Feb 25, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
    
2023-2024 Academic Catalog

Doctor of Public Health, Dr.P.H.

Location(s): Statesboro, Fully Online


The Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.) program at Georgia Southern University is committed to producing public health practitioners who possess the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to contribute to an effective public health workforce. The Dr.P.H. prepares professionals for broad-based practice in public health, through the integration of a community-based practice core and advanced courses in five concentration areas: Biostatistics, Community Health Behavior and Education, Epidemiology, Health Policy & Management, and Public Health Leadership. The program serves both the full-time student preparing for a career in public health, as well as currently employed public health professionals seeking an advanced education to augment their existing skills and backgrounds. 

Program of Study


Concentration: 36 Hours


Biostatistics, Community Health Education & Behavior, Epidemiology, Health Policy & Management, and Public Health Leadership

Doctoral Applied Learning Experience (Practicum) Requirement: 3 Credit Hours


Dissertation (Integrative Learning Experience): 9-18 Credit Hours


Total Credit Hours: 60-69


Program Concentrations


Community Health Behavior & Education


Required Concentration Specific Courses: 24 Credit Hours

Public Health Leadership


Required Concentration Specific Courses: 27 Credit Hours

The Curriculum


The Dr.P.H. program requires a minimum of 60 credits and is offered on both a full- and part-time basis. The overall curriculum model includes:

Required Courses


  • Public Health Core (12 Credit Hours)
  • Required Concentration Specific Courses (24-30 Credit Hours)
  • Electives (6-12 Credit Hours)
  • Doctoral Public Health Field Practicum (3 Credit Hours)
  • Dissertation (9-18 Credit Hours)

Total Credit Hours: 60-69


The Dr.P.H. Public Health Sciences Core provides a grounding in the scientific basis of public health, public health professionalism and ethics, and translational research. Advanced specialty coursework develops the skills and knowledge upon which to build or enhance a career in public health. Selective courses are available in four core areas of concentration: Biostatistics, Community Health Behavior and Education, Epidemiology, and Public Health Leadership.

The Applied Learning Experience/Preceptorship

The Applied Learning Experience/Preceptorship is an important practical experience in a public health related setting. Dr.P.H. students will complete a 300 hour preceptorship under the joint direction of a qualified public health professional and a public health faculty member.

The Candidacy Examination

All Dr.P.H. students are required to complete and pass a concentration-specific candidacy examination. Students failing the concentration exam are allowed only one retake. In the event any Dr.P.H. student fails the concentration retake exam, the student will be immediately excluded from the program and all registered courses for the upcoming semester will be administratively canceled. Students that need to retake the exam should do so within three semesters, including summer, after completing their coursework. If the student does not pass the retake within this time, they must apply for readmission into the program based on the College of Graduate Studies inactive status policy.

The Integrated Learning Experience/Dissertation

All doctoral candidates are required to prepare, complete, and successfully defend a dissertation.

Admission Requirements

Admission into the graduate programs within the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health is competitive and decisions are based on the application as a whole. The Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.) admission requirements apply to the following Dr.P.H. degrees in the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health at Georgia Southern University:

  • Public Health - Concentration in Biostatistics, Dr.P.H.   
  • Public Health - Concentration in Community Health Behavior and Education, Dr.P.H.   
  • Public Health - Concentration in Epidemiology, Dr.P.H.   
  • Public Health - Concentration in Health Policy and Management, Dr.P.H.   
  • Public Health - Concentration in Public Health Leadership, Dr.P.H. (Online)   

