PhD in Public Health Sciences | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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Our doctoral program in public health sciences prepares students to think critically as scientists, succeed as independent researchers, and understand and address public health challenges for the nation and the world.

Brown School PhD students

The Brown School is a one-of-a-kind place to learn and grow as a doctoral student.

"The public health sciences doctoral program provides unique training and research opportunities for transdisciplinary problem-solving. Doctoral students team with faculty to address complex public health issues locally, nationally, and globally. Training offers distinct hands-on experience with innovative science that promotes health, confronts disparities, and informs policies.”

—Patrick Fowler
Director, Doctoral Program in Public Health Sciences 


PhD in Public Health Sciences

Teaching &
Research Experience
Stipends &

The curriculum at the Brown School emphasizes substantive, theoretical and methodological preparation. The first year of study includes basic principles in research, statistics and measurement, as well as theoretical orientations and content fortifying the public health knowledge base. The second year offers a more individualized program of study. The curriculum plan is flexible and allows each student to focus on an area of specialization leading to the dissertation.

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Vital and groundbreaking research is being conducted at more than a dozen research centers, and you'll have access to the work and scholars forging the future of your field. Our faculty are top scholars and experts, and students receive the benefit of their mentorship and guidance. During your first year, you will start conducting public health research guided by one or more faculty mentors. You will also have formal faculty advisors who will assist you in navigating the doctoral program and help prepare you for a career in public health scholarship and leadership. 

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The PhD curriculum includes three units of required teaching and research practica. These practica typically occur after the first semester in our program and round out the individualized curriculum plan. Teaching practica ensure students are well-trained in substantive content and pedagogy as they prepare for independent teaching at the graduate level. Research practica provide opportunities to engage in different aspects of the research process and increase a student's capacity for completing independent research. Additional opportunities for research development are available within specific research fellowship programs, faculty laboratories and research centers.

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We are dedicated to providing our doctoral students full tuition scholarships, four-year stipends and professional development accounts. Base stipends for students are $25,000 per year for four years. Receipt of this stipend is linked to a student's performance of mentored research in public health at the Brown School. Additional funding is possible through paid research and teaching fellowships, among other sources.

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All applicants must meet the admissions requirements of the Graduate School at Washington University as well as the requirements of the Brown School PhD Program. Application requirements include:

  • A personal statement
  • Undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  • Master's degree in relevant discipline
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • CV
  • Writing sample
  • GRE scores (NOTE: Due to COVID-19, the GRE is currently optional for applicants.)

The application deadline is December 1. Informational visits/interviews will be held in February each year for select candidates.

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