PhD-Behavioral & Community Health Concentration

The PhD program in Public Health Sciences prepares professionals for research, teaching, and service with the overall objective of improving the health of populations.  To meet this objective, all students in the program pursue excellence in conducting research and disseminating knowledge. The primary focus is on research that advances knowledge and facilitates discovery regarding etiology, interventions, and policies that promote health at the individual, population, societal, and/or global levels. The concentration in behavioral and community health provides a rigorous scientific approach to the study of the psychological, social and cultural factors that impact human health and health behavior. An understanding of these factors at multiple social-ecological levels including: individual, interpersonal, organizational, community, and population, will be expected. Students will be prepared to perform basic and applied research, to teach, and to serve communities with the goals of promoting healthy lifestyles, reducing risk behaviors, and eliminating health disparities related to race ,ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or gender.

PhD Core Competencies

PhD Behavioral & Community Health Curriculum

Upon completion of the PhD in Public Health Sciences degree with a concentration in Behavioral and Community Health, the student will have demonstrated proficiency in the following competencies:

  • Identify the role and impact of the psychological, behavioral, social, and cultural factors that promote population health as well as those which contribute to increase morbidity and mortality.
  • Effectively engage communities as partners in promoting health, reducing risk behavior, and changing social conditions that undermine public health and safety.
  • Develop, test, and implement interventions designed to achieve social and behavioral change.
  • Conduct scientifically rigorous research on the social and/or behavioral determinants of health, and ways to reduce health disparities.

The PhD program requires a minimum of 90 semester credit hours (SCH) post-baccalaureate degree and is offered on a full time or part-time basis. Any graduate credits post-baccalaureate, including master’s degree courses may be applied to coursework outlined within the PhD degree plan. A student may apply up to 42 SCH of previously taken graduate level courses toward the completion of the Ph.D. coursework (Advanced Standing). All such courses are subject to approval by the advisor and the PhD Program Committee.

PhD CORE COMPETENCIES Upon completion of the PhD in Public Health core courses, the student will have demonstrated proficiency in the following competencies:

  • Research Theories: synthesize historical, contemporary, and emerging theories and paradigms of significance to public health.
  • Critical Analysis: Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of existing research evidence and identify significant gaps in knowledge.
  • Research Methodology: Comprehend,  design and apply relevant and advanced research methods based on rigorous standards of evidence.
  • Scientific Communications: Develop professional skills in scientific and grant writing, oral communication, and teaching.
  • Ethics: Uphold the highest ethical standards in all professional endeavors, including the design and implementation of research and the participation of human subjects.
  • Discovery and Translational Theory: Conduct investigative research, including areas that facilitate the translation and application of discovery to practice.




2013-2014 PhD in Public Health Sciences Curriculum- Behavioral & Community Health: 90 SCH
Core Courses: 33 SCH
BACH 5300 Theoretical Foundations of Individuals & Community Health 3 SCH
BIOS 5300 Biostatistics for Public Health I 3 SCH
EOHS 5300 Environmental Health 3 SCH
EPID 5300 Principles of Epidemiology 3 SCH
HMAP 5300 Health Management & Policy 3 SCH
BIOS 5310 Biostatistics for Public Health II 3 SCH
BIOS 6300 Applied
Statistical Methods for Data Analysis
HMAP 6360 Ethical Issues in
Public Health
PHED 6118 Seminar/Grand
Rounds in Public Health Research
PHED 6220 Scientific and
Grant Writing
PHED 6314 Methods for Public Health Studies 3 SCH
PHED 6321 Pedagogy in Public

Concentration Required Courses: 24 SCH
BACH 5314 Quantitative Research Methods 3 SCH
BACH 6300 Social and Behavioral Theories & Health Applications 3 SCH
BACH 6310 Qualitative Research Methods 3 SCH
BIOS 5314 Introduction to Statistical Packages 3 SCH
BIOS 6312 Applied Methods of Survey Sampling 3 SCH
BIOS 6314 Applied Categorical Data Analysis 3 SCH
EPID 6300 Intermediate Epidemiology for Public Health Practice 3 SCH
HMAP 6380 Health Services Research I 3 SCH
BIOS 6391 Topics in
Biostatistics: Linear Models
EPID 6311 Applied Epidemiology for Public Health 3 SCH

Elective Courses: 21 SCH

No more than 9 SCH at the 5000 level. Advisor
approval must be provided for all electives.

Culminating Experience: 12 SCH
BACH 6000 PhD Comprehensive
BACH 6395 Doctoral
12 SCH
PhD Portfolio
Course Descriptions