Doctoral Degrees

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

A PhD prepares you to do research in academia or industry. We offer the PhD in each of our seven departments.

Minimize PhD in Behavioral and Community Health Sciences

The PhD in behavioral and community health sciences prepares students to conduct research and teach in the social and behavioral sciences areas of public health and in academic settings. The PhD is focused on training researchers in the behavioral and community health sciences to integrate state-of-the art theory, designs, and analysis approaches to examine current problems in public health.

Minimize PhD in Biostatistics

The PhD in biostatistics is an academic degree program for students with a background in mathematics and a strong interest in biology and public health. The program emphasizes statistical theory and methods so that students are prepared to be effective statistical collaborators in interdisciplinary studies; lead the design and execution of studies; and develop biostatistics methodology.

Minimize PhD in Environmental and Occupational Health

The PhD in environmental and occupational health provides a broad theoretical and practical education for individuals who desire positions in academic, industrial, or government laboratories in the multifaceted discipline of environmental health sciences. The program combines training in classical toxicological and environmental biophysics with the new and continually developing fields of cellular and molecular pathobiology of environmental disease. Training is geared toward an understanding of how relevant environmental exposures, laboratory based model systems, and gene-environment responses can be interpreted and applied to the study of disease etiology in exposed and potentially exposed human populations.

Minimize PhD in Epidemiology

This program provides students with an advanced level of academic preparation to conduct research, teach, and mentor students. This includes concentrated training in epidemiological concepts and methodology and the completion of a research-based dissertation. Due to the wide range of ongoing faculty research within the department, students have the ability to select an area of emphasis on which to focus and to conduct research under the mentorship of an epidemiology faculty member. 

NOTE: We have closed applications to the DrPH program while we review curriculum options. Please note that the Epidemiology PhD program can be adapted to have an applied focus. Through elective coursework, internship opportunities, and the dissertation, PhD candidates can obtain the essential skills required for public health practice.

Minimize PhD in Health Services Research and Policy

The Health Services Research and Policy (HSRP) PhD program meets an ongoing need for public health researchers who focus on cost, access and quality of the health care system. Graduates will be prepared to conduct research on policy issues affecting the organization, financing, and delivery of health care and public health services.

Minimize PhD in Human Genetics

The PhD in human genetics prepares students for research careers in academia or industry. The flexible curriculum provides a broad background in the field while allowing customized emphasis on laboratory genetics, statistical genetics and genetic epidemiology, or genetic counseling. Training in statistical genetics is interdisciplinary and can also be pursued through the Department of Biostatistics.

Minimize PhD in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology

The PhD program in the Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology prepares students for competitive research and teaching careers in academia, government agencies, and private industry. Our PhD students complete coursework that emphasizes the fundamentals of pathogen biology, immunology, cell biology, and molecular biology, which provides the necessary educational basis to conduct independent research mentored by our faculty.

How to apply

Review application deadlines and instructions or

Apply online now

Using SOPHAS, the centralized application service for graduate schools of public health.

Meet a doctoral student

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2020 Best Oral Presentation Honorable Mention - Luna Wei 

2020 Best Oral Presentation Honorable Mention - Luna Wei

Congratulations to doctoral student Yue (Luna) Wei (BIOS '21) on winning Best Oral Presentation Honorable Mention at the annual Biostatistics Research Day on February 27 for her work on “A Simultaneous Inference Procedure to Identify Subgroups in Targeted Therapy Development with Time-to-event Outc... (03/01/2020)
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BIOST students Jia and Liu win national ENAR distinguished paper award 

BIOST students Jia and Liu win national ENAR distinguished paper award

Congratulations to Yichen Jia (BIOST ’22, front-left) and Peng Liu (BIOST '16 '21, front-right), winners of the national ENAR Distinguished Paper Award. The two doctoral students will present their award-winning work at one of the country's largest professional gatherings of biostatisticians, the E... (02/03/2020)
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Samargandy and El Khoudary find that running can help aging women at increased risk of heart disease 

Samargandy and El Khoudary find that running can help aging women at increased risk of heart disease

RUNNER’S WORLD – New research adds to growing evidence that the menopause transition is a critical stage for the acceleration of cardiovascular disease risk, according to lead author and epidemiology doctoral student Saad Samargandy. Senior author and associate epidemiology professor Samar El Khoud... (02/12/2020)
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Jessica Thompson, using systems science in community health 

Jessica Thompson, using systems science in community health

Doctoral candidate Jessica Thompson (BCHS '21) is interested in community-engaged approaches, chronic disease prevention, rural and Appalachian women's health, mixed-methods research, and systems science approaches to community health research. (03/05/2020)
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Roberts and Hoffman featured in Hulu documentary on anti-vaccine movement 

Roberts and Hoffman featured in Hulu documentary on anti-vaccine movement

HULU - Available now on the streaming service, Vice Investigates “Anti-Vaxx Fever” explores the growing anti-vaccine movement. The documentary features in-depth looks at the varied work of professor Mark Roberts and of student Beth Hoffman (BCHS ’19 ’23). Each uses system science methods to investi... (02/26/2020)
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