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Doctoral Programs

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Offered By: Department of Mental Health

Onsite | Full-Time | 45 years

About This Program

The PhD degree is a research-oriented doctoral degree. In the first two years, students take core courses in the Departments of Mental Health, Biostatistics, and Epidemiology, in research ethics, and attend weekly department seminars. Students must complete a written comprehensive exam (in January of their second year), a preliminary exam, two presentations and a final dissertation including presentation and defense. Throughout their time in the department, we encourage all doctoral students to participate in at least one research group of the major research programs in the department: Substance Use Epidemiology, Global Mental Health, Mental Health and Aging, Mental Health Services and Policy, Methods, Prevention Research, Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetic Epidemiology, Psychiatric Epidemiology, and Autism and Developmental Disabilities.

Program Highlights


mental health dept. in a school of public health

World renowned faculty

who are experts in the field

Students conduct

original research

Research opportunities

in the US and globally

What Can You Do With This Degree?

Sample Careers

  • Assistant Professor
  • Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Psychiatric Epidemiologist
  • Prevention Scientist
  • Social and Behavioral Scientist


Browse an overview of this program's requirements in the JHU Academic Catalogue, explore all course offerings in the Bloomberg School Course Directory: 2020-2021, and find many more details in the program's Student Handbook and Core Competencies PDF.

Research Areas

The Department of Mental Health covers a wide array of topics related to mental health, mental illness and substance abuse. Faculty and students from multiple disciplines work together within and across several major research areas.

Admissions Requirements

For general admissions requirements, please visit the How to Apply page.

Standardized Test Scores

Standardized test scores are not required and not reviewed for this program. If you have taken a standardized test such as the GRE, GMAT, or MCAT and want to submit your scores, please note that they will not be used as a metric during the application review. Applications will be reviewed holistically based on all required application components.

Program Faculty Spotlight

Judith Bass

Judith Bass

Associate Professor
Mental Health

Judith Bass, PhD '04, MPH, MIA, is an implementation science researcher, with a broad background in sociology, economic development studies, and psychiatric epidemiology.

Renee M. Johnson

Renee M. Johnson

Associate Professor
Mental Health

Renee M. Johnson, PhD, MPH studies how psychosocial factors shape risk for unhealthy alcohol and drug use among adolescents.

George Rebok

George Rebok

Mental Health

George Rebok, PhD, MA, is a life-span developmental psychologist who develops community-based interventions to prevent age-related cognitive decline and reduce dementia risk.

Heather Volk

Heather Volk

Associate Professor
Mental Health

Heather Volk, PhD, MPH, seeks to identify factors that relate to the risk and progression of neurodevelopment disorders.

Tuition and Funding

All full-time PhD students will receive the following support for the first four years of the program: full tuition, individual health insurance, University Health Services clinic fee, vision insurance, and dental insurance. Stipends are available for students accepted into an NIH-funded training grant in the areas of Psychiatric Epidemiology, Global Mental Health, Substance Use Epidemiology, Aging, and Mental Health Services and Systems. To be considered for a NIH-funded training grants you must be a US Citizen or permanent resident of the US.

Contact Us

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

Academic Program Administrator
Patricia Scott