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Global Health - DrPH


New Information about the DrPH for students matriculating in fall 2021 and thereafter:

The GWSPH is in the midst of a comprehensive process to update the DrPH curriculum to establish a school-based, rather than department-based, DrPH program.  This new DrPH curriculum will be effective beginning with the cohort matriculating in fall 2021.  The information provided on this program page is generally related to the current DrPH curriculum/program and will be updated to reflect changes as program details are approved.  Effective immediately, the GWSPH DrPH program will now admit students annually.  Here is an overview of the new school-wide DrPH: 

The DrPH trains public health thought leaders and practitioners ready to shape public health policy and practice discourse and lead organizational and societal change in the U.S. and worldwide. This is an interdisciplinary, public health leadership training program that delivers practice-based curriculum and applied research to equip public health leaders with skills for the development, implementation, and evaluation of efficient public health programs and policies and resolve complex systematic problems. The DrPH program training utilizes health policy and global health opportunities exclusive to Washington, D.C. to prepare our students for senior-level public health leadership roles in the U.S. and globally. Focusing on leadership and practice, we are providing curriculum flexibility to meet the diverse needs of our students through rigorous course work in global health; environmental & occupational health; health policy & management; prevention & community health; exercise & nutrition; biostatistics, and epidemiology.

Current DrPH

The mission of the GW Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) in Global Health program is to train mid-career global health professionals to apply critical thinking and rigorous research methods to the complex practical problems facing practitioners and policymakers in public health practice. Graduates will contribute to the improved efficacy of healthcare around the world. They will use research and evidence to develop innovative approaches to negotiating the complex interrelationship bet­ween health and political, economic, and human development. In addition, the DrPH in Global Health degree coursework helps professionals to evaluate the best use of investments and resources in underserved communities around the world.

At the George Washington University, we are proud to educate students who are committed to improving public health on a global scale and engaging in and promoting public service. We emphasize these qualities in the DrPH in Global Health program because they are essential for future health professionals and public health practitioners. In addition, we’re certain that Global Health doctoral graduates will be prepared to assume an advanced level of leadership in global health, in the context of health research as well as implementation programs in an international setting.


New for 2021 cohort:  The GWSPH DrPH Program will admit students annually. Submission of GRE scores is optional.

Applications are now being accepted for admissions for next fall to the school-wide program.  Applications will be accepted beginning mid-August and are due no later than December 1st.  Applications will be reviewed following the December 1st deadline and those applicants selected for an interview can expect to be contacted by mid-February.   

A Master 's degree is required. Applicants who have completed a MPH degree from a Council of Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredited program are strongly preferred for admission to the DrPH Program. Applicants with a master’s degree in another field should explain their relevant training, research experience, work experience and educational background comparable to the MPH. DrPH applicants admitted without a MPH may be required to take additional coursework at the graduate level that does not apply toward the minimum 48 credits required for the DrPH program.

If submitting GRE scores, they must have been taken within five years of the date of application. Because admission to this program is highly selective, successful applicants have competitive academic credentials and substantial (4 years or more) prior public health professional work experience. 


This curriculum information is for student's matriculating in fall 2020

DrPH Core Requirements

PUBH 8401 | Foundations in Public Health Leadership and Practice (3 credits)
PUBH 8402 | Leadership and Decision Making: A Skills Based Approach (2 credits)
PUBH 8416 | Study Design and Evaluation Methods (3 credits)
PUBH 8417 | Qualitative Research Methods and Analysis (3 credits)
PUBH 8418 | Applied Statistical Analysis (3 credits)
PUBH 8419 | Measurement in Public Health and Health Services Research (3 credits)
PUBH 8420 | Advanced Analysis and Dissemination (2 credits)
PUBH 8403 | Leadership in Public Health Practice and Policy (2 credits)
PUBH 6080* | Pathways to Public Health (0 credits)

*PUBH 6080 - Find FAQs on the Advising page here.


