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DrPH in Health Policy Management

Offering Department: 
Program Description: 


The Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) is a school-wide degree and the highest professional degree for the public health generalist. Students focus on public health practice, leadership and acquire broad knowledge related to professional skills. The dissertation is of an applied, practical, problem-solving nature and must demonstrate ability for independent investigation.

Program Requirements

Because each student has unique and specific interests, doctoral training is individualized to the needs and interests of the particular student.

The doctoral program encompasses the following major elements and stages:

  • Course work
  • Written examinations in the major field
  • Proposal for the dissertation and oral qualifying examination
  • Practicum
  • Dissertation
  • Final oral examination

Course Work

Students must take a minimum of six full courses (four must be at the 200 or 400 level) in at least two Fielding School of Public Health departments/programs other than Health Services.

In the first two years, students are normally expected to complete 20 courses (80 units) beyond the MPH degree to develop mastery in:

  1. basic tools of social analysis,
  2. health and disease in populations,
  3. promotion of health and prevention of disease, and
  4. health systems and their management.

The specific program depends on previous coursework and experience. The third year includes a practicum in a public or private health services organization, seminar courses (8 units) devoted to principles and strategies of health services leadership and preparation of a problem-solving dissertation related to the practicum experience.


  • HS 200A: Health Systems Organization and Financing, I
  • HS 200B: Health Systems Organization and Financing, II
  • HS 206: Latino Health Policy: Theory, Methods, & Data or
  • HS 289: Healthcare Disparities or 
  • M274 Health Status & Health Behaviors of Racial & Ethnic Minority Populations
  • HS 207: Current Topics in Health Services: Practitioners’ Perspectives

(Students are expected to attend HS 249H &I during fall & winter quarters)

  • HS 231: History of Public Health
  • HS 237A: Special Topics in Health Services Research Methodology, I
  • HS 237B: Special Topics in Health Services Research Methodology, II
  • HS 249D: Principles of Organization and Leadership
  • HS 249L: Ethical Issues in Public Health
  • HS M287: Politics of Health Policy
  • HS 438: Issues and Problems of Local Health Administration  
  • HS 442: Managed Care
  • Biostatistics 100A
  • Biostatistics 100B
  • One “life course” (choose from: CHS 238, CHS 285, HS M241, HS M242, or HS M449A)


Students select five more elective courses in consultation with their advisor from:

  • Department of Health Services
  • Other departments in the School of Public Health
  • Other Schools (School of Management, Medicine, Public Policy, etc.)


Required course work must be completed prior to the commencement of the practicum. The practicum accommodates the completion of a problem-solving study for the specific organization. A preceptor should be identified within the organization who may assist the student in structuring the practicum and delineating expectations and opportunities. Usually, but not necessarily, this practicum is accomplished within the context of the student’s primary employment. However, advisors and DrPH Committee members will assist in placement when student is not employed or the place of employment is not suitable for the student’s course of study.

Written and Oral Qualifying Examinations

Before advancement to candidacy, students must pass written examinations in the major field prepared and administered by the department faculty. The doctoral committee is nominated after students have made a tentative decision on a dissertation topic. The doctoral committee administers the University Oral Qualifying Examination after written examinations have been successfully completed.

Dissertation Proposal and Dissertation

During the first quarter of the DrPH student’s residency, s/he will prepare a dissertation proposal. The proposal will address a problem of interest or concern (practical relevance) to the preceptor organization. It may deal with needs assessment, program design, program implementation, program evaluation, or some combination of the above. The emphasis in this problem-solving dissertation is not necessarily to test a hypothesis derived from a disciplinary or theoretical perspective. Rather, it is to address a problem defined within the context of the preceptor organization and the environment in which it interacts. The resident is expected to employ competencies gained from prior education/experience and DrPH course work in addressing this problem. It is expected that the proposal will be written, reviewed by the doctoral committee and the practicum preceptor organization, and approved during the first six months of the residency. It is expected that the project prepared will be feasible and realistic within the context and resources of the organization, and normally can be completed within one year of the beginning of the practicum.

Oral Examination

A final oral examination is required of all candidates.


Desired Qualifications

In addition to meeting the University’s Minimum Requirements, the department of Health Policy and Management recommends a master’s degree in public health or other appropriate graduate degree in a related field with a grade-point average of at least 3.5 for graduate studies. In addition, although not required for admission, work experience in the field is viewed favorably when competing applications are judged. Students do not need to identify a faculty mentor in order to apply for the program.

Admissions Process

Applicants are only admitted in the Fall.  Applicants who wish to be considered for all financial aid considerations should have their applications, letters, transcripts and official GRE scores here at the School of Public Health by December 1 of the year preceding the desired entrance year.

The application process has three steps. You must:

  1. Submit an on-line application and pay the application fee at SOPHAS,
  2. Submit an online application and pay the application fee at UCLA Graduate Admissions, and
  3. Mail required academic documents and test scores to SOPHAS and to UCLA's School of Public Health.

For complete application instructions and the list of required materials, review the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Admission Application Check List and Submission Instructions.

As we receive many more qualified applicants for the program than there are available spaces, meeting the minimum requirements for admission does not ensure admission to the program.

Tuition and Fees

Total new student mandatory fees for 2015-16 for residents are $23,129.74. For non-residents, total mandatory fees are $35,830.74. Fees are subject to change and should be used as a guide only. For the most up to date fees and more information on fee breakdown, visit the registrar's office.

Please see FSPH Financial Opportunities page for information on awards, scholarships, training opportunities, employment, summer internship funding, and need-based aid. Please note that opportunities listed under 'Summer Internship Funding' are only applicable to MPH students.

Faculty in this Department

Faculty in the Department of Health Policy and Management have expertise in health policy, organizational theory and behavior, management, economics and pharmacoeconomics, medicine, law, sociology, political science and statistics.

For a list of faculty in this department, please click here.

To search all School of Public Health faculty members by name, department or area of expertise, click here.

Helpful Links

Who to Contact for More Information

For more information or questions, please contact Anna Lim at or 310.825.7863.


*This information is intended as an overview, and should be used as a guide only. Requirements, course offerings and other elements may change, and this overview may not list all details of the program. For the most up-to-date information, please consult the registrar’s office.


* Admission requirements listed are departmental requirements, and are in addition to the University's minimum requirements. Many programs receive more applicants than can be admitted, so meeting the minimum requirements for admission does not ensure admission. Every effort is made to ensure minimum admissions requirements are up to date - for the most up-to-date information on the University's minimum requirements, please visit the UCLA Graduate Division.

** Fees are subject to change and should be used as a guide only. For the most up to date fees and more information on fee breakdown, visit the registrar's office.