For more information contact
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Population Health Sciences
Phone: (919) 668-6360
General InformationDegree offered:
The Department of Population Health Sciences offers both a Master of Science and a Ph.D. in Population Health Sciences that provide a solid methodological and analytical foundation across broad population health sciences concepts, including basic study design, determinants of health, health disparities, implementation and evaluation, and policies and systems.
Our faculty research spans the areas of:
- Health Measurement Bioethics
- Implementation Science
- Clinical Decision Sciences
- Health Behavior
- Health Economics
- Health Policy
- Health Services Research
For the Master of Science: The MS program consists of coursework, collaborative research projects, and hands-on experience. Students take advanced classes in applied analytic methods, foundational courses in population health sciences, research methods, and study design, along with four electives. Real-world experience comes from a year-long capstone project during which students complete an internship and write a master’s paper. The program requires professional development seminars on topics including leadership and professional adaptability, networking and communication techniques, having a professional presence, and US employer expectations. Broadly, we expect that students entering the MS in Population Health Sciences should have a background or strong interest in the social sciences, quantitative sciences, and health care.
While prior education and other academic markers are important, above all, we are seeking well-rounded students who are passionate about using rigorous research methods to discover opportunities to improve population health, and we welcome students of any age and background who possess this quality. We're interested in candidates who demonstrate professionalism, leadership skills, determination, resilience, and creativity, across all domains of life. Each applicant is considered on the merit of their entire application, and no single factor (e.g., GRE scores) will automatically eliminate a candidate from consideration.
The Master of Science in Population Health Sciences is a quantitatively and methodologically rigorous program; students will take courses that rely on a basic knowledge of statistics and mathematics.
We do not have any specific prerequisites, but we strongly recommend that applicants demonstrate familiarity with these topics through coursework, professional experience, or other means:
- At least one course in introductory statistics, or equivalent work experience. If you have not completed this at the time of your application, we strongly encourage you to take a course at an institution of your choice prior to matriculation. This will prepare you for success in the MS program.
- At least one college-level math course, calculus or higher (e.g., calculus, linear algebra)
General comfort with computers and software will facilitate success in courses emphasizing software-enabled analytic methods, and familiarity with health care would also be beneficial.
For the Ph.D.: There are two minor areas of study: health measurement and health services research. The latter includes a strong focus on implementation science. For all students, the program consists of coursework, a comprehensive examination spanning the core coursework, and a dissertation. Students take advanced classes in quantitative analytic methods, qualitative methods, theories related to population health sciences, and study design along with five electives. Broadly, we expect that students entering the Ph.D. in Population Health Sciences should have a background or strong interest in the health services research, health policy, ensuring health equity, and population health sciences. The doctoral program will equip students with the knowledge and tools they will need to drive science through their research and to work alongside health systems, government agencies, non-profits, industry, and others pursuing improved health of populations.
While prior education and other academic indicators are important, above all, we are seeking well-rounded students who are committed to improving population health, have a clear research interest, and have identified a potential fit with mentor(s) within the department. While not required, we anticipate that most applicants will already have masters-level training. We welcome students of any age and background. Because we value diversity, each applicant is considered on the merit of their entire application. No single factor (e.g., GRE scores) will automatically eliminate a candidate from consideration and we most carefully consider each applicant’s research interests and alignment with population health sciences.
The Ph.D. in Population Health Sciences is a quantitatively and methodologically rigorous program, and students will take courses that rely on strong knowledge of statistics and mathematics.
Prerequisite courses may be required for students without a recently completed Master’s degree. General comfort with computers and software, particularly SAS and R, will facilitate success in courses emphasizing software-enabled analytic methods. Familiarity with health care delivery and health is also beneficial.
Ph.D.: December 1
M.S.: February 28
The priority deadline is January 15.
Applications received by February 28 are guaranteed review. Applications submitted after the February 28 deadline but before the closing date of May 31 will be reviewed on a space-available basis.
Graduate School Application Requirements
See the Application Instructions page for important details about each Graduate School requirement.
- Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts required with application submission; official transcripts required upon admission
- Letters of Recommendation: 3 Required
- Statement of Purpose: Required (See department guidance below)
- Résumé: Required
- GRE Scores: GRE General (Optional for 2022)
- English Language Exam: TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test required* for applicants whose first language is not English
*test waiver may apply for some applicants
- GPA: Undergraduate GPA calculated on 4.0 scale required
Department Specific Application Requirements (submitted through online application)
Master of Science candidates will participate in an interview with a combination of faculty and staff members, and are completed virtually.
Ph.D. candidates may interview with faculty members.
We strongly encourage you to review additional department-specific application guidance from the program to which you are applying: