PhD in Public Health: How to Enroll in Nigeria

Public health is multidisciplinary. It is available to wide varieties of professionals across different fields of study. If you have a degree in science-related course, you can always opt for public health degree, either at the master’s level or at the doctorate level.

You can study public health as an environmentalist or as a biologist.  Areas of application are also very wide.

As a public health degree holder, either in master’s level or at doctorate level, you can work as an environmental scientist, epidemiologist, public health professional, biosecurity specialist, bioterrorism researcher, medical officer, clinical specialist, health educator, disease management coordinator and lots more.

Do you want to go for PhD program in public health? You will never regret that decision. You can either apply for it here in Nigeria or you can travel aboard for the self same purpose.

You need to understand that things that will be taught abroad differ slightly from things that will be taught in a Nigerian or West African university.This is because West Africa is in the tropic, very close to the equator and the diseases and health challenges here do differ from what obtains in those temperate regions of the world.

This means your PhD program in public health will have better impact on the Nigerian health system if you study here in Nigeria or West Africa.

Virtually all the universities accredited by the National University Commission in Nigeria do offer PhD program in public health.  The registration process is easier in Nigeria and the cost is also more affordable in comparison with what obtains in foreign lands; studying even in Ghana or Benin Republic can prove to be very expensive.

How to apply

Application process is not difficult at all. All you have to do is to visit the website of the school where you want to study your PhD program and get the registration done. Virtually all the universities in Nigeria now have online presence and majority of them make online registration very easy for students at all levels, including PhD level.

They equally provide helpful information regarding registration for all the programs they offer in these universities. This means you will not have problem obtaining helpful information about your PhD program in your selected university’s website.

You should be on the lookout for the information on the website of the university. They will make deadline available on their website as well as all requirements for admission into PhD program in public health.  You can even make payment on their websites.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for PhD program in public health depend on the particular university you want to register with. There are certain general requirements, but there are also one or two differences here and there.  Below, the general requirements of many of the universities in Nigeria for PhD program in public health will be highlighted.

  • Bachelor’s degree in related field from any of the recognized universities in Nigeria. As hinted earlier, any university accredited by the National University Commission (NUC) is an acceptable school.
  • Masters degree from recognized university in Nigeria or aboard. The master’s degree must be relevant to public health. Most universities demand that the student has minimum of 3.5 Grade Point Average (GPA). The 3.5 here is based on a total of 5.0. If the point scale is 4.0, the aspiring PhD student must have minimum of 3.0 GPA.
  • The master’s degree program must have been taken along with satisfactory research work.
  • The aspiring student must demonstrate evidence of completed academic research as this will act as advantage to him/her.
  • Some Nigerian universities do admit First Class graduates at undergraduate level into PhD program directly. You will have to find out if this applies to the university you are applying into. The said certificate must be obtained only from a recognized university.


In most foreign universities, PhD program takes shorter period of time to complete. There are some universities where you will never spend more than 2 years to complete your PhD program in public health.

Some universities may however spend longer. Be that as it may, PhD program takes far longer in Nigeria. Rarely would anyone spend less than 5 years in PhD program in Nigerian university.  The elongated period tends to frustrate many students.

One of the factors responsible for this longer duration is the PhD thesis assessment.  It is very serious and time consuming. The supervisors or examiners are almost always busy and may find it somewhat difficult to dedicate time to the thesis assessment, leading to delay in completion of the PhD program.

Another factor found to be responsible is the topic chosen by the student. In most instances, students choose topics that are too broad for them to handle, instead of choosing narrow topics that can be completed on time.  As a result, supervisors will have no choice than to cancel the research topics over and over again and this will lead to elongation of study period.

Approved universities in Nigeria for PhD program

Not all the universities in Nigeria are approved by the NUC to offer PhD program.  Among the over 100 universities in Nigeria, only 58 of them are approved for PhD program. You therefore must find out if the university of your choice is among the approved universities for PhD program.

Only 16 federal universities are approved and there are 21 state-owned universities among the list of approved universities for PhD program. 11 private-owned universities are also on the list of approved universities for PhD program.


The tuition fees and other fees do vary from one university to the other. You should consult with your school of choice to find out what they charge.  Some universities do make scholarship programs available too for their students, though only few PhD program students are able to enjoy the scholarship.

There are quite a number of private organizations too that provide scholarships for PhD students studying public health.  You can as well look out for scholarship programs offered by Nigerian government. You can equally benefit from scholarship programs offered by international bodies.