Jul 18, 2024  
2023/2024 University Catalog 
2023/2024 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Public Health, Concentration in Executive Management, Dr.P.H.

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(Major Code: 12141) (Academic Plan Code: 557332DPHS)

The Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.) degree in Executive Management is designed to provide working public health professionals with advanced knowledge and skills for the management and leadership of complex public health organizations. The program prepares students to advance in their careers into senior roles. Students will take ten courses in lock-step (33 credits), an advanced practice experience (6 units), and a dissertation (P H 899 ) for up to12 units. Total units for completion: minimum 48 units.

Admission to the Degree Curriculum

Successful applicants must have at least three years of relevant work experience in a public health agency or comparable organization and an M.P.H. degree from an accredited program in public health with a GPA of 3.0 or better. For applicants without an M.P.H. degree, the applicant should present evidence of equivalent public health work experience as well as either 1) evidence of having successfully passed the C.P.H. (Certificate in Public Health) exam; or 2) document that they have completed graduate courses in the following public health core classes (epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, health management and policy, and behavioral health) from a CEPH accredited program or school within the past ten years. Applicants must also provide a personal statement and three letters of reference, one of which should be from from their current employer. Applicants are expected to apply through SOPHAS (School of Public Health Application System). Admission will be made by June prior the start of the first fall semester. Each student will have a faculty academic adviser.

Meeting the minimum requirements qualifies an individual for consideration but does not guarantee admission to the program. Admission will be granted on a competitive basis.

Designed to be Completed in Three Years

The program is designed to be completed by working professionals in three years including two summer sessions, with the first summer attending in-person class sessions in San Diego and the second summer on-site at an organization of the student’s choice. Except for the in-person class sessions in summers, classes are held online usually once per week, with additional student work during the week promoting competency attainment and student interaction.

Advancement to Candidacy

To advance to candidacy, students must:

  1. Complete all courses through the second spring semester with a GPA of 3.0 or better and no less than 2.5 in any given course.
  2. Complete 6 credit hours of the integrative practice experience (P H 950) including the dissertation-related tasks.
  3. Prepare a student portfolio (selected assessments throughout the program courses) approved by their academic adviser.
  4. Complete an oral exam, consisting of a presentation and explanation of their proposed dissertation.


After completing these parts of the program, the student may advance with their culminating experience dissertation (P H 899 ).

Additional Requirements

Doctoral students who have not completed their dissertation after nine semester units, must maintain continuous enrollment in the university by registering for at least one unit per semester. The maximum credits allowed for the dissertation is 12 units.

Performance Expectations

Doctoral students must maintain a 3.0 GPA to be in good standing. Doctoral students who have a grade point average below 3.0 in two successive terms will be disqualified from the program. They must meet all the “Requirements for Doctoral Degrees ” outlined in the SDSU Catalog.

Doctoral students who fail to make satisfactory academic progress may be officially disqualified from the university in writing after consultation with the executive committee. A doctoral student may be disqualified because of unsatisfactory academic progress only after a careful review and written recommendation by the program faculty. To ensure that a decision to disqualify a doctoral student from the program is just, basic due process requirements will be met, including an opportunity for appeal by the doctoral student following the guidelines in the SDSU Catalog. A doctoral student who has been disqualified is considered to have been terminated from the university and will not be allowed to continue in the program, enroll in courses, or register again without readmission.

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