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Doctoral programs

Mailman School's doctoral programs in public health offer excellent access to renowned researchers and thought leaders. Through their studies, doctoral students will be given the tools to build knowledge in the field and advance public health practice.

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The faculty offers two doctoral degrees, the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and the Doctor of Public Health (DrPH). Both train candidates to generate new knowledge and research, apply it to key public health issues, and identify and implement possible solutions. They only differ in the emphasis:

  • The DrPH programs place greater emphasis on the application of science to public health leadership, practice, and program development.

  • The PhD programs place greater emphasis on the creation of new knowledge, with the PhD students pursuing research and / or teaching as a professional goal.

The DrPH is available in:

  • Bio-Statistics

  • Environmental health sciences

  • Epidemiology

  • Population and Family Health

  • Social Medicine Sciences

The doctorate is available in:

  • Bio-Statistics

  • Environmental health sciences

  • Epidemiology

  • Social Medicine Sciences

Study requirements

Graduates of the DrPH degree complete at least 30 semester hours per week for the MPH degree or an equivalent professional qualification in health care in addition to the coursework.

The PhD degree is awarded by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, as are all PhD degrees from Columbia University. Mailman PhD graduates complete a minimum of 60 credit hours, which are the combined requirements for the MA and PhD degrees. Students who start their PhD studies with MA degrees from other universities can acquire up to 30 credit points.

Learn more

To learn more about degree competencies, curricula, and student handbooks, visit our Academics page. Academic Directors in each department are available to provide additional advice on which program best fits specific academic and professional goals. Applicants are also encouraged to review faculty profiles - including their research interests - to identify common interests with their chosen discipline.

Further information can be found on these pages:
Deadlines
Open houses
Application process

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