8000 School of Public Health

Graduate programs in the School of Public Health are described in detail in this chapter. See subsections for specific program information as well as policies and procedures. Information about the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in public health is available in the School of Public Health section of the undergraduate catalog. Interested students should visit the School of Public Health website at publichealth.gsu.edu for updates on our degree offerings.

About the School of Public Health

The School of Public Health (SPH) is a multi-disciplinary, research-based unit, drawing upon partnerships with community members and organizations, dedicated to the mission of advancing health through leadership, scholarship, research and service to better the human condition and promote the common good, especially for urban communities and for global populations. The School of Public Health achieves this mission by applying existing scholarship within Georgia State University to priority public health problems, particularly those that are aimed at reducing health disparities in urban settings. Training and research programs focus on both building the science base that underlies public health practice, as well as applying effective interventions that have been demonstrated to improve the public health. Academic and training efforts emphasize the basic prevention sciences (e.g., emerging infectious diseases, immunology, virology, bioinformatics, genomics, and geographic sciences), as well as applied public health efforts (e.g., chronic disease prevention, health promotion, environmental health, program evaluation, health policy, public health ethics and law, health communications, community-based participatory research, and global health).

Office of the Dean
848 Urban Life Building
404-413-1130
publichealth.gsu.edu

Michael P. Eriksen, Dean
Rodney Lyn, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
and Interim Director, Division of Health Management and Policy
Richard Rothenberg, Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development
Frederic Grant, Assistant Dean for Finance and Administration
Shannon Self-Brown, Doctoral Program Director
Kim Ramsey-White, Director of Undergraduate Programs
Ike Okosun, Interim Director, Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
(Vacant), Interim Director, Division of Environmental Health
Daniel Whitaker, Interim Director, Division of Health Promotion and Behavior

Core Faculty

Baggett, Barger, Casanova, Chowell, Crimmins, Dai (joint faculty), Dube, Eriksen, Fang, Fuller, Graybill, Greenwald, Hayat, Huang, Huddleston, Il’Yasova, Lai, Luo, Lutzker, Lyn, Magee, Masyn, Mobley, Okosun, Owen-Smith, Parker,  Popova, Pratt, Ramsey-White, Roach (joint faculty),  Roblin, Rothenberg, Salazar, Self-Brown, Shanley-Chatham, Smith, Spears, Stauber, Sterling, Steward, Strasser, Swahn, Watson-Wright, Weaver, Whitaker, Wilkin (joint faculty), and Wright (joint faculty).

8000.10 Accreditation

In June 2016, The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) Board of Councilors accredited the SPH at Georgia State University. The school received a ‘met’ finding, the highest possible, on all criteria evaluated and the school’s initial school-level accreditation is for a five-year

The SPH Master of Public Health (MPH) program has been accredited since 2007, and was re-accredited in 2012 for a seven year period (2012-2019). The School began the rigorous process to transition from its MPH program-level only accreditation to its new full school-level accreditation in 2013. This recent CEPH decision to accredit SPH at the school-level is the culmination of that three-year process that involved the efforts of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community partners. CEPH is an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit schools of public health and public health programs outside schools of public health.

8000.20 Mission, Vision, Values and Goals

The School of Public Health has the mission of advancing health through leadership, scholarship, research, and service to better the human condition and promote the common good, especially for urban communities and for global populations.

The School’s mission is strengthened by the objective of the University System of Georgia, through its Strategic Plan for Public Health Education, Research and Service, “to ensure that the System becomes one of the national leaders in public health education, research and service.”

Six values were determined in a School-wide review process. All values were developed with input from the administration, faculty, staff and students and are reaffirmed or revised during each subsequent review process. The values are succinct and specific in nature and are reflected in faculty, staff and students’ instruction, service and learning activities. The values are:

  1. Scholarship and inquiry
  2. Human rights and social justice
  3. Diversity in multicultural and multiethnic environments
  4. Integrity, accountability and transparency
  5. Leadership, innovation and transformation
  6. Healthy, sustainable social environments

The goals of the School of Public Health are to:

  1. Prepare students to use multi-disciplinary skills to address contemporary public health problems.
  2. Advance public health sciences and our understanding of the causes and prevention of disease.
  3. Promote service activities and initiatives by implementing community-based projects, educating professional and lay audiences, and collaborating with the public health workforce to advance health promotion and disease prevention.

Measurable objectives related to each goal may be found on the SPH website or in student handbooks.

Note: At Catalog press-time, the SPH was revisiting its mission, vision, values and goals. The most recent information can be found on the SPH website.

8000.30 Degrees and Certificates Offered

The School of Public Health offers the following graduate programs:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health
  • Master of Public Health
  • Graduate Certificate in Public Health

8000.40 Research Centers and Initiatives

The Mark Chaffin Center for Healthy Development
14 Marietta Street NW, 2nd Floor
404-413-1281
families.publichealth.gsu.edu/

The Mark Chaffin Center for Healthy Development (CHD) was established in August 2008 to house the National SafeCare® Training and Research Center (NSTRC) and the Center for Leadership in Disability (CLD), a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD).  In 2011 CHD welcomed Prevent Child Abuse Georgia, a state chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America, which will provide a statewide direction to promote healthy children and develop strong families through community resources, public awareness, prevention programs, research, and advocacy activities. The center was designated a university-level research center in 2015, and its name honors and memorializes Dr. Mark Chaffin (1952 – 2015), a pre-eminent scholar in child maltreatment, parenting, implementation science and services for disadvantaged people and populations with disabilities.

The NSTRC is funded by a number of private and public service and research grants and contracts.  It was created in 2007 with a center grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.  The CLD is primarily funded by a center grant from the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) of the Administration on Children and Families (ACF) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS).  PCA Georgia is funded by a grant from the Governor’s Office for Children and Families, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, and other sources. The general mission of the CHD is to promote the health, safety, well-being, and quality of life of children, adults, and families with and without disabilities through research, service, advocacy, and to prevent child maltreatment.

The Community Research Center (CRC)
75 Piedmont Ave, Suites 904-906
404-413-1147

The Community Research Center is a focus for expertise in working with citizens and organizations within disadvantaged communities.  It currently manages a number of research projects and interventions on HIV/AIDS and related issues.  The Center has established a strong presence in the community, and builds partnerships with community organizations for training, conducting community-based participatory research, and local capacity building.

Partnership for Urban Health Research
848 Urban Life Building
404-413-1137
urban.publichealth.gsu.edu/

The Partnership for Urban Health Research (PUHR) was established to understand how the urban environment affects the health and well-being of people who reside and work in the metropolitan Atlanta area. The focus of its efforts is on populations that bear a disproportionate burden of illness and disease using an interdisciplinary approach to research. In partnership with surrounding communities, PUHR creates and disseminates knowledge that is both meaningful and beneficial to the communities that participate in the process.

Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science
847 Urban Life Building
404-413-1142
tcors.publichealth.gsu.edu/

Georgia State University’s School of Public Health has been named one of 14 Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science (TCORS) by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Along with major partners – the University of Illinois, Chicago and RTI International, the Georgia State University TCORS focuses on both the human and economic factors that contribute to decision making related to tobacco products. Funded through a five-year, $19 million grant, the Georgia State University project is titled “The Science of Decision Making: Connecting People and Policy.”

The Policy Leadership for Active Youth (PLAY)
848 Urban Life Building
404-413-1133
publichealth.gsu.edu/research-2/policy-leadership-for-active-youth/

Policy Leadership for Active Youth (PLAY) is a policy research initiative of the Georgia State University School of Public Health in partnership with the Georgia Center for Obesity and Related Disorders (GCORD) of the University of Georgia and Medical College of Georgia focused on engaging multiple sectors. Supported by Healthcare Georgia Foundation, the major focus of PLAY is connecting emerging evidence around childhood overweight and obesity to prevention and reduction activities occurring throughout Georgia.

8000.50 Academic Resources and Services

Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services

1 Park Place, Suite 640
404-413-1452
publichealthadvising@gsu.edu

Contacts:

Denise Gouveia, Director
Vanessa Thomas-Meikle, Assistant Director
Lynette Reid, Admissions Coordinator
Jessica Pratt, Practicum and Career Coordinator
Gina Sample, Graduate Advisor
(Vacant), Undergraduate Advisor
Esther Singh, Administrative Assistant

The Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services (OAA) provides the SPH current and prospective students with comprehensive student support services to promote academic and career success.

Advising and Academic Assistance

publichealth.gsu.edu/students/academic-advising/

For students in the Master of Public Health (MPH) program, academic advisement is provided using a two -pronged approach. The Graduate Advisor in OAA provides guidance on administrative matters such as program of study advisement, degree petition process, thesis/capstone registration, graduation, and referral to other student support services on campus. The School of Public Health faculty serve as faculty mentors, and students are encouraged to talk to their mentors about how to select a concentration, determining which course electives make sense for future career goals, exploring research interests and opportunities, developing professional networks, and serving on thesis or capstone committees. MPH and GCPH students are not assigned a faculty advisor but are instead encouraged to develop multiple mentoring relationships with SPH faculty.

Doctoral students are assigned a Faculty Advisor and build a Doctoral Advisory Committee; however, they are also encouraged to develop multiple mentoring relationships with other SPH faculty, the Doctoral Program Director, and even the OAA Graduate Advisor as they navigate doctoral program administrative matters.

Career Services

publichealth.gsu.edu/students/career-resources/

The School of Public Health provides public health specific career support and leadership development services to all current SPH students and alumni.  Students are invited to attend our career events and workshops as well as meet with our SPH Career Coordinator to discuss individual career questions.  Career Services can help students with resume writing, interviewing, job searching, internship development, and networking.

Public Health Student Life

The Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services (OAA) also supports all SPH student clubs and organizations – students are encouraged to read about the various groups within the college, and join one while being enrolled in the SPH: publichealth.gsu.edu/student-life.

Biostatistics Student Lab

Location: Room 659, Urban Life Building, 140 Decatur Street

The purpose of the Biostatistics Computer Lab is to provide Georgia State University SPH students with computer access and statistical software needed for class and research activities. All computers are equipped with standard statistical software, including SAS, STATA, SPSS and Mplus, as well as Microsoft Office tools and internet access. The computer lab is supervised by a Graduate Assistant (GA) Monday thru Friday, 9am-5pm. The GRA is available to assist students with questions related to PH 7017 Fundamentals of Biostatistics I, PH 7027 Fundamentals of Biostatistics II, and PH 7525 Statistical Computing, as well as basic computer assistance and questions related to the use of SAS.

8000.60 Student Organizations

Public Health Student Association (PHSA)

The Public Health Student Association (PHSA) is the student organization of the School of Public Health at Georgia State University. PHSA seeks to develop well-rounded public health professionals and promote meaningful interactions between students, faculty and staff, and public health professionals. Throughout the school year, PHSA organizes social events, professional development opportunities, and public service events for students, faculty, and staff. For more information: publichealth.gsu.edu/students/student-association-phisa/.

Association for Chronic Disease Awareness (ACDA)

As a campus director’s organization of the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD), the Association of Chronic Disease Awareness strives to promote chronic disease awareness and prevention efforts within the Georgia State University community and the Atlanta area. The organization shall promote the professional development of its members and advance the initiatives of NCADD through service projects and networking. For more information: publichealth.gsu.edu/students/association-for-chronic-disease-awareness 

8000.70 Study Abroad

SPH Study Abroad Website: publichealth.gsu.edu/academic/study-abroad/

Contact: SPHstudyabroad@gsu.edu

Study abroad is one of the ways the School provides a learning environment that prepares students with broad skills regarding diversity and cultural competence. Opportunities to earn graduate degree and certificate applicable credits abroad are available in most years, and opportunities increase as student interest increases. Previously planned study abroad opportunity cities include: Salvador, Brazil; Kampala, Uganda; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; and Shanghai, China. Students should check the above-linked study abroad website for future opportunities.

8010 Graduate Admissions

The School of Public Health accepts students into the Master of Public Health (MPH) and Graduate Certificate in Public Health (GCPH) programs for both the fall and spring semesters. The Ph.D. in Public Health only accepts students in the Fall semester.  The application deadlines are as follows:

Program Fall Spring Summer
Ph.D. December 15 N/A N/A
MPH February 15 (Priority)
March 15 (Final)
October 1 N/A
Graduate Certificate March 15 October 1 N/A

8010.10 Master of Public Health (MPH) Application Requirements

For complete application materials instructions, visit the following School of Public Health website: publichealth.gsu.edu/academic/apply/.

The following materials are required for admission to the MPH. All application materials are submitted through SOPHAS (https://portal.sophas.org):

  1. Application for Graduate Study, submitted through SOPHAS
  2. A $120.00 application fee.
  3. A resume or curriculum vitae
  4. One official transcript from each college and/or university attended (including Georgia State University). Transcripts are required regardless of length of stay or if the grades are listed on another school’s transcript. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent at the time of enrollment from a regionally accredited institution.
  5. Three references from individuals knowledgeable of the applicant’s academic, professional and intellectual abilities.
  6. A statement of interest and professional intent.
  7. Official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), or the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). Please note that GRE, GMAT, and MCAT scores over five years old cannot be accepted. (Applicants with an earned doctorate or J.D. from a regionally accredited institution may not be required to take the GRE, GMAT, or MCAT examination. Those applicants should check with the School well before the admission deadline to see if this examination requirement may be waived. The School reserves the right to require the GRE, GMAT, or MCAT examination for applicants with an earned doctorate or J.D.)
  8. Official scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or via the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), for applicants whose native language is not English. Applicants living in the Atlanta area may take the Georgia State Test of English Proficiency (GTEP) in place of the TOEFL or IELTS. Please note that the TOEFL, IELTS, and GSTEP scores over two years old cannot be accepted. The TOEFL, IELTS, and GSTEP examination may not be required for international applicants who have a received a degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. See section 8010.40 for more information.
  9. A Certificate of Immunization (after acceptance)
  10. Lawful Presence Verification (after acceptance): http://publichealth.gsu.edu/academic/apply/citizenship-verification/

8010.20 Graduate Certificate in Public Health (GCPH) Application Requirements

For complete GCPH application materials instructions, visit the following School of Public Health website: http://publichealth.gsu.edu/academic/apply/

The following materials are required for admission to the GCPH.  All application materials are submitted through Apply Yourself:

  1. Application for Graduate Study, submitted through Apply Yourself
  2. A $50.00 application fee.
  3. A resume or curriculum vitae
  4. One official transcript from each college and/or university attended, except from Georgia State University. Transcripts are required regardless of length of stay or if the grades are listed on another school’s transcript. You will collect and submit all unopened transcripts.  If you are enrolled in another graduate program at Georgia State University, you may complete a Request for Transfer of Records in your current colleges graduate admissions office. If you attended Georgia State University as an undergraduate, we will be able to pull your records, so your undergraduate transcripts from Georgia State University do not need to be sent.
  5. Three references from individuals knowledgeable of the applicant’s academic, professional and intellectual abilities.
  6. A statement of interest and professional intent.
  7. Official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), or the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). Please note that GRE, GMAT, and MCAT scores over five years old cannot be accepted. (Applicants with an earned doctorate or J.D. from a regionally accredited institution may not be required to take the GRE, GMAT, or MCAT examination. Those applicants should check with the School well before the admission deadline to see if this examination requirement may be waived. The School reserves the right to require the GRE, GMAT, or MCAT examination for applicants with an earned doctoral or J.D..)
  8. Official scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or via the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), for applicants whose native language is not English. Applicants living in the Atlanta area may take the Georgia State Test of English Proficiency (GSTEP) in the place of the TOEFL or IELTS. Please note that TOEFL, IELTS, and GSTEP scores over two years old cannot be accepted. The TOEFL, IELTS, and GSTEP examination may not be required of international applicants who have received a degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. See section 8010.40 for more information.
  9. A Certificate of Immunization (after acceptance).
  10. Lawful Presence Verification (after acceptance): http://publichealth.gsu.edu/academic/apply/citizenship-verification/

A Graduate Certificate in Public Health (GCPH) student may apply a maximum of sixteen (16) semester hours of applicable Georgia State University course credit earned while completing the GCPH and prior to MPH program admission toward fulfilling MPH degree requirements. Courses that satisfy the MPH core courses must be completed with a grade of B or better, and courses that satisfy a concentration required or elective course must be completed with a grade of C or better.  Credits are processed by the School—petition is not required, but students should confirm their previously completed courses are applicable. Students may work with the Graduate Advisor in the Office of Academic Assistance to confirm applicability.  Approval of applicable courses is at the discretion of the Division Director of the student’s home division and concentration—it is not guaranteed.  All Georgia State University credits presented for the MPH degree must have been earned within six calendar years of the date of degree conferral.

