Admission Requirements

Successful Applicants Will...

  • Possess a master’s degree from a college or university that holds institutional accreditation
  • 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.), Master of Science in Nutrition (M.S.) 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. GRE waivers are considered on a case-by-case basis.
      • A link to the GRE Waiver Form is located on the Admission Requirements page of the application. To be considered for a GRE waiver, submit your resume and a paragraph on how your work experience relates to public health.
  • 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 personal statement. In your own words, provide a brief essay describing an experience that demonstrates your interest and commitment to your chosen career.
  • 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). Must complete 24 credit hours as a full-time student in a U.S. college or university that holds institutional accreditation. We cannot issue an I-20 for this program at this time.
  • 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


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.