Tulane Home Tulane Shield logo linking to site home page

tracking code

PhD in Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences

Beginning Fall 2021, this degree will be replaced by the PhD in Social, Behavioral, and Population Sciences.

The purpose of the PhD program in Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences (GCHB) is to train experts who will advance the field of global community health through research, development and application of theory, and teaching. The PhD is a highly specialized training program, integrating theory and research in a focused substantive area of global importance. Graduates will have in-depth expertise necessary for a research career, and are expected to develop careers in universities, medical schools, and other higher institutions of learning as faculty members or in research organizations globally.

Admission Requirements

The requirements listed below represent the standards set by the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine for doctoral programs.

  1. Prior Degree Requirements: Completion of a master's degree or 30 graduate-level credits in a field related to the doctoral area of study is preferred. Exceptions may be made on a case by case basis for outstanding students holding only baccalaureate degrees.
  2. A grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale for graduate coursework is preferred.
  3. Official GRE scores are required for doctoral applicants. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores in the upper percentiles are preferred for the verbal and quantitative tests.
  4. For applicants from non-English speaking nations, a minimum Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 89 for the internet-based test (IBT), 230 for the computer-based test (CBT), or 570 for the paper-based test (PBT) is required. Applicants may also submit scores from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Applicants must have a score of 7 or above for doctoral study.

Applicants must meet the school's admission requirements, submit the application through SOPHAS and include in their application three (3) letters of reference from individuals who are familiar with their academic and/or professional performance.

Practical experience in public health is highly preferred.

Complete applications must be received by the priority deadline of December 1 to be considered for fellowships and other student funding. To be considered for admission to GCHB doctoral programs without funding, the completed application must be received by January 15.

A complete application includes all required documentation --career statements, letters of recommendation and verified transcripts and GRE scores. We recommend applications and required documentation be submitted in sufficient time for SOPHAS to receive and verify transcripts and GRE scores to meet the respective deadlines.

For further details regarding admissions requirements to the school, see the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine "Policies and Procedures for Doctoral Programs Guide."

Degree Requirements

Please visit the university course catalog for:

Degree Program Requirements (entry prior to Fall 2018)

The PhD program 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 those that do not fulfill the PhD competencies may not be accepted. 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, but may count toward the total 72 credits. 
The advisor works with the students in identifying the course of study in the doctoral program. If the doctoral student does not have a prior public health degree, they must obtain a grounding in public health. See Doctoral Student Handbook.

Prerequisite Coursework: (from prior master’s degree )

  • BIOS 6030 Introductory Biostatistics or equivalent
  • EPID 6040 Epidemiological Methods 1 or equivalent
  • GCHB 6030 Social and Behavioral Aspects of Global Health or equivalent
  • GCHB 6020 Planning of Health Education or equivalent
  • GCHB 6120 Monitoring and Evaluation or equivalent
  • Statistical Software Course or Skills

Advanced Doctoral Study (at least 30 credits)

  • GCHB 7250 Research Methods in the Social and Behavioral Sciences (3)
  • GCHB 8750 Social Determinants of Health I  (3)
  • GCHB 8760 Social Determinants of Health II  (3)
  • GCHB 8820 Advanced Program Planning/Grant Writing (3)
  • GCHB 8250 Advanced Research Methods in Global Health (3)
  • GCHB 8800/8830 Senior Graduate Research Seminar (1)
  • GCHB 7000/8000 Qualitative Methods (2)
  • SPHL 8500 Interdisciplinary Seminar (1)

Elective Courses (11 credits)

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 credits.

Research Ethics

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.

Comprehensive Exam 

On completion of the coursework listed above, students will be required to pass a comprehensive examination to demonstrate PhD program competencies, as well as knowledge related to their specific content area of expertise.


PhD students must complete a social behavioral science or community health dissertation based on original research that advances the field of knowledge, practice, or policy. Dissertations may have a strong applied focus and must demonstrate independent thinking with the potential to make unique and original contribution to the scientific literature.

Contact Us

Department Interim Chair: David Hotchkiss, PhD

Admissions Committee Co-Chairs: Alessandra Bazzano, PhD and Mai Do, MD, DrPH (for inquires about application and admissions)

Program Director: David Seal, PhD (for inquires about the program's structure and content)

Program Manager: Anita Jobson-Wolfe

Email: gchb@tulane.edu

Phone: (504) 988-5391

Ready for More?

You can learn more in a webcast.

Request Information    Open House    Apply Now