Ph.D. in Public Health

Public Health professionals help protect and promote the wellness of people and communities. The University's Ph.D. in Public Health program helps students develop the discipline's most advanced skills.

Program at a glance

Application deadline: Mar. 15 (fall)
Admissions cycles: Fall
Assistantship types available: Teaching, Research
Graduate Director: Roy Oman

Why choose this Ph.D. in Public Health program?

The Ph.D. in Public Health program prepares students for careers in teaching, research or policy development and offers specializations in epidemiology or social and behavioral health. As a Tier One research institution, the University of Nevada, Reno encourages its Ph.D. candidates to participate in research projects that generate new public health knowledge, and to apply their research to public health practice or health policy.

Faculty and students of the School of Community Health Sciences conduct state-of-the-art research in a wide range of areas related to public health. Research in the school is supported by grants and contracts from numerous federal, state, local and private sources, including the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The public health Ph.D. program helps students develop an array of high-level abilities that can be valuable in either public or private careers. Graduates of the program are able to do the following:

  • Demonstrate comprehensive understanding of the major epidemiological and social and behavioral health issues
  • Apply the theoretical and problem-solving aspects of epidemiology and social and behavioral health
  • Conduct independent research that generates new public health knowledge
  • Communicate knowledge and research findings to professional, scientific, policy and lay audiences and demonstrate skills in translating research into public health practice or health policy

Funding for the Ph.D. in Public Health?

Qualified doctoral students in Public Health are offered Graduate Assistant (GA) positions for the first two years of the program. These positions typically include teaching and/or research activities and continuous funding is contingent upon satisfactory performance of the duties and good academic standing. Although funding is not guaranteed after the first two years, GA positions and other funding opportunities are available and most students continue to receive support. GA positions include a monthly stipend, health insurance, and a partial tuition waiver.

Ph.D. Admission Process and Requirements


Public health program coursework

In order to be considered for admission, students need to complete coursework specific to their specialization, including Epidemiology or Social and Behavioral Health. Students entering the program have completed a relevant master's degree, traditionally the Master of Public Health (MPH). Learn more about specialization courses below.

Epidemiology specialization course requirements

Students must have documentation that they have completed the following MPH courses (or their equivalent). Students missing any of these pre-requisites need to complete the courses during their first two years.

  • CHS 712: Epidemiology in Public Health (3 Credits)
  • CHS 780: Biostatistics in Public Health (3 Credits)
  • CHS 701: Social and Behavioral Dimensions of Health (3 Credits)
  • CHS 755: Health Policy & Administration (3 Credits)
  • CHS 725: Health and the Environment (3 Credits)
  • CHS 708: Epidemiology II (3 Credits)
  • CHS 703R: Applied Health Data Analysis (3 Credits)
  • CHS 753: Health Informatics (3 Credits)

Social and Behavioral Health specialization coursework requirements

Students must have documentation that they have completed the following MPH courses (or their equivalent). Students missing any of the required pre-requisites need to complete the courses during their first two years.

  • CHS 712: Epidemiology in Public Health (3 Credits)
  • CHS 780: Biostatistics in Public Health (3 Credits)
  • CHS 701: Social and Behavioral Dimensions of Health (3 Credits)
  • CHS 755: Health Policy & Administration (3 Credits)
  • CHS 725: Health and the Environment (3 Credits)
  • CHS 705: Theoretical Foundation of Health Promotion (3 Credits)
  • CHS 720: Program Planning (3 Credits)
  • CHS 721: Program Evaluation in Public Health (3 Credits)

Public health program faculty

Epidemiology faculty members

Kristen Clements-Nolle
Kristen Clements-Nolle

Associate Professor

Eric Crosbie
Eric Crosbie

Assistant Professor

Lyndsey Darrow
Lyndsey Darrow

Associate Professor

Stephen Francis
Stephen Francis

Assistant Professor

Josh Garn
Josh Garn

Assistant Professor

Dana Loomis
Dana Loomis

Professor

Yan Liu
Yan Liu

Assistant Professor

Julie Smith-Gagen
Julie Smith-Gagen

Associate Professor

Matthew Strickland
Matthew Strickland

Associate Professor

Wei Yang
Wei Yang

Professor

Social and Behavioral Health faculty members

Daniel Cook
Daniel Cook

Associate Professor

Paul Devereux
Paul Devereux

Associate Professor

Sarah Friedman
Sarah Friedman

Assistant Professor

Michelle Granner
Michelle Granner

Associate Professor

Julie Lucero
Julie Lucero

Assistant Professor

Roy Oman
Roy Oman

Professor

Sung-Yeon Park
Sung-Yeon Park

Associate Professor

Jennifer Pearson
Jennifer Pearson

Assistant Professor

Judith Sugar
Judith Sugar

Associate Professor

Karla Wagner
Karla Wagner

Associate Professor

Ya-Wen Hsu
Ya-Wen Hsu

Assistant Professor

In addition to the faculty members listed above, other faculty members are also available to work with doctoral students.

Public health Ph.D. student spotlight

Menjiao Huang portraitMenjiao Huang is CHS

Mengjiao Huang completed both her undergraduate degree (BS, Public Health Laboratory Sciences) and her MPH at Sichuan University in China.

Why I want a Ph.D. in Public Health

I really enjoy doing research. The exciting thing about it is that you can always learn something new from your work, and you don't have to do the same work from 9 to 5. Applying for grants and writing a paper are painful processes, though I feel excited when my work gets published... >> Continue Reading 

Meet our students

Learn more about the Ph.D. in Public Health

If you have questions or would like to learn more about the public health program or its two specializations, contact the individuals below.

For general inquiries and questions:
Dr. Roy Oman, Graduate Director | roman@unr.edu

For questions about Epidemiology:
Kristen Clements-Nolle, Associate Professor | clements@unr.edu

For questions about Social and Behavioral Health:
Paul Devereux, Associate Professor | devereux@unr.edu

Course Catalog: Ph.D. in Public Health



Related Degrees and Programs

Contact Division of Health Sciences

Phone (775) 784-6977
Email healthsciences@unr.edu
Location Sarah H. Fleischmann Building
Address University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, NV 89557