What can I do to prepare for the Ph.D. program?
Although not required, a Masters in Public Health (MPH) or an equivalent degree is highly recommended for students pursuing a Ph.D. in public health. Not only does an MPH provide students with a solid foundation of public health competencies, many MPH students are able to gain research experience through research assistantships or other work opportunities. These experiences offer students the opportunity to determine a preferred focus for their Ph.D. studies. For those prospective students without a MPH degree, previous research experience in rigorous academic or professional opportunities in the public health field is highly recommended.
Is the Ph.D. program right for me?
A Ph.D. in public health prepares students with specific interests for a career in research or academia. Depending on the interest area, graduates of the Ph.D. program often teach in universities, lead research laboratories, or direct research projects at the federal, state, or local level. The Ph.D. program requires a substantial time commitment and a significant interest in advancing one’s skills as a researcher in a particular field.
Do I need a research background to be successful in the Ph.D. program?
A research background is not required for success in the program, but some experience in research is recommended. Potential applicants without a research background should be able to demonstrate a capacity to perform independent research through evidence of previous academic success, strong recommendation letters, and satisfactory GRE/GMAT scores.
What are the areas of study?
Ph.D. students will choose one of four concentrations: Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Health Promotion and Behavior, or Health Services and Policy Research. The specialized coursework will depend on the individual student’s research interests and will be determined by the student, his/her Major Professor, and his/her Doctoral Advisory Committee.
How is the program structured?
Visit the program page for the Doctor of Philosophy and click on “Core Curriculum” for more information.
Is the program a full-time program?
In order to fulfill the significant commitment required of doctoral students, it is highly recommended that students maintain full-time student status for the duration of the Ph.D. program. Part-time will be considered for admission, especially for those working in a public health setting.
Can I study part-time?
At this time, applicants who can commit to full-time study will receive preference in the selection process. However, part-time applicants with especially strong academic or professional backgrounds may be considered.
How long does it take to complete the Ph.D. degree program?
The amount of time required to complete the Ph.D. program will largely depend upon the number of courses a student is able to take each semester and the amount of time he/she needs to complete and defend a dissertation. On average, however, a full-time student who enters the program with all the necessary prerequisite courses can complete the required coursework in 2 years and complete and defend a dissertation in an additional 12-18 months. It is reasonable to expect to take 3-5 years to complete the Ph.D. program. The Institute requires that students complete all degree requirements within 9 years of the student’s semester of matriculation.
When do I enroll in Dissertation Research?
Prior to enrolling in Dissertation Research, a student must be accepted into candidacy.
The following is a complete list of requirements for admission to candidacy:
- All prerequisites set as a condition to admission to the Ph.D. program have been satisfactorily completed.
- The residence requirement (30 hours of consecutive coursework) has been met.
- A GPA of 3.2 (B) has been maintained for all graduate courses taken and for all completed courses in the program of study.
- The Doctoral Advisory Committee, the Graduate Coordinator, and the Institute have approved the final program of study.
- Written and oral comprehensive examinations have been passed and reported to the Graduate School.
- The Doctoral Advisory Committee is confirmed and all members have been notified of their appointment.