The Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health (COPH) at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Health Promotion and Prevention Research (HPPR). The degree is awarded by the UAMS College of Public Health in recognition of scholarly achievement evidenced by a period of successful advanced study, the satisfactory completion of prescribed examinations, and the defense of a dissertation addressing a significant issue relevant to social and behavioral sciences in public health. The curriculum of the HPPR program provides extensive training in basic and applied research methodology that will allow public health scientists to serve as Principal Investigators responsible for developing an extramurally funded program of independent research. Integrated within the multidisciplinary environment of an academic health sciences center, the Ph.D. program is uniquely positioned to advance the understanding of interactions among biological, behavioral and cultural processes that are associated with the etiology and prevention of major chronic illnesses that constitute a significant public health challenge in Arkansas. An advanced understanding of these complex interactions will expand the current knowledge base and foster the development and evaluation of new health care strategies and public health initiatives that subsequently can be implemented to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and communities throughout the state of Arkansas. A strong emphasis on applied and community based research methods provides graduates with a solid foundation in the design and evaluation of public health service programs. This perspective will foster collaboration with public health practitioners in the development of programmatic research that is truly responsive to the health needs of Arkansas residents and makes optimal use of public health infrastructure in the state.
This program is supported by the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education.
Applicants who have earned an MPH or equivalent degree in a health-related field from a CEPH accredited institution in the United States or a foreign institution with similar requirements for the MPH degree are eligible to apply for admission to the Doctoral Program in Health Promotion and Prevention.
Official transcripts must show completion of at least one graduate-level course in each of five key areas (intro to public health; health behavior and education; biostatistics; epidemiology; and research design) with a grade of B or better in each course.
Students who have not satisfied this requirement in one of these 2 ways must complete the 3-credit-hour Introduction to Public Health course offered by the COPH with a grade of B or better before the student may graduate with the doctoral degree. The course is considered a pre-requisite and will not apply to the minimum required hours for the degree.
Scholarships and Assistantships
A limited number of research assistantships for the PhD in HPPR are available on a competitive basis for qualified students that cover tuition and up to $30,000 a year in stipends for up to three years.
We also offer a pre-doctoral scholarship (ARCHD-T32) for students with an interest in health disparities research and advanced data analytics. This four-year program is funded by a grant from the National Institute of Minority Health and Disparities, and includes an annual stipend and tuition discounts. To learn more about this program, visit our ARCHD-T32 web page, or contact Mick Tilford, Ph.D. at TilfordMickJ@uams.edu.
Any individual desiring admission to this program must submit application materials through the on-line centralized School of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS).
It is the applicant’s responsibility to request that an official copy of the applicant’s academic record be sent directly to SOPHAS from EACH college or university that the applicant has previously attended. The academic record must include all courses, grades, semester credits attempted, and degree(s) earned. Official transcripts must show completion of at least one graduate-level course in each of four key areas: health behavior and education; biostatistics; epidemiology; and research design. Courses must have been completed within the five (5) years immediately preceding the requested semester of admission. Applicants who have not completed these courses, but whose applications show exceptional potential for success, may be conditionally admitted to the Ph.D. program, but will be required to complete the courses through available COPH course offerings with grades of “B” or better before registering for core required courses in the Ph.D. program.
A minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.70 (A=4.00) or better on all undergraduate and graduate coursework attempted at a regionally accredited institution of higher education is required. Should an applicant fail to meet this requirement, the program may petition on behalf of the applicant the Dean of the College of Public Health to consider an exception to this requirement.
All applicants must submit a copy of their master thesis or a written report demonstrating a comparable level of research experience and expertise that has been prepared in a manner consistent with publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The thesis or research report will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee to evaluate the relevance and quality of the applicant’s research experience. The review will specifically consider: relevance and adequacy of literature review; significance and specificity of a well-defined hypothesis or research question; appropriate and effective application of experimental methods; selection and description of appropriate intervention and assessment methods; description and application of an appropriate data analysis plan; presentation and interpretation of results; discussion and integration of results within the public health literature.
Graduate Record Examination
Competitive applicants will have Graduate Record Examination scores (quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, analytic writing) at or above the 50th percentile. The GRE must have been taken within five years immediately preceding the requested semester of admission. Programs may petition the Dean of the College of Public Health, on behalf of the applicant, to consider an exception to this requirement.
Time Frame for Completion of Degree
After passing the candidacy examination the degree must be completed within seven consecutive calendar years.
Grade-Point Average to Receive a Degree
In order to receive a degree, a candidate must present a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 on all graduate courses required for the degree. Failing to earn such an average on the minimum number of hours, the student is permitted to present up to six (6) additional hours of graduate semester credit in order to accumulate a grade-point average of 3.0; but in no case shall a student receive a degree who is obliged to offer more than six (6) additional hours of semester credit beyond the minimum. In the computation of grade point, all courses pursued at this institution for graduate semester credit that are part of the degree program (including any repeated courses) and the thesis (if offered) shall be considered. A student who repeats a course in an endeavor to raise his grade must count the repetition toward the maximum of six additional hours.
For More Information
S. Alexandra Marshall, PhD, MPH, CPH, CHES
Department of Health Behavior and Health Education
4301 West Markham, Mail Slot #820
Little Rock, AR 72205