The Ph.D. Program will require a minimum of sixty-six (66) semester credit hours and can be completed within a three-year period of full-time study. Completion of all Ph.D. in Health Promotion and Prevention Research requirements ensures that graduates have attained the Ph.D. in Health Promotion and Prevention Research competencies.
Core Content Areas
Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program must complete: 6 semester hours of core required coursework in Behavioral Science; 6 semester hours of core required coursework in Community Science; 6 semester hours of core required coursework in Quantitative Methods; and 6 semester hours of core required coursework in Qualitative Methods. In order to develop research skills required to function as an independent investigator, students must complete 30 semester hours of Applied Research Methods that include professional and scientific presentations examining issues addressed by core public health disciplines (3 hrs), grantwriting (3 hrs), mentored research (6 hrs), and dissertation research (18 hrs).
Area of Specialization
During the first year of graduate study a Doctoral Advisory Committee will be appointed to assist the student in developing a degree plan that will best serve his or her professional and academic goals. In consultation with the Doctoral Advisory Committee, the student will identify didactic electives, mentored research experiences, and dissertation research comprising one of two areas of specialization: Behavioral Science or Community Science. In addition to coursework required of all students in each of the core content areas, the degree plan will specify 3 semester hours of didactic electives required in each of 3 core content areas (Behavioral Science, Community Science, Quantitative Methods) and an additional 3 semester hours of didactic electives that may be selected from any of the core content areas.
The 12 hours of didactic electives and 6 hours of mentored research experience identified in the degree plan will establish a conceptual and practical foundation for the development of dissertation research. These 18 elective semester hours in conjunction with 18 or more semester hours of dissertation research comprise for each student a uniquely defined area of specialization in either Behavioral Science or Community Science. In addition to consulting with the student in the development of a degree plan, the Doctoral Advisory Committee also will approve the initial dissertation proposal as well as the final written dissertation and oral defense. The dissertation must address a scientific question relevant to the application of behavioral and public health sciences either through secondary analysis of an existing data set or by collecting and analyzing new data. Successful defense of the dissertation will demonstrate competence in the selected area of specialization. Students who complete all coursework and successfully propose and defend a dissertation are awarded a Ph.D. in Health Promotion and Prevention Research.
Doctoral Advisory Committee
A Doctoral Advisory Committee must be appointed within the first year of graduate study. This committee will assist the student in selecting a course of study that will best serve his or her professional and academic goals. Approval of the initial dissertation proposal and of the final written dissertation and oral defense will be determined by this committee. At the time the committee is appointed, notification of the committee membership must be forwarded to the Health Behavior and Health Education Department Office. The committee will include no fewer than five (5) UAMS Graduate Faculty members, one of whom will be designated as chair.. Three members of the committee must hold primary faculty appointments in the COPH. One person who is not a UAMS faculty member may serve as a required committee member but not as chair.
Doctor of Philosophy Candidacy Exam
Candidates for the Doctor of Philosophy degree must pass a candidacy examination administered after approximately one year of study in the doctoral program. Results of the examination will be submitted to the HBHE Student Coordinator immediately following the examination. After the student has passed the Doctor of Philosophy Candidacy Examination, the student must register for at least one (1) semester credit hour of dissertation for each semester and one (1) semester credit hour of dissertation for each summer session until the degree is awarded. Registration for a minimum of eighteen (18) semester credit hours of dissertation is required of doctoral degree candidates.
The dissertation must address a scientific question relevant to the application of behavioral and public health sciences either through secondary analysis of an existing data set or by collecting and analyzing new data. Students who complete all coursework and successfully propose and defend a dissertation are awarded a Ph.D. in Health Promotion and Prevention Research. A public defense is required along with approval by 80% of the Doctoral Advisory Committee for acceptance of the dissertation.