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Degree Requirements - PhD in Social and Behavioral Sciences

2023-24 Matriculation

All courses are 1 unit unless otherwise noted.

The PhD degree requires a total of 15-course units. Course substitutions must be identified, and approved by the student’s advisor and DGS.

PhD Required Courses (5 course units)

  • EPH 508 Foundations of Epidemiology and Public Health
  • EPH 600 Research Ethics and Responsibilities - 0 units
  • EPH 608 Frontiers in Public Health (not offered in 2023-24)*
  • SBS 580 Qualitative Research Methods in Public Health
  • SBS 610 Applied Area Readings for Qualifying Examinations
  • SBS 699 Advanced Topics in Social and Behavioral Sciences

One of the following (1 unit):

  • SBS 574 Developing a Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Intervention
  • SBS 541 Community Health Program Evaluation
  • SBS 593 Community-Based Participatory Research in Public Health

One of the following (1 unit:)

  • CDE 617 Developing a Research Proposal OR EMD 625 How to Develop, Write, and Evaluate an NIH Proposal

PhD Electives in Methods or Statistics (3 course units)

In consultation with their dissertation adviser, students choose three advanced-level (600 or above) statistics or methods courses from Biostatistics, Psychology, Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology, or Statistics and Data Science (S&DS 563, Multivariate Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences; CDE 516, Principles of Epidemiology II; and CDE 634 Advanced Applied Analytic Methods in Epidemiology and Public Health, also qualify as statistics or methods courses)

PhD Electives (5 course units)

Chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor.

*Students entering the program with an MPH or relevant graduate degree may be exempt from this requirement.

Rev. 07/06/2023


Students are strongly encouraged to get involved in research by working with faculty members on ongoing research studies throughout their doctoral work. Further, students will gain research experience during their coursework by working on real data. It is expected that students publish 1-2 papers a year during the doctoral program to develop their research portfolio and to be competitive for academic positions after completion of their doctoral degree.

Recent Dissertation Projects

  • Role of Ageism in Elder Abuse - A Socioecological Approach
  • Developing E-Covery: An App-Based Intervention to Support Recovery From Co-Occuring Alcohol Use and Opioid Use
  • Developing, Implementing, and Pilot Testing an Informed Decision Aid for Opioid Agonist Therapies for Prisoners in Ukraine
  • Gentrification, Displacement and Health: Moving from Risks to Solutions
  • Intervention to Overcome Mental Health Disparities in Criminal Justice-Involved Transgender Women
  • Elucidating Pathways Between Structural Stigma and Adverse Birth Outcomes
  • The Impact of Intimate Partner Violence on Women's Engagement in the PrEP Care Continuum