Course Descriptions

Global Health Requirements

PUBH 8406 | Advanced Topics-Health Research in the Global Arena (3 credits)
PUBH 8407 | Advanced Topics-Health Leadership in International Settings (3 credits)



Global Health Electives

(7-10 credits in Elective Specialty Field Courses)

Global Health Course Descriptions

For the most up to date list of electives, please reference the program guide and SPH course descriptions.

Professional Leadership, Comprehensive Exams and Dissertation


Credit varies. Most students will take 2 credits Instructional Leadership.

PUBH 8415 | Instructional Leadership
PUBH 8413 | Research Leadership



All DrPH students are required to pass a Comprehensive Examination, which typically occurs following the Spring semester of Year 2.  Comprehensive exams must be successfully completed within three years of matriculation to the DrPH program.



PUBH 8422 | Advanced Health Care & Public Health Research Design (2 credits)
Prerequisites: Pass Comprehensive Exam, Approval of Program Director, & one page abstract 

PUBH 8423 | Dissertation Research (6-9 credits)


Non-Academic Requirements

Graduate Teaching Assistant Program (GTAP)

All DrPH students must enroll in UNIV 0250- Graduate Teaching Assistant Certification, administered by the University. Successful completion of this Certification is a pre-requisite/co-requisite to taking on a role as a Teaching Assistant. The University does not allow students to be Teaching Assistants unless this certification is completed. The 1-credit, online certification is paid for by GW, however the 1-credit does not count toward the 48-credit minimum required for the DrPH degree.

Professional Enhancement

Students in the DrPH program must participate in eight hours of Professional Enhancement. These activities may be Public Health-related lectures, seminars, and symposia related to your field of study.

Professional Enhancement activities supplement the rigorous academic curriculum of the SPH degree programs and help prepare students to participate actively in the professional community. You can learn more about opportunities for Professional Enhancement via the Milken Institute School of Public Health Listserv, through departmental communications, or by speaking with your advisor.

Students submit a completed Professional Enhancement Form to the Office of Student Records which is required documentation to be cleared for graduation.


Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Training

All students are required to complete the Basic CITI training module in Social and Behavioral Research.  This online training module for Social and Behavioral Researchers will help new students demonstrate and maintain sufficient knowledge of the ethical principles and regulatory requirements for protecting human subjects - key for any public health research.


Academic Integrity Quiz

All Milken Institute School of Public Health students are required to review the University’s Code of Academic Integrity and complete the GW Academic Integrity Activity.  This activity must be completed within 2 weeks of matriculation. Information on GWSPH Academic Integrity requirements can be found here.

Program Guides

Past Program Guides

Students in the DrPH in Global Health program should refer to the guide from the year in which they matriculated into the program. For the current program guide, click the red "PROGRAM GUIDE" button on the right-hand side of the page.

**For graduation requirements, please download the program guide.**

See the program guide, the DrPH Student Handbook, and the SPH Graduate Student Handbook for additional information.




L. Esther Aranda
BA, Harvard University
MA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MPH, The George Washington University

Prior to her MPH studies, Esther was an urban planner, with an anthropology background, working in the field of disaster risk reduction. During her first year of study, she will be a graduate assistant.

While Esther has many interests in public health, one of those areas is child health and the role nutrition plays in the development of children into healthy, productive adults.

Esther is originally from a small town in the Yucatan State in Mexico and is very excited about the enormous opportunities that exist to improve the delivery of public health programs and services. She is particularly excited about measuring and evaluating program effectiveness and outcomes through the use of existing datasets and developing novel research approaches.



Noah Bartlett
BA, Bowdoin College
MA, Columbia University
MPH, Columbia University

Noah Bartlett has spent his entire career in the field of international public health data. For over 15 years, he has provided technical assistance to the field and policy-level guidance at headquarters on issues surrounding data collection, access and use. He believes in a strong role for data use in all areas of global health and development, in terms of strategic planning, monitoring progress towards goals, program evaluation, and accountability.

