PhD in Public Health Sciences - Social and Behavioral Sciences

The  Social and Behavioral Sciences concentration in the Public Health Sciences PhD program incorporates both theory and application and emphasizes both evidence-based, theory-driven primary prevention of disease and injury and health promotion research and practice. The curriculum is designed so that students receive methodologically intense training and one-on-one research experience with faculty in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

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Learning Goals

PhD Program Goals

  • Develop effective strategies for teaching in higher education
  • Review and synthesize pertinent literature and formulate focused research questions that address identified knowledge gaps
  • Design and conduct original research that uniquely contributes to the public health scientific knowledge
  • Disseminate research findings through appropriate peer-reviewed publications and presentations, and to other public health community audiences

Major Competencies

  • Display broad knowledge and application of relevant public health social and behavioral theories to health promotion and disease prevention strategies
  • Demonstrate rigorous understanding of methodological and statistical principles that enhance research in the public health sciences
  • Review and synthesize pertinent behavioral literature and formulate focused specific aims and research questions that address identified knowledge gaps
  • Design and conduct original research that uniquely contributes to social and behavioral science knowledge base 
  • Disseminate research findings through appropriate peer-reviewed publications and presentations and to other appropriate public health community audiences
View WVU Catalog for Learning Goals

Required Courses

A list of required courses can be found in the WVU Catalog.

View WVU Catalog for Required Courses

Admissions Guidelines

  • A master's degree in Public Health or a closely related field is strongly preferred.  Exceptional applicants with a bachelor's degree in a relevant field may also be considered.
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 is required, 3.5 is preferred.
  • The following GRE scores are preferred: Verbal 150; Quantitative 155; and Writing 3.5.
  • WVU requires international students to submit TOEFL scores.  Preferred scores are as follows: 550 on paper-based; 213 on computer-based; and 80 on internet-based test.
View WVU Catalog for Admissions Guidelines
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