The PhD program in Tropical Medicine is an advanced degree that prepares students to pursue careers in tropical medicine. The PhD graduate is expected to have knowledge across a wide range tropical diseases as well as sustained experience in the conduct of research in one or more content areas. Graduates of the PhD program pursue careers in basic and applied research in academic institutions, governmental agencies, industry and nonprofit organizations.
Applicants must meet the school's admission requirements for entrance into Doctoral programs at SPHTM. In addition, to be considered for admission with funding to the Department of Tropical Medicine (DTM), students should have:
The PhD program in the Department of Tropical Medicine (DTM) requires a minimum of 72 post-baccalaureate degree credits, with at least 30 credits of doctoral study at Tulane SPHTM. Up to 42 credits may be applied from the MPH or equivalent master’s degree. These credits will be reviewed and accepted based on their fulfillment of the DTM PhD competencies. If a prerequisite course or equivalent has not been fulfilled, the student must take the course in addition to the 30 credits of advanced doctoral study. If the student fulfills prerequisite course requirements at SPHTM, those credits may count toward the minimum 72 required for the degree.
The advisor works with the student to plan an appropriate course of doctoral study to complete the program. Doctoral students who do not have a prior public health degree must obtain a grounding in public health. See below and online in the Doctoral Student Handbook.
Public Health Requirements
Most students enter with a MSPH or MPH degree. Students with these professional MPH or MSPH degrees from CEPH-accredited institutions bring with them a “grounding” in public health concepts, principles, and methods. This “grounding in public health” is also required for students enrolled in academic degree programs from the School of Public Health (MS or PhD). Academic disciplines approach this requirement in a variety of ways. Doctoral students in the DTM fulfill this requirement as follows:
*Students who do not have prior Biostatistics and/or Epidemiology may take BIOS 6030 and/or EPID 6030
Prerequisite Coursework (12 credits from prior master’s degree)
If the applicant does not have a foundation in tropical medicine, the following courses should be taken in advance of any other required coursework.
Advanced Doctoral Study
At least 30 credits of advanced, didactic coursework. Prerequisites are in addition to this total.
Advanced Topics in Tropical Medicine
*In conjunction with a laboratory rotation (TRMD 8100)
Selected from courses offered within the department, school, or university in consultation with an academic advisor. Additional credits may be needed to obtain a total of 72.
Laboratory Training Rotations and Independent Study
Doctoral students are required to enroll in TRMD 8100 Laboratory Training Rotation at least once and may enroll up to three times with different DTM faculty for a maximum total of six credits (2 credits each). The rotations will acquaint the student with the different research programs available in the department and assist the student in choosing a permanent dissertation advisor. In addition, by rotating with several faculty members the student will obtain research experience and training in different specialized areas.
The student may also register for TRMD 8990 Doctoral Independent Study in conjunction with a laboratory rotation. A maximum of 12 independent study credits may be applied to the doctoral degree.
Students are required to take online research ethics training via CITI or another equivalent training program in research ethics. This certification must remain current throughout the program duration.
Students are required to pass written and oral comprehensive examinations to demonstrate general knowledge of tropical medicine. (TRMD 9990 Dissertation Research, Comprehensive Exams & Prospectus Preparation)
Students must prepare and defend a prospectus of proposed research. (TRMD 9990 Dissertation Research, Comprehensive Exams & Prospectus Preparation)
Students must conduct original research and defend a dissertation based on that research. (TRMD 9970 Dissertation)
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