Department of Health Policy and Management

DrPH Admissions Requirements

Application Deadline

Applications for admission for the fall semester are due the second Tuesday of December. See our next application deadline here.

Applications for the next academic year become available in August. Please see the link for online applications under Required Application Materials.

DrPH Admission Requirements

Students applying to the Doctoral Program in Health Leadership must meet the following minimum criteria:

  • Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.0 in prior graduate study
  • At least five years of post-graduate experience in the health field, with significant management or leadership responsibilities at the mid to senior level
  • A prior master’s or doctoral degree (not necessarily in public health) which was completed at least five years prior to enrollment.
  • Demonstrated leadership abilities
  • Full-time employment in the field
  • Motivation to improve the public’s health in their respective work organization, their overall field of practice, and across the broader systems they interact with that influence good health
  • If not already practicing at a senior-level position, a desire to do so
  • Evidence of excellent writing skills

While all students are expected to be academically qualified for doctoral-level study, special emphasis is placed on demonstrated leadership capacity and a practice-oriented career commitment.

Academic Preparation

Students without an MPH or MSPH degree from an accredited school of public health must successfully complete one core course – Foundational Learning Objective (FLO) – which is offered online. This course need not be completed before matriculating, but must be completed concurrently with the three-year DrPH program for students to graduate. Most students will take the course the summer semester just prior to beginning their first fall semester. Students will need to pay separately for this course (based on number of credit hours). Students may be able to seek an exemption from taking the required core course based on similar courses they took in their graduate studies before entering the DrPH program (if within the last five years), or based on professional experience. Students who are interested in exploring potential exemptions should look at the core course exemption/substitution application form (it is located within the Course Exemptions/Substitutions section).

Required Application Materials

  • Completion of online Graduate School application. Start your application by creating an account and following the instructions. Applications for the next academic year are available in August. A current email address is a required field on the application since all correspondence is conducted by email. If you have problems with the online form, contact the Graduate School.
  • Non-refundable application fee. In some instances the application fee may be waived; please see the Graduate School’s Application Fee Waiver page if you have questions or need more information on eligibility.
  • Transcripts (complete, not selected courses). One unofficial transcript from each university attended must be uploaded within the application. If offered admission, one paper official transcript for each university attended will be required. If you have questions or need more information about preparing transcripts, please see the Graduate School’s transcript information here.
  • The email address of three recommenders will be required within the application for electronic submission and delivery.
  • Resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Essay. Upload an essay (single-spaced and no more than 5 pages) that addresses the following questions:
    • Why are you applying to this specific leadership-focused DrPH program and what do you specifically hope to gain from it?
    • What are your career goals?
    • We expect students in each cohort to learn from each other as well as from faculty and guest speakers. What contributions will you bring to the cohort and how will you contribute to a diverse community?
    • What do you consider to be your most significant professional leadership accomplishment. (Describe your role, what you accomplished, how you accomplished it, and how it improved—or should improve—the public’s health, quality of care, or and/or system/organization).
    • How does your work experience qualify you as being mid- to senior-career?
    • What is your biggest disappointment or failure in your work or career so far? What did you learn or how did you overcome this challenge?
    • What is a significant risk you’ve taken in your work or career?
    • Why do you care about the public’s health?
    • What else do you want us to know that you think makes you a competitive candidate for this program and helps us understand your core values and being?

International Applicants
In addition to all of the materials listed above, international applicants must submit the following materials:

  • TOEFL or IELTS score (no more than 2 years old). UNC is institution #5816. For more information about these tests, see the Graduate School’s TOEFL and IELTS instruction page. 

Application Status

You may monitor the status of your application by logging into your account and following the instructions.

Mailing Addresses

Department of Health Policy and Management
Student Services Office
University of North Carolina
120 Rosenau Hall
CB #7411
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7411

Graduate School
UNC Graduate School
200 Bynum Hall
CB #4010
Chapel Hill, NC 27599

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