Feb 21, 2024  
2021/2022 University Catalog 
    
2021/2022 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Public Health, Health Behavior Concentration, Ph.D.


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(Major Code: 12143) (SIMS Code: 557321)

A Ph.D. in public health with a concentration in health behavior is offered by the joint faculties of the Division of Health Promotion and Behavioral Science, School of Public Health at San Diego State University, and the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Emphasis is on producing graduates with a mastery of the central concepts and analytic processes of health behavioral sciences. Graduates of the program are expected to establish advanced skills in behavior change theory and practice; to establish expertise in advance qualitative and quantitative research methods; and to establish advanced skills in the application of interventions and research methods to health behavior in underserved populations. Graduates of the program are competitive for a variety of research, teaching, and community service positions in areas such as academic institutions, local and state health departments, federal and international agencies, and both privately and publicly sponsored research institutions.

Admission to the Degree Curriculum

Applicants for admission to the doctoral program must present evidence of capacity for graduate study in public health. A multi-disciplinary field such as public health draws from a wide variety of undergraduate majors, but the student is expected to have a strong grounding in the quantitative, behavioral, and biological sciences. A master’s degree in an area related to the concentration is preferred. Admission to the program requires acceptance by both institutions on recommendation of the participating units at SDSU and UCSD. It is understood that acceptance of a student into the joint program by each of the units will be conditioned by their respective standards for graduate admissions and also the available facilities.

To be considered for admission to the joint SDSU-UCSD doctoral program in public health, students must meet the general requirements for admission to both universities with classified graduate standing as outlined in the respective current catalogs. These include (a) an acceptable baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association or equivalent academic preparation, as determined by the deans of the two Divisions of Graduate Affairs; (b) a GPA of at least 3.0 in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted; (c) good standing at the last institution attended; and (d) an acceptable score (verbal and quantitative) on the GRE General Test. Preference will be given to students with an M.P.H. or M.S. degree in behavioral science or epidemiology.

Residency Requirements

After formal admission to the joint doctoral program, the student must spend at least one academic year in full-time residence on each of the two campuses. The definition of residence must be in accord with the regulations of San Diego State University and University of California, San Diego.

Advisory Committee

Upon admission to the program, the steering committee of the two institutions will establish an advisory committee for the student. This committee will consist of three faculty members chosen jointly from the two institutions. In consultation with the student, the committee will develop the student’s course of study, prepare and guide a preliminary examination, and establish the student’s joint qualifying committee. At least one member of the advisory committee must be from SDSU and one from UCSD.

Course Requirements

Core courses in behavioral science, epidemiology, and biostatistics are offered at both SDSU and UCSD. Prior to taking the qualifying examination, every student is expected to have a firm understanding of modern principles of public health as well as knowledge and application of epidemiology, behavioral science, and biostatistical methods. Elective coursework may be selected from offerings at both campuses.

Course Requirements for Students with an Existing M.P.H. or M.S. Degree in Epidemiology


Epidemiology


Biostatistics


Electives


24 units in specialty area.

Graduate Assistantship in Epidemiology


6 units

Dissertation Research and Proposal


15 units

Once the student is matriculated at SDSU, the final curriculum will be determined by the doctoral advising committee.

Students who do not possess an existing M.P.H. or M.S. degree in epidemiology are required to take the following additional courses:

Preliminary Examinations


The preliminary examinations will test knowledge and the application of epidemiology and biostatistical methods.

Course Requirements for Students with an Existing M.P.H. Degree


Global Health


Electives


Six or more units in specialty areas to include Public Health and courses selected from other departments with the approval of the adviser.

International Practicum


Field Experience: 3-12 units

Dissertation Research and Proposal


15 units

Once the student is matriculated at SDSU, the final curriculum will be determined by the doctoral advising committee.

Students who do not possess an existing M.P.H. or M.S. degree in Public Health are required to take the following additional courses:

Course Requirements for Students with an Existing M.P.H. or M.S. Degree in Behavioral Science


Health Behavioral Science


Biostatistics


Electives


3 units

Graduate Assistantship


6 units

Dissertation Research and Proposal


15 units

Students who do not possess an existing M.P.H. or M.S. degree are required to take one epidemiology course. Once the student is matriculated at SDSU, the final curriculum will be determined by the doctoral advising committee.

Doctoral Committee


A five-member committee, composed of faculty at SDSU and UCSD, will be recommended by the advisory committee for each student and approved by the graduate deans from both campuses. One member must be non-program faculty and there must be at least one tenured faculty member from each university. The student’s dissertation adviser will chair the committee. At least two members must be from SDSU and two from UCSD.

The doctoral committee will conduct a written and oral comprehensive qualifying examination, which will evaluate the student’s understanding and knowledge of his or her special area of behavioral science, epidemiologic interest, or global health. The purpose of this examination is for the student to demonstrate competence in the major research field.

The doctoral committee may specify a course of study to strengthen any weaknesses identified during the qualifying examination. Upon successful completion of the qualifying examination the student must apply to the Division of Graduate Affairs at UCSD for advancement to candidacy. Upon payment of the candidacy fee to UCSD, and after approval by the graduate deans on both campuses, the student will be notified of advancement to candidacy by the UCSD Division of Graduate Affairs.

Faculty


Faculty members of the cooperating institutions participate in the joint doctoral program in Public Health with a concentration in Health Behavior are available for direction of research and as members of joint doctoral committees.

Dissertation


Following successful completion of the qualifying examination and advancement to candidacy, the major remaining requirement for the Ph.D. degree will be satisfactory completion of a dissertation consisting of original and significant research carried out under the guidance of the dissertation adviser, who may be from either SDSU or UCSD. The doctoral committee becomes the dissertation committee after the student’s advancement to candidacy. Requirements currently in force at SDSU and UCSD must be met for completing and filing the dissertation.

Award of the Degree


The Doctor of Philosophy degree will be awarded jointly by the Trustees of The California State University and the Regents of the University of California in the names of both institutions.

Financial Support


The School of Public Health at SDSU and the Department of Community and Family Medicine at UCSD endeavor to provide financial support that will enable all students to devote full time to research training and study. Students may apply for the University Graduate Fellowship in consultation with their faculty adviser. For more information, visit https://grad.sdsu.edu/grad_advisors/ugf.

Medical Students Interested in Obtaining the Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) Degree


San Diego State University, School of Public Health, and University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, offer a collaborative education effort to enable UCSD medical students to also obtain the M.P.H. degree. The program is designed for those UCSD medical students who anticipate careers in one or more of the following fields: public health, preventive medicine, maternal and child health, epidemiology, environmental health, health promotion and behavioral science, health management and policy, or aerospace medicine, and to those with special interest in such areas as nutrition, demography, international health, and behavioral medicine. In addition, it provides public health training for those planning careers in family practice, pediatrics, general internal medicine, and other aspects of primary care who wish to enhance their knowledge and skills in clinical preventive medicine and in the managerial aspects of health care. The M.P.H. degree or an equivalent academic experience is required for certification by the American Board of Preventive Medicine.

With approval, certain UCSD courses can be counted toward fulfilling the M.P.H. degree requirement at the SDSU School of Public Health.

Further information about these programs can be obtained from the Dean of Students, Maria Savoia, M.D., 858-534-3703.

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