Ph.D. in Health Behavior

A comprehensive and collaborative program

Our doctoral program in health behavior trains students to conduct rigorous research to address today's most pressing public health issues. Student take coursework in health behavior, quantitative and/or qualitative research methods, and a minor area outside of our department. Most importantly, PhD students work closely with a faculty advisor to design a program of study and conduct independent research including the dissertation. The faculty members available to advise new doctoral students are listed in our faculty directory. Prospective students are encouraged to communicate with a potential advisor to confirm a match of research interests before applying

  • A master's degree is required for admission.
  • In your research statement, clearly articulate your area of research interest, any research experience you have, what research questions you would like to pursue as a doctoral student, which faculty member you have identified and communicated with as a potential doctoral advisor, and your plans after completion of the degree.
  • Make sure that your recommendation letters speak to your potential to conduct research.
  • If you have one, include a writing sample that demonstrates any research experience or skills that you have.
  • Applicants are required to complete both a SOPHAS and Indiana University application.

Our PhD students receive a funding package that includes a stipend, student health insurance, and tuition remission. First year PhD students are appointed as Research Assistants and work with their advisor on research projects. Starting in the second year, our students gain valuable teaching experience as Associate Instructors after taking a pedagogy course during their first semester.

Although there is a lot of flexibility in the courses that PhD students can choose to take, most students take the following sequence of core doctoral level courses:

Year 1: Methods for public health research, Advanced health behavior theory, Quantitative methods

Year 2: Advanced evaluation research in public health, Pedagogy in health behavior, Acquiring external funds for research, Qualitative methods