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A PhD in public health will allow the public health practitioner to be a primary investigator on population-based studies and thus enable the researcher to compete for NIH and other funded studies. It will also enable the student to teach and conduct research as faculty at schools of medicine, schools of public health and other academic settings, as well as cancer centers, HMOs, and other health organizations.

The first incoming PhD in Public Health class began fall 2004, the PhD program has been continuously accredited since 2004.

Core Requirements

Because the depth of knowledge required for a successful doctoral degree, the successful PhD student must

  • Complete additional coursework
  • Pass a general examination, a qualifying examination
  • Write and submit an original research proposal
  • Complete the dissertation project
  • Pass a written and oral defense of the project


Consequently, most students require four to six years to successfully complete a doctoral degree. The university allows seven years to complete the doctoral degree.