University General Course Catalog 2021-2022 
    
    Sep 29, 2022  
University General Course Catalog 2021-2022 ARCHIVED CATALOG: LINKS AND CONTENT ARE OUT OF DATE. CHECK WITH YOUR ADVISOR.

Public Health, Ph.D.


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The School of Public Health offers a doctoral program in Public Health with two specializations:

  1. Epidemiology, and
  2. Social and Behavioral Health.

The Ph.D. is designed to prepare students for careers in which advanced analytical and conceptual capabilities are required, such as university teaching, research, consulting, policy development or other high-level positions. The Ph.D. in Public Health with a specialization in Epidemiology emphasizes the expertise necessary for an epidemiology research career. The Ph.D. in Public Health with a specialization in Social and Behavioral Health emphasizes the expertise necessary for a public health research career focusing on social and behavioral determinants of health.

Contact Information


School of Public Health
203 Lombardi
(775) 784-1857

Dr. Kristen Clements-Nolle, Graduate Program Director
(775) 682-7097
clements@unr.edu

Program Objectives/Student Learning Outcomes


Graduates will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate and synthesize scientific literature.
  • Develop original research hypotheses and research questions that will advance public health knowledge.
  • Evaluate, justify, and apply appropriate methodological and analytical approaches to address public health research questions.
  • Apply ethical principles pertaining to the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of public health data.
  • Effectively defend research methodology and findings through concise scientific writing and oral presentations.
  • Manage and analyze data using classic and modern approaches appropriate for various study designs using software packages such as SAS, R, STATA, SPlus, and WinBUGS.
  • Interpret results from statistical analyses of epidemiologic studies.
  • Defend analytical models and the results from statistical inferences to diverse audiences through written and oral presentations.
  • Justify and apply statistical theory and methodology in public health and medical research.
  • Formulate appropriate sampling strategies.
  • Demonstrate theoretical knowledge about the influence of diversity and social determinants on health.
  • Design and evaluate psychometric properties of health surveys.

Admission Requirements


Admission Deadline: The application deadline is April 15th. However, to receive full consideration for graduate scholarship funding, applicants are encouraged to submit their application by February 1st. Ph.D. applications are accepted once per year for fall admission. Only full-time students (e.g., 10 credits per semester) will be accepted.

Prospective students must meet both University of Nevada, Reno and School of Public Health requirements for graduate status.

  1. Master of Public Health (MPH) degree or relevant master’s or doctoral degrees from accredited institutions, with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4-point scale preferred.  Occasionally, students can be admitted with a health-related Bachelor’s degree with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 that is confirmed before beginning classes.
  2. Graduate record exam (GRE) scores, which should be above the 50th percentile (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing). GRE scores will be assessed relative to other applicants in the pool. The exam must have been taken within the last five (5) years.
  3. Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s motivation, academic capability, scholarship potential, and personal goals for doctoral study.
  4.  A written statement of personal career, educational and scholarship goals including identification of research interests.
  5.  A current curriculum vitae (CV).
  6. An academic health-related writing sample (for example, a first-author publication or class paper).
  7. An interview with the admissions committee (if invited).
  8. For applicants from non-English speaking nations, a minimum score of 550 for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) paper exam, 80 for the TOEFL Internet-based exam, or 6.5 for the IELTS (International English Language Testing System).

Prerequisite Coursework


Epidemiology Specialization


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

Social and Behavioral Health Specialization


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

Application Process


There are two separate applications necessary for admission to the Ph.D. program: one application and set of materials is to be filled out and submitted directly to SOPHAS and the other application is to be filled out and submitted to the Graduate School of the University of Nevada, Reno. Applicants will not be reviewed for admission until both applications are submitted. Before applying for admission, please note the admission requirements.

Application 1:
The following materials are required for consideration for admission to the Ph.D. program. These materials should be submitted directly to SOPHAS at:

http://sophas.org/

  1. One official copy of transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended.
  2. GRE scores on verbal, quantitative and analytic measures. The exam must have been taken within the last five (5) years. Submit official GRE scores by using the University of Nevada, Reno SOPHAS code 7828.
  3. Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s motivation, academic capability, scholarship potential, and personal goals for doctoral study.
  4. A written statement of personal career, educational and scholarship goals including identification of research interests and name(s) of faculty with whom you want to work.
  5. A current curriculum vitae (CV).
  6. An academic health-related writing sample. (for example, a first-author publication or a class paper)
  7. For applicants from non-English speaking nations, one official copy of TOEFL or IELTS scores. TOEFL scores can be submitted using the University of Nevada, Reno SOPHAS code 7828.

Application 2:
The following materials should be submitted directly to the Graduate School of the University of Nevada, Reno at:
https://unr.force.com

  1. Completed Graduate School online application.

I. Program Requirements


All Ph.D. students must complete a minimum of 72 graduate-level units to graduate. The Ph.D. program requires passing a written qualifying exam after the first year of coursework is completed, a written and oral dissertation prospectus, and a dissertation defense.

A. Epidemiology Specialization


Specialization Competencies:
  • Construct and evaluate models for causal inference and demonstrate their practical application to epidemiologic data.
  • Demonstrate theoretical knowledge of systematic error through the use and application of directed acyclic graphs.
  • Develop and apply statistical methods appropriate for time-to-event data.
  • Judge and design statistical models to investigate mediation, confounding, interaction, and effect modification in the context of epidemiologic research.
  • Critique individual published epidemiologic research studies.

Students will complete 35 units in the Epidemiology Ph.D. core that include a minimum of 8 doctoral seminar units. In addition to the core courses, students will work closely with their academic advisor to select 9 units of Epidemiology electives (may be prescribed).  Students will also take the comprehensive exam (1 unit) and will complete, on average, 24 dissertation units. The remaining 3 units can be approved graduate transfer units.  

Comprehensive Exam and Dissertation (25 units)


B. Social and Behavioral Health Specialization


Specialization Competencies:
  • Justify appropriate qualitative research methodology.
  • Formulate the history, principles, goals or methods in community engaged research.
  • Demonstrate an interdisciplinary approach by integrating an outside academic area into scholarly work.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental principles for designing and implementing mixed methods studies.
  • Examine and evaluate theoretical knowledge about the influence of diversity and social determinants on health.

Students will complete 47 units in the Ph.D. core that include 8 doctoral seminar units (minimum). Students will also take the comprehensive exam (1 unit) and, after advancing to candidacy, will complete 24 dissertation units (on average).

II. Total Units (72 units)


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