Degree Admission Requirements

Regular Admission 1

  1. Application - Completion of an application in Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS).
  2. Degree - Completion of a Master’s or terminal degree from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants who do not have a graduate degree in Public Health will be required to complete prerequisite Public Health coursework.
  3. Transcripts - Official transcript(s) from each college or university previously attended. A transcript is required even if the courses from one school appear on the transcript of another school. (NOTE: SOPHAS will NOT process your application without receiving all official transcripts. Please refer to the SOPHAS FAQs page for instructions on HOW TO SEND TRANSCRIPTS.)
    • All foreign transcripts must be evaluated by World Education Services (WES). Visit http://www.wes.org/ to view which documents are required for your country and to request an International Credential Advantage Package (ICAP) Course-byCourse Report.
    • Transcript(s) should show completion of at least one (1) graduate-level core course in each of the following five (5) areas: biostatistics, epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences in public health, health policy and management, and environmental health. (Applicant may be asked to provide syllabi for courses taken.)
    • Courses must have been completed in the last five (5) years and each must have been passed with a grade of “B” or better. Applicants who have not completed these courses, but whose applications show exceptional potential for success in the Dr.P.H. program, may be admitted to the Dr.P.H. program, but will be required to complete the courses (as presented in the JPHCOPH M.P.H. core course requirements) with grades of “B” or better before progressing to the Public Health Core and Concentration Courses of the Dr.P.H. program. If the applicant has completed a Master’s degree in a field other than public health, professional public health work experience in one or more of the five core areas may be substituted for the corresponding M.P.H. level courses at the discretion of the College. Applicants who took these courses more than five years ago but who work in the Public Health field may request a waiver. Requests for this waiver must be submitted in writing to jphcoph-admissions@georgiasouthern.edu.
  4. Grade Point Average (GPA) - Preferred minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0/4.0 scale in upper division graduate courses.
  5. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) - Submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores is OPTIONAL. However, they may be submitted as evidence of quantitative and analytical abilities (See Item 6 below). If submitted, official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), taken within the last five (5) years should be sent to school code 8560. 
  6. Evidence of Quantitative & Analytic Writing Ability - To ensure that students admitted to the program have the necessary preparation in quantitative and analytic methods to complete the program, we require evidence of quantitative and analytic ability. Applicants must submit a statement describing Quantitative and Analytic Writing Experience and Ability. Suitable examples include: courses completed (whether or not for credit), quantitative/analytical work completed for research and publications you meaningfully participated in, standardized test scores, and/or work experience. Please use this statement to detail what you have accomplished and if applicable, how you have used your abilities outside of the classroom.
  7. English Language Proficiency - International applicants and U.S. Citizens whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency. Prior to consideration for admission, international applicants whose native language is not English must take and post acceptable scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (http://www.ets.org/toefl (http://www.ets.org/toefl/)) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (http:// www.ielts.org) unless they have received a degree from an accredited college or university in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada (except Quebec), Australia, or New Zealand. The TOEFL and IELTS examinations are administered at various times of the year and in many centers throughout the world.
    • A score of at least 75 (internet-based test, IBT) or 537 (paperbased test) on the TOEFL and 6.0 on the IELTS is normally required to be considered for regular admission. The official TOEFL and the official IELTS scores may not be more than two (2) years old. Those who do not meet the minimum proficiency standard may be recommended for enrollment in University English courses or for English courses offered by the English Language Program (ELP) on campus. Successful completion of Intensive English Programs (IEPs) at other English Language Program (ELP) providers will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Go to http://www.ets.org/toefl and request your TOEFL scores be sent to us using code #5253.
  8. Letters of Recommendation - Three (3) letters of recommendation. It is strongly advised that two letters be from individuals who can address your past academic performance and it is encouraged that the third letter is from a work or internship supervisor.
  9. Curriculum Vitae/Resume - A CV/Resume that includes the following: a) educational experiences, b) professional goals and objectives, c) work history, d) professional experiences, memberships and/or participation in professional organizations, e) experiences in public health programs. For the Public Health Leadership concentration, a minimum of 3 years of relevant full-time experience in public health, healthcare, or a closely related area are required. Highly competitive applicants will have 5 or more years of full-time public health or healthcare work experience. Work experience is not required for applicants to the Biostatistics, Community Health Behavior and Education, Epidemiology, or Health Policy & Management concentrations.
  10. Statement of Purpose - A Statement of Purpose (700-1,000 words) that conveys the applicant’s reasons for pursuing a Dr.P.H. in Public Health and how admission into the program relates to the applicant’s professional aspirations.
  11. Interview - Applicants demonstrating potential for success in the Dr.P.H. program may be required to participate in an in-person or telephone interview prior to a final decision by the admissions committee.

