Prospective Students

Thank you for your interest in the PhD in Population Health Sciences (PHS).


A distinguished undergraduate record, as well as excellent performance in any graduate work undertaken, is required for admission to this program. Although a previous graduate degree is not required, students in any of the Fields of Study should have successfully completed coursework in introductory statistics or quantitative methods. Experience with biostatistics is preferred. Students will need to have completed ‘Introduction to Biostatistics’ coursework before starting the first semester. A pre-test will be required for admitted students and, if needed, biostatistics training options will be offered via both an online summer course and Biostatistics ‘Bootcamp’ during Orientation Week. In general, applicants must demonstrate strong enthusiasm and ability for rigorous pursuit of scientific knowledge in public health. Preference will be given to applicants who have either some relevant work experience or graduate work in the chosen Field of Study after completion of a bachelor’s degree.

Student Funding

The program offers financial support for admitted PhD students as long as they are enrolled and are making satisfactory progress as outlined in the Griffin GSAS handbook. All students (including international students) receive a multi-year funding package, which includes full tuition, fees, health insurance, and a stipend that includes teaching fellowships and research assistantships. The stipend is competitive with the amount offered by similar schools of public health. Applicants are also expected to apply for external grants and fellowships, particularly for years three and beyond.

Students enrolled in the PhD in PHS may be subject to termination of candidacy if they fail to remain in good standing. Students who fail to remain in good standing are not eligible for financial support or employment through Harvard, including employment as a teaching fellow.

Click here for other funding opportunities in public health.


The PhD in Population Health Sciences is strongly committed to increasing the diversity of its doctoral student population. Under-represented minority candidates, including students who self-identify as Black/African-American, Puerto Rican, Mexican American, Native American, or Native Pacific Islander are especially encouraged to apply. For more information and opportunities on diversity visit Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences webpage and the T.H. Chan School of Public Health webpage.

Country of origin of current PHS students.


Candidates for the PhD in Population Health Sciences are expected to be in residence for the duration of the program, and part-time study is not permitted. Students may petition for non-residency status after the first two years of full-time graduate study residency, and the student must have passed all required courses and exams. Each petition will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


If you have program-specific questions after reading through our website, please contact the Program Office for the PhD in Population Health Sciences.

If you have Admissions-specific questions after reading through the subpages, please contact the Griffin GSAS Admissions Office.

If you have Field of Study-specific questions after reading through the subpages, please contact the Academic Administrator for the departments associated with the fields of study in this program:

  • Barbara Zuckerman, Environmental Health, Bldg. 1- 1304A, 665 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115, tel: 617-432-2109
  • Eric DiGiovanni, Epidemiology, Kresge 904, 677 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115
  • Barbara Heil, Global Health & Population, Bldg 1-1108D, 665 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115, tel: 617-432-1179
  • Stefanie Dean, Nutrition, 655 Huntington Ave., Bldg 2-310, Boston, MA 02115, tel: 617-432-1528
  • Whitney Waddell, Social & Behavioral Sciences, Kresge 617, 677 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115, tel: 617-432-3761