The PhD programs advance scientific discovery by training and supporting students doing in-depth research that solves the world’s biggest public health challenges. At the forefront of efforts to benefit the health of people worldwide, the School offers students the opportunity to join in shaping new ideas in public health and implementing them effectively. PhD students benefit from collaborations across public health disciplines and a broad range of academic fields through connections with other Harvard faculties.
All PhD students conduct research through a dissertation, in addition to other avenues of discovery. All PhD programs at Harvard University are administered by the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS), and applications are processed through the GSAS online application system. Choose from one of four PhD programs offered collaboratively between Harvard Chan School and GSAS.
- Abbreviation: PhD
- Degree format: On campus
- Time commitment: Full-time
- Average program length: Varies between 4 to 7 years based on program
Fields of study
When applying to the PhD, applicants must choose one of the following specialized fields of study. Eligibility requirements vary by program and field of study.
- Biological Sciences in Public Health
- Health Policy
- Population Health Sciences, with fields of study including:
- Environmental health
- Global health and population
- Social and behavioral sciences
Career outcomes vary based on field of study and research, but in general, PhD graduates will be prepared for a career in academia, health policy, government agencies, consulting, the pharmaceutical or biomedical industry, and generally improving lives through qualitative and quantitative research.
Like all PhD (doctor of philosophy) programs at the School—and the University—the PhD in health policy is offered under the aegis of the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). Applications are processed through the GSAS online application system located at gsas.harvard.edu/admissions/apply.