8010.30 Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Health Application Requirements

For complete Ph.D. application materials instructions, visit the following School of Public Health website: publichealth.gsu.edu/academic/apply/

The following materials are required for admission to the Ph.D. All application materials are submitted through SOPHAS (https://portal.sophas.org):

  1. Application for Graduate Study, submitted through SOPHAS
  2. A $120.00 application fee.
  3. A resume or curriculum vitae
  4. One official transcript from each college and/or university attended (including Georgia State University). Transcripts are required regardless of length of stay or if the grades are listed on another school’s transcript. Applicants must have a master’s degree or its equivalent at the time of enrollment from a regionally accredited institution.
  5. Three references from individuals knowledgeable of the applicant’s academic, professional and intellectual abilities.
  6. A statement of interest and professional intent.
  7. Official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). (Applicants with an earned doctorate or J.D. from a regionally accredited institution may not be required to take the GRE or GMAT examination. Those applicants should check with the School well before the admission deadline to see if this examination requirement may be waived. The School reserves the right to require the GRE or GMAT examination for applicants with an earned doctoral or J.D..) Please note that the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) cannot be accepted in lieu of GRE or GMAT scores for Ph.D. applicants.
  8.  Official scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or via the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), for applicants whose native language is not English. Applicants living in the Atlanta area may take the Georgia State Test of English Proficiency (GSTEP) in the place of the TOEFL or IELTS. Please note that TOEFL, IELTS, and GSTEP scores over two years old cannot be accepted. The TOEFL, IELTS, and GSTEP examination may not be required of international applicants who have received a degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. See section 8010.40 for more information.
  9. A Certificate of Immunization (after acceptance)
  10. Lawful Presence Verification (after acceptance): http://publichealth.gsu.edu/academic/apply/citizenship-verification/

8010.40 International Student Admission

It is the policy of Georgia State University to encourage the enrollment of students from other countries. The University subscribes to the principles of international education and to the basic concept that only through education and understanding can mutual respect, appreciation and tolerance of others be accomplished. The recognition of the values of cultural exchange is inherent in our philosophy of education and is predicated on an awareness of the need to foster better cooperation, friendship, and understanding among the peoples of the world. In this regard, we welcome international students to our campus because we believe in a cultural exchange program which will be beneficial to our own student body, to the international students involved, and to metropolitan Atlanta.

  • Academic Credentials: An applicant who has completed all or part of his/her education outside the United States is required to have his/her foreign credentials evaluated by World Education Services (http://www.wes.org/sophas/). WES is the only evaluation service accepted by SOPHAS.
  • English Proficiency: Applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores, not more than two years old, on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Official scores must be reported from the Educational Testing Service to SOPHAS prior to the application deadline. The TOEFL is not required of international applicants who have received a degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. TOEFL information can be found at toefl.org. IELTS information can be found at ielts.org. Applicants living in the Atlanta area may take the Georgia State Test of English Proficiency (GSTEP) in the place of the TOEFL.  For more information about GSTEP: alsl.gsu.edu/programs/gstep/.
  • Financial Resources: Applicants who have been accepted and plan to attend Georgia State University on an F-1 or J-1 visa must submit a Financial Statement showing the financial support necessary for the cost associated with the first year of study. This verification does not need to be submitted with your application but will be required before you can enroll if you are accepted.
  • Course Load: An international student with a student visa is required to carry a full course of study in the fall and spring semesters. A full course of study for graduate students at Georgia State University is 9 semester hours in the fall and spring semesters and 6 semester hours in the summer semester. International students cannot be admitted as non-degree students.

For additional information pertaining to international applicants and students at Georgia State University, please refer to the Office of International Student and Scholar Services on the Georgia State University website at isss.gsu.edu.

8010.50 Transient Student Admission

A student enrolled in a graduate degree program at another accredited institution may seek admission as a transient (or visiting) student in the School of Public Health.

Program Fall Spring Summer
Transient/Visiting Student July 15 December 1 May 1

To be admitted to transient status, applicants must complete:

  1. Transient/Visiting Application (available at publichealth.gsu.edu/academic/apply/reentry-or-transient-visiting-students/)
  2. $50.00 Application Fee. A check or money order (in U.S. currency) should be made payable to Georgia State University. This fee is nonrefundable.
  3. Transient Letter. This letter, from your home institution, must state that you are in good academic standing and that you have permission to attend Georgia State University. It should also contain a listing of the courses you plan to take.
  4. Resident Status Form. This form is required to determine if you are an in-state or out-of-state student for tuition purposes. Please attach it to your application.
  5. A Certificate of Immunization (after acceptance)
  6. Lawful Presence Verification (after acceptance): publichealth.gsu.edu/academic/apply/citizenship-verification/

Completed application materials must be mailed to the address below by the deadline date:

School of Public Health
Georgia State University
Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services
P.O. Box 3984
Atlanta, GA 30302-3984

Admission to transient status is normally for one semester only. A transient student who wishes to enroll for a subsequent semester at Georgia State must file an Application for Re-entry with the Office of Academic Assistance and Graduate Career Services in the School of Public Health. Students must be in good Academic Standing at Georgia State University in order to continue as transient students at the University. Transient students who are not in good academic standing will not be allowed to continue taking courses as transient students per the University’s re-entry definition. If the student wishes to enroll in courses other than those listed in the original letter of good standing, the home institution must submit a new letter indicating approval of those courses. Application deadlines are sometimes extended provided there is space available.  Contact OAA at 404-413-1452 or publichealthadvising@gsu.edu for additional information.

Although the university cannot guarantee the availability of space in desired courses, every effort will be made to assist students in the registration process. The student is responsible for requesting that transcripts of grades earned at Georgia State are sent to the home institution. Transient students who do not remain in good academic standing at Georgia State University may not be allowed to continue taking courses in the School of Public Health.

Students who wish to change from transient-status enrollment to graduate degree seeking status must file an application for the graduate program desired and provide all supporting documents by the appropriate deadline for the semester for which admission is sought. Further information on application procedures for admission to degree programs in the School of Public Health may be obtained from the Office of Academic Assistance: publichealth.gsu.edu/academic/apply/.

Up to nine (9) transient-status credit hours may apply to School of Public Health graduate degree or certificate programs. However, all credits, including transient-status-earned credits, presented for the Master’s degree must have been earned within six calendar years of the date of Master’s degree conferral, and all credits presented for the Ph.D. degree must have been earned within nine calendar years of the date of Ph.D. degree conferral. Grades from all attempts at all Georgia State University courses that are taken at the graduate level will become part of the student’s GPA.

8010.60 Non-Degree Student Admission

The School of Public Health accepts non-degree students based on course availability. Non-degree students are admitted for a maximum of nine credit hours.

Applicants applying for non-degree status should hold a graduate degree or have been accepted into a graduate program but are no longer actively enrolled. Non-degree applicants can and usually do include members of the workforce who wish to further develop or upgrade their public health knowledge and skills.

If you are actively enrolled in another graduate program, please apply as a transient/visiting student. Contact the Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services (OAA) at 404-413-1452 or publichealthadvising@gsu.edu for approval to submit a non-degree application. Application deadlines are sometimes extended provided there is space available. The application deadlines are as follows:

Program Fall Spring Summer
Non-degree July 15 December 1 May 1

The following items should be submitted to the Office of Academic Assistance and Graduate Career Services.

  • Non-degree Application
  • $50.00 Application Fee. A check or money order (in U.S. currency) should be made payable to “Georgia State University”. This fee is nonrefundable.
  • One official transcript from each college and/or university attended (including Georgia State University). Transcripts are required from all previously attended institutions regardless of length of stay or if the grades are listed on another school’s transcript.
  • Statement of Intent, where you describe your goals and why completing coursework in the School of Public Health will help you attain those goals. Please limit your statement to two typed, double-spaced pages.
  • Resident Status Form. This form is required to determine if you are an in-state or out-of-state student for tuition purposes. Please attach it to your application.
  • A Certificate of Immunization (after acceptance)
  • Lawful Presence Verification (after acceptance): publichealth.gsu.edu/academic/apply/citizenship-verification/

Completed application materials must be mailed to the address below by the deadline date:

School of Public Health
Georgia State University
Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services
P.O. Box 3984, Atlanta, GA 30302-3984

Students who wish to change from non-degree enrollment to graduate degree seeking status must file an application for the graduate program desired and all supporting documents by the appropriate deadline for the semester for which admission is sought. Further information on application procedures for admission to degree programs in the School of Public Health may be obtained from the Office of Academic Assistance: publichealth.gsu.edu/academic/apply/.

A student may apply a maximum of nine (9) semester hours of applicable Georgia State University course credit earned prior to MPH program admission (while taking public health courses as either transient, non-degree, or other-Georgia State University-degree status) toward fulfilling MPH degree requirements. Courses that satisfy the MPH core courses must be completed with a grade of B or better, and courses that satisfy a concentration required or elective course must be completed with a grade of C or better.  Credits are processed by the School — petition is not required, but students should confirm their previously completed courses are applicable. Students may work with the Graduate Advisor in the Office of Academic Assistance to confirm applicability.  Approval of applicable courses is at the discretion of the Division Director of the student’s home division and concentration — it is not guaranteed. All Georgia State University credits presented for the MPH degree must have been earned within six calendar years of the date of degree conferral.

8010.70 Re-entry Students

A re-entry student is a student who has been enrolled at Georgia State University and who:

  1. Has not maintained an enrollment totaling 6 hours (or more) of degree applicable courses over three consecutive semesters (including summer) until degree completion; or
  2. Attended any semester as a transient student and wishes to attend an additional semester as a transient student.

Re-entry is approved by application and is not guaranteed. The application deadlines are as follows:

Program Fall Spring Summer
Re-entry July 15 December 1 May 1

Graduate students previously enrolled in the School of Public Health may only re-enter the same graduate program or status in which they were last enrolled and they may be required to satisfy the degree requirements of the graduate catalog in effect at the time of re-entry — the Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services will notify the student of their requirements and update their program of study. Students will be required to change to the graduate catalog in effect at the time of re-entry when they re-enter the university after a period of two or more consecutive years in which they have earned no academic credit at Georgia State University. Students must be approved for reentry through the School — re-entry is not guaranteed, even for students previously enrolled in School of Public Health graduate programs.

To apply as a re-entry student, the following items should be submitted to the Office of Academic Assistance:

Completed application materials must be mailed to the address below by the deadline date:

School of Public Health
Georgia State University
Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services
P.O. Box 3984, Atlanta, GA 30302-3984

8010.80 Tuition Deposit

The School of Public Health requires newly accepted applicants into their degree or certificate programs to submit a portion of their first semester’s tuition at the time of acceptance. The advanced tuition, which is nonrefundable, guarantees the student’s place in the class.

8020 Graduate Enrollment

Graduate degree and certificate students in the School of Public Health are responsible for knowledge of all regulations and procedures of the program and the university. Enrollment in a program constitutes a student’s acknowledgment that they are obligated to comply with all academic and administrative regulations and degree requirements. Students are encouraged to read carefully regulations related to the public health program.

Summary of Georgia State University Policy on Responsible Conduct Research Training:

Georgia State University is committed to promoting research ethics within the University community and modeling integrity across all disciplines and areas of empirical research. As research has become more complex, collaborative, and costly, issues of research ethics similarly have become complex, extensive and important. The federally mandated training of all levels of research students at Georgia State University in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) must prepare them to face these issues in their professional lives. The Scholarship and Research Integrity (SARI) program at Georgia State University, developed in response to the America Competes Act requirements, is designed to offer students enrolled in undergraduate research, research graduate degree programs, and post-doctoral research programs comprehensive training in the RCR in a manner that is tailored to address the issues faced by students in their respective programs. As part of the commitment and policy, graduate research students and post-doctoral research fellows will be required to complete an online RCR training program provided by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) and will also be required to engage in at least 5 hours of additional discussion-based RCR education.

ursa.research.gsu.edu/ursa/responsible-conduct-in-research/

The Georgia State University SPH has devised a RCR education program plan to be in compliance with Georgia State University’s RCR policy and to ensure SPH students graduating from our MPH and Ph.D. programs complete the required CITI RCR training program and receive the additional 5 hours of RCR education. In the MPH program, all students enrolled in PH 7019 Public Health Research Methods (an MPH required course) will be required to complete the CITI RCR training and will receive 5 additional hours as part of in-class discussions during the PH 7019 course. In the Ph.D. program, all students enrolled in PH 9140 Advanced Research Methods (a Ph.D. required course) will be required to complete the CITI RCR training and will receive 5 additional hours as part of in-class discussions during the PH 9140 course. Doctoral level students enrolled in PH 9150 Public Health Ethics will also receive additional 1-5 hours of in-class discussion.

8020.10 Time Limit for Completion of Degree/Graduate Certificates

Before deciding to enroll in a graduate program of this school, students must examine seriously and realistically their abilities to adjust their personal and professional schedules to accommodate the challenge of graduate study. The maximum time limits set by the faculty for completing a graduate degree program are: six years from the first semester of admission for the master’s programs; three years from the first semester of admission for the certificate programs and nine years from the first semester of admission for the doctoral programs. Students or applicants with questions about the commitment needed to complete the graduate programs should schedule an appointment with the school’s Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services.

8020.20 Catalog Editions

Normally, students will be permitted to graduate under the provisions of the graduate catalog in effect at the time of first enrollment. Students may choose to graduate under the provisions of a subsequent graduate catalog; that is, they may choose to change their “catalog edition.” Students who choose to do this must meet all provisions of the subsequent graduate catalog.

Students are required to change to the current catalog edition when they change programs/statuses or after certain absences from the program, as explained below in section 8020.30. The School reserves the right to require students who wish to change their program of study concentration to update to the most recent catalog edition of their newly selected concentration.

