Department of Preventive Medicine

Division of Health Behavior Research

Doctor of Philosophy Degree (Ph.D.) in Health Behavior Research


The Division of Health Behavior Research (HBR) in the Department of Preventive Medicine, at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, offers a doctor of philosophy degree in health behavior research, providing academic and research training for students interested in pursuing career opportunities in the field of health promotion and disease prevention research.

The specific objective of the program is to train exceptional researchers and scholars in the interdisciplinary field of health behavior research. The well-rounded training that students receive encompasses theory and methods from many allied fields including: communications, psychology, preventive medicine, biostatistics, public health and epidemiology.

Students also receive research experience participating in projects conducted by HBR faculty, most of them through the USC Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research (IPR). IPR is a separate research institute at USC but is also home to the Division of Health Behavior Research. Training in the program is conducted via course lectures, discussions, seminars, student and faculty presentations and field research. The program provides students with a depth of understanding, and intellectual capability they need to pursue a career and health-related research. The small classes, one-on-one mentoring relationships and numerous research opportunities offered by internationally recognized faculty make this program one of the best of its kind.

IPR and the Department of Preventive Medicine are recognized as international leaders in interdisciplinary research and training in epidemiology and prevention science, and for more than 20 years have developed research and educational programs that have addressed the complex public health needs in local, national and international settings. The department was recently cited as "the jewel in the crown of the University of Southern California" by the University Committee on Academic Review, a university committee comprised of 20 faculty who oversee the process of reviewing academic programs. The department was also rated #1 in NIH grant funding among the 50 US Medical school departments of Public Health and Preventive Medicine receiving NIH research grants in fiscal year 1999, the most recent information available.

University of Southern California University of Southern California