Public Health Practice, DrPH (Emergency Preparedness)

Doctor of Public Health Degree in Public Health Practice with a Concentration in Emergency Preparedness

University of Nebraska Medical Center

  • Fully Online
  • 54 - 57
  • $597.00
  • $597.00

Program Overview

The online Doctor of Public Health Program (DrPH) in Public Health Practice with a concentration in Emergency Preparedness is designed to provide high level problem solving and critical thinking knowledge and skills that can be used in preparing for and responding to emergencies.

Students in the DrPH program gain skills to:

  • Formulate solutions to challenges from complex disasters
  • Evaluate need and implement an Area Command or a Multiagency Coordination Center (MAC)
  • Organize and manage a command structure to support an expanding event
  • Construct an exercise program for an agency or organization
  • Conduct a tabletop exercise, functional exercise and full-scale exercise

Courses focus on the concepts inherent to leadership and the management of complex events in Emergency Preparedness through the phases of prevention, protection, response and recovery, to prepare students for high level leadership positions both in public health and healthcare. Additional courses such as Exercise Development and Managing Complex Incidents provide essential strategies to prepare their organization/community for a disaster, as well as how to operate in a leading role during a disaster response.

DrPH students also work with leaders in public health practice during practicum experiences providing the opportunity to apply academic knowledge in a practice setting and complete a practice-based dissertation consistent with an advanced practice designed to influence programs, policies or systems addressing public health.

Career Outlook:

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of emergency management directors is projected to grow 4% from 2019 to 2029. The importance of preparing for and minimizing the risk from emergencies will sustain demand and employment opportunities for emergency management directors. These workers will be needed to help businesses and organizations continue to provide essential services during and after emergencies.

More about the online DrPH in Public Health Practice: 

The DrPH in Public Health Practice degree prepares students to work as a leader or administrator in a variety of practice-based settings with the public, private or academic sectors. DrPH graduates advance programs, policies and systems to improve population health in the United States and globally. 

Examples of careers with a DrPH include: 

  • Health Department Director
  • Health Policy Advisor
  • Public Health Program Director
  • Community Health Manager

The DrPH is substantially different from a PhD with the focus of a DrPH in Public Health Practice is to prevent disease or injury and to improve the health within a specific community. Graduates are expected to occupy leadership positions that have a major influence on achieving important, broad-reaching, public health objectives in communities. A PhD degree focuses on the skills needed to make research-based contributions to the field of public health which contributes to generalizable knowledge.

Admissions and Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A Master's degree

    MPH or MSPH from a CEPH accredited institution. Additional foundational coursework will be required for individuals who do not meet this requirement.

  2. 3 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale

  3. Previous work experience

    3 years of relevant public health practice experience

  4. Taken the TOEFL or IELTS

    (Only required if English is not your native language)

  5. A written personal statement

    1500 word personal statement

  6. 3 letters of recommendation

  7. Official transcripts from all previous schools

  8. Resume/CV

To apply to this program:

  1. Complete and submit the online application.
  2. Pay the non-refundable application fee.

Courses You’ll Take

Course Information

CPH 500: Foundations of Public Health is only required if a student does not have an MPH.

Students will also take 12 credits of electives. Elective credits are selected in consultation with a student's academic advisor and allow the student to gain further knowledge and skills in areas of interest to the student.

