Admitted Fall 2018 and later

Students admitted to the Doctoral program in Behavioral and Community Health for the Fall 2018 semester and later will complete 78 credit hours of coursework/disseration research.

  Course Title Credits
Foundational & Cognate Courses  SPHL 600 Foundations of Public Health 3
SPHL 602/603 Foundations of Epidemiology (or any foundational epi course) 3-5
SPHL 602/602 Biostatistics I (or any foundational biostatistics course) 3-5
SPHL 611 Public Health Ethics for Research or SPHL 612 Research Ethics 1
MIEH 600 Foundations of Environmental Health 3
HLSA 601 Introduction to Health Systems 3



HLTH 609 Journal Club (repeatable up to 4 times) 1-4
HLTH 625 Community Assessment Through Qualitative Methods 3
HLTH 665 Health Behavior I 3
HLTH 672 Public Health Informatics 3
HLTH 710 Research Methods I 3
HLTH 776 Community Health Program Evaluation  3
HLTH 780 Community Health 3
EPIB 697 Public Health Data Management 3

Advanced Theory (3 credits)

HLTH 666 Health Behavior II 3
Advanced Research Methods & Statistics (15 credits) HLTH 624: Qualitative Data Analysis 3
HLTH 652 Quantitative Research Methods I 3
HLTH 653 Quantitative Research Methods II 3
HLTH 711 Advanced Methods of Research 3
HLTH 712 Applied Research Methods in Behavioral and Community Health 3
Advanced Electives (9 credits) Advanced Statistical Analysis (600 level or above) 3
Advanced Theory Elective (600 level or above) 3
Advanced Research Methods Elective (600 level or above) 3
Individualized Research Plan (6 credits) HLTH 898 Independent Study/Mentored Research Experience 6
Dissertation (15-18 credits) HLTH 899 Doctoral Disseration Research 12

*Please note: Curriculum and course names subject to change prior to August 2018

Admitted Fall 2017 and earlier

Doctoral students are expected to demonstrate competency in the areas covered by the following coursework, prerequisites, co-requisites, and the equivalent of the Department of Behavioral & Community Health core course work. If prior equivalent coursework has been taken, any combination of the core courses may be waived with approval, using the Request for Waiver/Substitution form.

Program Co-Requisites - Nine credits of coursework in a minimum of two health topical areas (Examples: smoking, alcohol, nutrition, Foundations of Health Education) may be completed either prior to or following admission and must be completed prior to qualifying examination. They do not count as doctoral curriculum credits, and need not be graduate level courses.

Here is a list of the courses required to earn a Ph.D. in Behavioral and Community Health.

PhD Core Courses (30 Credit Hours)

HLTH 671*

Public Health Communication

HLTH 672* Public Health Informatics
HLSA 601* Introduction to Health Systems
EPIB 650* Biostatistics I
HLTH 606* Foundations of Public Health Education & Policy
HLTH 665* Health Behavior I
HLTH 710 Research Methods
HLTH 774 Community Health Program Planning
HLTH 776 Community Health Program Evaluation
EPIB 610* Foundations of Epidemiology
MIEH 600* Foundations of Environmental Health


PhD Advanced Theory & Applications (6 Credit Hours)

HLTH 666

Health Behavior II (Preq)

  ***** Elective in Advanced Theory & Applications


PhD Advanced Research Methods & Statistics (12 Credit Hours)

HLTH 652 Quantitative Methods I in Public Health (Preq)
HLTH 653 Quantitative Methods II in Public Health (Preq)
HLTH 711 Advanced Methods of Research (Preq)
HLTH 712 Applied Research Methods in Behavioral & Community Health

* Core requirement that can be waived if this course or equivalent is already completed
** Maximum of 9 credits of independent study including mentored research experience
*** Maximum of two 400-level courses in program. All electives must be taken subsequent to admission.

Completing PhD Coursework

  • Each student is expected to propose an overall program plan by completion of 12 hours of coursework. Before they can be cleared to register each semester, students must meet with their advisor and update their program plan.
  • Unless waivers or substitutions are granted in writing from the Department, it is expected that all required courses will be completed. All requests for a waiver or substitution will be evaluated by the Graduate Program Director.
  • Students who are admitted without an MPH degree and wish to pursue an MPH degree in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health may do so if the student decides to pursue the master's degree within their first 30 credits (the core courses). However, students must formally apply through SOPHAS and understand that admission to the MPH program is not guaranteed nor is funding promised through their PhD application. The only credits that could be used for both the MPH and the PhD are the 30 core credits which are shared by both degree programs. Students must finish all MPH degree requirements before continuing with any PhD program coursework or independent studies.
  • If an admitted PhD student decides to pursue an MPH degree in Behavioral and Community Health further along in their program (after the first 30 credits), the student must formally apply through SOPHAS and understand that admission to the MPH program is not guaranteed nor is any additional funding. In addition, the student must finish all degree requirements for the PhD before starting any coursework for the MPH degree. If a student decides to apply to the MPH program five years or more after receiving their PhD, he/she must repeat the 30 core credits.


  • Students who have had previous graduate coursework equivalent to a core course may request a waiver of that course. If a course requirement is waived, it does NOT have to be replaced with another graduate course. To request a waiver, complete a Request for Waiver/Substitution of Required Course. All requests for waivers should be made the summer prior to enrollment in the program.
  • Requests to substitute another course, either within or outside the Department, for a required course will be considered when a student can demonstrate that such a course is equivalent to the course in question and can provide a rationale to justify taking the alternative course. To request a substitution, complete a Request for Waiver/Substitution of Required Course. Requests for substitutions may be made at any time during the program; however, plan ahead and make requests early.

For comprehensive information regarding the PhD Program. Please see the PhD Program Guidelines.