In 2008, Noah joined USAID as the surveillance and surveys technical advisor for the Office of HIV/AIDS. He is part of the team that oversees and directs the DHS program and is co-chair of PEPFAR’s Surveillance and Surveys Technical Working Group. Currently, Noah is USAID’s agency lead for PEPFAR’s Interagency Collaborative for Program Improvement (ICPI), a team of data analysts from several U.S. Government agencies charged with analyzing PEPFAR data, including HIV-related site-level targets and results, program quality, and budget data.


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Rebecca Dutton
Department: Global Health

BA, Baylor University
MSW New Mexico State University

I have been living and working in Ethiopia for the past three years. Most recently, I was the Health Technical Trainer for Peace Corps Ethiopia where I worked with the health programming team to design and implement a training program for Volunteers in the country. Our program focused on behavior change around nutrition and WASH at a household level and reproductive health in schools. Before joining Peace Corps Ethiopia, I worked with a small NGO, Nuru International, and collaborated with a group of Ethiopian community health professionals to design their community health program.

While I have always been interested in different cultures and countries, my time in Peace Corps Ghana really solidified my interest in Global Health. My time living abroad has made me understand the privileges that I have and confirmed my belief that where someone is born or their sex shouldn’t determine their ability to live a healthy and productive life.

Living and working in developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa, I have seen and worked with various public health interventions implemented by NGOs and ministries of health. Some programs seem to have positive impacts while other seem like really great ideas that don’t lead to significant outcomes. I want to study what makes programs impactful with diverse populations.



Mohammad Khalaf
Department: Global Health

Growing up in Palestine and working in health sector development there, I witnessed firsthand the struggles and challenges that Palestinians face in a volatile political and economic environment. Past and current conflicts and insecurity elsewhere in the Middle East including Iraq, Syria and Yemen have led to unprecedented humanitarian crises, as large populations struggle with displacement, life-threatening injuries, acute illnesses, and limited access to food, water, and healthcare. The growing need to address the complex challenges of displaced and underserved communities affected by conflict inspires me to pursue a degree in global health at GW.



Lior Miller
Department: Global Health

I’m a Senior Program Officer managing programs in Burkina Faso and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for the USAID-funded Maternal and Child Survival Program. In Burkina Faso, our focus is on strengthening routine immunization and surveillance for vaccine-preventable diseases, particularly meningitis. In the DRC, we work at the national level on policy development and implementation as well as in two provinces implementing child health, family planning, nutrition, and WASH services at the facility and community level. I have also previously worked at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation managing PMTCT and HIV care and treatment programs in Cameroon and Rwanda, and for IMA World Health, working on neglected tropical diseases in Haiti and the DRC.

My master’s research really solidified my interest in global health. I went to Uganda to carry out research with the AIDS Support Organization (TASO), and saw how concerted government, civil society, donor, and community efforts could dramatically expand access to HIV prevention, care, and treatment services at a population level. Scaling up evidence-based interventions, in particular to improve maternal and child health, became the driving force behind my professional work and research to date.

Global health is always a constantly evolving field – no other discipline encompasses such a wide scope of issues (social determinants, politics, climate change, economics, behavior, identity, just to name a few), and this gives us the opportunity, even obligation, to understand and address health issues through multiple lenses

I’m an avid runner, and am currently training for my fifth marathon. When I’m not working or at school, I’m probably relaxing at home with my spouse and cat, Malaika.


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Maureen Murphy
Department: Global Health

Currently, I am a Research Scientist with the Global Women’s Institute at George Washington University where I have worked since 2015. Prior to this, I have worked with international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) both in the US and abroad in South Sudan and Sierra Leone. Prior to this, I worked with the Child Protection in Crisis Network based at Columbia University to coordinate locally driven child protection and gender-based violence research projects in Africa and Asia.

