2022–2023 Walden University Catalog (September 2022) 
    Feb 07, 2023  
2022–2023 Walden University Catalog (September 2022)

PhD in Public Health

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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, Environmental and Occupational Health, or Epidemiology.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the program, students will be able to:

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


Changing specializations may increase a student’s expected time-to-degree completion and cost.

Minimum Degree Requirements

  • Doctoral Writing Assessment
  • Foundation courses (5 cr.)
  • Core courses
    • Track I
      • Community Health: 43 cr.
      • Environmental and Occupational Health: 43 cr.
      • Epidemiology: 43 cr.
    • Track II
      • Community Health: 69 cr.
      • Environmental and Occupational Health: 69 cr.
      • Epidemiology: 69 cr.
  • Specialization courses
    • Track I
      • Community Health: 15 cr.
      • Environmental and Occupational Health: 15 cr.
      • Epidemiology: 15 cr.
    • Track II
      • Community Health: 15 cr.
      • Environmental and Occupational Health: 15 cr.
      • Epidemiology: 15 cr 
  • Dissertation Seminar (5 cr.)
  • Completion of Dissertation (15 cr. minimum)
    • Dissertation writing courses (continuous enrollment in 5 cr. per term for a minimum of 3 terms until completion)
  • Four PhD residencies


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 I: Students who enter the program with a master’s degree in public health complete PHLT 8006/8011 - Foundations of Doctoral Success in Public Health followed by the program’s core and specialization courses.
  • Track II: 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 II, followed by the core and specialization courses.

Residency Requirements

Doctoral Writing Assessment

Students who start or readmit to doctoral programs at Walden University in the university catalog for academic year 2017 or later will complete the university’s required doctoral writing assessment. 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.

8-Year Maximum Time Frame

In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation/doctoral study course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.

Students have up to 8 years to complete their doctoral degree requirements (see Enrollment Requirements in the student handbook). Students may petition to extend the 8-year maximum time frame, but an extension is not guaranteed.

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