Community Health and Prevention PhD

Major: Community Health and Prevention 
Degree Awarded: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 90.0
Co-op Option: None
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 51.2212
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 25-1099

About the Program

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Community Health and Prevention will prepare doctoral-level public health graduates who have a broad-based, systemic understanding of public health scholarship related to the social and behavioral determinants of health and illness, and the ability to conduct original research to advance this understanding to benefit the public’s health. The program emphasizes the application of interdisciplinary, theoretical, and applied research paradigms to the understanding and prevention of public health problems. Graduates will be prepared to contribute and lead as public health scientists, researchers, educators, and professionals in a broad range of academic, policy, and service settings both in the United States and globally.

The Doctor of Philosophy degree shares many common elements with the DrPH degree. It consists of both required and elective coursework, building the student’s individual expertise from a wide range of scientific disciplines, methodologic frameworks, and public health challenges. The comprehensive exam requires students to synthesize coursework and demonstrate mastery of core public health competencies. Students complete a mentored research experience with faculty before developing their own dissertation proposal and completing their dissertation. Students may choose either the traditional thesis format or the three manuscript option.

Major Competencies

  • Analyze the social and behavioral determinants of health and illness at the individual, community, and societal levels, and the mechanisms required to design and evaluate interventions at all levels to improve health and address health inequity.
  • Develop and apply theoretical frameworks to formulate research questions relevant to the above areas of scholarship.
  • Use a broad range of methodological approaches to design and conduct research addressing these research questions with the highest ethical standards.
  • Disseminate findings to a wide range of stakeholders and engage in both scientifically rigorous and socially responsible processes to translate findings to improve the health of the public.
  • Develop a strong professional identity and prepare to contribute meaningfully in a career as a scientist, administrator, and/or educator, to ensure the continued impact of the social and behavioral sciences in public health.

Additional Information

For more information about this program, contact:

DSPH Academic Advising Team
Office of Education

Additional information can be found on the Dornsife School of Public Health website including how to apply.

Degree Requirements

Required Courses
BST 560Intermediate Biostatistics I3.0
EPI 560Intermediate Epidemiology3.0
PBHL 501Introduction to Public Health0.0
Additional Introductory Coursework, if needed*3.0-6.0
Introduction to Statistical Computing
Introduction to Biostatistics
Introduction to Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Introduction to Epidemiology
Community Health and Prevention
CHP 801Theory & Practice of Community Health & Prevention I3.0
CHP 802Theory & Practice of Community Health and Prevention II3.0
CHP 803Research Methods for Community Health and Prevention3.0
CHP 804Qualitative Research in Community Health3.0
CHP 805Outcomes and Impact Evaluation3.0
CHP 806Community Based Participatory Research3.0
CHP 807Public Health Ethics3.0
CHP 808Measuring Health3.0
Doctoral Seminar
CHP 904Doctoral Seminar in Community Health and Prevention **6.0
Dissertation Seminar I
Advanced Proposal Development
Dissertation Guidance ***
Elective Coursework 24.0
Social Factors/Behavioral Sciences/Communications Electives
Communication Theory II: Discourse and Semiotics
Communication Network Analysis
Policy Analysis for Population Health
Health Disparities: Systemic, Structural, Environmental & Economic
Biostatistics/Methodological Electives
Survival Data Analysis
Applied Multivariate Analysis
Applied Survey Research in Epidemiology
Introduction to GIS for Public Health
Public Health or Topical Area Electives
Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology & Prevention
World Nutrition
Total Credits90.0-93.0

Sample Plan of Study

Sample Plan - Option I

First Year
CHP 8013.0CHP 8023.0BST 5603.0CHP 9013.0
CHP 8083.0CHP 8033.0CHP 8043.0CHP 9041.0
CHP 9041.0CHP 8053.0CHP 8063.0Elective6.0
EPI 5603.0CHP 9041.0CHP 9041.0 
PBHL 501*0.0   
 10 10 10 10
Second Year
CHP 9033.0CHP 8073.0CHP 9993.0CHP 9993.0-9.0
CHP 9041.0CHP 9041.0Elective6.0Elective3.0
 10 10 9 6-12
Third Year
CHP 9996.0-9.0CHP 9993.0-9.0CHP 9993.0-9.0CHP 9993.0-9.0
 6-9 3-9 3-9 3-9
Total Credits 90-117

Sample Plan - Option II

First Year
CHP 8013.0CHP 8023.0BST 5603.0CHP 9013.0
CHP 8083.0CHP 8033.0EPI 5603.0CHP 9041.0
CHP 9041.0CHP 9041.0CHP 8043.0Elective6.0
Elective3.0EPI 5003.0CHP 9041.0 
 10 10 10 10
Second Year
CHP 8053.0CHP 8073.0CHP 9993.0CHP 9993.0-9.0
CHP 9033.0CHP 9041.0Elective6.0Elective3.0
CHP 9041.0CHP 8063.0  
 10 10 9 6-12
Third Year
CHP 9996.0-9.0CHP 9993.0-9.0CHP 9993.0-9.0CHP 9993.0-9.0
 6-9 3-9 3-9 3-9
Total Credits 90-117

Sample Plan - Option III

First Year
CHP 8013.0BST 5713.0BST 5603.0CHP 9013.0
CHP 8083.0CHP 8023.0CHP 8043.0CHP 9041.0
CHP 9041.0CHP 8033.0CHP 9041.0Elective6.0
EPI 5703.0CHP 9041.0EPI 5603.0 
 10 10 10 10
Second Year
CHP 8053.0CHP 8063.0CHP 9993.0CHP 9993.0-9.0
CHP 9033.0CHP 8073.0Elective6.0Elective3.0
CHP 9041.0CHP 9041.0  
 10 10 9 6-12
Third Year
CHP 9993.0-9.0CHP 9996.0-9.0CHP 9993.0-9.0CHP 9993.0-9.0
 3-9 6-9 3-9 3-9
Total Credits 90-117
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