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Community Health Studies Doctoral Degree Requirements

Program | Faculty | Master's | Doctoral | Courses

Graduates will be well prepared for teaching and research in academic institutions and for positions of professional leadership in health agencies with research missions.

Each candidate selects an academic major in community health education or health policy and management. In addition, candidates select one minor concentration which may be in Public Health or in another Ph.D. degree program, such as anthropology, economics, management, psychology, or sociology. Minimal expectations are 24 credit hours of study in the major concentration, 12 hours in the minor concentration, and participation in a research seminar. Most candidates will be involved in additional elective courses and/or individual studies. Students also complete 18 hours of dissertation credits. Of total credits, at least six must be in research methodology. These are in addition to the required seminar in public health research, PUBHLTH 892A and B.

Each candidate is assigned a faculty adviser in the major area of interest. Prior to or soon after matriculation, the candidate and adviser outline a course of study in both major and minor areas. This, in essence, becomes the candidate’s individual contract with the faculty.

Each candidate takes a comprehensive examination, usually during the fourth semester of full-time study. It must be completed before beginning the sixth semester. The exam is coordinated by the Graduate Program Director and consists of two options.

Students may choose to take a sit-down, nine-hour exam, in three parts over three consecutive days (three hours each day), or they may choose to complete three position papers consisting of substantive theoretical discussions in their major and minor areas as well as research methodology. Either option must be defended in an oral exam, to be taken after completion of the written parts.

The dissertation is conducted under the guidance of a Dissertation Committee composed of at least three members of the Graduate Faculty. At least one member must be from outside the School of Public Health and Health Sciences. The candidate negotiates the topic and substance of dissertation research with the Dissertation Committee.

A candidate who enters the program with a satisfactory background may expect to complete the program in three to four years.