DrPH Program

The degree program is designed to prepare students for leadership roles in public health practice in governmental agencies, community-based organizations and other settings. Students acquire analytic, conceptual, and administrative skills while gaining a thorough understanding of the scientific, political, social, cultural, ethical and economic contexts within which public health problems occur and are addressed.

The ultimate goal of the program is mastery of evidence-based decision-making and capacity to translate empirical knowledge into effective public health practice.

Practicum placements ensure that DrPH students are exposed to on-the-job doctoral training experiences in ways that are unparalleled and cannot be duplicated in other schools of public health. Students work side-by-side in mentoring relationships with senior public health practitioners who solve real public health problems by researching, designing, implementing and evaluating interventions, programs, and policies to alleviate problems confronting communities today. Practicum placements are available in such diverse settings as maternal and child health, epidemiological surveillance, chronic disease prevention, cancer control and treatment, violence and injury prevention, HIV/AIDS and international health to name a few.

Most importantly, practicum placements frequently result in doctoral dissertations, career direction, and even eventual employment in leadership positions upon graduation. In addition to mentoring in the field, faculty members, who are full-time employees in the New York State Department of Health, actively participate as teachers and dissertation committee members to further enrich the educational experience of DrPH students.

The University at Albany School of Public Health is a model of excellence in professional education, which should be emulated by other institutions of higher learning. The integration of academic rigor and practical experience guarantees that our graduates are extremely well prepared to face the real world of public health when they graduate.

Admission Requirements

Students will be admitted on a competitive basis. Only applicants who meet the following requirements will be considered for admission to the program:

  • MPH, or other master’s degree in health, social science, or a related field, from an accredited American college or university or a well-regarded foreign college or university
  • At least two years work experience in public health or related field, preferably for an uninterrupted period of time, typically, but not always, following completion of a master’s degree program.

Note: Applicants without a master’s degree who are interested in the DrPH program should first apply to the Master of Public Health program. Qualified students in the MPH program may apply to the DrPH program during their last year of MPH study.
Note: Students with a master’s degree other than an MPH will be required to take all MPH core courses not previously taken.

Application Process

The due date for applications is January 1.

To apply to the DrPH program, students must submit an application through the centralized Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS).

The application should include (but not limited to):

  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation from academic/professional sources
  • Personal statement
  • Resume
  • Writing sample
  • Minimum TOEFL score of 100 for international students

All international student applicants must submit credentials/transcripts from all international universities attended to an accredited evaluation service to be evaluated and translated into English (if necessary). SOPHAS will only accept evaluations from the World Education Service (WES).  It may take up to 6 weeks for SOPHAS to receive the WES evaluation, so it is important to plan for this extra time in submitting your credentials to ensure application deadlines are met.

    Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

    GRE and/or Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores are not required. However, if the applicant has taken the GRE or MCAT, a copy of the test results should be included in the application.

    Letters of Recommendation

    All applicants must submit three (3) letters of recommendation from academic/professional sources. One letter must be from work experience, and one from an academic source if the applicant has been a student within the past five years. 


    Personal statement describing previous professional experience, intended area of DrPH concentration, and specific educational interests and career goals in public health. The student must demonstrate commitment to the practice of public health. The personal statement should be 2-3 pages, with at least one page discussing applicable public health or related work experience.

    Writing Sample

    The student must demonstrate writing and communication skills through the submission of a writing sample.  The applicant must be the sole author of the writing sample.


    The DrPH Admissions Committee will evaluate each application based on the applicant’s demonstrated ability to excel at graduate work and evidence, contained in the application, that the applicant has clearly defined career goals that can be advanced by completing the DrPH program.Applicants who pass an initial review of their completed application will be invited to be interviewed by the DrPH Admissions Committee. These interviews are required.

    The program may offer financial assistantship to qualified students. For more information please visit UAlbany financial aid site.

    For more detailed information on the various concentrations offered and the requirements of the DrPH degree program please refer to the DrPH handbook.