Health Behavior

Milken Institute School of Public Health

Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.)
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus

Program Overview

Students apply research and analytic skills to a range of implementation, evaluation and advocacy needs of various cultural and socioeconomic groups and communities.

Our program helps students explore the complexities among health, politics and human development. They are equipped to assume national and international leadership positions in health behavior.

The Dr.P.H. prepares future public health leaders to apply critical thinking and rigorous research methods to the complex practical problems facing practitioners and policymakers in public health practice, especially as regarding health promotion and disease prevention. Our doctoral programs provide health professionals with the research and analytical skills necessary to develop innovative approaches to understand health and to promote and to advocate for improved health outcomes.

Based in the Department of Prevention and Community Health, our graduates possess the knowledge and skills to positively affect the health of a variety of populations and cultures, with special emphasis on underserved populations.

Admission Requirements


Fall – December 1 (this PhD program enrolls on a biennial basis every even year.)

Individuals interested in applying to this program should submit their application and supporting documents through SOPHAS, a general online application for Schools of Public Health. A graduated fee is charged for this application, depending on the number of accredited schools to which you apply.

Standardized test scores:

GRE general test (institutional code 5268)

Recommendations required:

Three (3) recommendations

Prior academic records:

Transcripts required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Transcripts must be forwarded to SOPHAS in their original sealed envelopes directly from the institution.

Official transcripts from institutions outside the United States must be accompanied by an official transcript evaluation from an accredited independent evaluating agency. Please be sure you request a detailed evaluation that includes all course titles, credit hours, grade-point average (GPA), United States degree equivalency, and date of degree conferral. Please see the list of acceptable foreign credential evaluation services.

Statement of purpose:

In no more than 1500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in your chosen field. Include your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans. Also discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application. A description of your current skills and future goals related to research, leadership, and problem solving should also be included.

The Committee reviews your Statement of Purpose to determine your motivation for pursuing a career in public health. 

International applicants only:

Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 GW, and English language requirements. Detailed documentation needed for this program is available here.

PLEASE NOTE that all programs in the Milken Institute School of Public Health require the following minimum English language test scores for admission:

  • Academic IETLS: an overall band score of 7.0 with no individual band score below 6.0.
  • 100 on Internet-based.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:

Office of Admissions
Suite 200
Milken Institute School of Public Health
950 New Hampshire Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20052

Contact for questions:
[email protected] ~ 202.994.2160 (phone)
 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday