Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, Ph.D.


 Admissions requirements follow those of The Graduate School and include the following:

  • a completed application.
  • official transcripts from all post-secondary schools and colleges previously attended, including non-degree courses taken.
  • evidence of academic performance at a B or better level on academic transcripts.
  • three letters of recommendation from academic and/or professional sources.
  • a letter of intent which describes research interests and professional goals.
  • satisfactory score on the TOEFL or the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam for applicants whose native language is not English. The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL is 80 (Internet-based) or 570 (paper-based). The minimum acceptable overall band score on the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam is 6.5.
  • current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Doctoral applicants should be supported by at least two HPEB faculty members willing to serve as mentors in order to be admitted into the program.

Admissions process information and links can be found at the Arnold School of Public Health webpage.

Applications for the Ph.D. program in HPEB are made through the Schools of Public Health Application System (SOPHAS). Please go to for further details.

Only single program applications are accepted, so you may only apply to one program at a time (unless you are applying to a certificate program). Once received, your application and credentials are sent for review by the HPEB faculty. After reviewing your credentials, the department makes a recommendation to The Graduate School which officially grants admission. We will inform you of the department’s recommendation regarding admission, but official notice of admission comes from the USC Graduate School.

You are encouraged to review carefully the information provided on the above websites before beginning the application process. If you have further questions, you may contact:

Ken Watkins
HPEB Graduate Director
phone: 803-777-7096

Casey Goldston Giraudy
HPEB Academic Programs Coordinator
phone: 803-777-2966

Office of Student and Alumni Services
phone: 803-777-5031 

Degree Requirements (60 Post-Baccalaureate Hours)

Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior Core (12 Hours)

Course Title Credits
HPEB 771Socio-Cultural Perspectives on Population Health3
HPEB 824Social and Physical Environment Interventions in Health Promotion3
HPEB 818Advanced Evaluation of Health Promotion Programs3
HPEB 704Health Education Research Seminar (three one-hour seminars)3
Total Credit Hours12

Research Methods (12 Hours Minimum)

Course Title Credits
Select at least one course from each of the following areas:12
Qualitative Methods
Qualitative Research Methods in Public Health
Quantitative Methods 1
Applied Measurement in Health Education Research
Additional Classes
Total Credit Hours12

e.g. BIOS 757, EDRM 711 or equivalent.

Cognate (6 Hours minimum)

  • Classes reflecting defined content or topical areas.

Public Health (6 Hours)

Note: These requirements are met if student has previous MPH or similar graduate-level core PH coursework, in which case, six hours may be taken in research methods or cognate areas.

Course Title Credits
PUBH 700Perspectives in Public Health3
EPID 700 Introduction to Epidemiology3
or EPID 701 Concepts and Methods of Epidemiology
Total Credit Hours6

Dissertation (12 Hours or More)

Select 12 hours or more