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Doctoral Programs

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Offered By: Department of Mental Health

Onsite | Full-Time | 45 years

About the PhD in Mental Health 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.

PhD in Mental Health 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 a Graduate Degree In Mental Health?

Visit the Graduate Employment Outcomes Dashboard to learn about Bloomberg School graduates' employment status, sector, and salaries.

Sample Careers

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

Curriculum for the PhD in Mental Health

Browse an overview of the requirements for this PhD program in the JHU Academic Catalogue, explore all course offerings in the Bloomberg School Course Directory.

Current students can view the Department of Mental Health's student handbook on the Info for Current Students page.

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
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
Mental Health

Renee M. Johnson, PhD, MPH, uses social epidemiology and behavioral science methods to investigate injury/violence, substance use, and overdose prevention.

George Rebok
- Emeritus
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
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.

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.

Academic Program Administrator
Patricia Scott