Mekelle University initiated the master of public health program in collaboration with Addis Continental Institute of Public Health in 2009. The joint MPH program has served well to build the capacity of college in undertaking postgraduate training. The program also provided ample educational opportunities for professionals in the region and surroundings.

Rationale: Further development of academic capacity of the Public Health School is dependent on training its staff at the PhD level. Attempts to train staff abroad have been slow and did not satisfy the needs of the School as well as the young enthusiastic faculty.  The doctoral level training is also necessary to cultivate high level research culture at the School of Public Health. Advancement in knowledge as well as capability to solve the health problems of the people is highly dependent on the ability to do advanced level research. Thus, the commencement of the PhD program at the school provides better opportunities for achieving these very critical responsibilities of the University. It is also wise to fully exploit the partnership that has produced hundreds of MPH graduates to this level as well. Addis Continental Institute of Public Health has worked together with universities of Gondar, Haramaya and Hawassa in establishing and maintaining a high quality PhD programs. 

Graduate Profile

A prospective graduate of the doctoral program will have the following competence:

    • Ability to provide high level  technical leadership in major public health issues;

    • Ability to undertake large scale research projects of policy relevance; and 

    • Ability to undertake academic activities and teaching at masters and doctoral levels. 

    • Ability to supervise dissertation works of masters and doctoral level students. 


Recruitment to the doctoral program is done on a one-to-one basis and can happen at any time of the academic calendar. However, a candidate must fulfil the following conditions to join the doctoral program in public health:

    • Must have an Master degree or equivalent (M.Sc/MPH) with thesis;

    • Must have an Master degree or equivalent (M.Sc/MPH) without thesis plus at least one published articles (first author)  or two articles (co-author);

    • Must have a good research plan and funding (or promissory letter for funding) for the research; and 

    • Must identify qualified primary advisor (a PhD holder or university rank of professor) before admission into the program.

Course Schedule

The doctoral program consists of course work and dissertation. The doctoral program can be completed within three to four years depending on progress of the candidate and the nature of the research work. Prior demonstrable research experiences, in terms of publications,  can help to shorten the duration of the PhD program.  The program can be extended to a maximum period of six years. The course requirements in terms of credit hours and the course schedule of the program are indicated in Table1. The PhD advisor may request his student to take relevant courses in the masters program as necessary to strengthen the student’s academic potentials; alternatively the student may opt to do that in his/her own initiative. Students may also be asked to take courses in other universities in Ethiopia or aboard as deemed necessary and possible.

Course Schedules for Doctoral (PhD) Program

Course organization Course Credit hour Course code
Philosophy of Science 2 PH 801
Ethics in Health Research 2 PH 803
Dissertation Research I P/F ( PH 804
Critical Review of Literature 3 PH 805
Advanced Quantitative Methods 4 PH 807
Advanced Qualitative Methods 3 PH 808
Year II
Seminar on Research Methods I 4 PH 901
Special Topics Seminar I 4 PH 902
Scientific writing and Communication 3 PH 903
Dissertation Research II P/F (eq. 6crhr) PH 904
Year III Semester I
Seminar on Research Methods II 4 PH 905
Special Topics Seminar II 4 PH 906
Dissertation Research II P/F (eq 6crhr) PH 907
Year IV-V As required Dissertation writing and defense P/F (eq.12 crhr) PH 908