8020.30 Continuous Enrollment Requirement and Requests to Reenter

Students in all graduate degree and graduate certificate programs must maintain an enrollment totaling six (6) hours or more of degree applicable courses over any consecutive three (3) semester period (including summers) until degree completion. In other words, the total enrollment of the current term plus the two terms preceding it must add to six (6) hours or more at all times. The status of all students will be checked by the midpoint of each term for compliance with the Continuous Enrollment Requirement. Any student whose enrollment is out of compliance will receive a continuous enrollment registration hold preventing all current and future registration. Those students will be notified by an email message sent to their official Georgia State University email account. To resume their programs of study, students with continuous enrollment registration holds must apply for re-entry admission by the published deadline (see section 8010.70), must be granted reentry admission, and must enroll at a credit hour level sufficient to satisfy the continuous enrollment requirement. For more information on the re-entry process, see section 8010.70 or contact the Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services (OAA).

Students who do not attend the semester for which re-entry was originally required must complete a new re-entry form for subsequent semesters.

All students who wish to reenter one of the graduate level programs or non-degree status after an absence of one year must meet the degree requirements and academic regulations of the graduate catalog current upon return, along with other reentry provisions that may be in effect.

All students who are approved for re-entry will be eligible to retain all Georgia State course credit (and already approved transfer credit, if any) earned previously if their program can be completed within the time limit that was applicable to their program before the absence. The cumulative graduate GPA calculations will include all attempts in all courses at Georgia State University. Time limits would apply.

Students who plan not to register for a particular semester but who intend to continue the program at some later semester should discuss such plans with the SPH Graduate Advisor in order to facilitate reentry at a subsequent time. Failure to comply with this request may complicate reentry in the semester preferred. An absence from the program, whether planned or unplanned, does not exempt students from the requirement to complete the program within the appropriate time limit.

8020.35 Enrollment in Approved Courses

Students must enroll for courses that are part of the approved curriculum for the program to which they have been accepted. Students who do otherwise are subject to loss of credit and/or loss of eligibility to continue to register. Failure to register for degree applicable courses over the course of three consecutive semesters will result in unsatisfactory progress and the rules of Continuous Enrollment Requirement will apply.

8020.40 Course Load

The course load of a master’s student may vary with the circumstances of the individual student each semester. A graduate student may enroll in 1 to 12 credit hours. Enrolling in more than 12 credit hours is not recommended and students should seek advisement with the Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services prior to registration unless employed as a Graduate Assistant (GA) with the university. A full-time course of study for graduate students at Georgia State University is nine (9) credit hours in fall and spring semesters, and six (6) credit hours in summer semesters.

In determining each semester’s course load, a student must balance other time constraints (work, family, civic, and other responsibilities) with the need to make reasonable and timely progress toward completion of the program.

8020.50 Grade Point Average and Course Grade Requirements

For Master’s level students, an overall institutional grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better must be earned to receive the MPH degree. All core courses in the MPH degree must be completed with a grade of B or better, and any student earning a grade of B- or below must repeat the core course. No more than six semester hours of grades less than B will be accepted for the degree in all other MPH program of study courses. No grade below a C will be accepted toward the degree. The records of students who fall below the 3.00 GPA requirement for all course attempts will be reviewed for continuation in the MPH program, and students may receive a scholastic warning or be scholastically dismissed from the MPH program.

For Graduate Certificate in Public Health (GCPH) students, an overall institutional grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better must be earned to receive the Graduate Certificate. The three core courses in the GCPH must be completed with a grade of B or better any student earning a grade of B- or below must repeat the core course. No grade below a C will be accepted in the two Graduate Certificate program elective courses. The records of students who fall below the 3.00 GPA requirement for all course attempts will be reviewed for continuation in the GCPH program, and students may receive a scholastic warning or be scholastically dismissed from the GCPH program.

Transient students must maintain an overall institutional grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better in order to continue enrolling as a transient student. Transient students who do not maintain a 3.0 GPA or better may receive a scholastic warning or be scholastically dismissed.

Any doctoral student completing the prerequisite MPH core courses must earn a grade of B or better in those MPH core courses; any doctoral student earning a grade of B- or below must repeat the prerequisite MPH core course. Doctoral students should refer to section 8060.40 Grade Point Average and Course Grade Requirements for Doctoral Students for more information regarding doctoral program grade point average requirements.

8020.60 Final Course Grades

The following course grades will be given as final grade options in courses taught by public health faculty members. Any deviations — including the availability of plus/minus grading — will be at the discretion of the individual faculty member and specifically stated in his or her syllabus.

  • A 90-100
  • B 80-89
  • C 70-79
  • D 60-69
  • F below 60

8020.70 Transfer of Credit

Transfer Credits from another institution: A student may apply a maximum of nine (9) semester hours of approved course credit transferred from other graduate programs or institution(s) toward fulfilling MPH degree requirements. In order to transfer, the course grade must be a grade of B or better.  Transfer credits are processed by the School and must be approved by petition. Students requesting to petition for transfer of credits must work with the Graduate Advisor in the Office of Academic Assistance.  Approval is at the discretion of the Division Director of the student’s home division and concentration.  All credits, including transfer credits, presented for the MPH degree must have been earned within six calendar years of the date of degree conferral.

A student may apply a maximum of three (3) semester hours of approved course credit transferred from other graduate programs or institution(s) toward fulfilling Graduate Certificate in Public Health (GCPH) requirements. Transfer credits are processed and approved by the Office of Academic Assistance.

Credits earned at Georgia State University in either transient, non-degree, or other-Georgia State University-degree status: A student may apply a maximum of nine (9) semester hours of applicable Georgia State University course credit earned prior to MPH program admission (while taking public health courses as either transient, non-degree, or other-Georgia State University-degree status) toward fulfilling MPH degree requirements. Courses that satisfy the MPH core courses must be completed with a grade of B or better, and courses that satisfy a concentration required or elective course must be completed with a grade of C or better.  Credits are processed by the School — petition is not required, but students should confirm their previously completed courses are applicable. Students may work with the Graduate Advisor in the Office of Academic Assistance to confirm applicability.  Approval of applicable courses is at the discretion of the Division Director of the student’s home division and concentration — it is not guaranteed. All Georgia State University credits presented for the MPH degree must have been earned within six calendar years of the date of degree conferral.

Credits earned at Georgia State University in GCPH enrollment status: A Graduate Certificate in Public Health (GCPH) student may apply a maximum of sixteen (16) semester hours of applicable Georgia State University course credit earned while completing the GCPH and prior to MPH program admission toward fulfilling MPH degree requirements. Courses that satisfy the MPH core courses must be completed with a grade of B or better, and courses that satisfy a concentration required or elective course must be completed with a grade of C or better. Credits are processed by the School — petition is not required, but students should confirm their previously completed courses are applicable. Students may work with the Graduate Advisor in the Office of Academic Assistance to confirm applicability. Approval of applicable courses is at the discretion of the Division Director of the student’s home division and concentration — it is not guaranteed. All Georgia State University credits presented for the MPH degree must have been earned within six calendar years of the date of degree conferral.

Credits earned from another institution while currently enrolled: Students who have been accepted into a School of Public Health program and who wish to take courses at another institution for credit must first obtain written approval via the graduate petition process.  The first step in this approval process is to meet with the SPH Graduate Advisor in the Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services. All credits, including transfer credits, presented for the Master’s degree must have been earned within six calendar years of the date of degree conferral, all credits presented for the graduate certificate must have been earned within three calendar years of graduate certificate completion, and all credits presented for the Ph.D. must have been earned within nine calendar years of the date of degree conferral. Courses transferred-in for the doctoral degree may not be used in fulfilling the Doctoral Public Health Core Courses requirements or the doctoral residency requirement.

JD/MPH Dual Degree Credits earned at Georgia State University just prior to dual degree (JD/MPH) status: A student may apply MPH-applicable Georgia State University College of Law course credit (earned for the JD degree) toward fulfilling MPH degree requirements if the JD/MPH dual degree student is admitted and enrolled into both degree programs prior to completion of 30 credit hours of MPH coursework and 60 hours of JD coursework. JD credits applied to the MPH degree are processed by the SPH—petition is not required, but students should confirm (in advance) with the SPH Graduate Advisor that their planned JD courses are applicable to the MPH, and are correctly populating in their PAWS electronic MPH program of study. Approval of applicable courses is at the discretion of the SPH OAA and the Division Director of the student’s home MPH division and concentration—it is not guaranteed. All Georgia State University credits presented for the MPH degree must have been earned within six calendar years of the date of degree conferral.

Ph.D. Community Psychology/MPH Dual Degree Credits earned at Georgia State University just prior to dual degree (Ph.D. Community Psychology/MPH) status: A student may apply MPH-applicable Georgia State University Community Psychology course credit (earned for the Ph.D. Community Psychology degree) toward fulfilling MPH degree requirements if the Ph.D. Community Psychology/MPH dual degree student is admitted and enrolled into both degree programs prior to completion of 30 credit hours of MPH coursework and 30 hours of Ph.D. Community Psychology coursework. Ph.D. Community Psychology credits applied to the MPH degree are processed by the SPH — petition is not required, but students should confirm (in advance) with the SPH Graduate Advisor that their planned Ph.D. Community Psychology courses are applicable to the MPH, and are correctly populating in their PAWS electronic MPH program of study. Approval of applicable courses is at the discretion of the SPH OAA and the Division Director of the student’s home MPH division and concentration — it is not guaranteed. All Georgia State University credits presented for the MPH degree must have been earned within six calendar years of the date of degree conferral.

8020.75 Out-of-Residence Credit and Graduation

Students who wish to take graduate courses at another institution to complete the coursework for their Georgia State University degree should provide the information listed above (except the transcript) to the Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services before enrolling at the other institution. Advance approval will ensure that the transfer credit can be granted if a grade of “B” or higher is earned in the course(s) and the coursework is completed within the time limit allowed for the student’s degree program. Such students should plan to graduate at least one semester after the Out-of-Residence quarter/semester in which the last course to be transferred has been taken. This will allow adequate time for the necessary transcript to be received and for the transfer credit to be processed. Please refer to the graduation office website for complete instructions and information concerning applying for graduation and the graduation fee: registrar.gsu.edu/graduation/. A letter certifying completion of degree requirements and stating the date the degree will be conferred can be furnished to the student by the OAA.

8020.80 Application for Graduation

All candidates for the MPH and Ph.D. degrees must file a formal application for graduation with the University’s Graduation Office at least two semesters in advance of the expected semester of graduation. Deadlines are published on the Georgia State website: registrar.gsu.edu/graduation/. The Graduation Office will inform the School when the application is filed by the student. The School of Public Health will then conduct an audit and inform the student of any remaining requirements — these items will include any graduation clearance requirements. A degree will be awarded only to a student who meets the university academic, residence, and graduation clearance requirements as well as the standards of performance and academic requirements for the MPH or Ph.D. degree.

All candidates for the GCPH must file a formal application for completion: publichealth.gsu.edu/students/program/ with the Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services (OAA) in the School of Public Health during the semester in which the student plans to complete the GCPH. OAA will conduct an audit to confirm completion of the requirements and inform the student of any remaining requirements — these items will include any graduation clearance requirements. A graduate certificate will be awarded only to a student who meets the university academic, residence, and/or graduation clearance requirements as well as the standards of performance and academic requirements for the GCPH.

8020.90 Scholastic Warning and Suspension for MPH, GCPH, and Transient Students

Each student admitted into the MPH or GCPH program in the School of Public Health must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00. A student whose cumulative institutional grade point average falls below 3.00 at the end of a semester will be placed on Scholastic Warning. The student will be notified of this standing by the School of Public Health. If a 3.00 cumulative grade point average is not achieved by the end of the next twelve semester hours or two semesters, whichever is longer, of completed course work approved by the SPH faculty, the student will be suspended from the graduate program. Transient students must maintain a 3.00 cumulative grade point average in order to continue in that status. Transient students who do not maintain a 3.00 cumulative grade point average may be subject to scholastic exclusion.

A student may apply for reinstatement after one semester as a suspended student. Application for reinstatement must be made no later than six weeks prior to the first day of classes for the semester in which reinstatement is sought.

8030 Student Appeals Procedures

The appeals procedure for graduate students in the School of Public Health will follow different paths, depending on the nature of the student’s appeal. The various types of situations and the appropriate appeals avenues are as follows:

8030.10 Admissions Appeals

At the graduate level, a person who wishes to appeal an admission decision first discusses the matter with the Director of the Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services (OAA) within 5 working days of the date of the denial. If the question is not settled there, a written appeal must be submitted to the OAA Director within 10 working days of the date of the denial or the date of the denial discussion with the OAA Director. (Workdays are counted as Monday through Friday except university staff holidays.) The director will present the appeal to the appropriate Admissions Committee, which will examine the facts presented. The OAA Director, on behalf of the committee, will make a recommendation to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The Associate Dean will render a written decision to the applicant normally within 10 workdays of the date the applicant’s letter was received by the OAA Director. See Section 1100 of the Graduate Catalog for University level appeals of admission decisions.

8030.20 Petitions for Policy Waivers and Variances, and Appeals, and Student Complaints, Concerns, or Grievances

Petitions for Policy Waivers and Variances, and Appeals Procedure

The petitions for policy waivers and variances, and appeals procedure for students will follow different courses depending on the nature of the student’s appeal. Please refer to University Information Section 1050.80 under Polices and Disclosures in this catalog or visit enrollment.gsu.edu/assistance/  or the Student Code of Conduct online: codeofconduct.gsu.edu/ for details.

Student Complaints, Concerns, or Grievances

Similarly, the student complaints, concerns, or grievance procedure for students will follow different courses depending on the nature of the student’s appeal. Please refer to University Information Section 1050.80 under Polices and Disclosures in this catalog or visit enrollment.gsu.edu/assistance/.

8030.30 Appeal of Exclusions, Dismissals and Terminations

Terminated, dismissed or excluded graduate students with questions about their status should first discuss their situation with the Graduate Advisor in the Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services (OAA). Following this discussion, students who believe they have extenuating circumstances may submit a written appeal of their termination or exclusion to the Director of OAA. The director will review the information submitted in support of the appeal and the student’s total record. The Director will then make a recommendation to the associate dean for academic affairs, who will make the decision regarding acceptance or denial of the appeal. The student will receive a written response from the school normally within 10 workdays of the date the appeal is received. (Workdays are counted as Monday through Friday except university staff holidays.)

Requests for such consideration must be submitted, in writing, to the director of OAA within 10 workdays (defined as Monday through Friday except university holidays). Students should write their appeals completely, but concisely, and include all facts germane to their case. Documentation should be provided, where possible, to substantiate statements made. Specific dates of the beginning and ending of particular problems should be included. Only circumstances described in the written and signed appeal as initially submitted will be accepted from the student; oral appeals are not permitted, nor are requests to submit additional information after the appeal has been reviewed. Appeals must be dated, signed, and include the student’s home address and telephone numbers (work and home).

Having been enrolled in too many courses relative to job requirements or other responsibilities or having continued to enroll while experiencing personal, work, or health-related problems very rarely constitutes such extenuating circumstances.

8040 Master Degree Programs

8040.10 Master in Public Health (MPH)

Contacts:

Ike Okosun, Interim Director, Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
(Vacant), Interim Director, Division of Environmental Health
Rodney Lyn, Interim Director, Division of Health Management and Policy
Daniel Whitaker, Interim Director, Division of Health Promotion and Behavior

The faculty and staff of the School of Public Health (SPH) are committed to providing a supportive academic environment that promotes the growth and progress of students engaged in graduate studies.

The Master of Public Health (MPH) program includes a minimum of forty-two (42) semester credit hours of study at the master’s level beyond the bachelor’s degree.

