Community Health, PhD

for the Doctor of Philosophy in Community Health

Department Head: Kim Graber
Director of Graduate Studies: Steven Petruzzello
Graduate Office: Julie Jenkins
Graduate Office Address: 906 South Goodwin Ave, 112 Freer Hall MC-052, Urbana, IL 61801
Graduate Phone: (217) 333-1083
Graduate Email:

Department Website:

Program Website:

Graduate Degree Programs

Community Health, MS

Community Health, PhD

Joint Degree Program: Community Health, PhD and Master of Public Health, MPH


Applications are due on January 15 for Fall admissions. Applications are due on October 1 for Spring admissions.

Admissions to the PhD degree program requires a minimum of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education with a minimum grade point average of 3.5 (A = 4.0) for the last two years of undergraduate study. Applicants who have a master’s degree should have a grade point average of 3.5 for previous graduate-level work.

All applicants are required to submit three letters of recommendation, resume, official transcripts and a personal statement that addresses the following prompts:

  • What developed your interest for graduate study.
  • Who, from the designated faculty, would you like to work with.
  • Why do you believe you would be a good fit with aforementioned faculty.
  • What do you expect to gain from a graduate experience and how will this experience prepare you for your intended career.

Although the GRE scores are not required, the scores may provide helpful supporting information in some cases. Applicants who have taken the GRE and feel their scores would benefit their application are encouraged to submit the scores. If you would like to submit scores, we recommend you scan your official score report as a PDF file and attach it to your application. You do not need to submit official scores through ETS, but if you decide to, please use our University code of 1836.

  • International and some domestic students may be required to show proof of English Proficiency.
  • Students for whom English is not their native language and who wish to be considered for a teaching assistantship must achieve a score on the speaking sub-section of (TOEFL or IELTS).

for the Doctor of Philosophy in Community Health

Graduate course experience in public health and statistics with grades of B or better is expected prior to admission. Before admission to the Ph.D. program, students may be required to take up to 12 hours of additional coursework to remedy deficiencies.  The candidate is required to pass written preliminary examinations covering disciplinary and professional aspects of community health, the literature and theoretical perspectives in the major area of study and methological perspectives and research techniques. Students must also pass an oral preliminary examination on the area of specialization and dissertation proposal; and to pass an oral defense of dissertation research.

For additional details and requirements refer to the department's Graduate Handbook and the Graduate College Handbook.

Doctor of Philosophy in Community Health

Entering with a Bachelors degree

Competency in research methods/statistics12
CHLH 565Teaching in the Professoriate4
CHLH 591Seminar12
Two courses in area of specialization8
CHLH 593Special Projects0-16
CHLH 599Thesis Research32
Total Hours96
Other requirements may overlap
Qualifying Exam Required No
Preliminary Exam Required Yes
Final Exam/Dissertation Defense Required Yes
Specialized coursework from approved list 12
Minimum GPA 3.0

Entering with an approved Masters degree

Advanced research methods/statistics4
CHLH/KIN/SHS 565/RST 560Teaching in the Professoriate4
CHLH 591Seminar8
Two courses in an area of specialization8
Additional research methods/statistics8
CHLH 599Thesis Research32
Total Hours64

Other Requirements

Other requirements may overlap
Approved Masters Degree Required for Admission to PhD? Yes
Qualifying Exam Required: No
Preliminary Exam Required: Yes
Final Exam/dissertation Defense Required: Yes
Dissertation Deposit Required: Yes
Minimum GPA: 3.0