Doctor of Public Health in the Field of Health Behavior

Program Director  M. Napolitano


The mission of the Department of Prevention and Community Health is to train professionals to provide leadership in the field of health behavior. The doctor of public health in the field of health behavior degree program is based on the ecological model of health and well-being and is aimed at understanding and having an impact on the health of populations and cultures, with special emphasis on underserved populations. Graduates are prepared to apply their research and analytic skills to a range of implementation, evaluation, and advocacy needs of various cultural and socioeconomic groups and communities.

Visit program website for the Doctor of Public Health Handbook and other resources.

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 48 credits, including 22 credits in required courses, 6 credits in field-specific courses, 7 to 10 credits in elective courses, 2 credits in professional leadership courses, 8 to 11 credits in dissertation preparation and dissertation, and successful completion of a comprehensive examination.

Program requirements 

22 credits in foundational and research methods courses
PUBH 8401Foundations in Public Health Leadership and Practice
PUBH 8402Leadership and Decision Making: Skills Based Approach
PUBH 8403Leadership in Public Health Policy and Practice
PUBH 8416Study Design & Evaluation Methods
PUBH 8417Qualitative Research Methods and Analysis
PUBH 8418Applied Statistical Analysis
PUBH 8419Measurement in Public Health and Health Services
PUBH 8420Advanced Analysis and Dissemination
6 credits in health behavior speciaty field courses
PUBH 8408Advanced Topics: Health Behavior Research & Practice Applications
PUBH 8409Advanced Topics: Health Communication Research
One 2-credit professional leadership course
PUBH 8413Research Leadership
or PUBH 8415 Instructional Leadership
7 to 10 credits in specialty field elective courses. Sample courses include:
PUBH 6500Planning and Implementing Health Promotion Programs
PUBH 6531Health Promotion in Health Care Settings
PUBH 6532Community Organization, Development, and Advocacy
PUBH 6533Design and Conduct of Community Health Surveys
PUBH 6534Community-Based Participatory Research
PUBH 6570Advanced Public Health Communication: Theory and Practice
PUBH 6571Social Marketing: Theory and Practice
EDUC 8131Case Study Research Methods
EDUC 8140Ethnographic Research Methods
EDUC 8172Multivariate Analysis
PSYC 8204Experimental Foundations of Psychology: Biological Basis of Behavior
PSYC 8231Development of Psychometric Instruments
PSYC 8277Health Psychology
PSYC 8287Current Topics in Clinical Psychology
8 to 11 credits in preparation and dissertation
PUBH 8422Advanced Health Care and Public Health Research Design
PUBH 8423Dissertation Research
Successful completion of a comprehensive examination.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Credits: Successful completion of 48 credits.
  2. Curriculum: Successful completion of the foundational, research methods, program-specific specialty field, and professional leadership courses.
  3. Comprehensive examination: Once the course of study is completed, students are required to pass the comprehensive exam to be officially admitted to the candidacy phase.
  4. Dissertation: PUBH 8422 Advanced Health Care and Public Health Research Design plus 6 to 9 credits in dissertation research credits are required. Once the proposal has been successfully defended and the dissertation research credit requirements has been met, the oral defense may be scheduled.
  5. Grade-point average: A minimum overall grade-point average of B (3.0).
  6. Time limit: The degree must be completed within seven years.

Note: no transfer credits are accepted.