MPH DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

1. Required MPH Core Courses (16 hours):

  • PH 7011 Epidemiology for Public Health (3) (required for Environmental Health, Health Management and Policy, and Health Promotion and Behavior concentrations or PH 7711 Epidemiologic Methods I (3)  (required for Epidemiology and Biostatistics concentrations).  Note:  Students changing their concentration from   Epidemiology or Biostatistics to Environmental Health, Health Management and Policy, or Health Promotion and Behavior will be able to substitute PH 7011 with PH 7711 if already completed.
  • PH 7017 Fundamentals of Biostatistics I (4)
  • PH 7140 Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health (3)
  • PH 7150 Environmental Health (3)
  • PH 7160 Introduction to the Health Care System (3)

2. Required MPH Research Methods Course (3 hours):

PH 7019 Public Health Research Methods (3)

3. Required MPH Concentration Courses (18 credit hours)
See “MPH CONCENTRATION REQUIREMENTS” section below 
4. Required MPH Practicum Course (2 credit hours)
     PH 7960 Public Health Practicum (2)
     Students will take two (2) credit hours of a required practicum in the students’ specialty field of study, which equals 240 clock hours. The practicum is a planned, supervised and evaluated practice experience where graduate professional public health degree students develop skills in basic public health concepts and demonstrate the application of these concepts through a practice experience that is relevant to students’ areas of specialization, concentration and/or division. These opportunities can take place in a variety of governmental or non-governmental agencies and organizations and include local, state, national and international public health agencies to the extent possible and appropriate.

5. Required MPH Thesis or Capstone Project Course (3 credit hours)

Following completion of all coursework, students must complete three (3) credit hours for a culminating experience in the form of a master’s thesis or a capstone project. All students in the School of Public Health who are involved in writing or defending a master’s thesis/capstone project shall register for at least three credit hours of thesis/capstone project credit each semester from the time they finish their course work until the time all requirements for the degree are completed.

MPH CONCENTRATION REQUIREMENTS

Each of the distinct MPH concentrations (Biostatistics, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Health Promotion and Behavior, and Health Management and Policy) have their own program competencies that define what a graduate from that MPH concentration will know and be able to do upon degree program completion. These MPH program competencies are made available in the MPH student handbook, and appear on public health course syllabi. The SPH will only recommend the award of an MPH degree when the student has demonstrated mastery of necessary theories, concepts and content, and demonstrated competence in the skills defined in the competencies for the student’s chosen MPH program concentration.

MPH Biostatistics Concentration

The MPH Biostatistics (BSTP) program concentration trains students to apply statistical principles and methods to problems in public health, medicine, and biology. The MPH BSTP program includes the development of analytic thinking and skill, with an emphasis on applications of research and evaluation in public health. Coursework in this concentration covers the span of biostatistics knowledge, including study design, data management, data analysis, interpretation, statistical reporting, and use of statistical software. MPH BSTP concentration graduates can look forward to excellent career opportunities in academia, government, nonprofits, non-governmental organizations, or private industry.  Applicants to the biostatistics concentration should have strong aptitude for quantitative thinking and interest in biomedical and public health applications.

Required MPH BSTP Concentration Courses (12 hours):

  • PH 7027 Fundamentals of Biostatistics II (3)
  • PH 7525 Statistical Computing (3)
  • PH 8820 Generalized Linear Models (3)
  • PH 8830 Advanced Statistical Topics (3)

MPH BSTP Concentration Elective Courses (6 hours):
Select at least two (2) pre-approved* courses focusing on advanced statistical techniques and quantitative research methods.  Pre-approved BSTP elective courses include:

  • PH 7028 Introduction to Probability Theory and Statistical Inference (3)
  • PH 8260 Spatial Population Health I (3)
  • PH 8721 Epidemiologic Methods II (3)
  • PH 8840 Statistical Modeling with Latent Variables I: Structural Equation Modeling (3)
  • PH 8850 Statistical Modeling with Latent Variables II: Finite Mixture Modeling (3)
  • PH 8880 Public Health Study Abroad (3) (up to 3 credits of PH 8880 may count here)
  • PH 8885 Fundamentals of Clinical Trials (3)
  • PH 8890 Special Topics in Biostatistics (3) (may be repeated)

*The above listed pre-approved BSTP elective courses do not need further approval to satisfy the BSTP elective requirement. However, there are other academic departments at the university that may offer satisfying courses including, but not limited to the following departments: Math/Statistics, Decision Sciences, Marketing, Sociology, Policy Studies, Psychology, and Educational Policy Studies Research.  Other courses that may be approved to satisfy this elective requirement generally have course titles including, but not limited to: Structural Equation Modeling, Finite Mixture Modeling, Hierarchical Linear Modeling, Longitudinal Modeling, Survival Analysis, Bayesian Inference, Survey Sampling, Causal Inference, Missing Data, or Nonparametric Statistics. Students should seek written, pre-approval of any course(s) — beyond the above listed pre-approved BSTP elective courses — to count toward the BSTP elective requirement. Approval must come from both the Division Director and OAA.

MPH Environmental Health Concentration

The MPH concentration in Environmental Health (EVHT) will prepare students for research and practice in the field of EVHT, which is the understanding of environmental factors, including biological, physical and chemical factors that affect the health of a community. EVHT focuses on the human health effects of agents encountered in the environment, from the molecular to the ecological level, as well as the effects of natural and human-created environments on health. The concentration will provide students with knowledge in the core EVHT disciplines of exposure assessment, toxicology, risk assessment, air pollution, and water pollution. In addition to these core knowledge areas, additional areas of specialization within EVHT include food safety, occupational health, infectious diseases, environmental epidemiology, and urban health.

Required MPH EVHT Concentration Courses (9 hours):

  • PH 7293 Environmental Health Toxicology (3)
  • PH 7294 Exposure Assessment (3)
  • PH 7345 Introduction to Risk Assessment (3)

MPH EVHT Concentration Elective Courses (9 hours):
Select at least 3 courses from the following list of EVHT approved elective courses:

  • PH 7025 Health Disparities (3)
  • PH 7155 Air Quality and the Environment (3)
  • PH 7280 Infectious Disease Epidemiology (3)
  • PH 7297 Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (3)
  • PH 7299 Sampling of the Environment (3)
  • PH 7300 Urban Health (3)
  • PH 7325 Urban Health Seminar (1)
  • PH 7340 Built Environment and Health (3)
  • PH 7525 Statistical Computing (3)
  • PH 7540 Introduction to Public Health Laboratories (3)
  • PH 7600 Global Health (3)
  • PH 8350 Biological Basis for Disease (3)
  • [PH 8880] Public Health Study Abroad (3) (up to 3 credits of PH 8880 may count here)
  • GEOS 6532 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (4)
  • GEOS 6538 Urban Health Geographic Information Systems (4)
  • GEOS 6644 Environmental Conservation (4)
  • GEOS 6784 Climatic Change (3)
  • BIOL 6428 Medical Microbiology (4)
  • BIOL 6451 Aquatic Pollution and Toxicology (4)
  • BIOL 6480 Principles of Toxicology (4)
  • BIOL 6484 Laboratory Techniques in Applied and Environmental Microbiology (4)
  • NUTR 6170 Food Safety (3)

MPH Epidemiology Concentration

Epidemiology (EPID) is a scientific discipline commonly defined as the study of the distribution and determinants of disease and injury in human populations. This broad scope includes understanding the distribution, patterns and causes of adverse health outcomes as well as those associated with their control and prevention, and the complex interaction of factors that play a role in these processes. MPH with a concentration in Epidemiology will afford students choice in the in-depth study of substantive issues such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, STDs and HIV. Students will also have to opportunity to focus on prevention methods. The knowledge and skills obtained in epidemiology will allow MPH EPID graduates to seek employment in areas that: (1) characterize community health status, (2) critically assess determinants of health-related events, (3) formulate strategies to evaluate the impact of health related interventions and (4) foster the application of epidemiologic methods for health promotion and disease prevention activities.

Required MPH EPID Concentration Courses (9 hours):

  • PH 8721 Epidemiologic Methods II (3)
  • PH 7027 Fundamentals of Biostatistics II (3)
  • PH 7525 Statistical Computing (3)

MPH EPID Concentration Elective Courses (9 hours):
Select at least 3 courses from the following list of elective EPID approved courses:

  • PH 7014 Epidemiology of STDs and HIV (3)
  • PH 7265 Epidemiology and the Prevention of Violence (3)
  • PH 7275 Chronic Disease Epidemiology (3)
  • PH 7280 Infectious Disease Epidemiology (3)
  • PH 7290 Case Studies in Epidemiology (3)
  • PH 7355 Prevention Methods (3)
  • PH 7365 Epidemiology of Adolescent and Young Adult Health Risk Behaviors (3)
  • PH 8260 Spatial Population Health I (3)
  • [PH 8261] Spatial Population Health II (3)
  • PH 8285 Social Determinants of Health (3)
  • PH 8790 Special Topics in Epidemiology (3)
  • [PH 8880] Public Health Study Abroad (3) (up to 3 credits of PH 8880 may count here)

MPH Health Management and Policy Concentration

The MPH health management and policy (HMGP) concentration is concerned with the administration and management of public, not-for-profit, and community-based health care organizations, formulating and implementing health care policy, analyzing the distribution of and access to health care services, financing and reimbursement of health care services, and evaluating quality and outcomes of health care services and programs. The Health Management and Policy concentration draws upon a variety of disciplines, including health administration, health policy, public administration, business, public health law, health ethics, and economics.

Required MPH HMGP Concentration Courses (9 hours):

  • PH 7130 Leadership and Public Health (3)
  • PH 7170 Public Health Policy (3)
  • PH 8250 Health Economics and Policy (3)

MPH HMGP Concentration Elective Courses (9 hours):
Select at least two (2) courses from the following HMGP list A of approved elective courses (6 hours):

  • PH 7012 Health Program Planning, Implementation and Evaluation (3)
  • PH 7300 Urban Health (3)
  • PH 7340 Built Environment and Health (3)
  • PH 7521 Evaluation Research (3)
  • PH 7535 Dissemination and Implementation Science (3)
  • PH 7600 Global Health (3)

Select at least one (1) course from the following HMGP list B of approved elective courses (3 hours):

  • PH 7325 Urban Health Seminar (1)
  • PH 7522 Qualitative Research (3)
  • PH 7525 Statistical Computing (3)
  • PH 7555 Disability and Public Health (3)
  • PH 7565 Disability Policy (3)
  • PH 7570 Childhood Obesity Prevention (3)
  • PH 8290 Population Health Informatics (3)
  • [PH 8880] Public Health Study Abroad (3) (up to 3 credits of PH 8880 may count here)
  • HA 8190 Health Policy and Ethics (3)
  • HA 8700 Health Services Research and Evaluation Methods (3)
  • HHS 8000 Trends Affecting Health. Policies, Practices, Laws (3)
  • LAW 7244 Public Health Law (2-3)
  • PMAP 8010 Social Policy (3)
  • PMAP 8431 Leadership and Organizational Behavior (3)
  • PMAP 8531 Policy Analysis (3)
  • [SOC 7110] Aging Policy and Service (3)

MPH Health Promotion and Behavior Concentration

The concentration in Health Promotion and Behavior (HPMB) will provide MPH students with the skills, knowledge, and experiences to promote health and prevent diseases within populations and communities. This concentration will also provide students with a strong foundation for developing expertise in health promotion by specifically emphasizing public health, ecological, and behavioral contexts throughout the curriculum. Courses are designed to integrate theory, practice, and research.

Required MPH HPMB Concentration Courses (9 hours):

  • PH 7016 Introduction to Health Promotion (3)
  • PH 7022 Health Behavior Theory for Public Health Research (3)
  • PH 7521 Evaluation Research (3)

MPH HPMB Concentration Elective Courses (9 hours):
Select at least 3 courses from the following list of HPMB approved elective courses:

  • PH 7014 Epidemiology of STDs and HIV (3)
  • PH 7020 Principles of Tobacco Control (3)
  • PH 7025 Health Disparities (3)
  • PH 7027 Fundamentals of Biostatistics II (3)
  • PH 7170 Public Health Policy (3)
  • PH 7265 Epidemiology and the Prevention of Violence (3)
  • PH 7275 Chronic Disease Epidemiology (3)
  • PH 7300 Urban Health (3)
  • PH 7340 Built Environment and Health (3)
  • PH 7365 Epidemiology of Adolescent and Young Adult Health Risk Behaviors (3)
  • PH 7522 Qualitative Research (3)
  • PH 7525 Statistical Computing (3)
  • PH 7535 Dissemination and Implementation Science (3)
  • PH 7555 Disabilities and Public Health (3)
  • PH 7565 Disability Policy (3)
  • PH 7570 Childhood Obesity Prevention (3)
  • PH 7600 Global Health (3)
  • [PH 8260] Spatial Population Health I (3)
  • [PH 8261] Spatial Population Health II (3)
  • PH 8275 Health Literacy (3)
  • PH 8285 Social Determinants of Public Health (3)
  • PH 8880 Public Health Study Abroad (3) (up to 3 credits of PH 8880 may count here)

8040.15 MPH Degree Progression

Critical milestones are assessed based on credit hours and semesters completed within the MPH degree program.

  • Milestone #1:  Students are expected to have their thesis/capstone (culminating experience) proposal accepted by their thesis/capstone chair and committee by no later than the completion of 36 credit hours in the MPH program.  The approved thesis proposal form must be submitted to the Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services within the same 36 credit hours.  Waivers to this credit rule are by petition only and may be adjusted for approved leaves of absence, medical leave or disability as detailed elsewhere in school or university policies.  Failure to submit an approved thesis/capstone proposal by the conclusion of 36 credit hours will place the student on scholastic probation.
  •  Milestone #2: Once a student initially enrolls in their thesis/capstone course, students are expected to successfully defend and publish (upload to Georgia State University) their thesis/capstone within two academic semesters (including summer).  Failure to complete the thesis/capstone within two academic semesters will place the student on scholastic probation.  Failure to complete the thesis/capstone by the end of the 3rd semester will result in a scholastic exclusion from the MPH program.
  • Milestone #3:  The maximum time limit set by the faculty for completing the MPH graduate degree program is six (6) years from the first semester of admission to the MPH.  After six years, courses will begin to expire in order of first completed, and may require re-enrollment or replacement with advanced coursework to satisfy degree requirements.

If a student’s progress indicates scholastic probation, the student will receive a notice of this from the Director of the Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services (OAA), and the notice will be sent by e-mail message to their official Georgia State University e-mail account. Within fifteen (15) working days of receipt of this notice, the student should submit a memo to the Director of OAA (from the student’s Georgia State University e-mail account) documenting how he or she intends to achieve the relevant milestone before reaching the criterion for initiating a dismissal action. If a student’s progress indicates initiation of a scholastic exclusion action or if a student fails to submit a memo, the student will receive a scholastic exclusion action notice from the Director of OAA.

Students may appeal the pending exclusion action by petitioning the Dean of the School of Public Health but they must do so before the end of the semester in which their progress first indicated initiation of an exclusion action. If they appeal, students are required to submit as part of their appeal an individualized plan, approved by their thesis/capstone chair, detailing dates by which they intend to meet any milestones yet unachieved.

At any time the student believes they may have difficulty meeting the critical milestones, they should immediately consult with their Graduate Advisor in the Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services.

