Doctoral Program

The doctoral program in Health Behavior and Health Education prepares professionals for research, teaching, service, and leadership positions with the overall objective of improving the health of populations. To meet this objective, all students in the program are trained to conduct independent research. The primary focus is on applied research that informs the development of interventions and policies to promote health at the individual, community, population, societal, and/or global levels.

Students enter the doctoral program in Health Behavior & Health Education after having completed a relevant Master's degree. Each student in the PhD program is expected to meet minimum requirements for a set of competencies. Upon completion of the program, each doctoral student will have the ability to:

  • develop scientific literacy. This includes a critical understanding of the scientific method, quantitative and qualitative research methods, and the ability to critically evaluate scientific literature;
  • understand the history of theoretical knowledge in health behavior and education, and in public health and social sciences more broadly. Understand how these historical developments reflect broader changes in political and cultural values, and scientific ethics;
  • demonstrate the ability to synthesize and apply scientific knowledge to develop new conceptual models and/or research hypotheses. This includes justifying new question(s) with existing literature, selecting appropriate methodologies for their examination, and indicating potential contributions of the proposed research; and
  • acquire professional skills in the production of their own ideas. This includes developing skills in scientific writing, oral communication, grant-writing, teaching, and scientific service.