner, and rekindled a sense of pride in my profession.”

Stephen Mucheke, PhD in Public Health Student

In the PhD in Public Health program focuses on seeking solutions to significant public health problems by applying and integrating knowledge into public health practice and research. Through the program, the development and demonstration of research and analytical skills are fostered to prepare students for careers in academia or in public and private organizations and institutions. Students may elect to specialize in either Community Health Education or Epidemiology.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the program, students will be able 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.


Degree Requirements

  • Number of credits depends on specialization
    • Track 1: 88–89 quarter credit hours
    • Track 2: 119–120 quarter credit hours
  • Introductory Course (3 cr.)
  • Foundation courses (31 cr., Track 2 only)
  • Core courses
    • Community Health Education: 46 cr.
    • Epidemiology: 42 cr.
  • Specialization courses
    • Community Health Education: 19 cr.
    • Epidemiology: 23 cr.
  • Research proposal, dissertation, and oral presentation (20 cr. [minimum requirements]–120 cr. [8-year maximum timeframe])*
  • Minimum 10 quarters’ enrollment
  • Four residencies

*To complete a doctoral dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the Chief Academic Officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook. In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation course until they complete an approved dissertation, which usually requires more than the minimum terms in the dissertation course shell.


The PhD program has two tracks, providing different levels of foundational knowledge based on the students’ studies prior to entering the program. All students complete the same core and specialization curriculum.

  • Track 1: Students who enter the program with a master’s degree in public health complete PUBH 8003 - Building a Multidisciplinary Approach to Health followed by the program’s core and specialization courses.
  • Track 2: Students who enter the program with a bachelor’s degree or with a graduate degree that is not in public health complete a set of foundational courses in the core competencies and practice of public health before they move on to the sequence of courses described for Track 2, followed by the core and specialization courses.

Residency Requirements

  • Complete Residency 1 face-to-face as soon as you begin your program; should be completed within 90 days of completing your Foundations course.
  • Complete Residency 2 as face-to-face or virtual within 18 months of your start date or linked to your registration for or completion of your first research course.
  • Complete Residency 3 face-to-face by the end of your third year.
  • Complete Residency 4 during your third year or beyond as:
    • a face-to-face or virtual residency (RESI 8404)
    • an approved professional conference (RESI 8900 based on program availability)
    • a dissertation intensive (DRWI-8500)  during your 9000 course. Contact Academic Advising to register.
  • Optional: Complete a PhD Dissertation Intensive retreat (DRWI 8500) face-to-face during your dissertation. Contact Academic Advising to register.

Doctoral Writing Assessment

Students who start their doctoral program at Walden University in 2016 will complete the university’s required doctoral writing assessment on a rolling basis. Designed to evaluate incoming doctoral students’ writing skills, this assessment aims to help prepare incoming doctoral students to meet the university’s expectations for writing at the doctoral level. For more information, click here.

Program Data

Walden is committed to providing the information you need to make an informed decision about where you pursue your education. Find detailed information for the PhD in Public Health program 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. This information will vary depending on whether you (1) hold a MPH or MS in Public Health or (2) hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in a field other than public health.

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