8040.20 Master of Public Health /Juris Doctor Dual Degree

The College of Law and the School of Public Health offer a Juris Doctor (JD)/ Master of Public Health (MPH) in the Health Management and Policy (HMGP) concentration dual degree program. This dual program provides an opportunity to pursue studies in law and public health concurrently. The JD/MPH-HMGP enables students to earn both degrees in a shorter time than would be possible if students pursued each degree separately. Dual degree programs include separate, but affiliated degree programs that are linked through shared curricular offerings and collaborative administrative processes.

Credit hours earned in one degree program satisfy some requirements of the other degree program. No credit hours for the MPH courses will be applied toward the JD requirements until a student has completed the MPH; similarly, no credit hours for the JD courses will be applied toward the MPH requirements until completion of the JD. In other words, a student cannot graduate from the JD and MPH in the same semester—a student must graduate from either program in a given semester, and then the second program in a subsequent semester. Students interested in pursuing a JD/MPH must be admitted into and enroll in both degree programs prior to completion of 30 credit hours of MPH coursework and 60 hours of JD coursework in order to qualify for the dual degree program. When admitted to the JD/MPH program, students must complete the first 30 hours of required courses in the JD program as soon as possible (immediately upon JD admission). After completion of these 30 hours of law courses, course enrollment in either college or both colleges concurrently is permitted and may resume. Students must complete the dual degree program within six years of the initial semester of enrollment. Students should be able to complete both degrees in four years.

JD/MPH Dual Degree Admissions

To participate in the JD/MPH dual degree program, students must apply separately for admission to the College of Law and the School of Public Health. Students are strongly encouraged to apply to both programs simultaneously. However, there is some opportunity to apply and enroll in the dual degree program after admission to only one of the schools, if a student has not proceeded too far in that school’s program. Students interested in pursuing a JD/MPH must be admitted into and enroll in both degree programs prior to completion of 30 credit hours of MPH coursework and 60 hours of JD coursework in order to qualify for the dual degree program.

Students must take the LSAT to apply to the College of Law. The School of Public Health will accept the LSAT in lieu of the GRE if a student is admitted into the College of Law first. If a student applies concurrently to the College of Law and School of Public Health, or if a student is admitted to the College of Law after they are admitted to the School of Public Health, that student will need to provide a GRE score as well. Admission into one program does not presume admission into the other. Students who gain admission into both programs and become dual degree JD/MPH students should self-disclose their dual degree status to the MPH Graduate Advisor at the School of Public Health and the Associate Director of the Center for Law, Health and Society at the College of Law immediately upon admission into their second program of study (either JD or MPH). An email from the student to both the MPH Graduate Advisor and CLHS Associate Director is preferred. Failure to send this notification to their two advisors may result in the student having to complete both programs in their entirety and become ineligible for the dual JD/MPH degree program opportunity.

What can I do with a dual degree in law and public health?

  • Private law practices specializing in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and food and drug policy
  • Legal counsel in federal, state, and local government agencies
  • Government affairs and advocacy
  • Research institutions and higher education
  • Non-profit organizations

Resources like the CDC’s Public Health Law Program, Network for Public Health Law, APHA Law Section, and the American Health Lawyers Association provide connections to similarly trained individuals throughout the country through conferences, training, and networking. Read more information in the findings from the Network for Public Health Law’s interactive tool.

JD/MPH HMGP DUAL DEGREE REQUIREMENTS (106 hours)

MPH – minimum 28 School of Public Health credit hours (+ 14 or more public health-related College of Law credit hours, taken for the JD)

Required MPH Core Courses (16 hours):

  • PH 7011 Epidemiology for Public Health (3) or PH 7711 Epidemiologic Methods I (3)
  • PH 7017 Fundamentals of Biostatistics I (4)
  • PH 7140 Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health (3)
  • PH 7150 Environmental Health (3)
  • PH 7160 Introduction to the Health Care System (3)

Required MPH Research Methods Course (3 hours):

PH 7019 Public Health Research Methods (3)

Required MPH HMGP Concentration Courses (6 hours):

  • PH 7130 Leadership and Public Health (3)
  • PH 7170 Public Health Policy (3)

Required MPH Thesis or Capstone Project Course (3 credit hours):

Required MPH Practicum Course (2 credit hours) or (2 credit hours minimum) of public health-related Lawyering Skills Course:

PH 7960 Public Health Practicum (2) or Public Health-Related Lawyering Skills Course (2+)*
*Standard MPH HMGP students complete two (2) credit hours of PH 7960 Public Health Practicum; however, JD/MPH HMGP dual degree students may satisfy this PH 7960 requirement by completing 3-6 credit hours of a College of Law lawyering skills course: specifically in the Health Law Partnership (HeLP) Legal Services Clinic at Georgia State University [law.gsu.edu/clinics/help-legal-services-clinic/], a health law related externship [law.gsu.edu/experiential-learning/externships/], or Health Legislation and Advocacy clinical program [law.gsu.edu/clinics/]. For either a traditional PH 7960 practicum or for a lawyering skills course in lieu of a practicum, the student must FIRST complete all MPH core courses, LAW 7240, and LAW 7244 before beginning the practicum or lawyering skills course. If a lawyering skills course is taken prior to completing those required MPH core courses, it will not count for the PH 7960 practicum requirement. This is simply because the MPH curriculum design requires the practicum to be an opportunity for students to demonstrate the specific MPH knowledge and skills they learned in their MPH courses; therefore, students cannot apply the knowledge and skills acquired through their MPH courses of study in the practicum until after they have completed those MPH courses. Students must submit a Waiver/Substitution form to the School of Public Health for the lawyering skills course to be counted in lieu of the PH 7960 practicum requirement [publichealth.gsu.edu/students/practicum/practicum-forms/]. The School of Public Health will make the final decision on if a completed lawyering skills course fulfills the PH 7960 requirement. Alternatively, JD/MPH student may elect to complete the standard public health practicum course.

Required MPH HMGP Concentration-related College of Law Elective Courses (12 hours):

  • LAW 7240 Health Law: Financing and Delivery (3)
  • LAW 7244 Public Health Law (3)
  • 6 hours of any qualifying College of Law electives related to both health management and policy and law with “B”grade or better– counted below

JD – minimum 78 College of Law hours (+12 or more law-related School of Public Health credit hours, taken for the MPH)

43 hours of required College of Law course

35 hours of College of Law elective courses, which include:

12 hours HMGP Concentration-related College of Law Elective Courses:

  • LAW 7240 Health Law: Financing and Delivery (3)
  • LAW 7244 Public Health Law (3)
  • 6 hours of any qualifying College of Law electives related to both health management and policy and law

23 hours of additional elective courses
(3 hours could be a lawyering skills course such as externship, clinic, or summer fellowship for credit, relevant to public health)

At least 2 hours of the 35 must satisfy writing requirement (health law or other)

8040.30 Master of Public Health / Doctor in Philosophy in Community Psychology Dual Degree

The Department of Psychology and the School of Public Health offer a joint Master of Public Health/Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Psychology. Students enroll in either the Health Promotion and Behavior or the Epidemiology concentrations of the MPH program in the School of Public Health and in the Community Psychology concentration of the Department of Psychology. This dual program provides an opportunity to pursue studies in public health and community psychology concurrently. The MPH/Ph.D. Community Psychology enables students to earn both degrees in a shorter time than would be possible if they pursued each degree separately.

Admissions

To participate in the MPH/Ph.D. Community Psychology dual degree program, prospective students are strongly encouraged to apply separately for admission to the College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology (Community Concentration) and the School of Public Health, but are not required to do so. Applicants may complete a single application to the College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology (Community Concentration) and indicate on the application their interest in the dual degree program on their Ph.D. Community Psychology application — if admitted into the Ph.D. Community Psychology program, applicants should email their assigned Ph.D. Community Psychology advisor to ensure their interest in the dual degree program has been noted, and their application is now being considered by the other program of interest (the MPH in the School of Public Health).
Prospective students are strongly encouraged to apply to both programs simultaneously for the same entry term/semester. This gives students the best opportunity to apply the maximum number of dual degree (having credit hours earned in one degree program satisfy some requirements of the other degree program). Still, there is some opportunity to apply and enroll in the dual degree program after admission to only one of the schools, if a student has not proceeded too far in that school’s program. If interested in pursuing a MPH/Ph.D. Community Psychology, students must be admitted into both programs and enroll in the dual degree program prior to completion of 30 hours of MPH coursework or 30 hours of Ph.D. Community Psychology coursework.

Applicants must take the GRE to apply to both programs. Admission into one program does not presume admission to the other. Students who gain admission into both programs and become dual degree MPH/Ph.D. Community Psychology students should self-disclose their dual degree status to their Ph.D. Community Psychology advisor and the MPH Graduate Advisor immediately upon admission into their second program of study (either Ph.D. Community Psychology or MPH). A joint email from the student to both their Ph.D. Community Psychology advisor and the MPH Graduate Advisor is preferred. Failure to send this notification to their advisors may result in the student having to complete both programs in their entirety and become ineligible for the dual MPH/Ph.D. Community Psychology degree program opportunity.

Once admitted to the dual program students will be enrolled in both the School of Public Health and the College of Arts and Sciences concurrently. A student cannot graduate from the Ph.D. Community Psychology and MPH programs in the same semester—a student must graduate from either program in a given semester, and then the second program in a subsequent semester. Students are expected to complete your dual degree program within six years of the initial semester of enrollment (and must complete it in no longer than 8 years). The MPH program must be completed within 6 years of initial enrollment. Students should be able to complete both degrees in five to six years.

What can a graduate do with a dual degree in public health and psychology?

  • University/College appointments in higher education in public health, psychology, or allied disciplines
  • Research, evaluation, and/or program roles in international, federal, state, and local government agencies
  • Research, evaluation, and/or program roles in public and private research and evaluation firms, foundations, and advocacy organizations
  • Variety of roles in policy and advocacy organizations
  • Independent consulting

In addition to major organizations in Public Health (e.g., American Public Health Association, APHA) and Community Psychology (Society for Community Research and Action, SCRA), several interdisciplinary professional organizations like the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE), American Evaluation Association (AEA), and the Society for Prevention Research (SPR) provide links to similarly trained individuals throughout the country through conferences, training, and networking.

Degree Requirements for Dual MPH/Ph.D. Community Psychology Program
(98-104 for Students in MPH Health Promotion and Behavior and 101-107 hours for Students in MPH Epidemiology Concentration)

MPH HPMB Concentration– 45 hours
16 hours of MPH core courses

  • PH 7011 Introduction to Epidemiology (3) or PH 7711 Epidemiologic Methods I (3)
  • PH 7017 Fundamentals of Biostatistics I (4)
  • PH 7140 Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health (3)
  • PH 7150 Environmental Health (3)
  • PH 7160 Introduction to Health Care System (3)

3 hours of research methods (taken in either psychology or public health)
Choose one (3):

  • PH 7019 Public Health Research Methods (3), or
  • PSYC 8010 Research Methods in Psychology, or
  • PSYC 8014 Research Methods in Community Psychology.

9 hours of MPH HPMB concentration courses

  • PH 7016 Introduction to Health Promotion (3)
  • PH 7022 Health Behavior Theory for Public Health Research (3) (possibly satisfies Ph.D Community Psychology elective)
  • PH 7521 Evaluation Research (3)

9 hours of Psychology Core/Community Psychology (possibly satisfies MPH electives)

  • PSYC 8200 Introduction to Community Psychology (3)
  • PSYC 8420 Psychological Research Statistics II (3)

Choose one (3):

  • PSYC 8220 Community Interventions, Social Change, and Prevention (3)
  • PSYC 8060 Issues of Human Diversity (3)
  • PSYC 8230 Assessment, Consultation, and Evaluation I (ACE I)
  • [PSCY 8260] Assessment, Consultation, and Evaluation in Community Psychology II (ACE II)
  • PSYC 8280 Psychology, Advocacy, and Organizing (3)
  • PSYC 9900 Qualitative Methods (3)
  • PH 7522 Qualitative Research (3)

2 hours of MPH practicum

PH 7960 Public Health Practicum (2)

3 hours of MPH thesis
PH 7990 Public Health Thesis (3)

Note: Students should simultaneously register for PSYC 8999 Master’s Thesis Research (3) to fulfill psychology thesis requirements; however, this PSYC 8999 course does not count towards the MPH thesis requirement or MPH degree program.

Note: MPH/Ph.D. dual degree students must complete PH 7990 Public Health Thesis (3): Capstones or other MPH culminating experiences are not permitted for MPH/Ph.D. Community Psychology dual degree students.

MPH EPID Concentration – 48 hours
16 hours of MPH core courses

  • PH 7711 Epidemiologic Methods I (3)
  • PH 7017 Fundamentals of Biostatistics I (4)
  • PH 7140 Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health (3)
  • PH 7150 Environmental Health (3)
  • PH 7160 Introduction to Healthcare System (3)

3 hours of research methods (taken in either psychology or public health)
Choose one (3):

  • PH 7019 Public Health Research Methods (3), or
  • PSYC 8010 Research Methods in Psychology, or
  • PSYC 8014 Research Methods in Community Psychology.

12 hours of MPH EPID concentration courses and elective

  • PH 8721 Epidemiologic Methods II (3)
  • PH 7027 Fundamentals of Biostatistics II (3)
  • PH 7525 Statistical Computing (3)

Choose one from the Approved EPID elective course list (3):

  • PH 7290 Case Studies in Epidemiology (3), or
  • PH 7355 Prevention Methods (3), or
  • PH 7014 Epidemiology of HIV/STD (3), or
  • PH 7265 Epidemiology and the Prevention of Violence (3), or
  • PH 7275 Chronic Disease Epidemiology (3), or
  • PH 7280 Infectious Disease Epidemiology (3), or
  • PH 7285 Social Determinants of Public Health (3), or
  • PH 7365 Epidemiology of Young Adult & Adolescent Risk Behaviors (3), or
  • PH 8790 Special Topics in Epidemiology (3)

9 hours of Psychology Core/Community Psychology (possibly satisfies MPH electives)

  • PSYC 8200 Introduction to Community Psychology (3)
  • PSYC 8420 Psychological Research Statistics II (3)

Choose one (3):

  • PSYC 8220 Community Interventions, Social Change, and Prevention (3)
  • PSYC 8060 Issues of Human Diversity (3)
  • PSYC 8230 Assessment, Consultation, and Evaluation I (ACE I)
  • [PSCY 8260] Assessment, Consultation, and Evaluation in Community Psychology II (ACE II)
  • PSYC 8280 Psychology, Advocacy, and Organizing (3)
  • PSYC 9900 Qualitative Methods (3)
  • PH 7522 Qualitative Research (3)

2 hours of MPH practicum
PH 7960 Public Health Practicum (2)

3 hours of MPH thesis
PH 7990 Public Health Thesis (3)

Note: Students should simultaneously register for PSYC 8999 Master’s Thesis Research (3) to fulfill psychology thesis requirements; however, this PSYC 8999 course does not count towards the MPH thesis requirement or MPH degree program.

Note: MPH/Ph.D. dual degree students must complete PH 7990 Public Health Thesis (3): Capstones or other MPH culminating experiences are not permitted for MPH/Ph.D. Community Psychology dual degree students.

Ph.D. Community Psychology—53-59 hours
15-24 hours of remaining core and elective courses in Psychology

  • PSYC 8060 Issues of Human Diversity (0-3) (may have been taken for MPH already; if so, not required here)
  • PSYC 8490 Scientific and Professional Ethics in Psychology (3)
  • PSYC 8500 History of Psychology (3)
  • PSYC 9940B Specialized Seminars in Psychology (3)
    Note: one credit hour of PH 7325 Urban Health Seminar (1) may be used towards this requirement with approval from the PSYC department.
  • PSYC 9960A Teaching Supervision A (3)

Community Psychology Elective courses approved by doctoral program advisor (up to 6 hours may have been taken for MPH already; if so, not required here). Choose three (3-9):

  • PSYC 8220 Community Interventions, Social Change, and Prevention (3)
  • PSYC 8060 Issues of Human Diversity (3)
  • PSYC 8230 Assessment, Consultation, and Evaluation I (ACE I)
  • [PSCY 8260] Assessment, Consultation, and Evaluation in Community Psychology II (ACE II)
  • PSYC 8280 Psychology, Advocacy, and Organizing (3)
  • PSYC 9900 Qualitative Methods (3)
  • One PSYC department-approved MPH concentration course (3)

6 hours of community psychology practicum

9 hours of community psychology reading for general exam

  • PSYC 9980 Readings for General Examination (9)

20 hours of community psychology doctoral dissertation

  • PSYC 9999 Doctoral Dissertation Research (20)
  • PSYC 9910 Research Hours (Ongoing registration is required throughout the duration of the Ph.D. Community Psychology program, though PSYC 9910 hours are not counted towards either degree requirements.)

8050 Graduate Certificate in Public Health

8050 Graduate Certificate in Public Health

The Graduate Certificate in Public Health (GCPH) is a 16-credit hour program of study. The content includes three core courses taught in the Master of Public Health degree program and two electives. All courses have been specially designed and developed for students currently working in public health or related field who seek to maintain, upgrade, or advance their public health knowledge and skills.

The Graduate Certificate in Public Health will offer strong foundations in public health theory, research, and practice, for example:

  • Community Health Practice and Research
  • Program Planning, Management, and Evaluation
  • Human Communication
  • Health Promotion and Education
  • Environmental Health
  • Health and Human Rights
  • Health Policies

GRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN PUBLIC HEALTH REQUIREMENTS (16 hours):

  1. Required GCPH Core Courses (10 hours)
    • PH 7011 Epidemiology for Public Health (3) or PH 7711 Epidemiologic Methods I (3)
    • PH 7017 Fundamentals of Biostatistics I (4)
    • PH 7160 Introduction to the Health Care System (3)
  2. Required GCPH Elective Courses (6 hours):
    • Select at least two electives in consultation with either the SPH Graduate Advisor in the Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services (OAA) or a faculty mentor. Electives must be approved, in writing, by OAA and should be geared toward maintaining, upgrading, or advancing public health knowledge and skills related to the student’s current or future career.

Applying GCPH credit hours to Public Health Graduate degree programs. Students who wish to change from GCPH enrollment to graduate degree seeking status must file an application for the graduate program desired and provide all supporting documents by the appropriate deadline for the semester for which admission is sought. Further information on application procedures for admission to degree programs in the School of Public Health may be obtained from the Office of Academic Assistance and Graduate Career Services: publichealth.gsu.edu/academic/apply/.

GCPH credit hours may apply to School of Public Health graduate degree programs. However, all credits, including GCPH-earned credits, presented for the Master’s degree must have been earned within six calendar years of the date of Master’s degree conferral, and all credits presented for the Ph.D. degree must have been earned within nine calendar years of the date of Ph.D. degree conferral. Grades from all attempts at all Georgia State University courses that are taken at the graduate level will become part of the student’s GPA.

8060 Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health

Shannon Self-Brown
Professor and Doctoral Program Director

Approved by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents in March 2011, the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Health academic degree in the School of Public Health is the first Georgia Board of Regent’s approved public health doctoral degree in the metropolitan Atlanta area.  The degree requirements will serve to educate the next generation of prevention scientists conducting public health research in academia, governmental public health, health care organizations and the private sector. Within the doctoral degree, students choose between distinct doctoral concentrations, or programs of study, offered by the School. They include: Epidemiology (EPID), Environmental Health (EVHT), Health Promotion and Behavior (HPMB), or Health Services and Policy Research (HSRP).  While the Georgia State University School of Public Health offers four distinct Ph.D. programs in four different concentrations—EPID, EVHT, HPMB, and HSRP—this catalog will occasionally refer to a singular Ph.D. degree when discussing requirements that pertain to all School of Public Health doctoral programs of study and students.

8060.10 Ph.D. Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. degree requires completion of a minimum of sixty-two (62) credit hours of coursework and a declared concentration in a public health core area. Students are also required to complete a dissertation. The candidates must satisfy the course requirements and credit hours in the following areas:

Required Prerequisites – MPH Core Courses (16 hours):

  • PH 7011 Epidemiology for Public Health (3) or PH 7711 Epidemiologic Methods I (3) (EPID doctoral students must choose and complete PH 7711; EVHT, HPMB and HSRP doctoral student may complete either PH 7011 or PH 7711)
  • PH 7017 Fundamentals of Biostatistics I (4)
  • PH 7140 Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health (3)
  • PH 7150 Environmental Health (3)
  • PH 7160 Introduction to the Health Care System (3)

Doctoral students may waive these MPH Core Courses if they:

  • enter the Ph.D. program with a MPH degree that included “B” grades or better in their MPH courses related to the five knowledge areas basic to public health (biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health sciences, social and behavioral sciences or dimensions of public health, and health services administration or introduction to the health care system), and/or have successfully completed a comparable course(s) with a grade of “B” or better, as documented by an official university transcript. Syllabi for courses may also be requested.
  • and/or have completed employment or other training(s) that enable them to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities acquired in the MPH core courses listed above.

Students meeting the above criteria should provide a petitions for waiver for each of the five areas (courses) being requested for waiver. The Petition for Waiver is a written statement, along with any evidentiary documentation, that assures the School that the doctoral student has mastered one (or more) of the five areas of knowledge basic to public health through another manner (i.e. MPH degree, career experience, advanced or seminar coursework that included mastery of the five areas of knowledge basic to public health, etc.). This Petition must be approved by the Doctoral Program Director. The Doctoral Program Director may defer to the Director of the Division in which the petitioned course is offered. Upon approval by the Doctoral Program or Division Director, the Petition is then forwarded to the Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services (OAA) for their approval. OAA may request the input of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and/or the Academic Affairs Committee, but that is not required. Once the Director of OAA notes OAA’s approval, the student’s file and PAWS electronic program of study is updated to note satisfaction of the required prerequisite(s).

Students who are admitted without these MPH core courses, comparable courses and/or skills will be required to take the five MPH core courses listed above as prerequisites to the doctoral degree. Some doctoral degree courses may be taken concurrently with prerequisite MPH core courses—students should consult their Faculty Advisor or the Doctoral Program coordinator. Note: In situations where the doctoral student has an MPH or appropriate graduate work from an institution known to the School, the School will pre-waive the prerequisite MPH core courses on behalf of the student during the admission and initial enrollment process. The student should confirm that this has been done by viewing their PAWS program of study audit; still, any student with doubt that this pre-waiver has been done or who does not see a waiver of the MPH core courses in their program of study audit should submit the Petition for Waiver as stated above.

Doctoral Degree Requirements (62 hours):

  1. Required Ph.D. Core Courses (18 hours): 
      The following courses constitute the Public Health Doctoral Degree Core:

      • PH 8721 Epidemiologic Methods II (3)
      • PH 9120 Theory and Practice in Health and Prevention Instruction (3)
      • PH 9140 Advanced Research Methods (3)
      • PH 9150 Public Health Ethics (3)
      • PH 9810 Biostatistical Methods I (3)
      • PH 9820 Biostatistical Methods II (3)
  2. Required Ph.D. Concentration Courses (27 hours):
    Twenty seven (27) hours of required coursework and electives have been established to ensure that students achieve proficiency in the competencies and skills related to each Ph.D. program of study: Epidemiology (EPID), Environmental Health (EVHT), Health Promotion and Behavior (HPMB), or Health Services and Policy Research (HSRP). Each student selects a program concentration upon application to the Ph.D. degree. To meet the individualized, in-depth training needs of doctoral students, many concentration research methods and/or elective areas have multiple course options that doctoral students may choose from to satisfy their unique learning needs and future career paths. All choices should be made in consultation with the student’s Faculty Advisor, and Faculty Advisor agreement with the course choices is implied on the Faculty Advisor and Doctoral Advisory Committee approved Doctoral Program of Study form (see Section 8060.60 Doctoral Program of Study Form for more information). Students are encouraged to seek Faculty Advisor consultation well before concentration research methods and/or elective course registration.
  3. Required Ph.D. Professional Seminar Courses (5 hours):
    • PH 9180 Doctoral Research Seminar I (3)
    • PH 9181 Doctoral Research Seminar II (2)
  4. Required Comprehensive Ph.D. Examination:
    Students will be expected to pass a doctoral comprehensive exam where the student demonstrates mastery of the program competencies and proficiency in the doctoral program body of knowledge. Students will have two opportunities to pass this exam, which is graded Pass/Fail by at least two faculty members in the School of Public Health. Please see the doctoral student handbook for more details about the doctoral comprehensive exam.
  5. Required Ph.D. Research/Teaching/Applied Skills Practicum (3 hours):

PH 9960 Public Health Doctoral Practicum (3)

               6. Required Ph.D. Culminating Experience (9 hours):

PH 9990 Dissertation (9)

The dissertation will provide the student with an educational experience that enables the student to make a significant contribution to the field of public health and to apply the doctoral program knowledge and skills that allow him or her to contribute to the theoretical, conceptual, empirical, or practice base in the field of public health. Enrollment for dissertation credit is permitted only after successful completion of the comprehensive examination. Students must register for a minimum of nine (9) credit hours of PH 9990. Please see the doctoral student handbook for more details about the doctoral dissertation.

Ph.D. Environmental Health Concentration

The following EVHT Competencies describe the knowledge, skills, and abilities a successful graduate will demonstrate the conclusion of this doctoral program:

  • Effectively communicate the concepts of source to receptor of environmental and occupational hazards and the differentiation of the concepts of exposure from dose.
  • Critically analyze alternate routes of entry of toxins into the body including inhalation, ingestion (both dietary and non-dietary) and dermal and the importance of integration of routes with regards to total dose.
  • Demonstrate expertise with instrumentation and their underlying constructs employed for the measurement of chemical, physical and biologic hazards in air, water, soil, and dust.
  • Understand health effects of chemical, physical and biologic agents and the interrelationship of toxicity and dose in defining levels of risk.
  • Critically review, synthesize, and evaluate community and governmental agency conduct of environmental research and interventions and present appropriate implications for public health practice, public policy, and further research.
  • Incorporate ethical standards of practice as the basis of interactions with organizations, communities, and individuals.

Required Ph.D. EVHT Concentration Courses (9 hours)

  • PH 9270 Environmental Exposure Analysis (3)
  • PH 8310 Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology (3)
  • PH 8320 Human Health and Global Environmental Change (3)

Required Ph.D. EVHT Advanced Research Methods and Statistics Courses (12 hours)

Select at least 4 courses in consultation with the Faculty Advisor.

  • PH 8260 Spatial Population Health I (3)
  • PH 8261 Spatial Population Health II (3)
  • PH 8690 Special Topics in Environmental Health (3)
  • PH 8830 Advanced Statistical Topics (3)
  • PH 8840 Statistical Modeling with Latent Variables I: Structural Equation Modeling (3)
  • PH 8850 Statistical Modeling with Latent Variables II: Finite Mixture Modeling (3)
  • PH 8890 Special Topics in Biostatistics (3)
  • PH 9731 Epidemiologic Methods III (3)
  • PH 9741 Advanced Topics in Epidemiologic Methods (3)
  • PH 9890 Doctoral Seminar in Advanced Statistical Modeling (3)
  • Other appropriate research methods/statistics courses may be approved by the Faculty Advisor on the Doctoral Program of Study form. There are a number of departments at the university that offer relevant courses including, but not limited to, Mathematics and Statistics, Managerial Sciences (Decision Sciences unit), Economics, Marketing, Sociology, Public Management and Policy Studies, Psychology, and Educational Policy Studies (Research unit). Other courses that may be approved to satisfy this elective requirement include, but are not limited to, Structural Equation Modeling, Finite Mixture Modeling, Hierarchical Linear Modeling, Longitudinal Modeling, Survival Analysis, Bayesian Inference, Survey Sampling, Causal Inference, Missing Data, or Nonparametric Statistics. Students are recommended to receive approval from their Faculty Advisor prior to enrolling in, paying for, and completing the course.

Required Ph.D. EVHT Concentration Elective Courses (6 hours):

Select at least 2 courses in consultation with the Faculty Advisor.

  • PH 8285 Social Determinants of Health (3)
  • PH 8330 Environmental Factors in Maternal and Child Health (3)
  • PH 8340 Genetic Susceptibilities and Environmental Health (3)
  • Other appropriate Ph.D. EVHT elective courses may be approved by the Faculty Advisor on the Doctoral Program of Study form. Students are recommended to receive approval from their Faculty Advisor prior to enrolling in, paying for, and completing the course.

Ph.D. Epidemiology Concentration

The following EPID Competencies describe the knowledge, skills, and abilities a successful graduate will demonstrate the conclusion of this doctoral program:

  • Understand the strengths and weaknesses of various epidemiologic study designs and research methods.
  • Demonstrate expertise in the ethical conduct of human subjects research, including confidentiality and vulnerable populations.
  • Critically review, synthesize, and evaluate the scientific literature and present appropriate implications for public health practice, public policy, and further research.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in epidemiological research by: (1) formulating a research question and/or corresponding hypotheses, (2) developing the study design, (3) participating in data collection, (4) conducting statistical analyses, and (5) interpreting scientific results.
  • Demonstrate mastery and independence as a researcher by pursuing and completing a specialized area of epidemiologic research.
  • Effectively present and disseminate findings from epidemiologic research to scientific and lay audiences.

Required Ph.D. EPID Concentration Courses (9 hours)

  • PH 9731 Epidemiologic Methods III (3)
  • PH 9741 Advanced Topics in Epidemiologic Methods (3)
  • PH 8830 Advanced Statistical Topics (3)

Required Ph.D. EPID Advanced Research Methods and Statistics Courses (6 hours)

Select at least 2 courses in consultation with the Faculty Advisor.

  • [PH 8260] Spatial Population Health I (3)
  • PH 8261 Spatial Population Health II (3)
  • PH 8840 Statistical Modeling with Latent Variables I: Structural Equation Modeling (3)
  • PH 8850 Statistical Modeling with Latent Variables II: Finite Mixture Modeling (3)
  • PH 8885 Fundamentals of Clinical Trials (3)
  • PH 8890 Special Topics in Biostatistics (3)
  • PH 9890 Doctoral Seminar in Advanced Statistical Modeling (3)
  • Other appropriate research methods/statistics courses may be approved by the Faculty Advisor on the Doctoral Program of Study form. There are a number of departments at the university that offer relevant courses including, but not limited to, Mathematics and Statistics, Managerial Sciences (Decision Sciences unit), Economics, Marketing, Sociology, Public Management and Policy Studies, Psychology, and Educational Policy Studies (Research unit). Other courses that may be approved to satisfy this elective requirement include, but are not limited to, Structural Equation Modeling, Finite Mixture Modeling, Hierarchical Linear Modeling, Longitudinal Modeling, Survival Analysis, Bayesian Inference, Survey Sampling, Causal Inference, Missing Data, or Nonparametric Statistics. Students are recommended to receive approval from their Faculty Advisor prior to enrolling in, paying for, and completing the course.

Required Ph.D. EPID Concentration Elective Courses (12 hours):

Select at least 4 courses in consultation with the Faculty Advisor.

  • PH 7265 Epidemiology and the Prevention of Violence (3)
  • PH 7275 Chronic Disease Epidemiology (3)
  • PH 7280 Infectious Disease Epidemiology (3)
  • PH 7290 Case Studies in Epidemiology (3)
  • PH 7365 Epidemiology of Adolescent and Young Adult Risk Behaviors (3)
  • PH 8285 Social Determinants of Health (3)
  • PH 8790 Special Topics in Epidemiology (3)
  • Other appropriate Ph.D. EPID elective courses may be approved by the Faculty Advisor on the Doctoral Program of Study form. Students are recommended to receive approval from their Faculty Advisor prior to enrolling in, paying for, and completing the course.

Ph.D. Health Promotion and Behavior Concentration

The following HPMB Competencies describe the knowledge, skills, and abilities a successful graduate will demonstrate the conclusion of this doctoral program:

  • Develop expertise in social and behavioral theory, and application of theory to address public health problems at the individual, community or population level.
  • Critically analyze research in terms of the appropriateness of the study design, sample, measures, data analysis, results, and interpretation and critically evaluate the potential impact of the new knowledge gained on public health practices and policies.
  • Develop expertise in research methods and the ethical conduct of research to address scientific questions regarding health promotion research and practice.
  • Develop expertise in statistical and analytic methods used in health promotion research and practice.
  • Develop expertise in planning, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of social and behavior interventions and/or policies that address public health and health behavior, especially around social-ecological interventions and interventions that address health disparities.
  • Develop expertise in the communication of scientific findings, both writing and oral presentations, for both scientific and lay audiences. 

Required Ph.D. HPMB Concentration Courses (9 hours):

  • PH 7535 Dissemination and Implementation Science (3)
  • PH 9130 Intervention and Evaluation of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (3)
  • PH 9095 Measurement and Outcomes in Social and Behavioral Health (3)

Required Ph.D. HPMB Advanced Research Methods and Statistics Courses (12 hours):

Select at least 4 courses in consultation with the Faculty Advisor:

  • [PH 8260] Spatial Population Health I (3)
  • PH 8261 Spatial Population Health II (3)
  • PH 8830 Advanced Statistical Topics (3)
  • PH 8840 Statistical Modeling with Latent Variables I: Structural Equation Modeling (3)
  • PH 8850 Statistical Modeling with Latent Variables II: Finite Mixture Modeling (3)
  • PH 8885 Fundamentals of Clinical Trials (3)
  • PH 8890 Special Topics in Biostatistics (3)
  • PH 9731 Epidemiologic Methods III (3)
  • PH 9741 Advanced Topics in Epidemiologic Methods (3)
  • PH 9890 Doctoral Seminar in Advanced Statistical Modeling (3)
  • Other appropriate research methods/statistics courses may be approved by the Faculty Advisor on the Doctoral Program of Study form. There are a number of departments at the university that offer relevant courses including, but not limited to, Mathematics and Statistics, Managerial Sciences (Decision Sciences unit), Economics, Marketing, Sociology, Public Management and Policy Studies, Psychology, and Educational Policy Studies (Research unit). Other courses that may be approved to satisfy this elective requirement include, but are not limited to, Structural Equation Modeling, Finite Mixture Modeling, Hierarchical Linear Modeling, Longitudinal Modeling, Survival Analysis, Bayesian Inference, Survey Sampling, Causal Inference, Missing Data, or Nonparametric Statistics. Students are recommended to receive approval from their Faculty Advisor prior to enrolling in, paying for, and completing the course.

Ph.D. HPMB Concentration Electives courses (6 hours) 

Select at least 2 courses in public health or other graduate-level programs in consultation with the Faculty Advisor and approved by the Faculty Advisor on the Doctoral Program of Study form. Students are recommended to receive approval from their Faculty Advisor prior to enrolling in, paying for, and completing the course.

Ph.D. Health Services and Policy Research Concentration

  • The following HSRP Competencies describe the knowledge, skills, and abilities a successful graduate will demonstrate the conclusion of this doctoral program:
  • Apply social science (economics, political science, sociology, etc.) concepts, theories and methods to the framing and analysis of research questions in health services delivery and health care policy.
  • Describe major problems in health services delivery and health care policy that are currently the subject of empirical investigations
  • Apply advanced methods of analysis and research design to describe policy-relevant issues in contemporary health care, such as: access to health care, health care financing, insurance market functioning, physician and hospital performance, healthcare management and organization, patient safety and quality of care, and health care workforce
  • Effectively teach concepts and methods of health services and health policy research to students
  • Design a health services or health policy research proposal involving qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods approaches
  • Conduct a health services or health policy research activity investigation suitable for peer-reviewed publication as an independent researcher
  • Function as an interdisciplinary team collaborator in the design and conduct of a health services or health policy research investigation.

Required Ph.D. HSRP Concentration Courses (9 hours):

  • PH 9220 Principles of Health Service Research I: Themes (3)
  • PH 9240 Principles of Health Service Research II: Methods (3)
  • PH 8250 Health Economics and Policy (3)

Ph.D. HSRP Concentration Advanced Research Methods, Statistics and Electives Courses (18 hours)

Select at least 6 pre-approved courses in consultation with the Faculty Advisor.

  • [PH 8260] Spatial Population Health I (3)
  • PH 8261 Spatial Population Health II (3)
  • PH 8285 Social Determinants of Health (3)
  • PH 8290 Population Health Informatics (3)
  • PH 8830 Advanced Statistical Topics (3)
  • PH 8840 Statistical Modeling with Latent Variables I: Structural Equation Modeling (3)
  • PH 8850 Statistical Modeling with Latent Variables II: Finite Mixture Modeling (3)
  • PH 8885 Fundamentals of Clinical Trials (3)
  • PH 8890 Special Topics in Biostatistics (3)
  • [PH 9890] Doctoral Seminar in Advanced Statistical Modeling (3)
  • ECON 8220 Human Resources and Labor Markets (3)
  • PMAP 8141 Microeconomics for Public Policy (3)
  • PMAP 9211 Applying Research to Policymaking: Examples from Health Care Policy (3)
  • SOCI 8118 Aging, Health, and Disability (3)
  • SOCI 8234 Race-Ethnicity and Health (3)
  • Other appropriate Ph.D. HSRP research methods/statistics and elective courses may be approved by the Faculty Advisor on the Doctoral Program of Study form. There are a number of departments at the university that offer relevant courses including, but not limited to, Mathematics and Statistics, Managerial Sciences (Decision Sciences unit), Economics, Marketing, Sociology, Public Management and Policy Studies, Psychology, and Educational Policy Studies (Research unit). Other courses that may be approved to satisfy this elective requirement include, but are not limited to, Structural Equation Modeling, Finite Mixture Modeling, Hierarchical Linear Modeling, Longitudinal Modeling, Survival Analysis, Bayesian Inference, Survey Sampling, Causal Inference, Missing Data, or Nonparametric Statistics. Students are recommended to receive approval from their Faculty Advisor prior to enrolling in, paying for, and completing the course.

8060.20 Faculty Advisor and Ph.D. Advisory Committee Requirements

Upon admission to the Ph.D. degree in Public Health programs, a student is assigned a Faculty Advisor from the SPH faculty. The Faculty Advisor serves as the primary advisor, and mentors the student throughout the program and assists the student in choosing courses, signing off on official documents, and chairing the student’s doctoral advisory committee (and dissertation).

Annual Review of Ph.D. Students

Ph.D. students will be given feedback from their Faculty Advisor on an annual basis. Students are required to:

  1. Set up an appointment with the Faculty Advisor by June 1st each year.
  2. One week prior to the scheduled appointment students must submit:
    • summary of the courses and grades taken since beginning the program,
    • a summary of professional scholarship in the last year,
    • a course paper/assignment or another product that demonstrates scientific writing skills, and proficiency with statistics.
    • a self-assessment of mastery of the doctoral competencies to date.

Faculty Advisors will use this portfolio to evaluate student progress in several areas: coursework progress and demonstrated mastery of doctoral competencies, professional scholarship, scientific writing including dissertation writing, statistical proficiency, and overall professionalism. Ph.D. milestones and goals for the next academic year should also be discussed. All students will receive written feedback from the Ph.D. Program Director or designated faculty mentor summing up the evaluation ratings and the student’s standing with the program.

If progress is unsatisfactory, the student will plan a course of action with his or her advisor and the Ph.D. Program Director to improve his/her progress.  If the student demonstrates unsatisfactory progress on the plan, or during more than one annual review, he or she may be scholastically excluded from the doctoral program.

8060.30 Continuous Enrollment Policy and Degree Completion

Students in all graduate programs, including doctoral programs, must maintain enrollment totaling six hours (or more) over three consecutive semesters, including summers.  In other words, the total enrollment of the current term plus the two terms preceding it must add up to six hours or more.  The status of all students will be checked by the midpoint of each term for compliance with the continuous enrollment requirement.  Any student whose enrollment is noncompliant will receive a hold on their registration, which would prevent registering for all current and future classes.  Those students will be notified by an e-mail message sent to their official Georgia State University e-mail account.  To resume their programs, students with continuous holds on their enrollment must file for re-entry by the published deadline and must enroll at a level sufficient to satisfy the continuous enrollment criterion.  That is, their enrollment in the re-entry term plus the two terms preceding it must total six hours or more.  The maximum required enrollment level for the re-entry term is six hours.  For more information on the re-entry process, contact the Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services.

8060.40 Grade Point Average and Course Grade Requirements for Doctoral Students

Doctoral students must maintain a 3.2 or better overall institutional grade point average (GPA) to progress from one semester to the next, and must receive a grade of “B” or better for each School of Public Health based course (courses with prefix “PH” in front of the course number).  Any doctoral student earning a grade of B- or below must repeat the public health course or not count the course towards their doctoral program of study.  Doctoral students whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.2 at the end of a semester will receive a scholastic warning from the School.  If at the end of the following six semester hours of enrollment, the student has not achieved a 3.2 cumulative GPA, he or she will be scholastically excluded from the doctoral program.  Any student who is scholastically excluded from the program may apply for readmission after a period of one year. Time Limitations for Doctoral Students (see section 8060.50) will still apply.

8060.50 Residency Requirements and Time Limitations for Doctoral Students

The purpose of requiring completion of all degree requirements within a fixed period is to ensure currency, continuity, and coherence in the academic experiences leading to the degree.  Within nine (9) years of the student’s term of first matriculation, it is required that he or she complete all degree requirements.  Moreover, all requirements for doctoral candidacy (coursework, comprehensive examination, prospectus approval) must be completed within seven years (7) of the student’s first term of matriculation.  No coursework completed more than seven years before admission to candidacy may be used to meet any doctoral degree requirement.  Enrollment for a minimum of three semester hours of credit is required during at least two out of each three-term period following successful completion of the comprehensive examination until graduation.  This enrollment must include a minimum of nine semester hours of dissertation (PH 9990) credit but may also include other coursework.  The student must be enrolled in and successfully complete three semester hours of graduate credit (typically dissertation hours) during the final academic term in which all degree requirements are completed and the student graduates.  Additional information about time limits and expected doctoral program completion milestones may be distributed by the Doctoral Program Coordinator, Division Directors, or a designated faculty member to doctoral students in the School of Public Health Doctoral Student Handbooks. Doctoral students will be subject to all the doctoral program completion milestone requirements, details and policies distributed in the School of Public Health Doctoral Student Handbooks. Failure to meet any of these doctoral program completion milestones may result in scholastic dismissal from the doctoral program.

8060.60 Doctoral Program of Study Form

The signed preliminary Doctoral Program of Study must be submitted to the Doctoral Program Director when the student has completed 20 semester credit hours and no later than three semesters after starting the program. In other words, students who start in the fall semester should submit this form by the end either of the subsequent spring semester, summer semester, or by the beginning of the following fall semester at the latest. Although the preliminary Doctoral Program of Study is completed on a university form, it is for Doctoral Program Director’s use only at the preliminary stage. While OAA might review the form or store it in the student’s file, it is not sent to OAA for degree-auditing purposes. The preliminary Doctoral Program of Study form is simply used for the Doctoral Program Director to confirm that each doctoral student understands the doctoral program requirements, has a realistic plan and timeline in place to complete the requirements within the prescribed time limits, and has made preliminary connections to a Faculty Advisor and likely Doctoral Advisory Committee.

Once all courses (with the exception of the dissertation course) are completed or in-progress, the Doctoral Program of Study form is revised and resubmitted by the student, this time as an official university form that documents completion of the doctoral program requirements to date. This final Doctoral Program of Study form must be approved by the final Faculty Advisor (who will serve as the dissertation chair), the final Doctoral Advisory Committee (who will serve as the dissertation committee), and submitted to the Doctoral Program Director at least two weeks before the student applies for admission to candidacy. It is forwarded to OAA for degree-audit and final approval. The Final Doctoral Program of Study form must show all courses relevant to the doctoral program (including master-level prerequisite courses and any courses approved from other universities), in addition to Georgia State University courses satisfying the minimum doctoral degree requirements.

Transfer credits from another institution: A student may apply a maximum of nine (9) semester hours of approved course credit transferred from another sufficiently accredited institution toward fulfilling Ph.D. degree requirements. Transfer credits are processed by the School and must be approved by petition. Students requesting to petition for transfer of credits must work with the Graduate Advisor in the Office of Academic Assistance.  Approval is at the discretion of the Doctoral Program Coordinator—approval is not guaranteed. The Doctoral Program Director may defer to the Director of the Division in which the petitioned course is offered. All credits, including transfer credits, presented for the Ph.D. degree must have been earned within nine calendar years of the date of degree conferral. No previously taken course with a grade of “B-” or below may be transferred into the doctoral program. Courses transferred-in for the doctoral degree may not be used in fulfilling the Doctoral Public Health Core Courses requirements or the doctoral credit-hour residency requirement. OAA will update the student’s electronic PAWS program of study form at that time.

Credits earned at Georgia State University in either transient, non-degree, or other-Georgia State University-degree status: A student may apply a maximum of nine (9) semester hours of applicable Georgia State University course credit earned prior to Ph.D. program admission (while taking public health courses as either transient, non-degree, or other-Georgia State University-degree or program status) toward fulfilling PH.D. degree requirements. Credits are processed by the School—petition is not required, but students should confirm their previously completed Georgia State University courses are applicable. Students may work with the Doctoral Program Director and the Graduate Advisor in the Office of Academic Assistance to confirm applicability.  Approval is at the discretion of the Doctoral Program Coordinator—approval is not guaranteed. The Doctoral Program Director may defer to the Director of the Division in which the course is offered. All Georgia State University credits presented for the Ph.D. degree must have been earned within nine calendar years of the date of public health doctoral degree conferral. Courses taken at Georgia State University that were applied to another Georgia State University degree program may not be applied to the Ph.D. degree; instead, a student should seek a doctoral course waiver for these courses already applied to another Georgia State University degree program.