1 Some students may be required to take prerequisite coursework prior to beginning the program of study. Conditions of admission will be presented at the student’s first advisement appointment. For more information on our programs, visit our website at http:// jphcoph.georgiasouthern.edu/degrees/.

Non-degree Admission Requirements

An applicant may be admitted as a Non-Degree (Doctorate) student to earn credit hours in DOCTORAL-LEVEL Public Health courses without working towards a degree or certificate program. Applying to a graduate degree or certificate program is a separate process and different criteria must be met.

  1. Application - Completion of an application in Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS) Express.
  2. Degree - Completion of a Master’s or terminal degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  3. Transcripts - Official transcript(s) from each college or university previously attended. A transcript is required even if the courses from one school appear on the transcript of another school.1
    • All foreign transcripts must be evaluated by World Education Services (WES). Visit http://www.wes.org/ to view which documents are required for your country and to request an International Credential Advantage Package (ICAP) Course-byCourse Report.1
    • Upload transcript(s) from all institutions attended. (Do NOT send transcripts to SOPHAS Express)1
  4. Grade Point Average (GPA) - Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75/4.0 scale in either:
    • Upper division undergraduate courses; OR
    • Upper division graduate courses
  5. Statement of Purpose - A Statement of Purpose (500-1000 words) that conveys the applicant’s reasons for pursuing graduate study in public health and how admission into the specific program concentration relates to the applicant’s professional aspirations.

1 NOTE: Unofficial documents must be uploaded for review purposes. Official transcripts are only required if you are offered admission. Following notification of admission, official transcripts mailed in sealed envelopes directly from each university attended (or directly from WES) are required PRIOR to the first day of classes of the original semester of acceptance. Failure to provide the official transcripts following notification of admission will result in revocation of the admission offer.

Official documents must be mailed to:

Georgia Southern University
Office of Graduate Admissions
P.O. Box 8113
Statesboro, GA 30460-8113

Grades

Dr.P.H. level degree seeking students are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 to remain in good academic standing and to be eligible to graduate. In the event the cumulative GPA falls below 3.0, the student will be placed on academic probation. Students have nine (9) credits to elevate the cumulative GPA to at least 3.0 or will be excluded from the program. Also, students earning grades of “D” or below will be excluded from the program.

Transfer Credit Hours

Students may request that up to, but no more than, nine (9) graduate credits be applied toward the 60 credits required for the Dr.P.H. Transfer credit must also satisfy the same requirements as courses taught for doctoral training within the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health (e.g., minimum grade of “B”), be consistent with the student’s approved program of study, and have been received from a regionally accredited college or university. Thesis and dissertation credit cannot be transferred. The student must provide documentation in support of equivalence, such as a course syllabus, transcript, term paper, and/or instructor testimony. Equivalence is determined by the JPHCOPH faculty responsible for teaching the specific class. Credit reductions do not influence the residency and enrollment requirements or comprehensive examination procedures.

Course Time Limit

All requirements for the Dr.P.H. must be completed within seven academic years from the date of the first enrollment for study following admission to the doctoral program. For transfer students, the seven-year time limit commences with the semester during which transfer credit was earned.

Advisement

Graduate students are advised by their program. Graduate students should reach out to their graduate program director for information regarding the structures in place to facilitate advisement. For more information visit Graduate Academic Advisement .

Graduate students can also contact the Jack N. Averitt College of Graduate Studies for more information about their program director.
Phone: 912-478-COGS (2647)
Email: gradschool@georgiasouthern.edu