Executive Doctoral Program in Health Leadership (DrPH)

Health Policy and Management

Designed for working healthcare professionals in the U.S. or abroad with the potential and ambition to become senior leaders and who are committed to improving the public’s health. Students must come to campus once in the fall, spring and summer for two years (for 3-4 days each visit).

General Information

Minimum Credit Hours

45+ 45-51 credit hours

Expected Duration

3 yrs

Learning Environment

Online + campus visit(s)

Dual Degree Options Available


Application Cycle

Fall See application details page for more info.

Application Deadline 1

January 11, 2022 See application details page for more info.

Applicant Information

Who Should Apply

Diverse individuals working full-time in the U.S. or internationally with substantial leadership responsibilities in communities, organizations and institutions. Examples include domestic or international health directors, mid-career managers in government agencies or foundations, leaders within nonprofit and non-governmental organizations, program officers and other mid-level or senior managers, and others working within the health field, including entrepreneurs and individuals working in nontraditional settings affecting the health of the public.

Enrolled Student Demographics

  • Total Enrollment 1620
  • Female 72%, Male 28%
  • Underrepresented Minority Students 16.3%
  • International 11%

Program Costs & Funding

Admissions Information

Prior Degree Required

Graduate-level degree (master's or doctoral)

Required Prerequisites

SPHG 600 FLO Course/Foundations of Public Health Core Course (Not required if awarded master's degree from an accredited school of public health.)

Standardized Test(s) Accepted

TOEFL/IELTS (for int'l students only) Standardized test scores are one of many factors we consider in making admissions decisions.

Standardized Test Scores

Department-wide: On average, incoming students had 80th percentile verbal and 45th percentile quantitative. Standardized test scores are one of many factors we consider in making admissions decisions. If you have concerns about your scores, please talk with us.


Unofficial transcripts from all post-secondary education and graduate education (including community colleges, summer sessions and extension programs) are required to be uploaded in the application.

Letters of Recommendation Required

3 (professional)

Faculty-Student Match Required

Not required

Interviews Required

Department will contact selected applicants for telephone interviews.

Work Experience Required

Yes At least 5 years’ full-time managerial/supervisory experience in healthcare.

Visit Opportunities

Learn about opportunities to come to UNC Gillings to meet faculty, staff, and current students. If you are unable to come to campus – don’t worry – our representatives attend a variety of recruitment events around the United States as well as host virtual fairs and webinars.

During the Program

Required Courses

For a detailed description of all the requirements for this degree program please click here for the Student Handbook.

Comprehensive Exam Type(s)

Comprehensive written and oral exams

Capstone, Thesis or Dissertation

Dissertation (HPM 994 Doctoral Dissertation)

Practicum, Internships & Fieldwork

Not required

Global Options Available

The UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health strives to integrate global content and approaches across the School’s courses, programs and degrees. We believe that every student should emerge from our School with an understanding of global health issues. Some courses are focused largely on global issues, others are designed so that global and local issues are intertwined and some still are evolving. Learn more about these options.

Many enrolled students will have the opportunity to pursue our graduate global health certificate, while others may choose global health courses, internships or independent study with global focus.

After the Program

Employment Opportunities

State Secretary of Health; Program Officer; Executive Director; COO; CEO

Example Job Responsibilities

Lead organizations to improve the public's health.

  1. Complete online application
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    • Application Deadline: January 12, 2021
    • Fee: 95.00
    • Step Link

    (The Graduate School Application is a common application system for UNC-Chapel Hill programs.)


      See program details in GPS for requirements such as prequisites, prior degree, work experience, any test score waivers, as well as a tuition estimate and program overview.

      • All UNC Gillings applications for graduate-level programs fall under the purview of the UNC Graduate School. Accordingly, you will apply to UNC Gillings via the Graduate School Application, and UNC Gillings programs will make admissions recommendations to the UNC Graduate School for final approval.
        Once a recommendation is finalized, you will receive notice via email from the UNC Graduate School. Throughout the process, most of your questions can be answered by your program contact.
      • NOTE: HPM DrPH students are NOT eligible for Graduate School scholarships.

