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For Prospective Students

The PhD Program in Community Health is intended for students who have an interest in a rapidly developing program area and are adequately prepared to complete graduate-level coursework in theory, research methods and intervention design. The program is distinguished by its unique focus on three areas of emphasis (social and behavioral health, aging and health, and urban health), multidisciplinary faculty, extensive community partnerships for research and practice, and emphasis on research experience. Students may draw broadly upon faculty from within the College of Urban and Public Affairs and partners across PSU, such as the Department of Sociology and the School of Social Work, as well as from academic and community partners such as Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU) and the Oregon Health Authority.


The School of Community Health currently has 27 full-time nationally and internationally recognized faculty members with doctoral degrees, including 19 tenured or tenure-track professors.  The School is home to two research institutes, the Center for Public Health Studies and the Institute on Aging. Faculty members have research programs that have been funded by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, the Northwest Health Foundation, the Agency on Healthcare Quality and Research, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, among others.  The School has three W.K. Kellogg Foundation scholars and three Fulbright scholars.  In addition, the department supports a popular undergraduate major, an MA/MS program, and the Oregon Master of Public Health program.


The PhD Program in Community Health assists students seeking financial support for University studies by funding them through graduate research and/or teaching assistantships, through faculty research grants, or by helping them to identify and obtain funding outside the program. 


Students interested in a PhD in Community Health should review faculty profiles on our website to learn about ongoing research project,s and areas of interest.  Please contact the Program Director (Dr. Cara Eckhardt, with questons about the PhD program and the School of Community Health main office,, with questions about the application process. For a more general tour of PSU, prospective students can also contact the Office of Graduate Studies.