DrPh and PhD

The Mailman School's doctoral degree programs provide students with tremendous access to renowned researchers and thought leader across the spectrum of public health. Through their course of study, doctoral students obtain the tools needed to create knowledge in the field and advance the practice of public health.

The School offers two doctoral degrees, the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and the Doctor of Public Health (DrPH). Both doctoral programs train candidates to create new knowledge and research and apply them to important public health issues and identify and implement potential solutions. They differ in their relative emphasis on the scholarship of application versus the scholarship of discovery:

  • PhD training places greater emphasis on creating new knowledge, with PhD recipients pursuing research and/or teaching as their career goal
  • DrPH training places greater emphasis on the application of science to public health leadership, practice, and program development

The Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) can be obtained in:

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) can be obtained in:

Degree Requirements

Graduates of the DrPH degree complete a minimum of 30 credit hours beyond the course work for the MPH degree or equivalent professional degree in public health.

The PhD degree is conferred by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, as are all PhD degrees at Columbia University. Graduates of the PhD degree program complete a minimum of 60 credit hours that constitute the combined requirements for the MA and PhD degree. Students entering the PhD degree program with MA degrees from other universities may receive up to 30 credits of advanced standing.

Learn More

To learn more about degree competencies, curriculum plans, and student handbooks, visit the Department websites. Academic directors in each department are available to provide prospective students with additional guidance on which program is the best fit for their academic and career goals. Applicants are also encouraged to review faculty profiles—including their research interests—to identify a good fit with the discipline of choice. (See faculty directory.)