Doctor of Philosophy in Community Health Sciences
The PhD in Community Health Sciences is an academic degree that prepares students for a career in which research predominates. The curriculum integrates basic and applied approaches to address public health problems in the community, using the key tools of assessment, planning, and evaluation. Training for the PhD is highly specialized, emphasizing the in-depth expertise necessary for a research career. It emphasizes the integration of theory and research in a focused substantive area; this content area is developed by each student in consultation with their guidance committee.
Students who have not taken the following courses (or their equivalents) are required to do so: CHS 212; Biostatistics 100A, 100B, and 406. These courses do not count toward the minimum course requirements for the doctoral degree, and must be taken for a letter grade.
If the student does not have a master’s degree in public health, the following courses are also required. These courses do not count toward the minimum course requirements for the doctoral degree, and must be taken for a letter grade.
- School of Public Health core courses for the Masters in Public Health (MS): Biostatistics 100A, B, and Epidemiology 100
- Community Health Sciences (CHS) core courses: CHS 210, 211A, and 211B
The program requires the completion of the following elements:
1. Course Requirements
- A minimum of 48 units in residence in the doctoral program. Only four units of individual studies (CHS 596) may be counted toward this requirement; the Doctoral Roundtable does not fulfill any of this requirement.
- The 2-quarter theory class, CHS 270 A&B: Foundations of Community Health Sciences
- As the PhD is a research degree, students are expected to take substantial course work in research methodology (i.e., data collection) and statistics (i.e., data analysis). The type of methods studied should be appropriate to the kind of research that will be conducted for the dissertation and thereafter.
- Doctoral Roundtable (CHS 286) every quarter for the first two years of doctoral study.
- Students minor in a PhD-granting department outside the School of Public Health in a discipline relevant to community health sciences. The minor should provide a theoretical foundation and, therefore, may not be in methodology or statistics. Four graduate-level courses (16 units) are required, and must not include a 596 course.
The CHS Doctoral Handbook courses document outlines recommended courses in methodology and statistics.
2. Additional Requirements
- Minor area exam
- Departmental Exam - a standardized examination administered by the CHS Doctoral Committee
- Oral Exam – the defense of the dissertation proposal
- Dissertation Defense
Time to Degree
The typical time to degree for the PhD in Community Health Sciences is six years. The maximum amount of time permitted to obtain the degree is eight years.
Typical Course Sequencing
The typical sequence for the doctoral degree is two years of coursework, followed by preparation and completion of two written qualifying exams, preparation of a research proposal, oral qualifying exam (proposal defense), completion of a dissertation, and oral dissertation defense. Doctoral students are advanced to candidacy after they have passed their oral qualifying exam.
View a list of faculty in the Department of Community Health Sciences.Faculty
Graduates of the program generally assume teaching, research, and managerial positions in universities, government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, international health agencies, and research centers.
Graduates often enter careers in the following areas:
- Direct application of information, research, and technology to health problems
- Promoting public and policy maker awareness of health problems, devising and advocating public policies to address those problems, and monitoring the implementation of policies
- Community organizing and community development to address health problems
- The design, implementation, and evaluation of community-based public health interventions
- Teaching and research at research and other academic institutions
- Research in government and independent agencies and research centers
- Overseeing research and demonstration grants in private foundations and government
Tuition & Fees
For the most up to date fees and more information on fee breakdown, visit the registrar's office.
Please see the cost and aid section of our website for information on awards, scholarships, training opportunities, employment, summer internship funding, and need-based aid. Please note that opportunities listed under 'Summer Internship Funding' are only applicable to MPH students.Cost & Aid
In addition to meeting the University’s minimum requirements, the department requires:
- A masters degree in public health or other appropriate degree in a related field with a grade-point average of at least 3.5 for graduate studies
- Acceptance by an initial doctoral advisor in the department
- Although not required for admission, work experience in the field is viewed favorably when competing applications are judged
Visit the application guide to learn about our admissions process.Application Guide
This information is intended as an overview, and should be used as a guide only. Requirements, course offerings and other elements may change, and this overview may not list all details of the program.
Admission requirements listed are departmental requirements, and are in addition to the University's minimum requirements. Many programs receive more applicants than can be admitted, so meeting the minimum requirements for admission does not ensure admission. Every effort is made to ensure minimum admissions requirements are up to date - for the most up-to-date information on the University's minimum requirements, please visit the UCLA Graduate Division.
Fees are subject to change and should be used as a guide only. For the most up to date fees and more information on fee breakdown, visit the registrar's office.