Core Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
CPH 628Epidemiologic Methods3
This course is primarily designed for graduate students and health professionals interested in learning in-depth epidemiologic concepts and methods. Methods covered in this course include approaches to minimize random and systematic error, advanced screening methods, systematic reviews and meta-analyses, nested case-control and case-cohort studies, matched case-control and cohort studies, clinical trials, longitudinal epidemiologic studies, and analyses of national surveys with multistage complex sampling. Students will practice their skills using SAS and RevMan on simulated and actual research data. Prerequisite: CPH 506; CPH 504; CPH 651 Strongly recommended.
PA 8530Strategic Planning and Management3
PA 8530 is designed to have the student understand the relationship between public policy, agency strategy, agency operation and the delivery of public services to citizens. It will provide the student an opportunity to devise a model strategy for a public agency or jurisdiction, introduce a variety of systems for managing particular tasks within the public sector and give the student the opportunity to construct operating procedures for a specific public program or subprogram. Prereq: PA 8010, PA 8050, PA 8090, and PA 8120 and completion of at least 24 hours in the MPA program. Not open to non-degree students.
CPH 500Foundations of Public Health3
This is an introductory survey course, which will ensure that all public health students, within their first full year of study, are exposed to the fundamental concepts and theories that provide the basis for the body of knowledge in the field of public health. This course will prepare students to work in public health with a sound theoretical, conceptual, and historical basis for their work.
CPH 545Health Equity and Leadership3
The course provides a critical understanding of health disparities in the U.S. and examines the underlying social, cultural, biological, behavioral, economic, and political factors that contribute to such disparities in society.
CPH 718Leadership Theory and Practice3
The course includes the study of leadership as well as the application of leadership theories, concepts, and skills. The course will explore leadership from the individual level, team level, and the organizational level. Students in this course will examine historical and contemporary leadership theories. Additionally, students will reflect on their leadership experiences through the lens of the introduced theories.
CPH 705Public Health Teaching and Training3
This course is designed to develop graduate students teaching skills and strategies necessary to meet the professional demands of conducting public health teaching and training. Major topics to be covered are adult learning theory, instructional design, conducting a needs analysis, training program evaluation, as well as creating teaching modules for the in-person, synchronous, and asynchronous environments.
CPH 746Epidemiology in Public Health Practice3
This course provides students the opportunity to explore public health problems and issues - such as infectious diseases, chronic diseases and preparedness - through the lens of epidemiology. By applying the concepts learned throughout their program coursework to current public health problems and issues, students will understand the practice of epidemiology as it relates to real life and informs public health programs and policies. This course is intended primarily for doctoral students in epidemiology and public health to apply their training to public health practice and research.
CPH 798DrPH Practicum6
The purpose of this course is to provide an advanced applied practice experience, allowing opportunities for students to develop leadership competencies and contribute to a public health setting. Students work with senior public health practitioners and leaders to address a need identified by the host organization that directly relates to the student's academic goals and professional interests. Students are responsible for completing a work project that is meaningful to the organization and advances public health practice. The work product may be a single project or a set of related projects that demonstrate a depth of competence. Relevant organizations may include governmental, non-governmental, non-profit, industrial and for-profit settings. The practicum should take place within an organization external to the college. The applied practice experience may be completed within a student's own work setting.
CPH 799DrPH Integrative Learning Experience6
The integrative learning experience is a practice-based dissertation that generates field-based products consistent with advanced public health practice designed to influence programs, policies or systems addressing public health.
CPH 726Exercise Design3
This course is designed to prepare the graduate student, professional student, or fellow to design, develop, and conduct tabletop, functional and full scale exercises to test disaster plans.
CPH 727Managing Complex Disasters3
This course is designed to prepare the graduate student, professional student, or fellow to manage a complex incident or disaster using principles of the national incident management system. Major topics to be covered include expansion actions as a disaster becomes more complex, establishing and operating an Area Command, and designing and managing a Multiagency Coordination System.
HPRO 903Mixed Methods Research3
The intent of this course is to provide an overview of mixed methods research to graduate students who are already familiar with quantitative and qualitative research. This introduction consists of defining mixed methods research, describing the history and foundations of this emerging form of research, and discussing strategies for locating and reading mixed methods studies in the literature. We will specify the types of mixed methods designs available and discuss the process of research as it relates to each of these designs. This process includes writing an introduction, developing a purpose statement and research questions, selecting a design, and collecting, analyzing and interpreting data within the designs as well as reporting and evaluating the study. This course will also discuss important issues and future directions that relate to mixed methods research. The course will have an applied focus where many students design a proposal for a mixed methods study (such as for their dissertation) as their final project.

Tuition & Fees

Nebraska Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours


Out of State Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours

About Faculty

University of Nebraska online courses are taught by expert faculty who embody the qualities resulting from research experience and professional/field experience. Students learn from faculty with a variety of backgrounds, many of whom are published researchers in their fields. NU faculty who teach online do so in a way that optimizes learning within the online modality and because technology enables students to access education they may otherwise may not be able to pursue.

Application Deadlines
  • Spring SemesterApr 01
Council on Education for Public Health