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Preventive Medicine & Community Health

Doctoral Degrees

 

Doctoral Programs in Public Health


Application for this degree program is available through SOPHAS at www.sophas.org

ABOUT THE DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (PHD) AND DOCTOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH (DRPH) DEGREES


Students may choose to work towards a PhD or a DrPH. Some view the PhD as a more research-oriented and the DrPH as a more practice oriented degree. The PhD and DrPH degrees require 72 credit hours for completion. Candidates for either doctoral degree will be required to complete comprehensive written and oral examinations in major and minor areas (if applicable), as well as complete and defend original dissertation research. In addition, students pursuing the DrPH will be required to take Fieldwork I and II and complete an MPH degree unless one has already been earned. Through doctoral level research, the students will develop expertise on a single topic, design and implement a research project, intergrate and interpret complex data, and complete a comprehensive dissertation. Students must plan this carefully. Although the students will work closely with faculty advisors, students bear responsibility for developing research of publishable quality. The curriculum and academic progress of all doctoral students is monitored by a single doctoral program committee. Doctoral students are accepted in the departments of Environmental and Occupational Health, Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Health Education and Behavioral Science, and Health Systems and Policy, on the Piscataway/New Brunswick Campus. The PhD and DrPH degrees are also available on the Newark Campus in Biostatistics and Epidemiology. The program is designed to be flexible and responsive to the needs of individual students. A specific course of study will be selected by the student in consultation with his/her major advisor and then must be approved by the doctoral committee. Typical programs are detailed within the departments offering doctoral degrees, although individual students may make substitutions with the written approval of the doctoral committee.

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS


Each student, in consultation with his or her advisor, must develop a proposed course of study, or curriculum, meets a residency requirement, fulfill a teaching experience, pass a qualifying exam and defend a dissertation. The curriculum must total 72 credits including a minimum of 24 credits of doctoral research. The curriculum must include specification of both a major area of study and the option to select a minor area of study. Each area of concentration may develop its own set of required and elective courses. Once developed, the student's curriculum is presented to the doctoral committee. The committee makes a recommendation to the chair who must approve the curriculum in writing prior to appointment of a qualifying examination committee. A student's entire course of study, including thesis research and defense, must be completed within seven (7) years of admission to the doctoral program.

TEACHING EXPERIENCE


All doctoral students must serve as a teaching assistant for at least one semester. If a student can document sufficient teaching experience at the graduate school level, the chair of the doctoral committee may waive this requirement.

RESIDENCY


Students admitted before September, 2002, were required to meet a residency requirement. This was met by either:

Taking ten (10) credits, eight (8) of which must be didactic, for two semesters which need not be consecutive; or
Conducting doctoral research on a full-time basis on campus over the course of at least one year. These students may opt to attend 15 approved seminars if they have not yet fulfilled the residency requirement. Students admitted for September 2002, and thereafter will no longer be required to fulfill a residency requirement. Instead, they will be required to attend at least 15 seminars or journal clubs during their doctoral studies and to make a presentation at a minimum of five of them. These sessions must be planned in advance and approved by the relevant department doctoral studies coordinator. In general, it is intended that these sessions be organized to engage several doctoral students at a time along with a faculty member in the intellectual substance of a particular discipline. Doctoral studies coordinators will develop policies for their departments with respect to the kinds of sessions that they require. When approved by the relevant coordinator, appropriate sessions organized for one department may serve students in other departments.


QUALIFYING EXAMINATION


The advisor, together with the doctoral committee chair, is responsible for proposing a qualifying examination committee and providing guidance for the student's preparation for that exam. The staff will schedule the qualifying examination. As a student nears completion of his or her approved curriculum, the advisor shall propose to the chair of the doctoral program a committee to administer the qualifying examination to the student. This committee will be made up of at least four members of the UMDNJ - School of Public Health and will include: the advisor, who has primary responsibility for the student's major; a faculty member responsible for the student's minor (if applicable); a faculty member responsible for questions on general public health; and the chair of the doctoral program or his/her designee. The associate dean for the Piscataway/New Brunswick Campus may serve as an ad hoc member of the examining committee. Each of the three parts of the exam (i.e., major, minor, general public health) will be graded on a pass/fail basis and may be passed with up to one dissenting vote.

PUBLICATION OF DISSERTATION AND ACADEMIC DATA


After the granting of the doctorate, the Rutgers University Graduate School-New Brunswick will have the dissertation microfilmed. The dissertation must, therefore, be prepared with the same care as if it were to appear in printed form. The abstract that must accompany the dissertation will be published in dissertation abstracts and, therefore, must be ready for publication when it is submitted to the dean. University Microfilms of Ann Arbor, Michigan, will microfilm the dissertation and publish the abstract. Information concerning the preparation of the dissertation and abstract and the agreement with University Microfilms that the candidate is to sign are available in the office of the Graduate School, Rutgers University, New Brunswick.

PHD CURRICULUM SUMMARY


Students seeking the PhD degree must complete 72 credits and must defend a dissertation.

15 CREDITS in core areas of public health: Students in all departments must take the following five courses: Health Education and Behavioral Science in Public Health, Health Systems and Policy, Introduction to Biostatistics, Introduction to Environmental Health, and Principles and Methods of Epidemiology.

Approximately 33 CREDITS of courses dependant on approved curriculum: These courses are listed in this bulletin under the department description.

24 CREDITS of Doctoral Research.

DRPH CURRICULUM SUMMARY


Students seeking the DrPH degree must complete 72 credits and must defend a dissertation.

15 CREDITS in core areas of public health: Students in all departments must take the following five courses: Health Education and Behavioral Science in Public Health, Health Systems and Policy, Introduction to Biostatistics, Introduction to Environmental Health, and Principles and Methods of Epidemiology.

Approximately 33 CREDITS of courses dependant on approved curriculum: These courses are listed in this bulletin under the department description.

24 CREDITS of Doctoral Research.

Fieldwork [6 credits]: Required if student has not earned a prior MPH degree.

Departments offering the PhD and DrPH Degrees:

 


*Offers PhD only

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