DrPH in Global Health Leadership

Doctoral Program in Global Health Leadership (DrPH)

This unique and exciting doctoral program prepares scholars to be knowledgeable and innovative leaders capable of effectively addressing the world’s most challenging and complex public health problems. The three-year, cohort-based distance program is designed for diverse professionals working full time in field-based settings around the world. Classes are delivered in real time via internet video. Scholars meet face-to-face for a few days three times per year in years one and two of the program. Most in-person sessions take place in Indianapolis, Indiana; other times, the program meets elsewhere in the U.S. or around the world. Scholars complete dissertations or field-based, culminating projects in year three.

Some international scholars admitted into the DrPH program may need visas to enter the United States for the three short residential visits in years one and two. For those who require it, the IUPUI Office of International Affairs assists with issuance of a form I-20 required for an F-1 visa.

The DrPH program hosts an annual lecture to launch the executive visit in August. This year, the program welcomed Dr. Ken Coburn who presented "Advanced Preventive Care for chronically ill older adults; a 19-year innovation story told in reverse order."

Watch Lecture

Who Will Benefit From This Program?

drph-course.JPGThe target audience is mid- to senior-level professionals anywhere in the world working full time in organizations in which they have the ability to influence the health of populations. We seek scholars from a wide range of backgrounds, including non-profit and for-profit health care settings, NGOs, non-profit organizations, pharma, government agencies, ministries of health, foundations, as well as non-traditional settings.

A hallmark of the program is the diversity of backgrounds, experiences and geographic locations of our scholars. Our goal is to admit cohorts of scholars who are as different from each other as possible, since diverse cohorts of learners inspire each other to think creatively.

Successful applicants will, at minimum, have strong academic records, a master’s degree (not necessarily in public health), and leadership experience in positions with substantial management responsibility in varied public health settings. We admit scholars into two separate cohorts each year depending on level of experience. Mid- to senior-level practitioners with at least several years of experience post master’s degree in positions with substantial management responsibility comprise an advanced cohort of 12-15 scholars. A second cohort of up to 25 scholars who are more junior, with at least a few years of experience post master’s degree in positions with substantial management responsibility, comprise a cohort of emerging leaders. For both cohorts, we seek individuals who aspire to practice-oriented careers and leadership roles in organizations in which they can have maximum influence on the public’s health.








A Focus On Leadership Development

The program builds on a successful University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill model which Dr. Suzanne Babich helped to design and which she led and refined for 10 years. Leadership skills are cultivated in the program through diverse experiences and exposure to a wide range of perspectives. Learning is achieved experientially, through highly interactive debates and discussions. Rich exchanges happen in real time, regardless of where in the world scholars are located.

With the Fairbanks School of Public Health program, we have adapted this model, expanding and updating it to offer unique advantages, including:

  • Global curriculum. All courses are internationalized. Competencies gained are applicable whether individuals live and work in Indiana, the U.S., or anywhere in the world.
  • Global faculty. In addition to U.S.-based faculty, program faculty include international experts based in other parts of the world.
  • Global network. The program leverages relationships with other schools and programs, with opportunities to collaborate with faculty and scholars around the world.


Scholars start the program in the fall. For detailed admissions criteria and instructions for applying to the Doctoral Program in Global Health Leadership (DrPH), visit the Admissions page.

Before applying, please note that successful applicants will meet the following criteria:  

  • Prior master's or doctoral level degree (does not have to be in public health);
  • Strong record in prior academic work (3.0 grade point average in graduate work);
  • Working full-time in an organization associated with the public's health;
  • Mid- to senior-level leadership role with substantial management responsibility;
  • At least five years substantial management experience post master's degree for advanced cohort; at least three years for emerging leaders cohort;
  • Practice-oriented career goals;
  • Passion to improve the health of the public;
  • Ambition for top jobs for maximum influence;
  • Demonstrated leadership qualities.
DrPH Admission Criteria








Curriculum and Competencies

All DrPH candidates must satisfactorily complete a 45 credit, online curriculum. The Doctoral Program in Global Health Leadership (DrPH) competencies are aligned with the CEPH foundational competencies. Program graduates are expected to apply a global perspective to their mastery of all program competencies

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about the Doctoral Program in Global Health Leadership (DrPH) with our list of Frequently Asked Questions.

DrPH Frequently Asked Questions