College of Public Health Guidebooks

PhD Guidebook

Welcome to the PhD Program at the College of Public Health! 

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is granted in recognition of high attainment in a specified field of knowledge. It is a research degree and is not conferred solely upon the earning of credit or the completion of courses. It is granted after the student has shown proficiency and distinctive achievement in a specific field, has demonstrated the ability to do original, independent investigation, and has presented these findings with a high degree of literary skill in a dissertation. This degree requires a minimum of 55 credits post-masters. The mission of the programs of study for the Doctor of Philosophy degree is to prepare public health professionals to make substantive contributions to public health inquiry and practice.

Students should acquire the skills to create and disseminate knowledge, and also to lead, collaborate with and teach others in various public health academic, research and field settings. Therefore, the foundation of a strong PhD program in public health includes:

  • Capable, ethical and scholarly faculty to mentor students in their area of interest,
  • The potential for financial assistance/funding of doctoral student research and teaching,
  • Availability of courses in students area of interest, Students who have the academic and professional potential to achieve the doctoral competencies,
  • Students who are ethical, scholarly representatives of the profession and the school,
  • The availability of meaningful professional development activities, and
  • Opportunities for students to participate in activities.
  • Competencies are met by successfully completing a doctoral committee approved plan of academic study and research, and documented professional and other scholarly experiences.

Admission information can be found on our Graduate Admissions page.

PhD Guidelines

These PhD Guidelines present the USF Office of Graduate Studies policies. The College of Public Health may impose stricter guidelines, policies and procedures as determined by each concentration. It is the responsibility of the student to review and follow the specific guidelines with their concentration chairs, major professor and committee members.

Additional USF policies, not found in these guidelines, may be found at or at

 Steps to Success

Degree and Concentration Information


 PhD Concentrations

PhD Concentrations (2023/2024)

 Getting Assistance

Getting Assistance

The Office of Doctoral Training is here to help. You can reach us at We are located at the College of Public Health in the Chiles Center. 

For Admissions, please go to our Prospective Students page. Contact for admissions information or to request an appointment with an admissions advisor. 


Users may print any single page of the document using the "..." menu in the upper right corner and exporting the page to a PDF copy. 



This version of the PhD Guidebook is the official version of the USF College of Public Health Guidebook for the PhD degree effective for the current catalog. This is a subset of and supplement to the USF Graduate Catalog. If there are conflicts between the two documents the USF Graduate Catalog prevails. The College of Public Health reserves the right to change its rules, courses, and requirements from time to time and to make all such changes applicable to all students, whether new or continuing, when in its sole judgment such changes are deemed necessary.

To view the complete USF Graduate Catalog, go to Graduate catalog; to view overarching USF regulations and policies go to

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