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College of Health Sciences and Public Policy:
PhD in Public Health

PhD in Public Health

In the PhD in Public Health program focuses on seeking solutions to significant public health problems by applying and integrating knowledge into public health practice and research. Through the program, the development and demonstration of research and analytical skills are fostered to prepare students for careers in academia or in public and private organizations and institutions. Students may elect to specialize in either Community Health, Environmental and Occupational Health, or Epidemiology.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the program, students will be able to:

  1. Apply ethical decision-making in public health research.
  2. Design public health research proposals that are evidence based and competitive.
  3. Critically evaluate scholarly literature in public health and related disciplines.
  4. Demonstrate leadership skills to facilitate evidence-based public health solutions.
  5. Conduct original public health research that has the ability to promote positive social change in diverse populations.
  6. Demonstrate appropriate communication skills necessary to deliver complex public health research and information to professional audiences.

Program Tracks

The PhD program has two tracks, providing different levels of foundational knowledge based on the students’ studies prior to entering the program. All students complete the same core and specialization curriculum.

  • Track 1: Students who enter the program with a master’s degree in public health (MPH) complete PHLT 8006/8011 - Foundations of Doctoral Success in Public Health followed by the program’s core and specialization courses.
  • Track 2: Students who enter the program with a bachelor’s degree or with a graduate degree that is not in public health complete a set of foundational courses in the core competencies and practice of public health before they move on to the sequence of courses described for Track 2, followed by the core and specialization courses.

Minimum Degree Requirements

  • Doctoral Writing Assessment
  • Foundation courses (5 credits)
  • Core courses
    • Track 1
      • Community Health: 43 credits
      • Environmental and Occupational Health: 43 credits
      • Epidemiology: 43 credits
    • Track 2
      • Community Health: 69 credits
      • Environmental and Occupational Health: 69 credits
      • Epidemiology: 69 credits
  • Specialization courses
    • Track 1
      • Community Health: 15 credits
      • Environmental and Occupational Health: 15 credits
      • Epidemiology: 15 credits
    • Track 2
      • Community Health: 15 credits
      • Environmental and Occupational Health: 15 credits
      • Epidemiology: 15 cr 
  • Dissertation Seminar (5 credits)
  • Completion of Dissertation (15 credits minimum)
    • Dissertation writing courses (continuous enrollment in 5 credits per term for a minimum of 3 terms until completion)
  • Four PhD residencies

Curriculum

Foundation Courses 

  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.

OR

  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.

Core Courses

Track 2 Core Courses 

  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.

Choose one of the following courses:

  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.

Track 1 and 2 Core Courses

  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this a non-degree course.

Specialization Courses

Please refer to the specialization section for required courses in each specialization and track.

Dissertation Seminar Courses

  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.

Completion of the Dissertation

Specialization in Community Health

Students in the Community Health specialization focus on the medical, social, political, ethical, and economic factors that contribute to the overall well-being of public health systems and the communities they serve.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Apply ethical decision-making in public health research.
  2. Design public health research proposals that are evidence based and competitive.
  3. Critically evaluate scholarly literature in public health and related disciplines.
  4. Demonstrate leadership skills to facilitate evidence-based public health solutions.
  5. Conduct original public health research that has the ability to promote positive social change in diverse populations.
  6. Demonstrate appropriate communication skills necessary to deliver complex public health research and information to professional audiences.
  7. Apply public health and behavior change theories used in the prevention of disease and disability.
  8. Assess evidence-based community health programs and activities.

Specialization Courses (15 credits)

  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.

Choose one of the following courses:

  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.

Specialization in Environmental and Occupational Health

A PhD in Public Health with a specialization in Environmental and Occupational Health prepares public health professionals to foster healthier home, public, and work environments through research, policymaking, and health promotion.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Apply ethical decision-making in public health research.
  2. Design public health research proposals that are evidence based and competitive.
  3. Critically evaluate scholarly literature in public health and related disciplines.
  4. Demonstrate leadership skills to facilitate evidence-based public health solutions.
  5. Conduct original public health research that has the ability to promote positive social change in diverse populations.
  6. Demonstrate appropriate communication skills necessary to deliver complex public health research and information to professional audiences.
  7. Apply environmental and occupational health measurement principles to analysis of public health problems.
  8. Design environmentally sound evidence-based solutions for public health hazards.

Specialization Courses (15 credits)

  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.

Choose one of the following courses:

  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.

Specialization in Epidemiology

The Epidemiology specialization focuses on the scientific understanding of the causes, distribution, control, and prevention of disease in populations.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the program, students will be able to:

  1. Apply ethical decision-making in public health research.
  2. Design public health research proposals that are evidence based and competitive.
  3. Critically evaluate scholarly literature in public health and related disciplines.
  4. Demonstrate leadership skills to facilitate evidence-based public health solutions.
  5. Conduct original public health research that has the ability to promote positive social change in diverse populations.
  6. Demonstrate appropriate communication skills necessary to deliver complex public health research and information to professional audiences.
  7. Demonstrate advanced competency in quantitative analysis of public health data.
  8. Apply epidemiologic concepts and analytical approaches to public health problems.

Specialization Courses (15 credits)

  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.

Choose one of the following courses:

  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.

Residency Requirements

Doctoral Writing Assessment

Students who start or readmit to doctoral programs at Walden University in the university catalog for academic year 2017 or later will complete the university’s required doctoral writing assessment. Designed to evaluate incoming doctoral students’ writing skills, this assessment aims to help prepare incoming doctoral students to meet the university’s expectations for writing at the doctoral level.

Doctoral Writing Assessment

Students who start or readmit to doctoral programs at Walden University in the university catalog for academic year 2017 or later will complete the university’s required doctoral writing assessment. Designed to evaluate incoming doctoral students’ writing skills, this assessment aims to help prepare incoming doctoral students to meet the university’s expectations for writing at the doctoral level.

8-Year Maximum Time Frame

In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation/doctoral study course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.

Students have up to 8 years to complete their doctoral degree requirements (see Enrollment Requirements in the student handbook). Students may petition to extend the 8-year maximum time frame, but an extension is not guaranteed.