Public and Community Health
Doctor of Philosophy
Required Courses | Courses
Program Admissions Requirements In addition to the general Graduate School admission requirements, this program has additional specific requirements.
Applicants with a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university or college are eligible for admission. If the degree is not in public health, then applicants are required to have six credits of psychology, sociology or anthropology, three credits of anatomy, physiology or biology, three credits of statistics and three credits of research methods. Research or professional experience relevant to public and community health is required; graduate degrees (MA, MPH, MS etc.) are not required for admission consideration.
The purpose of the PhD Program is to transform the research paradigm in public and community health by educating a new generation of innovative researchers who will integrate the rigors of the traditional public health sciences with the essential components of community health improvement through participation and partnership.
Fields of Research
Students will discover and participate in innovative research conducted by faculty at the Medical College of Wisconsin. PhD students have the opportunity to learn from these nationally recognized leaders in public and community health utilizing interdisciplinary approaches to complex public health issues.
All students in the program are required to take at least 98 credits that can be completed full-time in a minimum of four years and a maximum of seven years.
Ethics and Integrity in Science
Research Ethics Discussion Series
Introduction to Epidemiology
Graduate Seminar : Clinical and Translational Science
Community Health Improvement I:
Foundations of Public and Community Health
Community Health Improvement II:
Health Disparities and Underlying Determinants of Health
Community Health Improvement III:
Principles and Practices of Community-Academic Partnerships
Community Health Improvement IV:
Translating Community Health Improvement into Policy
Community Health Improvement V:
Principles and Methods of Community-Based Participatory Research
Community Health Improvement VI:
Practice of Community Based Participatory Research
Community Health Improvement VII:
Practice of Community Based Participatory Research
Qualitative and Mixed Methods
Qualitative Data Analysis
Ethics in Public Health Research
Reading and Research
Doctoral Seminar in Public and Community Health
PhD Public and Community Health Dissertation
35 credits (total)
7 credits (total)
*Beyond electives offered at MCW, students may complete electives available at MU, or UWM. To ensure rigor and relevancy, the choice of electives is contingent upon approval by the student’s major advisor and faculty teaching the courses. Courses must be at the graduate level.
19201 Community Health Improvement I: Foundations of Public and Community Health. 3 credits.
This course is for students enrolled in the PhD Program in Public and Community Health. This course covers the central concepts and theories of public and community health. Students will obtain an in-depth understanding of the foundations of public and community health, theoretical models and research models that are used.
19202 Community Health Improvement II: Health Disparities and Underlying Determinants of Health. 3 credits.
Prerequisite: 19201, 11200, 04200.
This course is for students enrolled in the PhD Program in Public and Community Health. This course will provide students with an in-depth introduction to health disparities and social determinants of population health. The course will help clinicians and other public health students and professionals develop and strengthen their knowledge, skills and ability to critically examine issues of health disparities and to develop a better understanding of some of the underlying social determinants of health disparities, from a multidisciplinary perspective. The ultimate goal of the course is to help students develop the skills needed to apply knowledge and theory of health disparities and determinants of health in designing health services and epidemiological studies and interventions to reduce and ultimately eliminate health disparities.
19203 Community Health Improvement III: Principles and Practices of Community-Academic Partnerships. 3 credits.
Prerequisite: 19201, 19202.
This course is for students enrolled in the PhD Program in Public and Community Health. This course will examine concepts and techniques for organizing partnerships for health improvement at the community level. Students will learn about major models and methods of practice, analytical skills, and roles of partnership and coalition building in improving health outcomes. Through readings, case studies, and a community-based project, students will identify forces that facilitate and limit community partnerships and will develop action principles for work with communities. Additionally, course content will encourage students to consider the implications of health disparities in community organizing and partnerships.
19204 Community Health Improvement IV: Translating Community Health Improvement into Policy.
3 credits. Prerequisite: 19201, 19202, 19203.
This course is for students in the PhD Program in Public and Community Health. Students will apply their knowledge of community health improvement to their understanding of health policy making in the U.S. Students will gain understanding of theoretical foundations of policy making, the policymaking process, and strategies for translating community health improvement activities into policy. Students will develop a policy and advocacy agenda for a current health policy issue.
