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Doctoral Programs

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Offered By: Department of International Health

Onsite | Full-Time | 4 years

About This Program

The PhD in International Health prepares students to become independent investigators in academic and non-academic research institutions and emphasizes contribution to theory, public health science, and implementation science. Applicants to the PhD in International Health apply directly to one of four concentrations. All four options have the same deadline, program structure, and funding.

Please review the specific program page for more information:


The Department's current concentrations in the PhD program include:

Global Disease Epidemiology and Control (GDEC)

The PhD in Global Disease Epidemiology and Control prepares students to take leadership positions in important global public health settings with strong research components. Students learn to use epidemiologic, immunologic, laboratory, and statistical methods to design, implement, and evaluate disease control interventions for diseases of public health importance to underserved populations. Students may earn a Certificate in Vaccine Science and Policy, to understand everything from vaccine clinical research to implementation and evaluation of vaccine programs, in both the U.S. and internationally.

Core content research areas in GDEC include infectious diseases, epidemiology, and biostatistics.

Learn more about the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Global Disease Epidemiology and Control

Health Systems

The Health Systems program equips students with the technical skills for carrying out cutting edge health policy and systems research and preparing them to take leadership positions in global health settings. The program works to design systems and implement equitable and cost-effective strategies for delivering health care and health promotion interventions to disadvantaged and underserved communities in the U.S. and abroad. This mandate is carried out through research, service, and training with and for the populations being served.

Health Systems doctoral research focuses on health policy, health planning, financing, management and evaluation, institution and capacity building, community development, and health systems strengthening.

The overall goal of the PhD program is to produce the next generation of leaders in health systems research and practice, particularly in low- and middle-income country settings.

Learn More About the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Health Systems

Human Nutrition

Human Nutrition provides students with the theoretical knowledge and state-of-the-art scientific, programmatic, policy, and leader- ship skills for addressing pressing global and domestic challenges in public health nutrition.

Doctoral students acquire and apply knowledge and skills in nutritional issues across the life span, the role of nutrients in cells and biologic systems, nutritional epidemiology, socio-cultural aspects of nutrition, and food and nutrition policy. Students are challenged to identify and consider solutions to important nutritional problems facing societies in terms of their causes, extent, severity, and health effects throughout the life cycle.

The PhD degree prepares candidates for careers in the design, conduct, and publication of innovative research and in public health leadership across diverse areas of applied nutrition.

Learn More About the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Human Nutrition

Social and Behavioral Interventions (SBI)

Social and Behavioral Interventions (SBI) offers multidisciplinary training for researchers and public health practitioners who wish to use the social sciences in the design, implementation, and evaluation of global public health programs. The program’s goal is to work in partnership with communities to understand local, social, cultural, and policy contexts and develop effective programs. SBI’s primary focus is on the application of theory and data collection into research and public health action. The combined use of qualitative and quantitative methods is a focus of the program. Students also gain a strong foundation in social and behavioral theory and formative research.

Learn More About the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Social and Behavioral Interventions

Admissions Requirements

For general admissions requirements, please visit the How to Apply page. For program-specific program requirements, please visit the individual program/concentration pages.

Program Faculty Spotlight

Svea Closser
Associate Professor
International Health

Svea Closser, PhD, MPH, studies the social relations and political dynamics that shape primary health care.

Anna Durbin
International Health

Anna Durbin, MD, studies experimental vaccines for SARS-CoV-2, dengue, West Nile, Zika, malaria, and more in human clinical trials and in controlled human infection studies.

Parul Christian
International Health

Parul Christian, DrPH '96, MSc, studies how to improve maternal and child nutrition and prevent micronutrient deficiencies with effective solutions in low-income settings.

Krishna Rao
Associate Professor
International Health

Krishna D. Rao, PhD '04, MSc, finds ways to improve access to quality health services and financing of health care in low and middle-income countries.

Tuition and Funding

For general information regarding tuition and fees, visit the Bloomberg School’s Tuition and Fees page.

For program-specific information regarding funding and scholarships available, please visit the individual program/concentration pages.

Need-Based Relocation Grants
Students who are admitted to PhD programs at JHU starting in Fall 2023 or beyond can apply to receive a $1500 need-based grant to offset the costs of relocating to be able to attend JHU. These grants provide funding to a portion of incoming students who, without this money, may otherwise not be able to afford to relocate to JHU for their PhD program. This is not a merit-based grant. Applications will be evaluated solely based on financial need. View more information about the need-based relocation grants for PhD students.

Contact Us

Questions about the program? We're happy to help.

Elisabeth Simmons, MEd
Academic Program Administrator