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The DrPH in Public Health Practice is a 54 credit hour online, asynchronous professional doctoral degree program designed for those with three or more years of public health experience. The degree prepares students to work as a leader or administrator in a variety of practice-based settings within the public, private, or academic sectors. DrPH students will attain training and skills in the areas of leadership, management and governance; data and analysis, policy and programs; and education and workforce development. The DrPH in Public Health Practice offers focus areas in epidemiology and emergency preparedness. The program is flexible, so students can design an individualized educational experience to meet their career goals and complete the program while working full-time. Students are also able to complete their practicum and practice-based dissertation in their own work setting.

DrPH Foundational Competencies

Data & Analysis
DrPHF1 Explain qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods and policy analysis research and evaluation methods to address health issues at multiple (individual, group, organization, community and population) levels 
DrPHF2 Design a qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods, policy analysis or evaluation project to address a public health issue
DrPHF3 Explain the use and limitations of surveillance systems and national surveys in assessing, monitoring and evaluating policies and programs and to address a population’s health
Leadership, Management & Governance
DrPHF4 Propose strategies for health improvement and elimination of health inequities by organizing stakeholders, including researchers, practitioners, community leaders and other partners
DrPHF5 Communicate public health science to diverse stakeholders, including individuals at all levels of health literacy, for purposes of influencing behavior and policies
DrPHF6 Integrate knowledge, approaches, methods, values and potential contributions from multiple professions and systems in addressing public health problems
DrPHF7 Create a strategic plan
DrPHF8 Facilitate shared decision making through negotiation and consensus-building methods
DrPHF9 Create organizational change strategies
DrPHF10 Propose strategies to promote inclusion and equity within public health programs, policies and systems
DrPHF11 Assess one’s own strengths and weaknesses in leadership capacities, including cultural proficiency
DrPHF12 Propose human, fiscal and other resources to achieve a strategic goal
DrPHF13 Cultivate new resources and revenue streams to achieve a strategic goal
Policy & Programs
DrPHF14 Design a system-level intervention to address a public health issue
DrPHF15 Integrate knowledge of cultural values and practices in the design of public health policies and programs
DrPHF16 Integrate scientific information, legal and regulatory approaches, ethical frameworks and varied stakeholder interests in policy development and analysis
DrPHF17 Propose interprofessional team approaches to improving public health
Education & Workforce Development
DrPHF18 Assess an audience’s knowledge and learning needs
DrPHF19 Deliver training or educational experiences that promote learning in academic, organizational or community settings
DrPHF20 Use best practice modalities in pedagogical practices 

DrPH Professional Digital Portfolio


After completion of six credit hours in the DrPH program, students will be required to begin development of a digital professional portfolio. This portfolio is a compilation of files or work samples documenting students’ experiences and accomplishments. Students are expected to add to their portfolio throughout their time in the DrPH program. The portfolio replaces traditional comprehensive exams.  

The purpose of the DrPH Portfolio is to: 

  • provide a platform in which students may showcase their work using images and interactive content in unique ways which standard CVs/resumes do not allow; 
  • give students tools to promote their professional careers both inside and outside of the UNMC COPH; 
  • promote scholarship that advances public health practice;
  • provide evidence that DrPH competency goals are met.

Review Criteria and Due Date 

The DrPH Portfolio will be reviewed by the faculty advisor and the Director of Professional Programs annually, and feedback will be provided. Students should communicate directly with their advisor to determine a deadline for submission. This is flexible, as long as it is reviewed on an annual basis.  

Students must submit their digital portfolio to their dissertation committee for approval before starting on their dissertation. If not complete, students will have one additional semester to complete it. 


After completion of six credit hours, students should identify a website and begin working on building their digital portfolio. Students should plan to work on their portfolio a couple hours every month throughout the duration of the program. Some of the components of the portfolio will be developed as part of coursework, so those components can be added as students take those courses.  

The full details of the professional digital portfolio, including project components and suggested tools should be found in the COPH Student Success Center in Canvas.