As a Research Scientist, I have worked on violence against women and girls (VAWG) research projects in a variety of countries including coordinating a large scale mixed methods prevalence study on VAWG in South Sudan as part of the ‘What Works to Prevent VAWG’ consortium funded by the Government of the United Kingdom. In addition to this project, I have played key roles in a number of other research initiatives including: developing a new manual on how to undertake ethical and methodologically rigorous research, monitoring and evaluation of VAWG programs in refugee and conflict-affected contexts; leading a case study on the linkages between peace-building and state-building initiatives and VAWG in South Sudan; leading a pilot project on adapting small sample size survey techniques to measure VAWG in humanitarian settings in Haiti; and providing technical support for VAWG prevalence studies in the Caribbean. I am also a lecturer for the master’s level course Researching Violence Against Women with the Milken Institute of Public Health’s Department of Global Health.

As an international aid worker, I saw first hand the challenges women and girls experience during times of conflict and displacement. I also noticed how the international community lacked rigorous evidence and data to effectively plan and implement programs to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls in these settings. It was due to these experiences that I choose to pursue further education in public health.
As an employee of George Washington University, I have seen first hand the quality of the instruction and research of faculty member’s in the Milken Institute. I also love being based in DC and am excited to stay here for my doctoral studies. I am particularly interested in new research methods and measurement approaches that can be utilized in humanitarian and resource-poor settings.

I like to travel and practice yoga in my spare time.



Chulwoo Park
BS, University of Utah
MS, Johns Hopkins University

Chulwoo graduated with two bachelor’s degrees in Biology and International Studies at the University of Utah and a master’s degree in International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. During and after his master’s study, Chulwoo worked with several non-governmental organizations – World Vision, International Rescue Committee (IRC), and Palladium – where he was able to travel to five African countries, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to monitor and evaluate the World Vision’s maternal and child health projects.

Chulwoo is an international student from South Korea and came to the United States to pursue a university education.  He is motivated by his personal belief that public health must serve everyone, so that people living in even the remotest villages can also access health services at any time.


Bobbi Snowden

Bobbi Snowden
BA, University of Rochester
MPH, UMD-College Park

Bobbi is a Major in the United States Army. Throughout her military career she has held a variety of assignments focused on public health advisory roles and identifying potential health threats to reduce risks to military forces. Her most recent assignment was as a Commander of a Preventive Medicine Detachment in South Korea, where she and her team were responsible for providing preventive medicine and public health consultation and support to over 25,000 Department of Defense (DoD) military and civilian personnel.

Bobbi is particularly interested in examining more closely the DoD’s Global Health Engagement (GHE) Program. This program serves as an avenue to work with foreign nations in the arena of health to achieve security cooperation and build and enhance global partnerships. Bobbi is interested in simplifying and measuring efforts and impact of the GHE Program, accounting for the complexities of today’s world. Additionally, she would like to examine what is the best role, or areas of focus for the U.S. Armed Forces to have the greatest impact in the GHE program. Ultimately, she would like to glean as much as possible from non-DoD organizations (domestic, foreign governments, and civilian entities including non-governmental organizations), so that the DoD can most effectively execute the GHE program mission.

Bobbi loves traveling, playing sports, and spending time with family and friends. She is married to Sam Snowden and they have two children together, Samantha and Mason.


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Shabab Wahid
MPH, The George Washington University

Syed Shabab Wahid (Shabab) is a doctoral candidate at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University (GWU). His research interests are in global mental health, especially in the convergence of urbanization, mental illness and well-being; and on mobilizing existing health systems to address developing country mental health needs. His thesis is focused on understanding how cultural factors influence the lived-experience, coping strategies, and measurement of mental illness of young men living in urban slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Shabab is currently working as a researcher at the Global Mental Health Lab at George Washington University (GWU), where he is involved with the Identification of Depression in Early Adolescence (IDEA) project.

