PhD-Health Behavior Research

Stephanie Spohr RAD

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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 Health Behavior Research 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.

Upon completion of the PhD in Public Health Sciences degree with a concentration in Health Behavior Research, 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 87 semester credit hours (SCH) post-baccalaureate degree and is offered on a full time, face to face format. 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 PhD coursework (Advanced Standing). All such courses are subject to approval.

PhD Core Competencies (see below)

2017-2018 Curriculum   Course Descriptions Sequence of Coursework

MS – Health Behavior Research (Prerequisite for PhD): 36 SCH
BACH 5300 Theoretical Foundations of Individuals & Community Health
BIOS 5300 Principles of Biostatistics
EPID 5300 Principles of Epidemiology
BACH 5324 Introduction to Health Disparities
BACH 5340 Community Assessment and Program Planning
BACH 5350 Community Health Program Evaluation
BACH 6310 Qualitative Research Methods
BIOS 5310 Intermediate Biostatistics
EPID 5310 Intermediate Epidemiology
EPID 5313 Introduction to Data Management and Statistical Computing
PHED 5391 Topics in Public Health – Public Health Concepts
BACH 5395 Thesis (discovery-based paper)

PhD – Health Behavior Research: 21 SCH
BACH 6300 Advanced Theories of Individuals and Community Health
BIOS 6391 Advanced Topics in Biostatistics: Measurement
EPID 5314 Applied Data Analysis in Epidemiology
HMAP 5312 Health Politics and Policy
HMAP 6380 Health Services Research 1
PHED 6118 Methods for Public Health Studies 2
PHED 6220 Scientific Grant Writing
PHED 6314 Methods for Public Health Studies 1

Elective Courses: 18 SCH
No more than 9 SCH at the 5000 level.
Adviser approval is required for all elective courses.

Culminating Experience: 12 SCH
Publish at least 2 papers
Journal Club each semester during PhD
Summer dissertation proposal defense
BACH 6000 PhD Comprehensive Examination
BACH 6395 Doctoral Dissertation (12 SCH)

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.

This page was last modified on May 2, 2017