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Graduate Catalog 2016/2017

Public Health (PPH)
with a Concentration in Community and Family Health (CFH)

Catalog Photo

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CIP Code: 51.2201
College of Public Health (PH)
Total Minimum Program Hours Required (Post Bachelor's Degree): 90
Total Minimum Program Hours Required (Post Masters Degree): 48

Contact Information:
College of Public Health
Community and Family Health Department (DEA)
4202 E. Fowler Avenue MDC56
Tampa FL  33620

Program Director or Coordinator:
Kamala Dontamsetti
Phone: 813-974-6505


Faculty Search: Public Health Faculty List

Program Information

The base of knowledge for public health comes from a variety of disciplines, ranging from social sciences to biological sciences and business, brought together by a commitment to improve the public's health. Thus, the field of public health is broad and is open to students from diverse academic disciplines including Health Sciences, Education, Engineering, Business, Communications, Mathematics, Social and Natural Sciences. Graduates are prepared for interdisciplinary focused public health professional careers as administrators, managers, educators, researchers, and direct service providers.

The Colleges five departments are: Community and Family Health, Environmental and Occupational Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Global Health, and Health Policy and Management. Core content is directly related to addressing and meeting public health issues.

The College accommodates the working professional as well as the full-time student by offering late afternoon and evening classes, online course delivery, partnerships with international schools to expand options, a variety of graduate certificate programs, and a professional M.P.H. for experienced Health Care professionals.

Major Research Areas:
Faculty major research areas are listed at:

Accreditation Information:

Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools. The College is fully accredited by the Council on Education in Public Health and the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.


Admissions Information

Admission Deadlines

There is an established University deadline for the submission of admission application materials. Programs may have earlier deadlines than the University deadline. The deadlines reflected below are the earliest of the two deadlines. Graduate Programs may continue to accept and process applications after the published deadline if space exists within the program. Check with the Program for availability.

Application Deadline (domestic application)

Fall: February 15
Spring: July 15
Summer: November 15

International Students

Foreign applicants who are outside the U.S. are required to apply for a visa. Depending on the country of origin, this may take a few months. So the deadlines for these international applicants may be earlier than the Program deadline and these applicants must apply prior to both deadlines. They are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible. Foreign applicants who are in the U.S. and are currently on a visa may use the domestic application deadline dates. In addition to meeting the published application deadline for the Program of interest, all immigration documents should be submitted as soon as possible, but must be on file at USF no later than the following processing deadlines:

Fall: February 15
Spring: July 15
Summer: November 15

Admission Requirements

You must comply with general University policies and meet general University Admission requirements in addition to those listed below.

Must meet University requirements (see Graduate Admissions) as well as requirements listed below.

Program Admission Requirements

Applicants to the doctoral program in Public Health must meet the following minimum criteria in order to be considered for admission. However, the meeting of these criteria per se, shall not be the only basis for admission.

  • A preferred minimum verbal Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test percentile rank of 53 and quantitative GRE test percentile rank of 39 taken within 5 years preceding the application and a grade point average of 3.0 are needed to be considered. Note: some concentration may prefer higher GRE scores (e.g. Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Health Services Research)
  • A score of 600 or higher on the GMAT for applicants to only the Health Policy and Management Department will be considered.
  • Each applicant must submit evidence of written/analytical skills to the College of Public Health which will take two-forms:
    • A graduate level term paper, thesis, or research paper of which the student is the sole author, publication on which the student is the first author; and
    • A detailed personal statement of less than five pages that describes why the applicant wishes to obtain a Ph.D. degree in Public Health.
  • Applicants seeking consideration to the doctoral program must possess the M.P.H., M.S.P.H., or equivalent. Those who hold other graduate degrees will be considered, but as a prerequisite, they may be required to complete courses as required and approved by their advisory committee.
  • Each applicant must submit at least two formal Letters of Recommendation. The Department of Community and Family Health requires three Letters of Recommendation.
  • In order to be considered for admission to the Ph.D. Program in Public Health, applicants must be fully prepared to register as full-time students for at least one full academic year (consecutive Fall and Spring semesters).

Admissions Status: Apply


Program Degree Requirements

Offered from the Department of Community and Family Health
Areas of focus include Behavioral Health, Maternal and Child Health, Social Marketing and Public Health Education.

Total Program requirements with this concentration - 90 hours minimum post-bachelors

In addition to the 12 hours minimum required for the Program Core Courses and Seminar Course Requirements, this Concentration requires:

Pre-Req Courses 9 hours (not part of total minimum hours)
Concentration Courses 60 hours
Dissertation 18 hours

Pre-Requisite PH Courses (Not included in total program hours)
PHC 6708 (3) Evaluation Methods in Community Health or equivalent
PHC 6193 (3) Qualitative Methods in Community Health Research or equivalent
PHC 6500 (3) Theoretical and Behavioral Basis for HE or equivalent

Required Courses (taken as part of the Program Core Requirements)
PHC 6410 (3) Social and Behavioral Sciences Applied to Health or equivalent
PHC 7934 (3) Interdisciplinary Seminar (offered as a one hour course for three semesters (1 hour x 3 semesters)

Concentration Course Requirements 60 hours

Scientific knowledge and Theory (3 hours)
PHC 7405 (3) Theoretical Applications to Public Health Issues

Research Methods (15 hours)
PHC 7702 (3) Advanced Public Hlth Res and Eval Methods
PHC 7704 (3) Applied Research Methods
PHC 6934 (3) Applications of Advanced Biostatistics Methods in public Health
PHC 7198 (3) Advanced Qualitative Methods

Also one Advanced Quantitative or Qualitative Course (3 hours)

Select 3 hours or more of advanced level quantitative or qualitative course/s determined by the student and PhD Committee.

Practice (12 hours)
PHC 7583 (3) Community Based Health Promotion
PHC 7152 (3) Policy and Practice
Choose 6 hours from the following or other courses as decided by the docctoral committee focused on public health practice:
PHC 7935 Seminar in Writing a Dissertation
PHC 7934 Writing Scholarly Publications in the Health Sciences
PHC 7937 Advanced Seminar in Grant Writing

TA with Faculty (at least one graduate course)
Teaching requirement (at least one semester of teaching an undergraduate course)

Focus Area Courses (30 hours minimum)
While up to 30 graduate level credits may be transferred in to meet requirements, we expect that at least half of the focus area/research course hours for this degree program should be at an advanced doctoral level from within or outside the College. New courses may include directed research/internship/practicum hours as determined by the student and Ph.D. committee.

Qualifying Exam

Dissertation - 18 hours minimum

College Degree Requirements

Refer to the College Section of theGraduate Catalog for College requirements and information.


USF Degree Requirements

See USF Degree Requirements —


Financial Assistance

Financial Aid

Fellowships & Scholarships

Graduate Assistantships


Registration Process

First, contact your graduate program advisor for guidance courses to register for. Obtain any electronic course permit if necessary. Register for the new student orientation online at Then go to the link to OASIS, USF's on-line registration system to register for your classes. Follow the directions given on-line.

To access online course materials, students must have a USF NetID (e-mail account). Please visit: to obtain your NetID.

New students, including those studying online, may obtain a USFCard. Please visit: to obtain your USFCard.

Tuition and fees: Fees are determined by the level of the course. Please visit Cash Accounting, Controller's Office, for information on tuition and fees.


Graduate Course Information

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