Doctoral Programs

The Mailman School's public health doctoral degree programs provide tremendous access to renowned researchers and thought leaders. Through their course of study, doctoral students obtain the tools they need 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 train candidates to create new knowledge and research, apply them to important public health issues, and identify and implement potential solutions. They differ only in emphasis:

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

The DrPH can be obtained in:

The 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 a Mailman 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 our Academics page. Academic directors in each department are available to provide additional guidance on which program best fits particular academic and career goals. Applicants are also encouraged to review faculty profiles—including their research interests—to identify common interests with their discipline of choice.

For more information, visit these pages: