PhD in Public Health

PhD in Public Health

The Ph.D. in Public Health emphasizes the expertise necessary for a research career in either epidemiology or social behavioral health.

Application deadline: The final deadline for fall 2020 admission has been extended to June 15
Consideration for assistantships/fellowships/awards: February 1
Admission cycle: Fall
Assistantship types: Teaching, Research

The Ph.D. in Public Health emphasizes the expertise necessary for a research career in either epidemiology or social behavioral health. The Ph.D. is designed to prepare students for careers in which advanced analytical and conceptual capabilities are required, such as university teaching, research, consulting, policy development or other high-level positions. 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).

Funding for the PhD 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.

Prerequisite coursework

Students will typically enter the Ph.D. in Public Health after having completed a relevant Master's degree, such as the Master of Public Health (MPH) or Master of Science (MS) in epidemiology or biostatistics (for the epidemiology specialization) and Master of Public Health (MPH) in social and behavioral health, or health education (for the Social and Behavioral Health Specialization). Occasionally, students can be admitted with a health-related Bachelor's degree with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 that is confirmed before beginning classes. Additionally, students must have documentation that they have completed the following MPH courses (or their equivalent). Students missing any of the required prerequisites may be admitted, contingent on successful completion of specified courses within a period of time (typically the first year).

  • CHS 712: Epidemiology in Public Health (3 Credits)
  • CHS 780: Biostatistics in Public Health (3 Credits)
  • Basics of Public Health (0 credits. Online self-paced)

Admissions to the program and student handbook

PhD admissions

The Admissions Committee seeks candidates from diverse backgrounds who have the qualifications and credentials to succeed in a rigorous, research-intensive doctoral program. Learn more about admissions requirements, prerequisite coursework and the application process.

PhD student handbook

The student handbook contains an overview of the program and additional information regarding degee requirements, specialization program requirements, committees and exams, disseration requirements, new student checklists and more.

Questions? Want to learn more?

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

General inquiries

Kristen Clements-Nolle
Director of Graduate Studies


Kristen Clements-Nolle
Director of Graduate Studies

Social and Behavioral Health

Roy Oman