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DrPH Prerequisites

Prerequisite Core Knowledge

Candidates for the DrPH program are presumed to have a mastery of the foundational knowledge required of Master of Public Health graduates: epidemiology, biostatistics, behavioral science, environmental health, and health services. Students without an MPH must either show evidence of such knowledge or successfully complete graduate level courses in these areas at Tufts University or elsewhere prior to matriculation into the DrPH program or early in the program curriculum.

The courses described below are those content areas considered fundamental for any public health practitioner and their successful completion the starting point for any advanced degree.  

Behavioral Health Science

Describe the scientific basis for understanding human health behavior and evidence-based strategies available for trying to change it.  Articulate the role, theory and practice of health communication as a core element of public health interventions and programs.  


Understand the basic principles and techniques of statistical analysis of medical and public health data. Demonstrate the ability to develop a testable research hypothesis, summarize and describe data, select appropriate statistical methods, conduct basic statistical analysis, understand the computer output, and interpret the results.  

Environmental Health

Understand the direct and indirect human effects of environmental stressors in the community, workplace and home, both domestically and internationally. Demonstrate knowledge of current approaches for assessing, preventing and controlling environmental stressors such as health risk assessment, governmental regulations, policies, programs and guidelines. Understand the socioeconomic and biologic factors that affect susceptibility and vulnerability to environmental hazards in relation to issues of environmental justice and equity on both the national as well as global level.


Understand the basic concepts of epidemiology and their application to clinical medicine and public health practice: causation and causal inference, populations, publicly available databases, types of epidemiologic study design, measures of disease frequency and association, assessment and control of confounding and other biases, effect measure modification and qualities of a diagnostic test. 

Health Services

Demonstrate knowledge of the theory, organization, policies, politics and practices that have shaped the substance and process of health care services in the United States, and particularly those within the broad public health sphere. Understand the patterns and themes that have emerged in US health care services delivery and the factors that have shaped the configuration of the system.  Ability to apply a public health perspective to the way in which health care services are structured and delivered to the public.

DrPH Program Director & Staff

Janet Forrester, PhD
Associate Director

Janet Walton, MA
Program Manager, Public Health Programs