In addition to the required 42 credits of courses, students are required to complete a number of program benchmarks. Each benchmark is explained below.


Benchmark: CDC Crisis & Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) Training 
This is an online course that the student completes on their own. It can be accessed here: Upon finishing the course, students should send documentation of successful completion to the DrPH Program Administrator.


Benchmark: Professional Development Workshop-Instructional Design
An important component of DrPH training and practice is developing competencies in education of multiple audiences for advancing public health and for public health related workforce development. All DrPH students are required to complete a self-paced curriculum designed to help students learn how to develop and deliver public health educational and training activities, based on pedagogical theory and best practices. Curriculum components include online training modules and assigned readings.


Benchmark: Professional Development-Instructional Practice
After completing the instructional design curriculum, students are required to apply what they’ve learned by developing a public health education and training project of their choosing, under the guidance of a designated faculty. The project should demonstrate the student’s ability to address each of the three foundational competencies: 1) assess an audience’s knowledge and learning needs; 2) deliver training or educational experiences that promote learning in academic, organizational or community settings; and 3) use best practice modalities in pedagogical practices. Students choose among the following three options for the project:

  • Option 1: Course Syllabus and Lesson Plan Design
  • Option 2: Training Webinar
  • Option 3: Training Manual

The finished project will be assessed by the designated Education & Workforce Development faculty member. Possible outcomes are pass or revisions required. Students have up to two months to complete the revisions and resubmit the work.


Benchmark: Advanced Applied Practice Experience
An Advanced Applied Practice Experience (AAPE) is a required element of all CEPH-accredited DrPH programs. The AAPE helps students develop advanced practice and leadership skills, by completing at least one project that will make a meaningful contribution to a client organization and to advanced public health practice.


Benchmark: Assessment of Qualifying Portfolio
The assessment of the student’s Qualifying Portfolio serves as the equivalent of a doctoral qualifying examination. The portfolio should demonstrate students’ ability to address important public health issues and identify leadership approaches to advance public health practice. Passing the portfolio assessment serves to indicate that the student is a candidate qualified to advance to the dissertation proposal stage.