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Common questions

Common questions

What differentiates the DrPH from the PhD?

The UIC School of Public Health DrPH degree focuses on high-level practice leadership. Applicants must demonstrate several years of management experience and at least three years of leadership experience in a public health practice setting in addition to leadership potential. As in the PhD program, DrPH students are expected to master a variety of research-related analytical skills. DrPH candidates, however, tend to use these skills for broader, more integrated problem solving and applied research (rather than narrower theoretical or technical analysis). 

While some DrPH graduates choose academia, most pursue careers in public health agencies and programs.  Our alums evaluate public health issues and programs, communicate with policy makers and the general public, and foster innovation in the public health system.For more detailed information regarding the differences between the DrPH and the PhD, please watch the Adobe Connect Session with Dr. Christina Welter.

What professional backgrounds do DrPH Leadership students have?

DrPH Leadership students come from a variety of professional backgrounds including state and local health departments, federal public health related-agencies, non-profit community agencies, professional associations, health care providers and academic institutions. 

Can I apply if my post-baccalaureate training is not in public health?

Applicants with a master’s degree outside the field of public health will be considered, but must take extra course work equivalent to MPH core courses.  These include: epidemiology and biostatistics, public health concepts and practices, principles of environmental health sciences, behavioral sciences in public health and principles of management.

Why choose the UIC School of Public Health DrPH Program in Leadership?

The DrPH program at UIC combines the intellectual rigor a premier public health school with the vitality of Chicago’s highly diverse practice environment. It offers a stimulating educational experience for students who aspire to become versatile and innovative public health leaders.

Can courses taken at another academic institution be counted toward the DrPH Leadership degree at UIC?

Applicants can count up to 32 semester hours of course work earned for the MPH degree or another relevant master’s degree toward the DrPH Leadership degree. Up to 16 additionalhours of relevant course work not counted toward another degree may be transferred toward the DrPH degree. Transfer credit is evaluated on a case-by-case basis after admission.

Can I take classes online?

All DrPH courses are offered in a distance-learning format using both synchronous and asynchronous Internet technology. Synchronous classes are usually held during the early evening (CST).   

Can I attend part-time?

Most DrPH Leadership students are working professionals who attend school part-time. We encourage students to maintain their professional work activities while in the program, so that they can see first-hand how the leadership concepts and skills covered in the program directly apply in their professional lives.  Participating in this program is like having a half-time job. 

Is there a residence component to the program?

Yes. Attendance at the yearly DrPH Summer Institute, a three-day program in August, is essential and required of all DrPH Leadership students.

How long does it take to complete the program?

As professionals in practice, the majority of our DrPH students attend on a part-time basis, registering for six to eight hours per term and completing the program in four to six years. 

What is the tuition rate?

The cost of tuition for the 2015-2016 academic year is $830 per credit hour.

Is financial aid available?

Most DrPH Leadership students finance their studies through a combination of continued employment, employee education benefits, personal savings, federal student loans and/or outside professional contract work.  The DrPH program has limited financial aid resources for students, mostly in the form of assistantships/traineeships.

Where can I find more information?

Please feel free to e-mail your questions to

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