Published on July 2, 2019 by Sarah Waller  
DI Student Interns CDC

Samford University’s School of Public Health is now accepting applications for its latest degree, a Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.) This doctoral program is designed for individuals who are called to serve as the next generation of leaders in the public health workforce. 

Unlike a Ph.D. that leads to careers in research, a Doctor of Public Health is a professional degree that focuses on the practical application of public health principles across a variety of settings, including health advocacy, health departments, communication, community development, social services and many more. 

“We are in an important time for the field of public health,” said Keith Elder, dean of Samford’s School of Public Health. “The demand for executive-level leadership in our public health workforce is at an all-time high, and we’re excited to offer our Doctor of Public Health to professionals who are called to meet this demand.”

While the program is offered fully online to meet the needs of the working professional, students will still experience Samford’s unique distinctives, including its Christian context and exceptional faculty who are readily available no matter the distance.  

“Our Dr.P.H. program benefits from the school’s unique makeup,” said Melissa Lumpkin, professor and chair of the school’s Department of Public Health.  “The program utilizes the expertise of all of the disciplines within the School of Public Health, including health informatics, social work, healthcare administration, nutrition and public health.” 

In addition, the school’s position in Samford’s College of Health Sciences and its commitment to interprofessional education opens the doors to collaborative research and practice with students in nursing, pharmacy and the health professions.

Samford’s Doctor of Public Health offers two concentrations:

  • Health Management and Policy
  • Population Health Analytics and Decision Making

 “We live in a time when technology is advancing our research and understanding of health and wellness at a rapid pace,” Elder said. “Through our Doctor of Public Health program, we are preparing graduates to be like a beacon in their communities—providing analysis and leadership in the development of prevention-focused measures—here at home and around the world.” 

The program is open to applicants with a variety of professional backgrounds, including nursing, social work, healthcare administration, environmental science, public health and more. To learn more, go to

Samford University’s Doctor of Public Health program is pending SACSCOC approval.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.