► Graduate School Rules apply to this program
Requirements for Admission
A master’s or equivalent graduate degree is required for admission to the PhD program. In addition, we encourage prior graduate training in the areas noted below. Students applying without prerequisites may be admitted, but will be required to complete appropriate courses before being permitted to complete the core curriculum.
In addition to the general admission requirements of the Graduate School, the specific admission requirements for the PhD in health and behavioral sciences are as follows:
- Knowledge from prior course work or vocational experience at the equivalent of college senior or graduate level in each of the following areas.
Social or behavioral sciences (15 semester hours minimum): knowledge of essential facts and concepts concerning the relationship among individuals and society, social organization, individual psychology and the relationship among culture, belief and behavior. This could be satisfied by course work in psychology, sociology and anthropology.
Human biology or physiology (6 semester hours minimum): familiarity with the functioning of the human body in health and disease states, including an understanding of cellular and organ system processes; an appreciation of evolutionary theory and the mechanisms by which evolution operates on both cellular and population levels; and an understanding of the interplay between the evolution of disease and host response. This could be satisfied by course work in human biology, physiology, pathophysiology or biological anthropology.
Statistics (3 semester hours minimum): prior course work and current familiarity with statistics including probability theory, parametric and nonparametric methods and acquaintance with basic multivariate techniques.
Epidemiology (3 semester hours minimum): prior course work at the advanced undergraduate or graduate level with the basic concepts and methods of epidemiology, including measures of risk, mortality, distribution of disease, role of bias and confounders and study design.
- Demonstrated academic excellence as evidenced by an undergraduate GPA of 3.25 (out of a possible 4.0 points) or better, a graduate GPA of 3.5 or better, and scores in the top 30th percentile (averaged) of the GRE. Admission to the program is highly competitive; minimum GPAs and GRE scores for acceptance in any given year may be higher than the minimum levels indicated here.
The applicability of a student’s prior course work will be decided by the program executive committee after reviewing the student’s transcript and additional materials. If the student does not have the requisite educational background or GPA, the student may be admitted on a conditional or provisional basis and additional course work required in accordance with Graduate School Rules .
Prospective students should not be dissuaded from applying to the program if they do not meet all of the requirements for admission. In some cases, employment experience may be counted toward meeting a requirement. In other cases, students may be admitted conditionally upon their completion of a list of prerequisite courses that will be established at the time of admission. Students should be sure to address this issue in completing the graduate application by specifying the academic and vocational experience they possess that meets, in part or full, the admission requirements described above.
MASTER’S LEVEL PREPARATION FOR THE DOCTORAL PROGRAM IN HEALTH AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES
The program does not currently offer master’s-level training in HBSC. Instead, we urge interested applicants to pursue relevant master’s degree training in one of the social, behavioral or health sciences disciplines. In addition, we work closely with two master’s programs at CU Denver. These are the concentrations in medical anthropology within the anthropology MA program offered by the anthropology department and the master of public health offered by the Colorado School of Public Health. Contact the respective programs for more information on these degree options and our program for how their requirements articulate with those for the health and behavioral sciences PhD.
TO APPLY FOR ADMISSION
At the Denver campus, all graduate applications are now submitted electronically. To begin the application process, go to the online admissions website. If you have any difficulties, call the program assistant at 303-556-4300. The program admits students only for the fall semester, which typically begins in mid- to late August. The deadline for the receipt of all application materials is February 15 for admission the following August.
Applicants should invest considerable thought and effort in preparing their application. For instance, in the essay (Part II, question six) applicants should provide information on: (a) their academic training and any employment related to public health or health care; (b) their experiences with inter- and multidisciplinary perspectives, and (c) how they envision using their doctoral degree to improve the health status of human populations and individuals. Students should also indicate the kinds of research foci that interest them the most.
In addition to the required recommendation form, letters of recommendation are required from at least three individuals in a position to judge the applicant’s ability to complete the program. Recommenders may be employers, colleagues or professors; however, the applicant should be sure that the letters address the quality of and aptitude for academic work as well as personal characteristics and qualities.
There are four kinds of financial aid available: graduate student stipends/fellowships; tuition assistance; research assistantship positions funded by grants to specific program faculty; and the regular package of financial aid (primarily loans) available through the financial aid office.
Newly admitted, out-of-state and students demonstrating outstanding scholastic achievement receive priority when assigning departmental sources of funding. Students interested in research assistantships should contact the individual faculty member with whom they wish to work regarding potential assistantship positions.
All other aid should be requested through the CU Denver Financial Aid Office, North Classroom, 1030, Campus Box 125, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364. Telephone: 303-556-2886.