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Population Health PhD Program

About the PHS PhD Program

The mission of the Population Health Sciences (PHS) PhD program is to produce scientists who are committed to improving patient and population-oriented care within increasingly complex healthcare delivery systems. Leveraging the combined strength of health systems research, epidemiology, and biostatistics, students graduate from the PHS PhD program with the ability to shape and inform data-driven quality health care. Population health is at the heart of a shifting healthcare landscape and PhDs in population health sciences are at the leading edge of a new interdisciplinary approach to health care.

The program was designed to mirror the interdisciplinary nature of population health sciences and the shift in medicine towards multi- and trans-disciplinary collaboration. Students have the opportunity to interface with a variety of other programs across campus, while also working closely with PHS Faculty. The collaboration between health systems researchers, translational epidemiologists, and biostatisticians throughout the program exemplify team-based and collaborative research from inception. With training in such a collaborative environment, students are able to transition from professionals in the field to leaders in healthcare transformation.

During the application process, students elect to complete the program within one of the emphases offered: Biostatistics, Clinical & Translational Epidemiology, and Health Systems Research. While students may specialize within their chosen elective, all students are expected to complete the PHS Core Curriculum, which provides a foundation across these three areas of emphasis.

PHS PhD Emphases

Commitment to Student Success and Well-being

The PHS Department is dedicated to creating an environment where individuals with various identities, backgrounds, and ideas are represented and supported. As an inter-disciplinary and applied department, we understand that a wide range of perspectives is necessary to support innovation and solutions in population health. We are committed to fostering a department where all individuals can reach their full potential and feel a sense of connection to our greater mission. The Workforce Engagement Committee works to build community among our students, faculty and staff, and maximize success and well-being. We look forward to you joining the PHS community! 

For additional resources and services available to support historically underrepresented students please see the Student Resources page.


Breathtaking beauty, unparalleled collaboration, remarkable facilities, and visionary leadership were just a few of the reasons we thought of before coming up with a different question: Why not Utah?

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Education Team

Marcie Leek, MPA

Academic Program Manager

Maureen Murtaugh, PhD

Director of Graduate Studies

Contact Us

Phone: 801-587-1606

Williams Building, Room 1N490
295 Chipeta Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84108