Global Health Sciences PhD

applying transdisciplinary knowledge to address health problems of global importance

The PhD in Global Health Sciences is a transdisciplinary program that trains doctoral students on research methods and modes of inquiry drawn from public health, epidemiology, biostatistics, public policy, development studies, and the social sciences to explore and address global health problems. Graduates are prepared for careers in research, policy, organizational leadership, and academia.

Students focus their health systems research in one of two areas of specialization, Clinical or Social and Behavioral Science, which represent the major strengths and active research programs of UCSF Global Health Sciences. Students integrate research methods such as epidemiologic methods, biostatistics, qualitative methods, mixed methods, and implementation science.

The PhD program is structured as a four-year degree. Students first complete a 48-unit curriculum in residence at UCSF, including research rotations, doctoral seminars, electives, and teaching assistantships. Students learn the range of perspectives on global health problems and their solutions through the transdisciplinary curriculum. After successfully completing the qualifying examination in the second year, students will spend the next six quarters focused on their dissertation research.

UCSF Global Health Sciences (GHS) was established in 2003 by Founding Executive Director Haile T. Debas to create a vision and provide institutional leadership for global health at UCSF. Reporting directly to Chancellor Sam Hawgood, GHS underscores UCSF’s commitment to global health and to the care of vulnerable populations at home and throughout the world. Note that GHS also offers a master's program in Global Health.

More than 60 faculty members from UCSF's four professional schools (Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry and Nursing) and the Graduate Division, as well as from other UC campuses, teach and mentor the doctoral students.

The GHS education program office is located at the UCSF Mission Bay campus. Visit the program website for more information.

The Global Health Sciences PhD program is offered by the UCSF Graduate Division.
Programs in Global Health Sciences, unlike other programs at UCSF, are not administered by any of the UCSF Schools; GHS reports directly to the chancellor.
Courses are delivered by faculty members from all UCSF Schools and many departments.

Photo above by Emily Hall, PhD candidate