Department of Public Health Education

***Starting the Fall of 2014, the Department of Public Health Education will transition from offering a DrPH degree to offering a PhD degree. Please stay tuned as we continue to update the content on our web page! Feel free to contact Stephanie Baker White, PhD with any questions***

Graduation Requirements for Admitted Students

Total hours required

Minimum 72 semester credit hours, including dissertation, when entering with a MPH degree, those without the MPH will be required to take any public health core courses not already completed, the student's program is planned jointly by the student and her or his program committee.

The Department of Public Health Education offers a graduate program leading to a Doctor of Public Health in community health education after 72 hours (minimum) of post-masters degree coursework. Entering doctoral students who have not completed one or more of the core public health courses must complete these courses as part of their program in addition to the minimum 72 credit hours. Students with a masters degree other than in public health may be required to take health or health-related elective courses in addition to the 72 minimum credit hours. All students must take courses in the Health Education Core and the Research Core segments of the curriculum. Assessment of other courses or experiences applicable to the degree occurs at the time of admission into the program. These requirements must be fulfilled in addition to the minimum of 57 hours of course work and 15 hours dissertation research work listed below (total of 72 hours minimum).

The student's doctoral program committee will work with each candidate to develop a course of study within the framework of the program, and informed by the student's personal interests, past coursework, and professional experiences.

A maximum of 21 hours of transfer credit (not to exceed 1/3 of non-dissertation credit hours) may be accepted with approval of the Dr PH program director and program committee among those courses not previously used for another degree, and/or post-masters, and/or from other doctoral training programs.

Other requirements


The PhD program requires a minimum of two consecutive academic years, excluding summer terms, of graduate work on this campus after admission to the doctoral program.

Preliminary Written/Oral Examination (Graduate School requirement)

Each student will form a program committee during the first year of graduate course work. The committee will be composed of four members, with no more than one member (not the committee chair) from outside the Department of PHE.

The Written Preliminary Examination is prepared by the Committee Chair in consultation with other members of the student's Program Committee. The examination will be administered after the student has completed the Health Education and Research Core courses and may cover any phase of graduate course work taken by the student or knowledge basic to the understanding of the major. It will also reflect the specialized major field course work completed by the student.

Within one month of the completion of the Written Preliminary Examination, the student will be given an Oral Preliminary Examination by his/her Committee. After completion of the oral examination and all course requirements, students may make formal application to the Graduate School for admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree.

Dissertation Proposal and Defense

The student will prepare a dissertation proposal and submit it to his/her Dissertation Committee. The proposed research should involve what the Graduate School Bulletin calls "a thorough investigation of a basic and significant problem or question within the major area of study." The completed proposed research should also be substantially original and make a contribution to an existing field of knowledge.

The student will defend the dissertation proposal in front of the Dissertation Committee after passing the Oral Preliminary Examination. The defense may be attended by others outside the Dissertation Committee.

Language and/or research requirements

There is no foreign language requirement. Students must complete the required course work in the Research Core and 15 hours of dissertation doctoral research (HEA 799).