19205 Community Health Improvement V: Principles and Methods of Community-Based Participatory Research.
Prerequisite: 19201, 19202, 19203, 19204.
This course is for students in the PhD Program in Public and Community Health. Prior to engaging in community-based participatory research, students will need to understand the principles and methods involved in conducting this type of research. Students will develop an understanding of these principles and methods, and strategies for their application, as well as the key steps involved in developing and sustaining partnerships, data collection, analysis, and dissemination practices.
19206 Community Health Improvement VI: Practice of Community-Based Participatory Research.
2 credits. Prerequisite: 19201, 19202, 19203, 19204, 19205.
This course is for students enrolled in the PhD Program in Public and Community Health. Participatory models of research have become central to the national prevention research agenda. Students will have the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills obtained in CHI V as they conduct community-based participatory research in a local, community-based setting.
19207 Community Health Improvement VII: Practice of Community-Based Participatory Research.
2 credits. Prerequisite: 19201, 19202, 19203, 19204, 19205, 19206.
This course is for students enrolled in the PhD Program in Public and Community Health. This course is a continuation of CHI VI. Students will continue to work on a research project which will culminate in data analysis and interpretation, and dissemination of preliminary findings through a presentation and manuscript.
19230 Qualitative and Mixed Methods. 3 credits.
This course is for students enrolled in the PhD Program in Public and Community Health. Qualitative and mixed methods can be highly useful in the conduct of community-based population health research. This course will provide introductory classroom and field-based learning experience in qualitative and mixed methods research. Students will receive training in the design, implementation, analysis, and synthesis of qualitative and mixed methods. Emphasis will be given to the appropriate uses of commonly-used methods in community-based health research. Course participation will provide students with the basic foundation necessary to develop a research study using qualitative or mixed method designs.
19232 Qualitative Data Analysis. 3 credits
This course will introduce students to the analysis of qualitative data in public health research. The aim of the course is to explore the process of transforming various types of qualitative data (interview transcripts, field notes, and other texts) into analyses and interpretations. We will introduce students to various analytic approaches, explore their use, and guide students in applying them to data. The course will explore both theoretical and practical dimensions of qualitative data analysis, including identifying themes, developing and using codebooks, making systematic comparisons, and building and testing models. Approaches to qualitative data analysis will include grounded theory and content analysis. Students will also be introduced to the use of computer software for coding and managing qualitative data. The course will emphasize the connection between theory and methodology, with particular attention to the relationship between the research question, study design, data sources, analytic approach, and interpretation of results.
19240. Ethics in Public Health Research. 3 credits.
This course will provide students with an introduction to the moral, social and ethical issues involved in public health research. The course begins by examining the historical as well as philosophical foundations of public health research ethics. It then goes on to examine ethical issues raised in study design, genetic research, research involving children and older populations, research involving AIDS patients, issues in international research ethics, and professional standards of conduct and IRB requirements.
19295 Reading and Research. 1-9 credits. (35 credits total)
Approval from Program Director and/or student’s advisor required.
The course of study for Reading and Research is designed by each student with his/her advisor to focus on readings in literature in the student’s field, to build bibliographic resources for the dissertation, and to conduct supervised, independent research.
19301 Doctoral Seminar in Public and Community Health. 1 credit. (7 credits total)
This is a weekly seminar for students enrolled in the PhD Program in Public and Community Health. Seminars will consist of several types of presentations: 1) faculty presentations on current research, 2) guest presentations of current research, 3) student presentations of literature supporting their research project, and 4) student presentations of current research in progress. A total of seven semester hours are required.
19399 Public and Community Health Doctoral Dissertation. 9 credits.
This course is required for the completion of the PhD degree. The PhD candidate must submit a dissertation based on original research of a high scholarly standard that makes a significant contribution to knowledge in the field of public and community health. Each student is encouraged to draft one or more papers for publication in a peer-reviewed journal describing results of the research.