Course Requirements

The PhD in Public Health Sciences is a 56-unit doctoral program designed to provide students with foundational research skills and knowledge of health in the Central Valley and translational public health research. The curriculum is comprised of 42-units of required, core courses and 14-units of electives, selected by the student in consultation with their Major Professor.

See the curriculum page for more information

Qualifying Examination (QE)

The purpose of the QE is to assess whether the student is prepared for and capable of independent and critical thinking in general, and especially in the broad areas covered in the student’s dissertation research, and to assess whether the student is qualified to pursue the formal research phase of the PhD program.

The QE consists of a one-hour public seminar to present the research plan (the dissertation proposal) and a private 2-3-hour oral examination with the QE Committee members. QE for the end of year two in spring quarter or at any time during year three. The UC Davis Office of Graduate Studies requires students to fulfill their coursework requirements and to pass their qualifying exam before students can advance to candidacy. Once the student has advanced to candidacy, the final requirement for graduation is a completed and approved dissertation.

Dissertation Requirements

The doctoral dissertation is intended to demonstrate the candidate’s ability to execute independent research. Ph.D. students will be required to meet with their established dissertation committee at least twice a year, to provide a progress report and for feedback. Ph.D. candidates may elect to present the dissertation research in the form of 3 publishable papers.  Once the dissertation is complete a final oral defense is required by the dissertation committee. An exit seminar is required for all students.