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.

Specific admission requirements are shown on the Graduate Program Finder.

For program policies and procedures, please refer to the Doctor of Public Health Handbook and other resources located on the Dr.PH. in the field of Health Behavior website.

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 48 credits, including 30 credits in required courses, 7-10 credits in elective courses, and 8-10 credits in dissertation.

Program requirements 

Foundational and research methods (20 credits)
PUBH 8401Foundations in Public Health Leadership & Practice
PUBH 8402Leadership in Public Health Practice & Policy
PUBH 8416Study Design & Evaluation Methods
PUBH 8417Qualitative Research Methods and Analysis
PUBH 8418Applied Statistical Analysis
PUBH 8419Measurement in Public Health & Health Services
PUBH 8420Advanced Analysis & Dissemination
Health behavior speciaty field (6 credits)
PUBH 8408Advanced Topics: Health Behavior Research & Practice Applications
PUBH 8409Advanced Topics: Health Communication Research
Professional leadership (4 credits)
PUBH 8413Research Leadership
PUBH 8415Instructional Leadership
7-10 credits in specialty field elective courses. Sample courses include:
PUBH 6500Planning and Implementing Health Promotion Programs
PUBH 6531HlthPromotion/HlthCareSettings
PUBH 6532Commnty Org,Devlpmnt&Advocacy
PUBH 6533Design of Comm Health Surveys
PUBH 6534Comm-Based Participatory Res
PUBH 6570AdvPublHlthComm: Theory & Prac
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
8-11 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. Graduate credit requirement: 48 graduate credits are required.
  2. Course requirements: successful completion of the foundational and research methods courses. The program-specific specialty field courses and the professional leadership credits are required.
  3. Comprehensive exam: 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 6-9 dissertation research credits are required. Once the proposal has been successfully defended and dissertation research credits have been met, the oral defense may be scheduled.
  5. Grade point requirement: A 3.0 (B average) overall grade-point average is required.
  6. Time limit requirement: The degree must be completed within seven (7) years.
  7. No transfer credits are accepted.