Doctor of Philosophy in Community Health Sciences

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The Doctor of Philosophy in Community Health Sciences (Ph.D.) is an academically oriented doctorate in public health that prepares students for a career in which research predominates.  Training for the Ph.D. is highly specialized, emphasizing the in-depth expertise necessary for a research career. It emphasizes the integration of theory and research in a focused substantive area. This content area is developed by each student in consulation with his or her guidence commitee.  

This degree program comprises an intensive period of study with formal courses as well as guidance from a faculty advisor and doctoral committee.  The typical sequence is two years of coursework, followed by preparation and completion of two written qualifying exams, preparation of a research proposal, oral qualifying exam (proposal defense), completion of a dissertation, and oral dissertation defense. Doctoral students are advanced to candidacy after they have passed their oral qualifying exam. Students are required to be in residence full time for their first two years.  Admission is selective and normally 6 to12 new doctoral students are welcomed into the program every year.

The Doctoral Program Handbook has an in depth description of admission requirements, course requirements, advisement, committee formation, qualifying examinations, and the dissertation proposal.

Additional Doctoral Degree Information

Specializations and Certifications

Doctoral students have the option to focus their studies in certain specific areas.

  • Health Promotion/Health Education Specialization 
  • Population & Reproductive Health Certificate
  • Child and Family Health Leadership Training Program Certificate
  • Emergency Public Health Certificate
  • Global Health Certificate

For more information, please visit the Specializations and Certifications page.

Where our students work after graduation

Community Health Sciences graduates work in:

  • Governmental public health agencies at the local, state, and national levels
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Domestic and international voluntary organizations
  • Health maintenance organizations
  • Corporate wellness programs
  • Foundations
  • Schools
  • Other health and human services organizations
  • The private sector
  • Academia

You can view a full list of employers and continuing education programs here.

Prospective Students