PhD Community Behavioral Health



Students entering the program will be trained at the graduate level in health promotion and behavior change from a public health perspective. Focus areas of coursework and research include maternal, infant, and child health, adolescent health, teen parents, health disparities, obesity, nutrition, food security, HIV and STDs, adolescent health, substance abuse, mental health, and built environment. Students will also have exposure to other key areas of public health (environmental health, epidemiology, biostatistics, and policy and administration), which allows them to be integrated into the broader public health profession upon graduation.

Studying public health at UW-Milwaukee will allow for opportunities to apply doctoral research to real-world settings. CBHP PhD graduates will be well-prepared scientist-practitioners, able to lead interdisciplinary research and work with a range of communities on our most pressing population health issues. Demand for public health professionals is high in local, state, and federal government, academia, and within non-governmental and community-based organizations across the United States and around the world. This PhD program will prepare students to work in these sectors and more.

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All applicants must complete the required online application. Applicants must meet Graduate School requirements plus the following program requirements to be considered for admission:

  1. A baccalaureate degree in a related field. At least one statistics course is preferred for admission. A minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.00 (A=4.00) preferred.
    *While a completed master’s degree in public health or the social and behavioral sciences is encouraged, a master’s degree is not a prerequisite for admission. For those applicants without a master’s degree in a relevant field, most successful candidates will have work, research and/or volunteer experiences that contribute to career development in community health and health promotion.
  2. Submission of scores on the General Test portion of the Graduate Record Examination; test taken within last five years. Submit scores to, code 1780.
    *While there is no minimum GRE score requirement, strong quantitative, verbal and writing skills are critical to successfully completing the program. Admitted candidates will typically score above 500 (153 revised test) in verbal reasoning, 600 (148 revised test) in quantitative reasoning and 4.5 in analytical writing.
  3. Two letters of recommendation, which should address potential for achievement in a graduate program in public health from an academic as well as personal standpoint.
    *At least one letter must be from a university faculty member.
  4. Submission of a writing sample and a current resume.

Applicants are encouraged to review the research interests of the faculty and contact those who are of interest.

For international applicants whose native language is not English, the Center for International Education provides English Language Proficiency Requirements including required TOEFL or IELTS scores, and students who attended an international university must also pay an additional fee for evaluation of international transcripts.

A select group of the most qualified candidates will be invited to participate in an interview process. In person interviews or internet-facilitated interviews (Skype, etc.) will be required for finalist candidates prior to admission.


A minimum of 72 credits of coursework beyond the bachelor’s level must be completed to earn the degree, at least 32 of which must be earned in residence at UW-Milwaukee.


Common Required PhD Courses (12 cr.)
PH 702 Introduction to Biostatistics, 3cr.
PH 704 Principles and Methods of Epidemiology, 3 cr.
PH 801 Seminar in Public Health Research, 3 cr.
PH 819 Social and Environmental Justice in Public Health, 3 cr.
CBHP PhD Required Core Courses (18 cr.)
PH 725 Theories and Models of Health Behavior, 3 cr.
PH 727 Program Planning & Implementation in Public Health, 3 cr.
PH 820 Maternal and Child Health Foundations, Policy and Practice, 3 cr.
PH 826 Principles of Community Intervention Research, 3 cr.
PH 831 Community Engagement and Participatory Research Approaches in Public Health, 3 cr.
PH 919 Core Seminar in Community and Behavioral Health Promotion (TBD)

Research and Methods Required Courses (18 cr.)
PH 827 Research Design in Community and Behavioral Health Promotion, 3 cr.
PH 736 Advanced Qualitative Methods, 3 cr. (TBD)
PH 728 Program Evaluation in Public Health, 3 cr.
PH 729 Survey Research Methods in Public Health, 3 cr.

Choose one of the following:
PH 711 Intermediate Biostatistics, 3 cr.
PH 759 Applied Quantitative Methods for Studying Population Health and Health Disparities, 3 cr. (TBD)
PH 823 Applied Methods & Analysis in Public Health Research (TBD)
SOC WRK 962 Applied Multiple Regression Analysis, 3 cr.
Choose one of the following:
PH 715 Applied Categorical Data Analysis, 3 cr. (TBD)
PH 716 Applied Survival Analysis, 3 cr. (TBD)
PH 717 Applied Longitudinal Data Analysis, 3 cr. (TBD)
SOC 982 Advanced Quantitative Analysis, 3 cr.
ED PSY 823 Structural Equation Modeling, 3 cr.
ED PSY 826 Analysis of Cross-Classified Categorical Data, 3 cr.
CBHP Elective Courses (9 cr.)
ANTHRO 803 Survey of Cultural Anthropology, 3 cr.
ANTHRO 744 Theories of Social Action: Understanding Agency & Social Structure, 3 cr.
PH 758 Social Epidemiology, 3 cr.
PH/HS 917 Seminar in Health Outcome Assessment, 3 cr. (TBD)
PH 734 Public Health and Mental Health, 3 cr. (TBD)
PH 768 Cancer Epidemiology, 3 cr. (TBD)
PH 769 Nutritional Epidemiology, 3 cr. (TBD)
SOC 917 Sociology of Inequality, 3 cr. (TBD)
SOC 982 Advanced Quantitative Analysis, 3 cr.
SOC 715 Systematic Sociological Theory, 3 cr.
GEOG 725 Advanced Geographic Information Science: Geographic Modeling, 3 cr.
GEOG 734 GIS and Society, 3 cr.
SOC WRK 705 Individual Behavior and Social Welfare, 3 cr.
ED POL 711 Community Organizing: Collective Action for Social Change: (Subtitled), 3 cr.
KIN 732 Physical Activity and Health Across the Lifespan, 3 cr.

Other electives may be considered
Pre-Dissertation Research (3 cr.)
PH 990 Research and Dissertation, 3cr.

Doctoral Thesis (minimum 9 cr.)
PH 990 Research and Dissertation, 3cr repeatable.

Current Faculty

Name Title PhD Degree Program of Study Research Area
Young Cho, PhD Associate Professor Sociology of Health Substance Abuse; Minority Health; Program Evaluation; Research Design
Paul Florsheim, PhD Associate Professor Clinical Psychology Adolescent Mental Health; Prevention Program Development for At Risk Youth; Pregnant/Parenting Adolescent Health
Amy Harley, PhD, MPH, DrPH Assistant Professor Public Health: Community Health Education Physical Activity; Healthy Eating; Health Disparities; Behavior Change; Community Engaged Research
Emmanuel Ngui, DrPH Assistant Professor Public Health: Maternal and Child Health Health Disparities and Health Equity; Birth Outcomes; Male Engagement; Social Determinants of Health
Renee Walker, DrPH Assistant Professor Behavioral and Community Health Sciences Obesity; food deserts; health disparities; social determinants of health
Lance Weinhardt, PhD Professor Clinical Psychology HIV/AIDS Prevention; Health Behavior
Alice Yan, PhD Assistant Professor Public and Community Health Adolescent Health; Built Environment (GIS); Chronic Disease; Health Communication

View the profiles of other Zilber School of Public Health faculty, affiliated faculty and adjunct faculty.