Global Public Health Sciences - PhD



Global Public Health Sciences- PhD




The Global Public Health Sciences PhD program will educate the next generation of research leaders in diverse areas of global public health disciplines including global infectious and chronic diseases, health systems, and population health sciences.  With practical training opportunities, close interaction with award-winning faculty, and a rapidly growing research infrastructure, the opportunity to study and conduct research in the heart of Washington, DC is unparalleled.

We are committed to ensure that students in the Department of Global Health PhD program will be able to: 

  • Identify a wide range of global health concepts, theories, and methods and apply specialized and advanced methodologies for scientific research in global health.
  • Utilize innovative thinking that will lead to new scientific knowledge for translation into real-world health applications.
  • Develop the capacity to work multidisciplinary and within inter-professional settings, e.g., in collaboration with basic, clinical, and social and behavioral scientists.
  • Conduct independent research studies, analyze data and communicate results.
  • Disseminate research findings to scientific and lay audiences.
  • Apply guidelines for ethical research practice and responsible conduct of research.
  • Understand the roles of equity and social justice in global health research.
GWSPH Doctoral programs admit students for the Fall term each academic year. Applications will be accepted beginning in August and are due no later than December 1st for the next matriculating cohort beginning in the following Fall term.  Find GWSPH graduate admissions information here.
PhD Foundational and Methods Requirements

PUBH 6080 | Pathways to Public Health (0 credits)*
PUBH 6421 | Responsible Conduct of Research (1 credit)
PUBH 8099 | PhD Seminar: Cross Cuttin Concepts in PH (1 credit)
PUBH 6862 | Applied LInear Regression Analuysis for PH Research (3 credits)
PUBH 8416 | Study Design and Evaluation Methods (3 credits)

*PUBH 6080 - Find FAQs on the Advising page here.


Program-Specific Requirements

PUBH 6865 | Applied Categorical Data Analysis  (3 credits)
PUBH 8406 | Global Health Doctoral Seminar I (2 credits)
PUBH 8407 | Global Health Doctoral Seminar II (2 credits)
PUBH 8470 | Global Health Demographic Methods (3 credits)
PUBH 8475 | Research Ethics & Integrity in Domestic & International Research (2 credits)

   and one of the following:

PUBH 6850 | Introduction to SAS for Public Health Research (1 credit)
PUBH 6851 | Introduction to R for Public Health Research (1 credit)
PUBH 6852 | Introduction to Python for Public Health Research (1 credit)


SPECIALIZATION (ELECTIVES):  13 credits minimum
(see program guide for examples)

Course Descriptions

Comprehensive Exam and Dissertation Research

Comprehensive Examination

All  PhD students are required to pass a Comprehensive Examination, which typically occurs following the Spring semester of Year 2.  Comprehensive exams must be successfully completed within three years of matriculation to the PhD program.


Dissertation Preparation & Research

PUBH 8435 | PhD Dissertation Proposal Development (2 credits)
PUBH 8999 | Dissertation Research (9-12 credits)


Non-Academic Requirements

Graduate Teaching Assistant Program (GTAP)

All PhD students must enroll in UNIV 0250- Graduate Teaching Assistant Certification, administered by the University. Successful completion of this Certification is a pre-requisite/co-requisite to taking on a role as a Teaching Assistant, which is a requirement of the program. The University does not allow students to be Teaching Assistants unless this certification is completed. The 1-credit, online certification is paid for by GW, and does not count toward the credit requirements for the PhD.

Professional Enhancement

Students in the PhD program must participate in eight hours of Professional Enhancement. These activities are pre-approved by an advisor and may be Public Health-related lectures, seminars, and symposia related to your field of study.

Professional Enhancement activities supplement the rigorous academic curriculum of the SPH degree programs and help prepare students to participate actively in the professional community. You can learn more about opportunities for Professional Enhancement via the Milken Institute School of Public Health Listserv, through departmental communications, or by speaking with your advisor.  Students submit a completed Professional Enhancement Form to the Office of Student Records which is required documentation to be cleared for graduation.

Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Training

All students are required to complete the Basic CITI training module.  This online training module  will help new students demonstrate and maintain sufficient knowledge of the ethical principles and regulatory requirements for protecting human subjects - key for any public health research.

Academic Integrity Quiz

All Milken Institute School of Public Health students are required to review the University’s Code of Academic Integrity and complete the GW Academic Integrity Activity.  This activity must be completed within 2 weeks of matriculation. Information on GWSPH Academic Integrity requirements can be found here.

Past Program Guides

Students in the PhD in Global Public Health Sciences program should refer to the guide from the year in which they matriculated into the program. For the current program guide, click the "PROGRAM GUIDE" button on the right-hand side of the page.


Our faculty at the Milken Institute School of Public Health are involved in a global profile of strategic research and serve as mentors to students across departments based on areas of specialized interest.  Learn about the Department of Global Health faculty here.