PhD in Public Health Sciences

Welcome to the PhD in Public Health Sciences, where you can launch your career into advanced inquiry and expert analysis of challenges facing the public health field. The PhD is the final step toward a career in research and higher academics, with the goal to grow future research faculty in the field of Public Health.

You see the power of research. Well-structured and insightful studies can open the door to new possibilities. Research has the potential to change minds and the world, but it requires individuals with the right skills to bring it to realization.

Specialize in Epidemiology to bring your logic and analysis skills to bear on research opportunities. Through advanced epidemiological studies, gain intensive research, writing and publishing experience, securing your position in this critical field within Public Health. Epidemiology Degree Plan

Focus on Health Behavior Research to achieve insights into the psychological, social and cultural factors that affect human health and health behavior. Develop research that advances policy, improves program planning and delivers improved outcomes. Health Behavior Research Degree Plan

This highly selective program offers tuition and fees funding to select candidates. View Current Student Profiles.


students collaborating at a desk


About The Program

Research Faculty Career Goals. UNTHSC is committed to nurturing PhD students whose career goals are positions as research faculty members at Tier I institutions. Our program includes intensive expectations in contributing to ongoing research projects, establishment of publications and academic conference presenting.

Full-time. Students take 9 hours each semester. The program carries a heavy research and publication expectation as well as professional development hours. Therefore, employment outside the university is prohibited.

On-campus. UNTHSC is located in Fort Worth, Texas. A vibrant location within the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Take advantage of our excellent city centers and low cost of living.

3-5 Year Program. Students are expected to complete the program in 3 to 5 years depending on their standing upon entrance. Students with completed MS degrees aligning with PhD concentration will have the quickest path to completion, MPH student will have some additional Master's level work to complete and students entering following a Bachelor's degree will require 5 years to complete the program.

Fall Entrance. New students begin the program each Fall semester. There are no Spring or Summer start options.

Small PhD cohort. Current admission trends indicate a small admitted class of just 2-4 students in each discipline, allowing for an intense and personalized experience.

Research Areas

When considering your PhD institution, it's important to ensure a strong match with a faculty members' research. Below are brief descriptions of current faculty research areas. We encourage you to review the full biographies of those most likely to serve as matches for your field.

Biostatistical Application

  • Dr. R. Nandy : Methods for neuroimaging data analysis, independent component analysis
  • Dr. Suzuki : Application of statistical methods to public health surveillance, sequential analysis
  • Dr. Zhou : Statistical genetics, meta-analysis, analysis of alcohol interventions

Chronic Disease Epidemiology & Health Disparities

  • Dr. Nguyen : Women’s health, chronic diseases, aging, health disparities, epidemiological methods
  • Dr. Tao : Cancer, chronic diseases, molecular biomarkers, lifestyle factors, health disparities

Environmental Epidemiology

  • Dr. Haque : Arbovirus, climate change, heat waves, landslides, and spatial epidemiology

Health Behavior Research

  • Dr. Litt: Health risk behaviors among adolescents and young adults
  • Dr. Lewis: Alcohol use and risky sexual behaviors among adolescents and young adults
  • Dr. Mun : Prevention & intervention of alcohol misuse/use disorders among young adults
  • Dr. Spears : Health disparities in preventable chronic conditions within communities of color
  • Dr. Walters : Motivational interviewing & technology in behavioral health interventions

Health Services Research

  • Dr. Brenner : Global health and mortality, health disparities, outcomes research
  • Dr. Miller : Resource allocation and burden of disease, tuberculosis
  • Dr. Mora : Quality improvement strategies, accountable care organizations and hospital alignment strategies
  • Dr. Rasu : Health analytics, outcomes research, economic eval of healthcare interventions
  • Dr. Stockbridge : Mental health, oral health, tuberculosis

Maternal & Child Health

  • Dr. Griner: Sexual & reproductive health, oral health, contraceptive use, health disparities
  • Dr. Thompson: Sexual & reproductive health, maternal &child health, HPV vaccination & prevention

Admission Requirements

Due to the unprecedented challenges created by the current COVID-19 pandemic, the UNTHSC School of Public Health is amending its application requirements for the remainder of the Fall 2020 cycle. For more information, visit our COVID-19 Admissions Policy webpage.

