PhD in Public Health Sciences

PhD in Public Health Sciences is fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)


Public Health Newsletters

The focus of the PhD in Public Health Sciences is to train researchers and professionals with skills essential to address contemporary public health problems at the individual, community and population levels.

Drawing on the social-ecological framework, public health is an interdisciplinary field encompassing public health practice in the community; scientific research utilizing theoretical perspectives from disciplines such as anthropology, economics, geography, gerontology, medicine, nursing, psychology, and sociology; and 5 core areas of endeavor: environmental and occupational health, biostatistics, epidemiology, social and behavioral health factors, and health policy and administration.

Additionally students train to be well-rounded public health professionals: partnering with community agencies and stakeholders, learning how to disseminate research to diverse audiences, publishing in peer-reviewed formats, teaching in an academic environment, and conducting themselves with high ethical standards in all venues. Full-time students can complete the degree requirements within 4 years;  we anticipate that most full-time students will complete the program within 5 years depending upon the design of their dissertation research.

Graduates are prepared to work in academia, conduct large-scale public health research projects, or work in government or health-related venues.

Curriculum is delivered via in person, classroom format.   This facilitates mentoring and development of Collegial Relationships among students and faculty.  Students are strongly encouraged to enroll as full time students.

For more information please look at the PhD Brochure.

The Concentration in Behavior Science

The concentration in Behavioral Sciences emphasizes investigation of health determinants related to the prevention and management of disease and disability among diverse and vulnerable populations. Working with the community in multidisciplinary teams to understand and develop programs that address the broad social-ecological factors that influence health behavior and thus health outcomes is the primary emphasis of this concentration.

Coursework for the PhD in Public Health Sciences with a concentration in behavioral sciences has a dual emphasis on qualitative and quantitative methods, and the development, application, and measurement of theory to understand the social and cultural factors that influence health behavior.

The PhD in Public Health Sciences with a concentration in Behavioral Sciences will:

  • prepare graduates with analytical skills to conduct research on social and behavioral factors in a variety of public health and community settings;
  • prepare graduates to design, conduct, and analyze behavioral science research relating to public health using advanced quantitative and qualitative methods;
  • prepare independent scientists and scholars with focused writing skills to obtain appropriate research funding and to write for publication;
  • prepare independent scientists and scholars with communication and methodological skills necessary to advance and disseminate behavioral science knowledge to community/lay, practitioner, academic, and scientific audiences; and
  • instill graduates with enthusiasm for interdisciplinary collaboration and solid principles necessary to engage in culturally competent and ethically sound research practices with all participants and colleagues.

Faculty Research Interests, Affiliate Faculty Research Interests, and Current Student Research Interests are varied surrounding the topic of Behavior Science. 


Larissa Huber, PhD
Professor, Director PhD in Public Health Sciences Program
Dept. of Public Health Sciences
College of Health and Human Services
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd.Charlotte, NC 28223
Phone: 704-687-8719

Public Health PhD Program