Graduate Admissions

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is granted in recognition of high attainment in a specified field of knowledge. It is a research degree and is not conferred solely upon the earning of credit or the completion of courses. It is granted after the student has shown proficiency and distinctive achievement in a specific field, has demonstrated the ability to do original, independent investigation, and has presented these findings with a high degree of literary skill in a dissertation. This degree requires a minimum of 55 credits post-masters.


The mission of the programs of study for the Doctor of Philosophy degree is to prepare public health professionals to make substantive contributions to public health inquiry and practice.


Students should acquire the skills to create and disseminate knowledge, and also to lead, collaborate with and teach others in various public health academic, research and field settings. Therefore, the foundation of a strong PhD program in public health includes:

  • Capable, ethical and scholarly faculty to mentor students in their area of interest,
  • The potential for financial assistance/funding of doctoral student research and teaching,
  • Availability of courses in students area of interest, Students who have the academic and professional potential to achieve the doctoral competencies,
  • Students who are ethical, scholarly representatives of the profession and the school,
  • The availability of meaningful professional development activities, and
  • Opportunities for students to participate in activities.
  • Competencies are met by successfully completing a doctoral committee approved plan of academic study and research, and documented professional and other scholarly experiences.


A Doctor of Philosophy graduate will be able to:

Scientific Knowledge and Theory

  • Critically evaluate and use scientific theories and frameworks relevant to public health.
  • Synthesize knowledge from a broad range of disciplines in public health.
  • Critically analyze research literature.
  • Develop testable hypotheses for independent research.
  • Design and carry out original research that contributes to the knowledge base in public health.
  • Demonstrate mastery of methods of data collection and analysis.
  • Apply a set of ethical standards in the conduct and dissemination of research.
  • Work as an effective research team member.
  • Prepare scholarly publications and deliver oral presentations.
  • Be cognizant of appropriate funding sources for research.
  • Develop grant writing skills.
  • Demonstrate ability to teach a university level course using current pedagogical techniques.
  • Demonstrate communication skills that facilitate learning by others in formal and informal settings.

Below are concentrations in the College of Public Health in which a PhD can be earned.

Community and Family Health

Environmental and Occupational Health 

Epidemiology and Biostatistics 

Global Health 

Health Policy and Management