  • Bachelor's degree or its equivalent is required. A Master's degree is preferred.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.25 is required.
  • Select candidates will be invited to interview.

    To Apply:

  • Create an account in SOPHAS online application portal.  sophas pic
  • Priority Deadline: December 1st. Applications are accepted on an ongoing, space-available basis after the priority deadline until all spots are filled or January 15th.

    Submit the following:

  • Official transcripts. Transcripts from all schools attended. Even schools that didn’t ultimately award a degree, all are required.
  • Official graduate test scores. GRE or alternative graduate entrance exam is required. GRE institution code 6565 for SOPHAS applicants. Other accepted tests include GMAT, MCAT, PCAT, LSAT and DAT.
  • No GRE waivers are offered for PhD applicants; all applicants must submit valid test scores.

  • 3 Letters of Recommendation. Ideal sources include academic professors, academic advisors and employment/internship supervisors. Physician shadowing letters are not recommended. Letters from friend or relative are never appropriate.
  • Personal Statement. Describe your interest in the field of study (degree and concentration) to which you are applying, your career goals, how the program will help you reach those goals and why you chose the UNT Health Science Center School of Public Health for your graduate education.
  • Current Resume or Curriculum Vitae. Your resume should reflect your full history including volunteer activities, clubs, research, conference presentations and relevant work experience.
  • Writing Sample. Substantial research work or publication is recommended to submit for review.

Application Deadline and Timeline

Priority Deadline: December 1st.

Admissions Application Deadline: January 15th. Application closes at 11:00 CST.

Review Process: PhD applicants are reviewed primarily in the months of December, January and February. Review will continue until all seats are filled. Applicants will be reviewed for best fit with concentrations and faculty mentors. If invited for an interview, applicants are expected to participate in either an on-campus interview or a technology-assisted interview.

Cost, Scholarship and Aid

Highly qualified students selected for the PhD in Public Health Sciences are offered generous support from the university in the form of fully funded tuition and fees, a living stipend (currently offered at $24,000 a year), a laptop and personal health insurance. This award is for four years of the program when the student continues to make satisfactory progress toward graduation.

Total value of tuition and fees for Texas Residents is $23,543. For non-residents: $54,143.

Early application is recommended for this competitive program. Priority deadline is December 1st. Final deadline is January 15th. Offers will be made until seats are filled. Seat count changes year to year based on currently active students.

Financial Aid is available to support additional living expenses. Contact Financial Aid for specific questions and counseling.

International Students

Applicants who have degree coursework from institutions outside the U.S. must submit a credential evaluation from World Education Services (WES). We require the iCAP WES This will be submitted to the SOPHAS system for your final application.

International applicants must demonstrate satisfactory proficiency in oral and written English before being considered for admission. TOEFL or IELTS are accepted. Minimum requirements: TOEFL internet based = 85; IELTS = 6.5 Band Score. Meeting minimum scores does not guarantee admission. Applicants may waive the TOEFL/IELTS requirement by providing documentation from one of the following accepted measures.

  • TOEFL score code is 6565
  • IELTS score reports must be physically mailed to:
    UNT Health Science Center
    Attn: School of Public Health Admissions
    3500 Camp Bowie Blvd
    Fort Worth, TX 76107

    International applicants should submit their application 6 weeks prior to the posted priority deadline. This will allow sufficient time for WES to process the transcript evaluation report and adequate time for visa processing.

    Visit our International Student Office site to learn more about the I-20 process, estimated Cost of Attendance and other key factors.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

We’re glad you have questions. Graduate school is a big step and requires careful consideration. You’re always welcome to email or call us for answers, but for your convenience, we’ve curated our responses to the most common questions from our applicants. You may view our "Frequently Asked Questions" page by following this link:


Average Fall 2018 Admit


Health Behavior Research

GPA: 3.82 GPA: 3.85
GRE Verbal: 152 or 56% GRE Verbal: 157 or 76%
GRE Quantitative: 156 or 61% GRE Quantitative: 153 or 50%
GRE Analytical Writing: 4 or 59% GRE Analytical Writing: 4 or 59%

This page was last modified on June 4, 2020