The PhD in Public Health Studies, requiring 72 credit hours of study, gives students expert skills in research design, methods and dissemination, and a solid understanding of public health science, including the distribution and determinants of health and disease across populations.
Students are able to choose one of seven concentrations (identified below). Each concentration is intended to provide an educational experience that our faculty feel meets the intellectual and professional requirements for PhD-trained students. These concentrations consist mainly of prescribed and elected coursework and participation in mentored research. Students will also complete a dissertation project corresponding with student goals and division resources.
Credit Hours/Coursework: There are three components to the doctoral studies curriculum.
• The first is the core doctoral curriculum, shared across all concentrations and required of all students, comprised of a total of 12 credit-hours. These are divided between four shared courses:
PHS.601 Design and Analysis in Public Health
PHS.605 Science, Theory and Public Health
PHS.606 Applied Research Skills
BST.510 Introduction to General Linear Modeling
In addition, there is a required professional development course that provides students with the opportunity to build their unique professional skills outside of formal coursework or research with their mentor, e.g., obtaining a teaching certificate or learning a new methodology.
• The second is the concentration curriculum comprised of courses totaling 48 credit-hours. Within the concentration, some of these credits may be for specific required courses and some may be for courses that are tailored for each student to provide them with the knowledge and skills needed to achieve their research and professional goals. The specific concentrations are below.
• The third component consists of the dissertation, including 12 dissertation credit-hours.
At the end of their doctoral studies, students should be able to:
1. Critically evaluate, integrate and challenge existing scientific knowledge.
2. Conduct research studies and interpret the results using inferential statistical methods or methods of qualitative data analysis.
3. Write and speak clearly and effectively about scientific information for diverse audiences through scientific publications, grant applications, teaching/ training, etc.
4. Apply leadership and management principles to assemble and cultivate effective teams and successful projects or studies, including management of team members, budgets, and the project.
5. Recognize and apply ethical principles for public health research and decisions on social justice and equity in the global environment.
6. Demonstrate knowledge, awareness and respect for the impact of cultural, structural, legal, political, and public health and social justice on health outcomes.
7. Use innovative methods to communicate scientific findings and implications to diverse audiences, ensuring appropriate strategies.
Faculty in the College are committed to have students successfully complete the program. We use an apprenticeship model and students will be paired with a world-class faculty member as mentor from day one. Ph.D students also actively help set the direction of the doctoral program. For example, doctoral students have taken the lead in developing a writing group to help them produce high-quality manuscripts. We also showcase doctoral-student research at local, regional, and national conferences. Doctoral students have also developed a research symposium. Every Fall, doctoral students can showcase their research in the form of posters and oral presentations. SLU is the only college of public health at a Jesuit or a Catholic University.
SLU offers several options for financial aid, including graduate research assistantships, part-time jobs, and fellowships. Nearly all our students are supported by assistantships the first 2 years of their studies. We admit about 10 to 15% of students that apply. We are looking for truly outstanding students!
BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE and HEALTH EDUCATION
Prepares students to use behavioral science principles to develop and evaluate programs, policies, and environmental changes that promote public health. Students learn to conduct independent research as well as design and evaluate community-based interventions at individual, organizational, community or societal levels.
BIOSECURITY and DISASTER PREPAREDNESS
Provides the knowledge required for biosecurity professionals, teaching students skills such as emergency management, homeland security, epidemiology, communicable disease management and disaster/pandemic planning. The program includes online courses, but requires 2-3 years of residency at Saint Louis University.
Prepares students to be experts in research design, analytic statistical methods, computational/ statistical programming and data management administration. Graduates are able to conduct or manage biostatistical operations related to planning, analysis and evaluation of research in public health, health services, epidemiology and medical care. Our program encourages application of knowledge in practical settings.
ENVIRONMENTAL and OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH
Prepares students to master laboratory techniques, understand the etiology of occupational and environmental disease, conduct exposure assessment, analyze policy, and design and build control techniques for biological, chemical, or physical hazards. Students might pursue careers as independent investigators working in academia, government, business, consulting, or in non-governmental agencies.
Advances a student's understanding of the distribution and determinants of health and disease in human populations. This track is designed to produce academicians and well-trained practitioners of epidemiology, who are highly qualified as independent investigators and teachers.
HEALTH MANAGEMENT and POLICY
Focuses on the policy and politics, financing, organization, delivery and associated outcomes of health services. Drawing upon the disciplines of economics, finance, management science, political science and sociology, faculty and students are able to address societal, systemic and organizational health care issues in a comprehensive and systematic way. The program's research agenda is active and diverse with particular emphasis on projects involving underserved communities.
HEALTH OUTCOMES RESEARCH / HEALTH SERVICES RESEARCH
Examines the interplay among multiple aspects of health care, including clinical care, access, utilization, organization, financing, cost and outcomes. The program prepares students to conduct basic and applied research that reveals a deeper understanding of the clinical, personal, economic and societal results of health care services. Health services research is a high-demand field that offers numerous opportunities across corporate, government, non-profit and academic settings, especially in the current era of health care system reform.
The field of public health offers a wide variety of career options for a student pursuing a PhD in Public Health Studies. Graduates work to promote the health of communities in academic settings, non-profits, government agencies and the private sector.
Our faculty are internationally recognized as leaders in public health. PhD students have the opportunity to work on projects with faculty members in their research areas. Each of our faculty has active research in such areas as:
|Behavioral Science and Health Education
||Biosecurity and Disaster Preparedness
||Environmental and Occupational Health
||Health Management and Policy
|Health Outcomes Research
For a detailed list of research topics, please visit the CPHSJ Faculty Research interests web site.
Admission Requirements and Deadlines
This program is designed for individuals who already hold a master's degree in public health or a related field. All applications are considered on an individual basis with a balanced approach. Students are required to have a grade of "B" or higher in an analytic course above the 500 level within the past 5 years. This may require taking the course in the summer prior to entering the doctoral program. (An applicant's GRE score may be substituted by GMAT, MCAT or LSAT.) Scores may not be more than 5 years old. Applicants with an existing doctoral-level degree do not need to submit GRE scores.
All students are required to submit an application, even students currently enrolled in master's programs at the College for Public Health & Social Justice and other programs at SLU. The PhD program only accepts applications for the fall semester. The application deadline is January 15. Admission decisions will be finalized by April 15.
Visit our Graduate Admission page for more information on application requirements and deadlines.
Register today for an upcoming preview day to visit SLU's campus, and meet with faculty and current students.
If you'd like more information about SLU's PhD in Public Health Studies, fill out our information request form to contact our office of admission.
Applications are now being accepted for the fall semester. If you're ready to get started, apply now.