Filling a Future Need

New doctoral degree will address predicted shortage of public health workers

Tufts University has added depth to its public health education programs with a new doctorate in public health (DrPH) that will address a predicted national shortage of public health workers by the end of the decade.

The degree will be offered through the medical school while drawing on an interdisciplinary curriculum from the university’s other graduate schools in nutrition, veterinary medicine, dental medicine, engineering and international relations. The inaugural DrPH class will arrive this fall.

The United States will face a shortfall of more than 250,000 public health workers by 2020, according to the Association of Schools of Public Health. Tufts’ new DrPH degree program will help remedy the projected gap in the public health workforce by leveraging the university’s proven strengths and resources for the common good.

“The DrPH program will prepare students to promote public health and health policy using advanced analytic and management skills and to occupy leadership positions within a range of public health and health-care settings,” says Aviva Must, dean of Public Health and Professional Degree Programs and professor and chair of the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine. “Effective public health leadership can drive public policy, promote access to quality health care and innovate to improve population health,” she says.

One of three such programs offered in New England, the Tufts program is primarily for students who have earned an MPH and have postgraduate public health experience. For students with an MPH, the program is designed to be completed in four years of full-time study. Students can also elect to pursue the degree on a part-time basis. 

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