Suggested Timeline

First Year

  • Begin required core courses (29 credits) and elective work (25 credits). It is suggested to focus on the core courses before taking elective credits. Refer to the PhD worksheet for a detailed list of requirements
  • Complete two consecutive full-time semesters (at least nine credit hours each semester)
  • Start the pre-requisites to be eligible for the General Examination. The general exam is typically taken the first or second year:
    • PBHLT 7300 - Epidemiology II
    • PBHLT 7100 - Biostatistics II
    • PBHLT 6101/7101 - Data Analysis Using SAS
    • PBHLT 7640 - Research and Evaluation of Health Behavior
    • PBHLT 6311 - Public Health and Clinical Research Methods
    • WRTG 7060/7080 - Scientific Communication or equivalent
    • PBHLT 7310 - Advanced Research Design
    • Sign up for the General Examination (May or December) if applicable
    • ake the General Examination (May or December) if applicable
    • Complete the Teaching Practicum (PBHLT 7965, 3 credits). Students are eligible to complete the teaching practicum at any time as long as they have taken the course they wish to TA for and it is within the Division. See PhD Teaching Practicum for more information and the required practicum forms. Please return all approved forms to your academic advisor after the practicum coordinator has reviewed all forms and approved of their content

Second Year

  • Continue coursework.
  • Complete two consecutive full-time semesters (at least nine credit hours each semester) if not completed your first year.
  • Sign up for the General Examination (May or December) if applicable.
  • Take the General Examination (May or December) if applicable.
  • Start the Research Practicum (PBHLT 7960, 3 credits). It is suggested to complete the research practicum after passing the general exam. The Research practicum will lead into your 5 page concept proposal, which will be presented at faculty meeting. See PhD Research Practicum for more information and the required practicum forms.
    • Compile supervisory committee. Return supervisory committee form to your academic advisor.
    • Begin research into a dissertation topic and compose your 5 page concept proposal. Formatting and guidelines can be found in the public health policy guide. (Page 42).
    • Meet with your supervisory committee to discuss your dissertation concept proposal and set a time to present your proposal in faculty meeting. Inform your academic advisor when you plan to present your proposal and provide them with a copy of your concept proposal for dispersal. Please submit your proposal no later than 10 business days prior to the day you will present in faculty meeting.
  • After presenting your concept proposal at faculty meeting (contingent on if you pass), complete the Concept Proposal Approval form, which your committee will sign. Return the form to your academic advisor.
  • Wrap up your Research Practicum by submitting all finished practicum forms to the practicum coordinator for approval. Return all forms to your academic advisor once approval is given.
  • After the completion of your research practicum and approved 5 page concept proposal you are now ready to develop your full dissertation proposal using the PhD Full Dissertation Proposal Format Guidelines found in the Handbook on the Thesis Office website.
  • Once your committee has approved of your 25 page concept proposal, please submit the Full Dissertation Proposal Defense form signed by supervisory committee to your academic advisor.
  • Complete IRB documentation and submit the IRB Documentation for Dissertation form to your academic advisor with the appropriate signatures.
  • Submit your formal presentation to your supervisory committee for preparation of the Qualifying Examination.

Third Year

  • Continue coursework as necessary (74 credit hours).
  • Prepare for the Qualifying Examination. The qualifying exam shares a similar format to the general exam and is based around your 25 page concept proposal.
  • Pass the written Qualifying Examination.
  • Arrange a time and place for the oral Qualifying Examination. All arrangements are done with your supervisory committee.
  • Pass the oral Qualifying Examination.
  • After you have passed both the oral and written sections of the qualifying exam, please submit the Report of the Qualifying Examination form to your academic advisor. Please note that your qualifying exam and final dissertation defense cannot be completed in the same semester.
  • Begin formal dissertation work and register for dissertations credits (14 credits in total).

Fourth Year

  • Apply for graduation. Complete the Application for Graduation and submit the completed form to the Office of the Registrar no later than the dates listed on the application for the desired graduation term. Please also submit a copy of your graduation application to your academic advisor. Complete your program of study (candidacy form) before the designated deadline and return the form to your academic advisor.
  • Continue working on your analysis and dissertation.
  • Begin writing dissertation in the required format. Review the Graduate School Thesis Office for dates, formats, style guides, etc.
  • Make use of the Thesis Office Preliminary Review. Arrange a preliminary review by turning in a chapter or more of a manuscript to the Thesis Office, or sign up for a 20-minute, in-person format review consultation. Preliminary reviews will be conducted by the Thesis Office up to two weeks before the first manuscript deadlines. Following that time, no requests for preliminary reviews will be accepted until the next semester. Manuscript deadlines can be found on the Graduate School Thesis Office Website.
  • Arrange a time and place for your final defense. Arrangements should be made with your supervisory committee. Please note that 4 of the 5 members must be in attendance.
  • The date and time of your final defense must be widely publicized to the entire department at least ten business days prior to the date of your defense. Please use this defense announcement to publicize your event and return this announcement to your academic advisor for dispersal.
  • Submit a final copy of the dissertation to the chair of your supervisory committee no later than three weeks prior to the final defense.
  • Submit a final copy of your dissertation to the rest of the committee no later than two weeks prior to the final defense.
  • After the completion of your final defense, your Committee will sign off on the Report of Final Examination form if the defense meets the requirements and is deemed satisfactory. Please return this from to your academic advisor.
  • Complete your dissertation with any changes requested by the supervisory committee within 60 days of the final defense.
  • Submit all three publishable-quality articles to journals.
  • When the final dissertation has been read and found satisfactory, it must be signed off by each member of the Supervisory Committee. Submit a copy of the Doctoral Supervisory Committee Approval and Final Reading Approval forms to your Academic Advisor once signed. Keep the original copies to be later submitted with your manuscript. It is advised to take these forms to your Defense for signatures, you will include both of these forms when submitting your manuscript to the thesis office. Original signatures are required.
  • After the chair of your Supervisory Committee has read the dissertation in the final form and has found that (1) its format, citations, and bibliographic style are consistent and acceptable; (2) its illustrative materials including figures, tables, and charts are in place; and (3) the final manuscript is satisfactory to the Supervisory Committee it is ready for submission to the Graduate School after the Final Reading Approval form has been submitted and approved by Dr. Alder for final review. Please provide Dr. Alder with at least 10 business days to review your manuscript.
    • NOTE: The Chair/Dean signature block must read Stephen C. Alder.
  • Submit the dissertation in the proper format to the Thesis Office with required forms (Doctoral Committee Approval and the Final Readings Approval). Please be mindful of thesis deadlines for submission of your manuscript. Deadlines can be found on the Thesis Office’s website. By not meeting these deadlines graduation may be delayed.
  • Submit a red bound hard copy of the final approved manuscript to the Division of Public Health (red book with white lettering on the cover and spine). For potential printing options, please contact your academic advisor.

Please note, that this is a very aggressive timeline for full-time students and may vary depending on the individual student.

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Hailey McCormick
Academic Advisor
Phone: 801-585-6808
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