The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Program prepares students to conduct research in the social and behavioral sciences areas of public health in a variety of settings as well as teach in academic settings. The PhD curriculum is formed by a social-ecological perspective regarding the determinants of health and opportunities for intervention. Within this overarching framework, the curriculum also emphasizes theory-driven research, addressing health issues across the developmental life span of populations, examining variation across socio-demographic categories such as gender, age, and sociocultural status as it affects health and health disparities. The curriculum addresses the following areas: individual behavior, population health, research design and methods, statistical analysis; behavioral interventions; and the integration of public health research and practice.
The minimum credit requirement for the PhD program is 72 credits of completed course work and independent research. Twenty-four credits may be awarded for a previously earned master’s degree. Twelve (transfer or advance standing) credits may be allowed for graduate work taken after earning the master’s degree. All students must complete a common core of courses in the following categories:
- Theories of behavior and community (6 credits)
- Research design and methods (11 credits)
- Elective theory and methods (3 credits)
- Statistical analysis (12 credits)
- Interventions (6 credits)
- Integration of public health research and practice (3-8 credits)
- Milestones (0-4 credits)
PhD students will typically earn 3 credits preparing for their comprehensive exam and a minimum of 1 dissertation credit must be earned. All PhD students must be enrolled as a full-time student at least 1 semester during their program. Registration for FTDR (i.e. Full-time Dissertation Research) after completion of 48 credits of coursework will fulfill this requirement. The program is designed to be completed in 2 years full-time coursework in addition to 2 years for completion of dissertation research.