Doctorate of Philosophy in Public Health
The PhD in Public Health Program prepares students for advanced research and scholarship. The primary emphasis of the program is to prepare future faculty members for successful academic careers, although many alumni are employed in government, industry, and consulting. Supported by a faculty world-renown for their public health research programs, the Public Health PhD Program provides training and experiences that support interdisciplinary learning, promote critical and theory-based, problem-solving skills to address public health problems, and foster the development of public health professional values and ethics. All students in the program will complete common core course requirements, which include foundational courses in epidemiology, biostatistics, history of public health, bioethics, and theory of health behavior, in addition to being introduced to critical public health research methods and statistical techniques. Students also will take specialized courses in their chosen concentration and engage in research and scholarly productivity with faculty members. Opportunities abound for students to work closely with faculty mentors on a wide-range of public health research and evaluation projects, including sponsored research projects in health promotion, disease prevention, and epidemiology.
In addition to in-depth, didactic training in public health concepts and methods, the PhD program aims to foster the development of a public health professional identity and values in its trainees. Professional development exercises will be infused in didactic courses and available in other program-sponsored activities (e.g., journal clubs, conference attendance, departmental colloquia and brownbag presentations, professional development workshops). Doctoral trainees also will be encouraged to take advantage of professional development opportunities offered in various public health centers and laboratories, the College, and University, including special workshops and seminars on teaching (through the Teaching and Learning Center), grant writing workshops, and methods seminars. Finally, students will learn by working closely with faculty on research and writing papers for publications.
Areas of Specialization:
Social & Behavioral Health Sciences (SBHS)
The SBHS concentration provides advanced training in theory, research, and practice related to social and behavioral influences on population health. Students will learn to develop and evaluate social and behavioral public health programs, as well as apply social and behavioral science theories and methods to mitigating pressing public health problems. The program emphasizes understanding the needs of -- and effective methods of intervening with -- vulnerable and unique populations, particularly members of racial and ethnic minority groups, children, and the elderly. Students electing the SBHS concentration will take courses related to health behavior change, health psychology, social determinants of health, and methods of designing and evaluating social and behavioral health interventions. Many faculty members have active research programs that involve health education, particularly in community, hospital/clinic, and school settings, which provide opportunities for doctoral students to develop their research.
Health Policy (HP)
The HP concentration provides students with advanced training in theory, research and practice related to health policy. The program will train students in developing, evaluating, and implementing health policy at multiple levels (local, state, national, global) and in both private and public institutional settings. Students may choose to focus on health policy in a variety of areas. For example, students may study environmental health, with its emphasis on environmental policy (e.g., smoking cessation), work policy (e.g., ergonomic practices), and sustainable development. Alternatively, they may focus on health administration, organizational policy, or health politics. Students in this concentration may be more likely than students in the SBHS concentration to take methodological courses in policy analysis, qualitative data collection and analysis, and archival or secondary data analysis.
The PhD Program will demand a serious commitment of your time. You are expected to commit to full-time study, which will be spread across course work, research, and professional development activities. The program emphasizes research. Thus, there is a heavy emphasis on critical thinking, scientific foundations, research methods, and statistics in the core program. These skills will help you move toward contributing new knowledge in the field, while simultaneously learning how to synthesize, interpret and critique existing knowledge. You will develop expertise in your specific area, but also will be expected to have a breadth of knowledge about public health practice, theory and research. Breadth will be developed through didactic course work and preparation for the preliminary exams. Many of the courses you take in your concentration will be tailored to your research interests and training needs. In addition to research, it is expected that you will develop teaching skills by assisting in course development and instruction.
Nearly all students applying to the PhD program have a master’s degree in public health or a related field. A student enrolled in the PhD program in Public Health may apply to the Graduate School through the Ph.D. Program Director for advanced standing credits for graduate coursework graded "B" or better from an accredited institution. Credits for courses taken as part of a master's degree will be considered; credits for theses, fieldwork, clinical practice, or directed projects/readings cannot be used for advanced standing credit. To be approved for advanced standing, the courses must be deemed appropriate to stand as part of the student’s training in the PhD program. The maximum number of advanced standing credits awarded is 30.
General Program Requirements
The PhD Program requires 70 credits. However, Advanced Standing credits may potentially be applied (as appropriate) to fulfill Public Health Core, Research and Statistics, or Concentration course requirements.
Public Health Core (9 credits)
PH 5001 Fundamentals of Public Health
PH 5101 Epidemiology
PH 5102 Theoretical Foundations of Health Behavior
Research and Statistics (18 credits)
PH 8001 Research Methods
PH 5002 Biostatistics
PH 8012 Multivariate Biostatistics
Plus three additional advisor-approved methods or statistics courses
Concentration Courses (33 credits)
SBHS concentration: PH 8009 Health Psychology
HP concentration: PH 8005 Theories of Health Policymaking
Plus up to 30 credits in additional advisor-approved courses in concentration
Culminating Events (10 credits)
Preliminary Examination, PH 9994 (1 credit)
Pre-Dissertation Research Proposal, PH 9998 (3 credits)
Dissertation Research, PH 9999 (6 credits)
Full-time Ph.D. students generally receive financial support through a combination of fellowships and assistantships. Research Assistants (RA's) perform supervised research activities. Teaching Assistants (TA's) may be assigned to assist in the teaching of courses. Some TA's independently teach undergraduate courses. TAs and RAs provide anywhere from 5 - 20 hours of service per week. Both assistantships carry a stipend and tuition remission based upon the number of hours worked per week.
It is advisable that you apply for funding immediately after you complete your application for admissions. The application requires a statement of previous teaching and/or research experience, areas of interest, and future goals; unofficial copies of transcripts; and a curriculum vitae or resume. The departments make offers of assistantships following admission to the program.
Complete the following application: TA/RA Application (for questions regarding the application, please contact Ms. Joyce Hankins: firstname.lastname@example.org).
NOTE: Applications must be submitted by January 5th for the following Fall semester.
Applications should be addressed to: Dr. Alice J. Hausman, Chairperson, Department of Public Health, Temple University, Ritter Annex 9th Floor (004-09), 1301 Cecile B. Moore Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19122.
A variety of competitive University fellowships also are available. Potentially eligible candidates will be identified by the Admissions Committee.
Students apply to the Graduate School for admission. For details, please visit the Graduate School website. NOTE: It is important to fulfill both the general Graduate School application procedures and the more detailed Public Health PhD Program requirements.
- General Graduate School Admissions, click here: http://www.temple.edu/grad/admissions/AccessGradApp.htm
- Detailed Public Health PhD Admissions & Program Requirements: http://www.temple.edu/gradbulletin/chp/public_health_phd.htm
All application materials must be received by the January 5th (December 1st for foreign applicants) deadline in order to be reviewed by the PhD Admissions Committee for admission in the subsequent fall. Applications are evaluated together after the deadline has passed. Admission is competitive and students are admitted only once each year. Applications that are completed after the deadline are held for review the following year.
Required application materials include:
- All official college transcripts (undergraduate and graduate; minimum GPA 3.0)
- GRE scores (must be within past 5 years, no exceptions)
- Resume (listing relevant work experiences and professional skills)
- Minimum of 3 letters of recommendation (preferably from professors or research supervisors)
- Writing sample (if not a publication, limit to a 10 page writing sample)
- Statement of goals, including identification of SBHS or HP concentration
- Foreign students also have a TOEFL requirement.