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lemonlyman

Why a DrPH instead of a PhD?

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I'm seriously considering applying for a DrPH, but am unsure about if I should over a PhD.

For those who have applied -- why did you apply for a DrPH instead of a PhD? In your opinion, what are some factors that should be considered before pursuing a DrPH?

Would love to read any and all input. 

Thanks in advance!

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I decided to apply for a DrPH for practical reasons. I am mid-career and my job will only allow me a 1 year  sabbatical. After that I will have to go to school part-time. I think the flexibility to be part-time is why many choose it over a traditional Phd.  I have to say though, the Phd is much better known around the world. If I could do the PhD part-time, I would.

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My understanding of it is that they serve pretty different purposes. A PhD is generally considered a research degree like in every other field. A DrPH is a practice degree to prepare people for high level public health leadership. It's kind of the same as MPH vs. an MSc in epidemiology. An MPH provides a more general framework to work in more applied/practice-oriented public health while an MSc trains someone in a research capacity. What degree you pursue will likely be influenced by your life situation like the poster above and your ultimate career goals. If you want to one day have your own NIH grants and manage your own research projects a PhD is probably for you. If that is not really in your cards the DrPH is likely the better degree.

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Hi All -- Thanks for all of your input; it's been very insightful. 

One of my biggest deterrents to applying to a PhD program is the 'Publish or Perish' mentality that exists within the field; the honest reality is that funding is tough to come by, post-PhD. While I'd like to be in academia, teaching or otherwise, tenured positions are also rare.

That said, I'm almost a year out of my MPH program and will most likely apply to a DrPH program in a few years -- it would probably make the most sense for me in regards to practicality and leadership. I'd have 2-3 years of management experience then -- do you think programs would seriously consider me, despite not being traditionally 'mid-career' (10 years in, etc)?

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On 3/6/2016 at 2:22 PM, lemonlyman said:

Hi All -- Thanks for all of your input; it's been very insightful. 

One of my biggest deterrents to applying to a PhD program is the 'Publish or Perish' mentality that exists within the field; the honest reality is that funding is tough to come by, post-PhD. While I'd like to be in academia, teaching or otherwise, tenured positions are also rare.

That said, I'm almost a year out of my MPH program and will most likely apply to a DrPH program in a few years -- it would probably make the most sense for me in regards to practicality and leadership. I'd have 2-3 years of management experience then -- do you think programs would seriously consider me, despite not being traditionally 'mid-career' (10 years in, etc)?

I think that will depend heavily on what programs you are interested in and what you do in the coming years. 

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I finished my MPH 3 years ago and have been accepted to DrPH programs this cycle so I think its definitely possible that programs would consider you.

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