PhD in Community Health Sciences


Mission Statement

The mission of the PhD program in Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences is to train experts who will advance the field of community health through research, theory development, and teaching.  The PhD is highly specialized, integrating theory and research in a focused substantive area, which include Maternal & Child Health, Nutrition, or Health Education & Communication.  Graduates will have in-depth expertise necessary for a research career, and are expected to work in universities as faculty members or in research organizations. 

Program Description

The purpose of the PhD Program in Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences is to train experts who will advance the field of community health through research, theory development, and teaching.  Graduates are expected to work in universities as faculty members or in research organizations.  They will develop specific areas of expertise within Maternal & Child Health, Nutrition, or Health Education & Communication. Students are matched to faculty advisors with similar research interests. The course of study is individualized to the student's interests.

Students must complete certain core requirements and a total of 72 credit hours in public health. Students usually take courses in statistics, research methods, and advanced courses in their content area. The post-master's coursework usually takes 12-24 months to complete. At the end of the course work you must pass a comprehensive examination, conduct research, and complete a dissertation. Students work closely with doctoral advisors and doctoral committee members on their dissertation research.

Application Deadlines

Applications to our doctoral programs should be submitted via SOPHAS by our priority deadline of December 1 if you would like to be considered for fellowships and any available student funding.  (SOPHAS processing delays are often caused by problems with transcript and GRE verification so we recommend you submit these as soon as possible.)  Anyone who does not want to be considered for funding opportunities may submit their application to SOPHAS by our regular school deadline of January 15. 


Program Competencies

Upon completion of the program, the graduate should be able to:

1.      Analyze major social and behavioral sciences theories for application to evidence-based research.(GCHB 8820, GCHB 8750, GCHB 8800/8830, GHSD 7960)

2.      Analyze qualitative and/or quantitative data in order to answer significant research questions in Social and Behavioral Sciences.(GCHB 8500, GCHB 6750, GCHB 8760, BIOS 6040, EPID 6230, BIOS 7060, BIOS 7150, BIOS 7350, EPID 6260, EPID 7120, EPID 7130, EPID 7310, GHSD 8250)

3.      Synthesize the interdisciplinary perspectives within public health. (EPID 7120, BIOS 6040, GCHB 8800/ 8830)

4.      Design, implement and evaluate independent theory-based scientific research in an academic or practice setting. (GCHB 8820, GCHB 8750, GCHB 8500, GCHB 8800/8830, SPHL 9900/9910, SPHL 8800, SPHL 8990, GCHB 7510, GCHB 6750, GHSD 7950)

5.      Translate and disseminate knowledge of global community health problems in a specific area.(GCHB 8800/8830, GCHB 8820, BIOS 6040, EPID 6260, EPID 7120, EPID 6230, BIOS 7060, BIOS 7150, GCHB 8210, SPHL 9900/9910, SPHL 8990)

6.      Adapt a well-rounded persona with a clear research focus including demonstrating ethical conduct, cultural sensitivity and a sense of academic integrity. (GCHB 8800/8830, SPHL 9900/9910, GCHB 8150)

Admissions Requirements

To be eligible for the PhD program students must have completed the requirements for a master's degree or 30 graduate-level credits in a field related to the doctoral area of study.  Students must complete SOPHAS application and include in their application three letters of reference, at least two of which are from academicians.  All students will be interviewed by faculty members before acceptance to assess their interests and ensure that department faculty members have the expertise to mentor them in their chosen area of study.

Program Requirements

Students must complete 72 credit hours of coursework and doctoral studies beyond the baccalaureate, with a minimum of 30 didactic hours at Tulane, within the doctoral program. 

Required Courses (21-26 Credits)

GCHB 8750

Social Determinants of Health I: Concepts, Theories, & Interventions

3 Credits

GCHB 8820

Advanced Program Planning and Grant Writing for Research

3 Credits

GCHB 8800/ 8830

GCHB Doctoral Seminar

1 Credit

BIOS 6040

Intermediate Biostatistics

3 Credits

EPID 6260

Survey Methodology

3 Credits

EPID 7120

Epidemiologic Methods II

3 Credits

SPHL 8800

Essentials in Research Readiness Skills

2 Credit

GCHB 8990

Field Research

3-9 Credits

Electives (Remainder of credits to achieve 72 total credits)**


(15 credits minimum):

GCHB 8150

GCHB 8200

GCHB 8210

GCHB 8500

GCHB 8760

Community-Oriented Primary Care

Evaluation Theory

Advanced Monitoring and Evaluation

Advanced Qualitative Methods

Social Determinants of Health II: Measurement and Methods

3 Credits

3 Credits

3 Credits

3 Credits

3 Credits

BIOS 6040

Intermediate Biostatistics

3 Credits

BIOS 6230 or EPID 6230

Computer Packages for Statistical Analysis

1 Credit

BIOS 7060


3 Credits

BIOS 7150

Categorical Data Analysis

3 Credits

BIOS 7400

Clinical Trials

3 Credits

BIOS 8350

Clustered and Longitudinal Data Analysis

3 Credits

BIOS 8420

Principles of Measurement

3 Credits

BIOS 8820

Multivariate Methods

3 Credits

BIOS 8600

Advanced Evaluation Research

3 Credits

EPID 7130

EPID 8220

Observational Epidemiology

Analytic Epidemiology

3 Credits

3 Credits

EPID 7310

GHSD 7300


Social Marketing and Behavior Change

3 Credits

2 Credits

GHSD 7950

GHSD 7960

GHSD 8250

Research Approaches and Design for Global Health

Applied Interdisciplinary Theory for Global Health Research

Advanced Research Methods in Global Health

3 Credits

3 Credits

3 Credits


(6 credits minimum):

GCHB 6750

GCHB 6760

GCHB 7090

GCHB 7160

EPID 7210

GCHB 7510

EPID 6480

GHSD 7120

GHSD 7020

EPID 6210

EPID 6220

Nutrition Assessment and Monitoring

Public Nutrition in Low-Income Countries

Public Nutrition: Advanced Analysis

HIV Biological & Behavioral Surveillance in Hard to Reach Populations Using Respondent-Driven Sampling

Epidemiology of Sexually Transmitted Infections/HIV

Seminar in Women's and Children's Health

Reproductive Epidemiology

Monitoring and Evaluation of Maternal and Child Health

Communications Research for Family Planning Health

Cancer Epidemiology

Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology

3 Credits

3 Credits

2 Credits

2 Credits

3 Credits

2 Credits

3 Credits

3 Credits

3 Credits

3 Credits

3 Credits

**Others may also be considered with Advisor approval.

Course Schedule

Click here to see an example schedule

Comprehensive Examinations

On completion of the coursework listed above students will be required to pass a two part comprehensive examination covering the theoretical and evidence basis for public health interventions and research methods. Each part of the open-book exam will be administered in a take home format.


Students must complete a dissertation representing theory-driven public health research that meets the school requirements for a PhD dissertation.


A limited number of funding packages are available for exceptionally qualified students which may include tuition scholarships and research/teaching assistant stipends. Contact our Student Services Coordinator for more information.

Additional Information

Policies and Procedures for Doctoral Programs may be found on the Academics Policies and Guidelines page.

For more information, contact us at 504-988-6596 or


GCHBS, 1440 Canal Street, Suite 2301, New Orleans, LA 70112, 504-988-5391