Doctoral Course Waivers: Doctoral students may receive a course waiver for any doctoral course already completed as part of another Georgia State University degree program (including the MPH degree program), or if the course content was already learned at another institution or training area, but was not eligible for transfer credit. Students are still expected to take the minimum number of credit hours expected for the Ph.D. degree at Georgia State University (sixty-two (62) credit hours), but when granted a course waiver, the student may complete a different graduate level course, substituted into their doctoral program in order to complete the total sixty-two (62) credit hour requirement of their doctoral degree.

No previously taken course with a grade of “B-” or below may be used for course waiver. Courses waived for the doctoral degree may not be used in fulfilling the Doctoral Public Health Core Course requirements or the doctoral credit-hour residency requirement.

Students hoping to waive a course and substitute it with another should provide a Petition for Waiver noting each doctoral course they hope to waive, and which course they would like to substitute in its place. The Petition for Waiver is a written statement, along with any evidentiary documentation, that assures the School that the doctoral student has mastered the course material in the course to be waived through another manner (i.e. MPH degree, another Georgia State University degree, etc.).

This Petition must be approved by the student’s Faculty Advisor and the Doctoral Program Director. The Doctoral Program Director may defer to the Director of the Division in which the petitioned course is typically offered.

Upon approval by the student’s Faculty Advisor and the Doctoral Program (or Division Director), the Petition is then forwarded to the Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services (OAA) for their approval. OAA may request the input of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and/or the Academic Affairs Committee, but that is not required. Once the Director of OAA notes OAA’s approval, the student’s file and program of study is updated to note a waiver of the required course(s) and the substitution of another course taking its place. (MPH-Level Core Course prerequisite requirements for the doctoral program are exempt from this rule, since these prerequisite course do not count toward the sixty-two (62) credit hour minimum requirement for doctoral programs).

8060.70 Doctoral Comprehensive Examination

Doctoral students must pass a comprehensive examination before being admitted to candidacy. The purpose of the comprehensive examination is to assess each student’s mastery of the doctoral program core curriculum and to determine the student’s readiness to proceed to the dissertation. To be eligible to take the comprehensive examination, the student must have completed all doctoral program prerequisites (MPH Core/Foundational Courses), all Ph.D. core courses (18 credit hours), and achieved a 3.2 or greater cumulative grade-point average in the Ph.D. program of study.  Students must also receive approval from their Faculty Advisor and the Ph.D. Director.  Once approved to take the exam, the Ph.D. Director will provide a study guide for the exam.

The exam is generally offered twice a year (usually Summer and Fall semesters).  The comprehensive examination is a written exam that includes an on-campus and take-home portion.  The on-campus portion includes questions based on

  • coursework completed in the doctoral program prerequisites, specifically the introductory public health learning objectives (CEPH’s MPH and DrPH Foundational Public Health Knowledge) and the MPH Core/Foundational Courses, and
  • the following Ph.D. core courses: PH 8721 Epidemiologic Methods II; PH 9120 Theory and Practice in Health and Prevention Instruction; PH 9140 Advanced Research Methods; and PH 9150 Public Health Ethics.

The take-home portion of the exam is an applied statistics item based on the following Ph.D. core courses:

  • PH 9810 Biostatistical Methods I and PH 9820 Biostatistical Methods II.

Note: The comprehensive exam does not include a focus on the concentration courses or competencies.  The student is expected to demonstrate expertise in the concentration area and its competencies during the dissertation process (proposal meeting, drafting, and dissertation defense).  Each Concentration may have specific requirements related to demonstrating concentration mastery during the dissertation process, and demonstration of concentration competencies will be graded according to a rubric developed by the concentration faculty.  Students should meet with their Faculty Advisor to determine the requirements for the concentration.

To successfully pass the comprehensive exam, the student must demonstrate expertise in expressing ideas with clarity and depth, synthesizing knowledge from public health and related fields, and applying knowledge and critical thinking skills to specific problems or issues in public health.  The exam is graded according to a rubric developed by faculty members who instruct the courses in the Ph.D. core areas.

If the student meets expectations on all exam sections, the student will pass the exam.  If the student has minor issues on just one sub-section of the exam, the faculty graders may opt to offer the student an opportunity for a faculty directed revision via a written addendum that focuses on the identified area of weakness.  If the student demonstrates major weaknesses on one or more sub-sections of the exam, the student will be offered one additional opportunity to complete the written exam the next time is the exam is offered. Students who do not meet expectations on the initial exam may be required to take additional coursework or complete other learning experiences prescribed by the student’s Faculty Advisor, Doctoral Advisory Committee, the Ph.D. Director, and/or a designated faculty member, prior to retaking the exam. Students may only continue in the doctoral program if they complete prescribed additional coursework or learning experiences, if any, by the timeline agreed upon, and pass the comprehensive examination on the second attempt. Students have two opportunities to pass the comprehensive examination. Faculty required revisions to an initial comprehensive examination attempt count as a second examination attempt.  Students have two opportunities to pass the comprehensive examination. Faculty required revisions to an initial comprehensive examination attempt count as a second examination attempt. Failure on the second attempt will result in scholastic dismissal from the doctoral program.

Students are expected to recognize and uphold the highest standards of intellectual and academic integrity. For explicit coverage of these policies students are advised to read the University and Student Codes of Conduct in the Graduate Catalog. These policies discuss plagiarism, cheating on examinations, unauthorized collaboration, falsification, and multiple submissions of material for credit without permission.

Examination content and structure varies between concentrations, between students, and from year-to-year to ensure relevance to the student’s training and integrity in the testing procedure. Information about the comprehensive exam structure and requirements, evaluation and scoring, and the polices governing the testing procedures are distributed by the Ph.D. Director or designated SPH faculty member to comprehensive exam eligible students immediately prior to their comprehensive examination date. Ph.D. students are subject to the comprehensive exam requirements and policies distributed at that time.

8060.80 Admission to Candidacy

Admission to candidacy for a doctoral student is requested immediately after the successful completion of the comprehensive examination.  The following is a complete list of requirements for admission to candidacy:

  1. All prerequisites set as a condition to admission to candidacy have been satisfactorily completed.
  2. The Doctoral Advisory Committee, the Doctoral Program Director, and OAA have approved the final program of study.
  3. A GPA of 3.2 has been maintained for all graduate courses taken and for all completed courses on the program of study. A grade of “B” or better for each School of Public Health based course (courses with prefix “PH” in front of the course number) must be earned, and no course with a grade below C+ may be placed on the final program of study.
  4. Written and oral comprehensive examinations have been passed and reported to the School.
  5. The Doctoral Advisory Committee, including any necessary changes in the membership, is confirmed and all its members have been notified of their appointment.
  6. The residency requirement has been met.

Application for Admission to Candidacy

This form must be submitted to OAA as soon as possible following the completion of the Admission to Candidacy requirements.  Candidacy begins on the date the form is received by the School.  After admission to candidacy, a student must register for at least nine (9) hours of dissertation credit during the completion of the degree program.  Students planning to graduate the same semester they enter candidacy must be admitted by the published deadline for candidacy during that semester and register for nine (9) hours of dissertation credit.  The student must also meet all other deadlines for graduation in that semester.  A student must register for a minimum of three (3) dissertation credit hours in any semester when using University facilities, and/or faculty or staff time. The School shall not accept a dissertation if the student has not been admitted to candidacy for the degree.

Time Limit on Candidacy

All doctoral program degree requirements must be successfully completed within nine (9) years of a student’s first term of matriculation.  The dissertation must be completed within four (4) years following admission to candidacy to qualify for graduation.  If a doctoral student’s candidacy expires after the first week of classes in the final semester, the student is granted the remainder of the semester to complete degree requirements without special permission of the School. Additional information about time limits and expected dissertation completion milestones may be distributed by the Doctoral Program Coordinator, Division Directors, or a designated faculty member to candidacy eligible students immediately prior to their admission to candidacy. Doctoral students will be subject to all the dissertation completion milestone requirements, policies and procedures distributed at that time. Failure to meet any of these dissertation completion milestones may result in scholastic dismissal from the doctoral program.

8060.90 Dissertation

Enrollment for dissertation credit (PH 9990) is permitted only after successful completion of the comprehensive examination.

Doctoral Advisory Committee

It is most important that the persons who serve on the Doctoral Advisory Committee (occasionally referred to as the Doctoral Dissertation Committee), at the time the dissertation research is undertaken, be those faculty members most knowledgeable in the areas of the student’s research. Within the guidelines for committee membership, they should be selected regardless of their concentration affiliation. The Doctoral Advisory Committee consists of a minimum of three members: Two members must be within the School of Public Health and hold graduate faculty status. The third member may be from the School of Public Health or outside the School/Georgia State University, but he/she must have a Ph.D., MD, or other terminal degree and must have expertise in the content area or methodology used in the proposal that can be demonstrated upon review of a curriculum vita by the Doctoral Program Director or student’s Faculty Advisor.

Dissertation Planning

Students pursuing a Ph.D. must complete a dissertation on a subject connected with their major field of study/concentration. The dissertation must present original research, independent thinking, scholarly ability, and technical mastery of a field of study.  Its conclusions must be logical, its literary form must be acceptable, and its contribution to the field of public health should merit publication.

The dissertation must provide the student with an educational experience that enables the student to make a significant contribution to the field of public health and to apply the doctoral program knowledge and skills that allow him or her to contribute to the theoretical, conceptual, empirical, or practice base in the field of public health.  At a minimum, the dissertation should contribute to at least one of these knowledge bases, as related to the student’s concentration.  These activities must take place under the direction of the student’s dissertation committee.  The study must include all of the following:

  • Identifying an appropriate theory to inform the study.
  • Conceptualizing the research questions and hypotheses.
  • Developing the research design.
  • Applying the appropriate methodology.
  • Interpreting the study results.

Note: These guidelines do allow for secondary data analysis.

The School of Public Health accepts either the traditional dissertation form or the European (manuscript) dissertation format. The European (manuscript) dissertation format contains a first chapter that consists of a thorough synthetic review of the literature for the content area of the student dissertation. The next chapters consist of copies of three (a) published papers, (b) manuscripts in press, (c) manuscripts submitted. Because the manuscripts may have been published, submitted, or targeted for different journals with different journal styles, the chapters may not all be formatted in the same style. As is found in published papers, each chapter would have an Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion section, unless one paper is a review paper, which may be approved as an option by the Doctoral Advisory Committee (dissertation committee). The final chapter should include a global perspective summary that ties together the findings in the three papers and concludes with the future directions for the student’s line of research. This final chapter is not a recapitulation of the middle chapters. This chapter offers the author the unique opportunity to speculate without the fetters that constrain typical research papers.

The School of Public Health requires that the student submitting the dissertation must be listed as the first author of each article used as a chapter. One first-author manuscript that is submitted prior to the dissertation proposal meeting (no more than 1 year in advance) and is linked to the overall theme of the dissertation can be included as one of the three chapters upon approval of the major advisor. The inclusion of any articles that are previously published or accepted for publication requires permission from the copyright holder. Articles not yet copyrighted by another party will be covered under the copyright of the dissertation.

Student dissertation progress will be reviewed as part of the annual evaluation procedures, beginning in the student’s third year of the doctoral program. If a student is not making expected progress on the dissertation, this will be noted on the faculty rated student annual evaluation form as not meeting expectations. Failure to make adequate progress on the dissertation in two consecutive annual evaluations will result in scholastic dismissal from the doctoral program.

Dissertation Proposal/Prospectus and Meeting

Prior to beginning the dissertation, the student must present a dissertation proposal (prospectus) to his/her Faculty Advisor. When the Faculty Advisor certifies that the written proposal for the dissertation is satisfactory, the student should schedule a meeting with the Doctoral Advisory committee to present the proposal (prospectus meeting and defense) and receive approval from the committee before moving forward with dissertation development. Specifically:

  1. The student will provide a complete copy of the proposal (printed hard-copy and electronic) to all members of the Doctoral Advisory committee at least two weeks before the prospectus meeting.  The proposal must be formatted according to the APA Manual of Style (latest edition).
  2. The proposal will include all elements of either the Traditional proposal or European (manuscript) Proposal (Note: Deviations from the chapter approach may be approved by the student’s Faculty Advisor and Doctoral Program Director):
      Traditional proposal:

      1. Chapter 1: Introduction and Statement of Purpose
      2. Chapter 2: Review of the Literature
      3. Chapter 3: Methods
      4. Reference Section
      5. Appendices Section
      European (manuscript) proposal must include:

      1. Chapter 1: Introduction and Statement of purpose
      2. Chapter 2: Description and Outline of three studies that will be developed and submitted during the dissertation process.  NOTE: if one study has already been developed and submitted, please include a copy of that study and describe how the next two studies will build on this work
      3. Reference Section
      4. Appendices Section
  3. Approval of the proposal signifies that members of the Doctoral Advisory Committee believe that the student has proposed a satisfactory dissertation plan.  Approval of the proposal requires the agreement of all members of the Doctoral Advisory Committee except one, as endorsed by their signatures on the appropriate form that, together with this approved prospectus, is filed with the Graduate Advisor in the Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services (OAA).
  4. Before starting the data collection for the dissertation, the student must request approval from the Georgia State University Institutional Review Board (IRB) if human subjects are involved in the research project.

The Faculty Advisor has the primary responsibility for guiding research, but the student should consult all members of the Doctoral Advisory Committee to draw upon their expertise in relevant areas.

Note: Each concentration may have specific, additional requirements for the student during the dissertation process, including at the time of the dissertation proposal/prospectus meeting. This may include a Ph.D. core and concentration exam, such as faculty posing questions to the student at the dissertation proposal meeting that extend beyond the dissertation proposal itself and include assessing the students’ knowledge and skills related to Ph.D. core and concentration competencies, based on student Ph.D. core and concentration coursework and learning experiences. Please meet with your Faculty Advisor and/or Division Director to discuss the specific expectations for your concentration’s proposal meeting, as well as the full dissertation process. This is simply to ensure that faculty are able to assess student mastery on all introductory public health learning objectives and concentration competencies, regardless of dissertation topic.

Dissertation Approval and Defense

When the Faculty Advisor is satisfied with the completed dissertation, he or she will certify that it has his or her approval and is ready to be read by the other members of the Doctoral Advisory Committee.  The Faculty Advisor will then distribute copies of the dissertation to the other members of the Doctoral Advisory Committee and will schedule a final oral defense and notify the SPH.

Subsequently, the SPH will announce the time and place of the defense of the dissertation to the University community. The committee members will have three weeks to read and evaluate the completed dissertation.  Written assent of all committee members except one is required before a dissertation is approved as ready for a final defense. If the Doctoral Advisory Committee declines to approve the dissertation as ready for the final defense, the Faculty Advisor will notify the student and the School in writing and the defense date will be cancelled.

The Faculty Advisor will chair the dissertation defense.  All members of the Doctoral Advisory Committee, except one, must approve the dissertation and the defense, and must certify their approval in writing.  The SPH will only recommend the award of a doctoral degree when the student has demonstrated mastery of necessary theories, concepts and content, and demonstrated competence in the knowledge and skills defined in the competencies for the student’s chosen doctoral program concentration. The results of the defense of the dissertation must be reported to the School of Public Health at least two weeks prior to graduation—students should consult the OAA Graduate Advisor for the absolute deadline in a given semester.  The date (year) on the title page of the dissertation shall be the same as the date (year) on which the dissertation is approved by the School, following approval by the Doctoral Advisory Committee.  The final dissertation document must conform to all format and content requirements specified by the School of Public Health.