Maternal and Child Health, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The MCH Ph.D. curriculum requires 57 graduate credit hours beyond the master’s degree public health core (15 credits), including maternal and child health core courses (20 credits), research methods courses (16 credits), electives (6 credits), research internship (3 credits), and dissertation credits (12 credits).

This program provides interdisciplinary training in research, practice, and policy relevant to health problems and services for women, men, infants, children, adolescents, and their families. The MCH program prepares students to advance research, policy and practice to improve the health, safety, and well-being of these groups, with a particular emphasis on low income and ethnic minority populations. Students admitted full-time to the Ph.D. program post-master's can complete this program within three years, though this is uncommon.

Doctoral students are required to have completed five courses in the Public Health core during their Master’s in Public Health (MPH) program and prior to matriculation to the Ph.D. program. These include:
• Biostatistics I
• Introduction to Health Systems
• Health Behavior
• Foundations of Environmental Health
• Foundations of Epidemiology

Knowledge of introductory epidemiologic methods is required for success in the program, including timely progress to degree. MCH students are expected to be well versed in concepts that are usually presented in introductory classes in epidemiology.

Advance to Candidacy: Students in the PhD program advance to candidacy after completing required coursework, including the research internship (FMSC 689), and passing a qualifying examination.

Post-candidacy: After advancement to candidacy, students must complete a dissertation proposal and oral defense, followed by doctoral dissertation and oral dissertation defense. In addition, students should complete at least 12 credits of FMSC899 Doctoral Dissertation Research. 

Course Title Credits
Required courses:
FMSC601Doctoral Seminar in the Process of Inquiry1
FMSC606Ethnic Families and Health Disparities3
FMSC660Program Planning and Evaluation in Family Science3
FMSC689Research Internship3
FMSC710Maternal and Child Health from a Life Course Perspective3
FMSC720Study Design in Maternal Child Health Epidemiology3
FMSC740Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology3
FMSC750Family and Health Policy3
FMSC780Qualitative Methods in Family and Health Research3
FMSC850Maternal & Child Health Epidemiology3
FMSC879Preparing Future Faculty and Professionals Seminar4
SPHL602Foundations of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Can waive by passing waiver exam before beginning of semester. Recommended if student has strong M.P.H.-level Biostatistics/epidemiology knowledge.)4
EPIB651Applied Regression Analysis3
Electives approved by Graduate Director6
Dissertation Research Requirements
FMSC899Doctoral Dissertation Research12
Total Credits57