Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The doctoral program prepares individuals for teaching and research positions in academic institutions and positions of professional leadership in health and health-related agencies where research is an important function. The program prepares students for positions as researchers and teachers in research universities, in government agencies at the state and federal level, and in the research arms of private health insurance, provider or consulting organizations.

Doctoral applicants must have completed a Master’s degree or other advanced degree, generally have backgrounds in the social or behavioral sciences, and usually have demonstrated basic research competency through a Master’s thesis or its equivalent. Because positions in the doctoral program are limited, selection is competitive with respect to academic background and experience.

A candidate, entering with a satisfactory background without curricular deficiencies, can expect to take two years for coursework and typically another two years for completion of the dissertation. Preference is given to candidates with work experience in public health, but other outstanding individuals are accepted. Each applicant should submit a statement of interest, provide detailed information on his/her background and competencies, and indicate areas of preferred major and minor concentration.

The doctoral program involves focusing on a major area of concentration, which is a content field, and a minor area, which is related to a particular area of interest of the student. The minor area of the concentration may be content-related or methods-related. The student must be able to utilize courses from other departments at the University, as much of this degree is self-designed, under the guidance of the advisor.