May 18, 2024  
2023/2024 University Catalog 
    
2023/2024 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 Epidemiology, Health Behavior, or Global Health is offered by the joint faculties of the San Diego State University (SDSU) School of Public Health and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Longevity Science. Ph.D. in Public Health students also have the option of obtaining an interdisciplinary specialization in Human-Centered Design. More information about this specialization can be found here: https://catalog.ucsd.edu/curric/DSGN-gr.html. Faculty from other SDSU (e.g., Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, Psychology) and UCSD (e.g., School of Medicine) departments and schools also contribute extensively to training and advising students enrolled in the SDSU-UCSD Joint Doctoral Program (JDP) in Public Health. Students complete coursework and conduct research at both institutions. In Year 1, students complete coursework at SDSU. In Year 2, students complete coursework at UCSD. Faculty from each campus serve on advisory and dissertation committees, providing extensive exposure to experts with varied interests and proficiencies. The JDP in Public Health trains individuals for careers in research and teaching in a variety of settings, including academic and research institutions, government agencies, multi-national and non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. More information about the SDSU-UCSD JDP in Public Health and the three concentrations can be found here: https://ph.ucsd.edu/jdp/about/index.html 

Admissions Requirements

Applicants for admission to the SDSU-UCSD Joint Doctoral Program (JDP) in Public Health apply to one of the three concentrations (Epidemiology, Health Behavior, or Global Health). To be considered for admission, students must meet the general requirements for admission to both universities with classified graduate standing as outlined in the respective current catalogs. These include:

  • 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 graduate divisions;

  • a GPA of at least 3.0 in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted;

  • good standing at the last institution attended.

Full consideration of the admission application can take place only after all required documents have been received. Preference will be given to applicants with an MPH or MS degree in public health. Applicants for admission must present evidence of capacity for graduate study in public health. A multidisciplinary 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. More information about admissions and how to apply can be found here: https://ph.ucsd.edu/jdp/admissions/index.html 

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 SDSU and UCSD.

Course Requirements

Core courses in behavioral science, research methods, epidemiology, and biostatistics are offered at both SDSU and UCSD. Prior to taking the qualifying examination, students are 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. For specific information on course requirements and other information for each concentration, see: https://ph.ucsd.edu/jdp/tracks/index.html

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 preliminary/qualifying examinations, and establish the student’s joint qualifying committee. At least one member of the advisory committee must be from SDSU and one from UCSD.

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.

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