Doctoral Program

Doctor of Public Health

In response to the increasing complexity of health programs and national concern for human settlements and communities, the scope of public health has evolved from preventive medicine to a multi-faceted discipline which embraces the biological, physical and social sciences. The effective practice of public health today demands a diversity of skills in order to cope with the problems that threaten survival and the quality of life.

The continued growth of public health requires the training of individuals who will assume leadership roles in the field of public health. The Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) program is designed to meet this need. It is primarily oriented to prepare professionals who will occupy key positions in teaching, research and administration in the health sciences. Graduates of the program are expected to make substantive contribution to new knowledge that is relevant to the needs of developing countries. Specifically, at the end of the program, the DrPH graduates should be able to:

  • Apply scientific theories and methods of inquiry to assess public health problems in the context of social, environmental and ethical considerations;
  • Generate new knowledge to address public health problems through the conduct of relevant and ethical research projects
  • Take lead in the formulation of evidence-based public health services and policies
  • Educate future leaders in public health research, service, policy and advocacy

Fields of Specialization

Students of the program may choose from any of the following major areas of specialization:

  1. Epidemiology
  2. Medical Microbiology
  3. Nutirition
  4. Parasitology
  5. Health Promotion and Education

Admission Requirements

  1. MPH/MSPH degree or any equivalent preparation relevant to the field of concentration from a recognized institution of higher learning. Those with Master's degree other than MPH/MSPH must have at least 2 years of experience in public health.
  2. Excellent performance in the masters’ program, with emphasis on courses in the field of specialization.
  3. Must have demonstrated evidence of competence in the area of specialization, through written examination or interview administered by the DrPH Program Committee.
  4. Submission of an essay describing the applicant's previous and current work and an explanation of how the DrPH program is relevant to his future career.
  5. Letters of recommendation from two previous professors or employers.
  6. Must be 45 years old and below except in meritorious cases.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Completion of at least 45 (Epidemiology, Medical Microbiology, Parasitology) or 46 academic units (Nutrition, Health Promotion and Education)
  2. Overall weighted average of 1.75 or better and a weighted average of 1.75 or better in the required courses in the field of specialization with no grade of 5.
  3. Passed the comprehensive examination.
  4. Must have orally defended original dissertation that constitutes a substantial contribution to knowledge in public health, and
  5. Submission of six (6) bound copies of the dissertation.

Residence Requirements and Time Limit

  • minimum residence required: 6 semesters and 3 short terms
  • Maximum residence rule (MRR): 7 academic years including official leaves of absence
  • if the MRR is exceeded, further extension of not more than 1 year shall be allowed subject to the recommendation of DrPH Program Committee and approval of the Chancellor