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DrPH in Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences

The DrPH program in Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences is an applied professional degree that prepares leaders in applied public health program development, evaluation, and program-relevant research in promoting community health in a global context.  The GCHB DrPH program has strong focus on field applications of program planning and monitoring and evaluation, and emphasizes advanced study in social determinants of health, health systems, health policy, grant writing, qualitative methods and research methods. A focus on health disparities and cultural competence are common themes throughout the coursework. Graduates are expected to have responsibilities that would include program leadership, evaluation, applied research, and teaching.

Program Competencies
  • Incorporate knowledge of the qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods, and policy analysis research and evaluation methods to address public health issues and population health at multiple levels (individual, group, organization, community and population).
  • Develop the professional leadership and management skills to coordinate community organization and mobilization, develop needs assessments and strategic plans, and design interventions in diverse global health settings.
  • Critically analyze the impact of social and behavioral determinants on individual, community and population health.
  • Demonstrate the ability to conduct and apply the interpretation of formative research to develop public health interventions in diverse contexts.
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge of program planning and development of implementation plans.
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge of evaluation theory and be capable of implementing monitoring and evaluation systems.
  • Demonstrate culturally competent capacity to understand the role of gender, culture, social, economic, and historical contexts in demonstrating and implementing global public health programs.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of health literacy and effective communication related to health education and messaging.
Admission Requirements

Applicants to the DrPH program must have completed an MPH degree or equivalent with an outstanding academic record. Applicants must meet the school’s admission requirements and submit the application through SOPHAS.

Complete applications must be received by the priority deadline of December 1 to be considered for fellowships and other student funding. To be considered for admission to GCHB doctoral programs without funding, the completed application must be received by January 15.

A complete application includes all required documentation --career statements, letters of recommendation and verified transcripts and GRE scores. We recommend applications and required documentation be submitted in sufficient time for SOPHAS to receive and verify transcripts and GRE scores to meet the respective deadlines.

Degree Program Requirements

The DrPH degree requires a minimum of 72 post-baccalaureate credits, at least 36 of which must be fulfilled through advanced doctoral study at Tulane SPHTM. Up to 36 credits may be applied from a MPH or equivalent degree; however, only those that fulfill the GCHB DrPH competencies will be accepted. If a prerequisite course or equivalent has not been fulfilled, the student must take the prerequisite course.

Additional prerequisites may be required above the 36 credits of advanced doctoral study if a student has not fulfilled requirements for the MPH degree.

Prerequisite Coursework (from prior master’s degree)

  • BIOS 6030 Introductory Biostatistics or equivalent
  • EPID 6040 Epidemiological Methods 1 or equivalent
  • GCHB 6030 Social and Behavioral Aspects of Global Health or equivalent
  • GCHB 6110 Planning of Health Education or equivalent
  • GCHB 6120 Monitoring and Evaluation or equivalent
  • GEHS 6030 Environmental Sciences or equivalent
  • GHSD 6030 Health Systems Administration and Management or equivalent

Advanced Doctoral Study (28 credits)

  • GCHB 7250 Research Methods in the Social and Behavioral Sciences (3)
  • GCHB 7280 Qualitative Methods I : Foundations (2) or GCHB 7290 Qualitative Methods II: Theory and Methods (2)
  • GCHB 8200 Evaluation Theory (3)
  • GCHB 8820 Advanced Program Planning/Grant Writing (3)
  • GCHB 8800/8830 Senior Graduate Research Seminar (1)
  • Advanced Monitoring and Evaluation (Chose 1 from below)
    • GCHB 7070 (Social Impact of HIV/AIDS)
    • GCHB 7120 (Monitoring & Evaluation of Maternal and Child Health)
    • GCHB 7210 (Survey Data for Family Planning & Reproductive Health)
  • Advanced Public Health (All of the below courses)
    • 7000/8000 Social Determinants/Health Comm Course (3)*
    • 7000/8000 Advanced Public Health 2 Health Policy Course (3)*
    • 7000/8000 Advanced Public Health 3 Health Systems Course (3)*
  • SPHL 8500 Interdisciplinary Seminar (1)

* Selected in consultation with advisor​

Elective Courses (8 credits)

Selected from courses offered within the department, school, or university in consultation with an academic advisor. Additional credits may be needed to obtain a total of 72 credits.

Research Ethics

Students are required to take online research ethics training via CITI or another equivalent training program in research ethics. This certification must remain current throughout the program duration.


A 300 hour advanced field experience (practicum) that allows students to expand competencies and advanced practice skills, under the direction of a qualified preceptor in the practice setting, is required. This practicum should focus on developing advanced leadership skills in global health disciplines. The advisor works with each student to develop measurable learning objectives prior to their practicum experience. Self-assessment and reflection as well as assessment of teams, peers and supervisors are important skills in future public health leaders.

Comprehensive Exam

On completion of the coursework listed above, students will be required to pass a comprehensive examination to demonstrate DrPH program competencies, as well as knowledge related to their specific content area of expertise.


DrPH students must complete a dissertation focused on public health research that advances the field of knowledge, practice, or policy. Dissertations may include demonstration projects with a strong monitoring and evaluation component, in-depth policy analyses, detailed programmatic proposals, implementation of routine or standardized instruments, secondary analyses, and other applied emphases consistent with the purpose of the DrPh program.

Contact Us

Department Chair: Richard Oberhelman, MD

Program Director: David Seal, PhD

Department Administrator: Anita Jobson


Phone: (504) 988-2084

Ready for More?

You can learn more in a webcast.