    2. Faculty interest(s)/mentor(s)

      • Not required. Skip this part of the application.
    3. Applicant information,  including North Carolina residency information.

    4. Area(s) of interest

    5. Educational history

      • Please upload a copy of your most recent transcript(s), including your current term grades, if applicable. (If grades are not yet available, send them to the UNC Gillings program contact as soon as they become available.) Be sure the transcript reflects the name of the institution and any degrees you received.
      • We advise that you order two copies of your transcript(s) to be sent to you.
        • If you are admitted and choose to enroll, UNC will require official transcript(s) showing degree(s) awarded.
    6. Community standards

      You will be asked about honor code, crime, academic sanction, military discharge, etc.

    7. Upload your personal statement.

      • Upload an essay (single-spaced and up to 5 pages) that addresses the following questions:
        • Why are you applying to this DrPH program? Explain what you hope to gain from the program.
        • 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 might other students learn from you?
        • Describe what you consider to be your most significant professional leadership accomplishment. (Please describe the role you played, and how this helped to improve the health of a population.)
        • Describe your biggest disappointment or failure in your work or career so far. What did you learn or how did you overcome this challenge?
        • Tell us about risks 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 about you, your work style, your ambitions, etc?
    8. Upload your resume or CV.

    9. Enter names of recommenders. UNC will then send them an email with instructions for submitting a letter on your behalf. We encourage references from professors or teachers (or teaching assistants) or work/research supervisors who have worked directly and closely with you and who can speak about you with specificity.

        • 3 (professional)
    10. Report test scores to UNC via the Graduate School Application.

      GRE scores are neither required nor typically recommended for applicants to the DrPH Program.

      International applicants must submit official TOEFL or IELTS standardized test scores. Code 5816 routes to UNC. TOEFL/IELTS scores must be no more than two years old.

    11. Document submission (check legibility of uploads)

    12. Pay the Graduate School application fee.

    13. Track your progress.

      • You will be able to track status through the Graduate School application. Once a decision is made, you will receive an email instructing login to the Graduate School application portal to see the decision letter.
  2. FYI: costs and funding (separate from the admissions process)
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    1. Check out our Costs and Funding page.

    2. Note priority deadline to be eligible for UNC Graduate School scholarships and fellowships. Departments will decide which applicants to nominate. No additional application required.

    3. Apply for FEDERAL financial aid by March 1 (please verify this date via FAFSA) via FAFSA. If you've been admitted and completed the FAFSA form by their deadline, the UNC Office of Scholarships and Student Aid will create a financial aid package for you.

    4. Department funding

      • Our department contacts incoming students regarding funding opportunities.
      • We consider all applicants for funding.
  3. FYI: application review process
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    1. SPH application review:

      • Interview
        • Department will contact selected applicants for a telephone interview.
      • Department recommendation will be sent to the Graduate School for final approval.
    2. UNC Graduate School application review and final decision:

      • The UNC Graduate School reviews all admissions recommendations made by programs. Once final decisions have been made, the Graduate School will send you an email instructing login to the Graduate School application portal to see the decision letter.
    3. NOTE: Financial aid is separate from the admissions process. For more information, please refer to our School's Costs and Funding page and/or UNC-Chapel Hill's Office of Scholarships and Student Aid (OSSA) website.

The Gillings Program Search is a tool for exploring academic programs at the School. It is a prospectus for the current year to be used in consultation with an academic adviser and does not constitute the complete degree or program requirements for graduation or program completion.

Health Policy and Management
Credit Hours:
  • Kim Sieler
  • Academic Coordinator
  • krsieler@email.unc.edu
  • (919) 966-7364
  • 120-A Rosenau Hall
    CB 7411
    Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7411