Shabab has a background in managing and conducting global health research using mixed-method approaches. His most recent work was focused on developing methodologies using realist evaluation principles to study pathways of performance in complex health interventions in El Salvador & Honduras, and in Bihar, India. Previously, he consulted for the World Bank for a systematic review on conditional cash transfers for maternal health outcomes, and worked as a Research Advisor for USAID’s Translating Research into Action project, for implementation research in global health priority areas. Before transitioning to health research, Shabab worked at the non-government organization, BRAC, in the management of large-scale maternal, neonatal and child health programs in poor rural districts and urban slums of Bangladesh. Shabab spends his (very limited) free time watching cat videos on the internet.


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Wubin Xie
MPH, Tulane University

Wubin Xie grew up in Sichuan Province, China, and spent several years working in the poorest regions of western China trying to curb the spread of tuberculosis. He then worked in northern Burma/Myanmar, where he led an international NGO tasked with implementing a primary health care system, a job that was especially challenging because official health services had not existed there before.  “My experience in Burma further strengthened my desire to pursue the study of global health,” said Xie.  He went on to pursue an MPH at Tulane University and was a Ford Foundation International Fellow, graduating in 2012.

Xie focuses on global maternal and child health because he feels this area has a large impact and helps “improve population health of the most deprived people.” Xie is particularly interested in reducing the maternal and child mortality rate in developing counties and in helping to create effective health systems in such places.


There are numerous opportunities for Global Health Doctor of Public Health degree program graduates as new global health initiatives are regularly developed and tested. DrPH Global Health graduates are in high demand at state and local governmental organizations, private health agencies and foundations, non-profit research centers, and educational institutions. Graduates with a DrPH in Global Health degree also find careers in teaching, research, and consulting. 

What our Alumni Have to Say

The skills developed and honed in the DrPH program enabled me to be more objective in measuring the performance and effectiveness of civilian and military global health engagement programs in achieving strategic national security objectives.  The process of assessing, monitoring, and evaluating global health engagements is now being codified in the soon to be published strategic policy referred to as the Department of Defense Instruction on Global Health Engagements and I look forward to assisting the Department in implementing this important policy.  I am currently serving as the Director of Global Health Engagements for the U.S. Army Regional Health Command-Pacific (RHC-P). Headquartered in Honolulu, HI, RHC-P has 9 direct reporting units assigned with over 10,000 employees serving a beneficiary population of 220,000 people located from Washington state through HI into the Indo-Asia Pacific Region. Through Global Health Engagements, RHC-P leverages unique health capabilities to support military and civilian health capacity building efforts with our Allies and Partners in the region.....Derek Licina, DrPH 2013


I'm with PAHO in the Suriname country office working as their Specialist in Sustainable Development and Health Policies. Great hands on policy work.  Simply put, I wouldn't have been where I am now if it weren't for the skills learned and people I met in the DrPH program!... Pierre Pratley, DrPH 

I'm currently an M&E Advisor at IMA World Health based in Washington, DC where I support a number of our country programs in South Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, DRC, Haiti and Indonesia.  The DrPH program has put me in a position to be both a content expert in health systems (specifically human resources for health and HIV/AIDS) and to substantively contribute to program design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.  I entered the job feeling like I had tangible skills to excel at my role. I'd encourage current or potential DrPH students to focus on acquiring as many tangible skills as possible while in the program...Cudjoe Bennett, DrPH 2016


Sample Dissertation Titles

The Burden of Anemia, Iron Deficiency, and Vitamin A Deficiency in Young Children Lining in Kenya and Malawi... Sorrel Namaste, DrPH 2014

Rendering Mercy in Timor-Leste: The Role of U.S. Navy Hospital Ships in Strengthing Partnerships... Derek Licina, DrPH 2013

Program Director

Wolfgang Munar (as of Fall 2019)


Apply Program Guide