New Ph.D. program in Population Health Sciences announced

February 10, 2015

Dear Faculty, Academic Appointees, and Staff,

I am pleased to announce that the Faculty of Arts and Sciences has unanimously approved a new Ph.D. program in Population Health Sciences, which will be based at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. This final step in the formal approval process comes after four years of extensive deliberation and careful planning, which included a vote of our own faculty. The new Ph.D. will be an interdepartmental program involving the Departments of Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Global Health and Population, Nutrition, and Social and Behavioral Sciences and will be administered by a Steering Committee consisting of Subu Subramanian, the chairs from the five departments, and David Hunter as ex-officio member.

The new Ph.D. program, to be launched with the entry of the first cohort in the fall of 2016, will innovate by developing a common framework of core scientific principles and knowledge that students in all five departments will learn while pursuing their doctoral degree. Simultaneously, it will build on the interdisciplinary synergies that exist across these five departments with regard to substantive areas of research. Through the common platform, the program aspires to nurture the future generation of leading scientists. As most students graduating from this program are expected to work in academic institutions, a critical aspect of the curriculum will involve the development of competencies for excellence in teaching.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Subu Subramanian, the Ph.D. Transformation Team, the participating department chairs and faculty, and the Office of Education, all of whom have worked collaboratively to develop this new interdisciplinary doctoral program. The Ph.D. Steering Committee will continue to seek input from faculty and students about how the curricula, devised as part of this new degree program, can enhance the overall educational experience of all our students. We will be reaching out to current S.D. students to discuss transition issues and remain fully committed to ensuring that their educational goals are fully realized.

I look forward to working with all of you as we implement our vision for this program, which I believe will serve as an innovative model for Ph.D. education at the University and beyond.

With my best wishes,

Julio Frenk, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D.
Dean of the Faculty, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
T & G Angelopoulos Professor of Public Health and International Development,
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Kennedy School