Skip to main content
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Admissions Review Process?

Applications are considered by an admissions committee that reviews the entire application package and considers the overall balance of each applicant’s qualifications and the fit between the applicant’s career goals and the academic program. Successful candidates should possess strong analytic, theoretical and methodological skills, as well as relevant social and behavioral science and public health experience. A prior master’s degree is not a criterion for admissions to the doctoral program. However, successful applicants generally have a prior master's degree in a related social and behavioral sciences field or equivalent public health experience. 

What Types of Certificate Programs are Available to Students?

Our Department sponsors several certificate programs. HBS students may also pursue any of the certificate programs offered in the Bloomberg School for which they qualify.

For more information about certificate programs, please visit the School’s certificates program page.

Can I Complete the Doctoral Program on a Part-Time Basis or Online?

The PhD program offered in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society is a traditional, full-time degree program.

What is Available By Way of Financial Aid or Departmental Scholarship?

The Department is committed to seeking opportunities that will allow it to provide financial support to its students. Most Departmental scholarship decisions are made during the admissions process and communicated to students in their letters of acceptance. For most School-level awards, eligible accepted applicants will be nominated by the Department to the School for consideration, and notification of School-level awards will be issued by the School as decisions are made. Continuing students work closely with the Bloomberg School’s Office of Graduate Education and Research as well with the Department to identify funding opportunities at appropriate time points during the training process, such as the individual NRSA awards from the NIH.

The Department invites predoctoral and postdoctoral students who are interested to apply for training and support in the cancer control track of the Cancer Epidemiology Prevention and Control Training Program, an NCI-sponsored pre- and postdoctoral training program shared with the Department of Epidemiology. Contact Dr. Danielle German.

Students interested in financial aid should contact the Bloomberg School's Office of Financial Aid.

Can I Transfer in Credits From a Previous Master's or Doctoral Degree?

The Bloomberg School does not offer credit for courses taken at other institutions. However, if you have completed coursework at another institution that is of similar content as a course required for the degree program, you would be able to request a waiver of the required course, with substitution of elective or more advanced coursework as appropriate. Students should begin the waiver process by discussing the issue with their academic advisor.

Can I Schedule a Visit?

The Admissions Office schedules open houses each fall for prospective students, and HBS faculty and students are available to speak to visitors at that time. To view and register for HBS’s open house events, please visit the School’s information sessions and open house page.

 Campus tours can also be arranged through the Admissions Office. If you are unable to attend the open house and would like to arrange a visit to the Department of Health, Behavior and Society before or after a campus tour, please contact the department's Academic Program Administrator.