PhD Program in Public & Community Health

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Competencies and Curriculum

These competencies will be achieved through coursework, seminars, teaching, research projects, readings and research and the dissertation. While there are core courses, doctoral training is individualized and tailored to the interests and needs of the particular student. The responsibility of translating program requirements into an individualized program lies with the student and the faculty who are working with the student, including the faculty advisor, Faculty Committee and Student Advisory Committee. Intellectual independence, self-initiation and the ability to take charge of a body of knowledge with confidence and critical acumen are qualities to be developed throughout the program.


Basic Public Health Sciences

  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and understanding of issues in substantive interest area in the public and community health sciences.
  • Display a high degree of mastery in appropriate theories, analytical skills, research design and methodology in the public and community health sciences.


  • Demonstrate experience in developing and sustaining community partnerships.
  • Identify and apply strategies for interdisciplinary approaches that support collaborative models that interface public health with other health professional disciplines so as to improve the health of the public and community.

Research Preparation, Data Collection and Analysis

  • Identify knowledge gaps in the selected field, critically analyze the literature, synthesize relevant information, and formulate focused research questions to address the gaps.
  • Design and conduct original research that contributes to knowledge in selected field.
  • Incorporate knowledge of cultural, social, behavioral and biological factors in formulating research questions, designing and implementing research.
  • Identify the ethical implications of research methods.

Policy Development, Program Planning and Management

  • Demonstrate knowledge in public and community health policy development, implementation and evaluation.
  • Apply systems thinking skills in the assessment, development, implementation and evaluation of community health improvement efforts.
  • Understand the grant writing process and demonstrate the ability to write and manage research grant proposals.

Dissemination to Professional and Lay Audiences

  • Translate and disseminate research findings in order to improve public and community health in diverse populations.
  • Effectively communicate orally and in writing, present public and community health issues and disseminate findings in area of expertise to appropriate professional and public audiences.
  • Demonstrate teaching skills in working with students and other professionals in academic, research or practice settings and community settings.

*Adapted from the following sources: Association of Schools of Public Health, Council on Linkages between Academia and Practice and the American Academy of Health Behavior, and developed in collaboration with faculty from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Colleges of Health Sciences and Nursing.


View PhD Curriculum and Competencies Plan
© 2014 Medical College of Wisconsin
Page Updated 10/08/2014