Requirements and Curriculum



The PhD requires 72 credit hours of classroom coursework, directed research and dissertation credits.

The UB Graduate School requires a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 and a minimum grade of B in all coursework to count towards your degree.


Throughout your coursework, you will study key principles of public health, community health and health behavior, and statistical and research methodology. You will also design an individualized course plan for gaining advanced knowledge in a focal area of study related to community health and health behavior.

Beyond formal coursework, the program is based on a mentor-mentee, apprenticeship model. This means that you will be involved with a faculty member’s research throughout your time in the program.

Upon completion of your coursework, you’ll complete a comprehensive exam. The exam has two parts: a written exam focused on your knowledge of key principles, theories and research in community health and health behavior, and a writing component focused on your knowledge and research design skill in your focal area of study.

Required Courses

Community Health and Health Behavior (CHHB) Core Courses (15 Credit Hours)

Public Health Core Courses (9 or 10 Credit Hours)

 Statistics and Research Methods Core Courses (13-15 credit hours)

  • Four graduate-level statistics/research methods courses. (At least one course must be a qualitative methods course and at least one course must be a quantitative methods course.)

Individualized Program of Studies

Beyond the required courses, you will design an individualized program of studies in consultation with an advisor and supervisory committee and will complete at least three additional graduate-level courses.

Directed and Community-Based Research

In our mentor-mentee program, a great deal of training takes place in the course of working on a research team with your mentor. Through this process, you will gain expertise in conducting research, statistical analysis, writing and research ethics. 

While working on mentored research projects, you will register for either:

  • Directed research credits (CHB 695: Independent Research, 1-6 Credits/semester); or
  • Community-based experience credits (CHB 696: Community Field Experience, 1-6 credits/semester)

To satisfy the research experience requirements, you must complete a minimum of 10 credits from directed research and/or community-based experience credits.

Dissertation Supervision Credits

After passing the comprehensive exam and while working on your dissertation, you will register for dissertation supervision credits (CHB 698: Dissertation Guidance, 1-6 credits/semester) and typically earn 12 dissertation credits during the process.

Questions about program requirements or curriculum?

Contact Heather Orom, director of graduate studies, at