PHS Overview

The PhD in Population Health Sciences is a multi-disciplinary doctoral program that integrates perspectives spanning the biological, physical, and social sciences along with a variety of scientific and diverse analytic methods toward the study and understanding of a common endpoint: the health of populations. PHS prepares students for a career focused on population health challenges and solutions that affect the lives of millions around the globe. Collaborating with colleagues from diverse professional backgrounds and conducting field and/ or laboratory research projects of their own design, those enrolled in the program gain the deep expertise and powerful analytical and quantitative tools needed to tackle a wide range of complex, large-scale public health problems. 

Focusing on one of five complementary fields of study at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health is key to the program. The five fields are Environmental Health (EH), Epidemiology (EPI), Global Health & Population (GHP), Nutrition (NUT), and Social & Behavioral Sciences (SBS). The Population Health Sciences PhD draws on courses, resources, and faculty from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and the additional graduate schools of Harvard University overall. The goal is for all participants to become well-versed in a wide variety of disciplines while gaining specialized knowledge in a chosen area of study. In addition to building on the depth and uniqueness of the expertise in each of the five fields of study, the goal is to recognize the commonalities and synergies that also exist across all five of the Fields. The program proactively facilitates collaboration opportunities for students and faculty across fields and between FAS (Faculty of Arts and Sciences) and Harvard Chan through an umbrella research platform. In addition, all domestic and international PHS doctoral students who maintain satisfactory progress receive a multi-year funding package, which includes tuition, fees, and a competitive stipend.