Online DrPH in Leadership, Advocacy, and Equity

The DrPH is the highest professional degree in the field of public health practice. Beyond public health, the DrPH in Leadership, Advocacy, and Equity is intended for early to mid-level career professionals to prepare them for positions of leadership in any practice setting. Spanning the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, the program is interdisciplinary in nature, providing an incubator for creative, innovative collaborations across varied backgrounds, experiences, and practice settings of students, faculty, staff, and external preceptors. Real world challenges, data, and opportunities will be integrated throughout the program, leading to a greater network for alumni and highly competitive graduates in positions of leadership.

Courses are delivered in a combination of case studies, discussion, didactic pedagogies, integrated opportunities to engage in real-world challenges, and the development of a successful work portfolio. The work portfolio demonstrates mastery at the doctoral level of a broad set of competencies, including concentration specific skills in leadership, advocacy, and equity. The work products from the portfolio are the results of the integrated learning experience and applied practice experience and should be fully transportable for graduates in positions of leadership.

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Program Competencies
  • Analyze the impact of historical and contemporary multilevel bias, trauma, and resilience on health inequities between marginalized groups.
  • Develop priority settings to address complex health topics that pose the greatest public health threats by utilizing equity focused health impact assessment tools and methodologies.
  • Design an advocacy strategy that promotes health equity in a specified community by identifying and mapping stakeholders, appropriate platforms, key processes, and engaged organizations.
  • Construct a responsive, strategic plan that identifies key strengths and challenges in an organization by performing and using a mixed methods needs assessment.
  • Translate evidence-based research and practice-based findings into culturally responsive, sustainable programs and initiatives.
  • Propose a program or initiative that addresses an identified health equity need, and advocates and empowers individuals and communities to achieve optimal well–being.
Admissions Requirements
  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher learning
  • A master's degree is not required for admission, but students without an MPH degree will be required to complete the Foundational Master of Public Health curriculum (5 courses, 15 credit hours)
  • Academic achievement - typically a GPA above 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • At least 3 years of work experience
  • Non-English speakers: Demonstration of proficiency in English to be able to study and communicate in English. TOEFL, IELTS, or other recognized tests may be used.
  • Official Transcripts from all institutions attended (degrees earned abroad require a WES, ECE, or SpanTran evaluation)
Degree Program Requirements

Prerequisite Coursework* (15 semester hours)

SPHL 6020 Foundations in Public Health*
SPHL 6050 Biostatistics for Public Health (or equivalent)
SPHL 6060 Epidemiology for Public Health (or equivalent)
SPHL 6070 Health Systems Policy and Management (or equivalent)
SPHL 6080 Design Strategies in PH Programs

* Some prerequisite coursework may be waived with an earned MPH or equivalent coursework with an A or B on transcript

DrPH Foundational Required Courses (18 semester hours)

SBPS 8080 Pedagogy
SPHL 7020 Leadership Theory and Practice 
SPHL 8200 Public Health and Social Policy
SBPS 8220 Community Organization for Social Change
SPHL 8250 Study and Evaluation Methods in Public Health
SPHL 8010 Budget and Financial Management

DrPH Advanced Required Courses (15 semester hours)

SPHL 8100 Health Equity and Advocacy
SPHL 8020 Leadership and Strategic Management
SBPS 8750 Social Determinants of Health 1: Concepts & Theories
SBPS 8770 Social Determinants of Health in Public Health Practice
SBPS 8220 Advanced Program Planning and Grant Writing
SPHL 9920 Practice–Based Portfolio: Background
SPHL 9940 Practice-Based Portfolio: Analysis
SPHL 9960 Practice-Based Portfolio: Presentation

Applied Practice Experience
Integrative Learning Experience

Electives (6 semester hours)

Elective hours may be chosen from any 6000-level course and up across SPHL or in other schools with pre-approval from the faculty advisor.

Contact Us

Program Director: Gretchen Clum, PhD

Phone: 504.988.4536 or 800.862.2122