Doctoral Program


The doctoral program provides a common core education addressing issues of social and behavioral sciences while developing students’ expertise in one of the Depart­ment’s two areas of interest (planned social change and the social determinants of health). Students must select an academic focus in one of these areas. Students in the doctoral program must successfully complete:

  • 120 total creditsavablepresentation (80 credits formal coursework, 40 research credits)
  • Written qualifying exam
  • Oral exam
  • Dissertation defense

Successful candidates to the SD program normally enter with: a master’s degree or non-U.S. equivalent, 2+ years public health related work experience and a strong foundation in the social, behavioral, clinical, public health, or natural sciences and with a master’s degree in a social science (such as sociology, psychology, economics, political sci­ence, public policy, and anthropology); clinical health (such as nursing and social work); public health (such as epidemiology and health education); or natural sciences (such as biology, physiology, and neurosciences). The department may accept a small number of stu­dents without a master’s degree who have significant relevant work experience.