General Info

  • Faculty working with students: 41
  • Students: 12
  • Students receiving Financial Aid: 100% of Ph.D. students
  • Part time study available: No
  • Test required: GRE recommended but not required.
  • Application Terms Available: Fall
  • Application Deadlines: November 30
Application Info


Asheley Skinner
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Population Health Sciences
Duke University
Box 104023
Durham, NC

Phone: (919) 668-6360



Program Description

The Department of Population Health Sciences offers a Ph.D. in Population Health Sciences that provides 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
  • Epidemiology
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Economics
  • Health Policy
  • Health Services Research

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.


Application Information

Application Terms Available: Fall

Application Deadlines: November 30

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)
  • 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)

Ph.D. candidates may interview with faculty members.

Writing Sample
None required

We strongly encourage you to review additional department-specific application guidance from the program to which you are applying: Departmental Application Guidance (PhD)