Doctoral Program

PhD in Public Health: Social and Behavioral Science Concentration

Program Overviewapply now

The emphasis of the PhD in Public Health, Social and Behavioral Science concentration curriculum is on the application of behavioral and social science perspectives to research on contemporary health problems. Research to understand and influence health behaviors that are risk factors in disease and illness, or protective and health enhancing, are strengths of the program. Rigorous training in research methods and program design and evaluation are also key elements.

  • A minimum of 90 credit hours of graduate coursework is required for the doctoral program.
  • All Students must demonstrate through previous course work the attainment of basic level knowledge in epidemiology; public health administration systems, assessment and surveillance in public health, and public health program planning and evaluation. Students who do not demonstrate previous coursework in these basic areas must complete it before beginning their second year of doctoral study.
  • Graduate students must maintain an overall minimum GPA of 3.0 for all coursework.

Each student and his or her doctoral committee jointly determine the student’s specific program of doctoral study. This process allows students to design a course of study uniquely suited to their particular needs and career goals.

Upon successful completion of all program components, culminating in the dissertation defense, program graduates will be awarded the PhD in Public Health.

Examples of places of employment include universities, federal and state government agencies (e.g. Centers for Disease Control, public health departments), health and environmental research firms, and non-profit local, national, and international agencies.

The program is focused upon the assumption that health and health behavior are impacted by multiple psychological, behavioral, social, and cultural factors. Central to addressing health problems and eliminating health disparities and inequalities, these factors must be understood and addressed at multiple social-ecological levels:



  • Explore the unique issues faced by diverse groups and populations and acquire skills to achieve social and behavioral change
  • Develop advanced knowledge and skills in the social and behavioral sciences theories and methods used in public health
  • Designed for those who desire public health careers in research, academics, government, or related health organization
  • A prior graduate degree in public health or a related field is strongly preferred


Click here for the program curriculum guide.


Click here for graduate outcomes of the PhD Program.

Application Materials

  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Resume or CV
  • Transcripts from prior institutions
  • GRE test scores

International Applicants will should arrange for translation of their transcripts if needed, as well as TOEFL, IELTS, or MELAB scores to be sent.

Application should be submitted by January 15, 2019.

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