Samford University’s Doctor of Public Health is designed for individuals who are called to serve as the next generation of leaders in our public health workforce. We are in a time of revolutionary research and discovery, and the public health workforce is not only required to take a lead in protecting the population’s health but must:

  • Provide the evidence base needed for linking public health information with clinical services and activities
  • Offer targeted, scalable public health interventions
  • Support clinical services in a way that affects populations at-large

Through this five-semester doctoral program, students develop a broad understanding of all aspects of public health through integration of multiple disciplines and the ability to apply scientific findings to address complex problems of public health policy and practice.

A Doctor of Public Health is considered the highest professional degree in public health, and applicants are required to hold a master’s degree. Courses are offered online, and full-time and part-time options are available.

Application Process

Application Schedule

Fall Admission

  • Application Opens: Sept. 5, 2019
  • Application Deadline:  June 1, 2020
    • Applicants are admitted on a rolling basis.
  • Entry Month:  August 2020

The steps below outline the application process for the Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.) program. To apply, you are required to submit both an application through Allied Health Centralized Application Service (AHCAS) as well as a Doctor of Public Health Supplemental Form.

Before starting these applications, we recommend that you complete the following checklist:

  • Obtain student copies of your college transcripts to assist you in completing the coursework section for the application.
  • Create an application account at AHCAS. Once the account is created, the Instruction Manual is located under the Question mark icon at the top right side of the page. AHCAS simplifies the process of applying to Samford programs. Complete one application and AHCAS will verify your application for accuracy, calculate your GPA and send your materials to the Doctor of Public Health Program.
  • Complete the form, submit it to the registrar's office of each institution attended and instruct them to enclose the form with your official sealed transcript. Transcripts must be sent to the AHCAS Transcript Department:
    • AHCAS Transcript Processing Center
      P.O. Box 9127
      Watertown, MA 02471
  • AHCAS accepts official transcripts sent directly from the registrar's office only. Please send transcripts as early as possible and no less than four to six weeks before the application deadline due to the time needed by AHCAS to verify your application.
  • Pay the initial service fee of $115 when submitting the AHCAS application.
  • Obtain three letters of recommendation from (1) current or previous professor; (2) supervisor and (3) professional colleague. These letters of recommendation will be submitted through AHCAS. The references should attest to the applicant's academic ability and potential.

Please fill out all sections of the application.

  • Submit official test scores to Samford University – Code:  1302
  • The preferred browsers for AHCAS are Google Chrome or Firefox.  If you need any assistance, please contact the AHCAS technical support team at 617-612-2883 or email at ahcasinfo@ahcas.org. The customer service office is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

Admission Requirements

  • Possess a master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Applicants must have a Master of Public Health (M.P.H.), Master of Healthcare Administration (M.H.A.), Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.), Master of Social Work (M.S.W.), Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) or other relevant master’s degree
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Submit a GRE score taken within 5 years preceding the application
    • Results from the GMAT, MCAT, DAT or PCAT are also accepted.
    • This requirement can be waived if the student has a minimum of 5 years of public health experience.
  • Submit three letters of reference through the application system. The three required references should be from 1) current or previous professor, 2) work supervisor and 3) professional colleague
  • Complete all sections of the application
  • Submit a two-page, single spaced paper using APA guidelines regarding a public health issue.
  • International applicants or American citizens who learned English as a second language must score at least 550 (paper), 213 (computer) or 80 (internet) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). 
  • Exceptions to any of the admission requirements may be considered on an individual basis.

Upon acceptance, a non-refundable fee of $500 is required to secure admission into the program. This fee is applied to the first semester’s tuition. Enrolled students are required to attend an on-campus orientation prior to the start of the program. 

Students and applicants with disabilities who seek accommodations must make a request by contacting Section 504/Disability Access and Accommodation Coordinator, 205-726-4078 or disability@samford.edu.

Concentrations

Health Management and Policy

The Health Management and Policy concentration empowers graduates with the knowledge and confidence to:

  • Integrate strategic, financial, human resource and program management principles to develop health programs, policies, organizations and systems that address health priorities and goals
  • Assess health problems using legal and ethical frameworks
  • Integrate economic principles and organizational theories to improve the clinical and financial performance of health organizations and systems
  • Apply statistical methods to economic data to inform policy and practice decision-making
  • Evaluate health policies to determine their impact on population health outcomes and resources
  • Develop advocacy strategies to promote policy change

Population Health Analytics and Decision Making

By completing the Population Health Analytics and Decision Making concentration, graduates will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to:

  • Select and utilize appropriate data analytics tools and statistical packages in support of public health decision making
  • Identify, manage and analyze data to address important questions in public health and biomedical sciences
  • Select indicators and design data systems for the monitoring and evaluation of program planning
  • Apply best practices of evidence based-decision making to public health programs and policies
  • Create and use effective data visualizations to communicate findings to diverse audiences
  • Employ techniques for data quality assurance and improvement

Interprofessional Approach

Public health is a naturally interprofessional field, and our Doctor of Public Health utilizes the strengths of the multiple disciples within the School of Public Health to provide diversity of discussion, faculty expertise and resources.

The School of Public Health is one of four schools in Samford’s College of Health Sciences, which brings together all of the health-related disciplines offered by the university. The college’s interprofessional education framework utilizes the four competency domains of interprofessional education while incorporating one’s faith and calling and elements of quality of safety—with patients, clients, families and populations at the center of it all.

Career Paths

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, marketing and more. The degree sets graduates on a path to leadership-oriented careers in public health with positions like:

  • Public health professor or educator
  • Healthcare administrator
  • Principle investigator
  • Health policy analyst
  • Executive or program director
  • Public health advisor to industry or government

Plan of Study

The curriculum is designed to provide mastery of high-level competencies in management, innovation and analytics.

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