Thomas Jefferson University

Population Health Science

Program Length


Program Format

On-site w/ some online


Master's or Professional Degree Prepared


Rolling Admission

The Jefferson College of Population Health's (JCPH) PhD in Population Health Science prepares leaders to analyze the determinants of health and to develop, implement and evaluate health interventions, and health policies and systems that improve the health and quality of life of populations. More specifically, the PhD program prepares leaders to be scholars, researchers, educators and practitioners in core aspects of population health.

The PhD in Population Health Science requires completion of a minimum of 62 credits, including competency examination and dissertation. Students specialize in one of four areas:

  • Health Policy
  • Healthcare Quality & Safety (HQS)
  • Health Behavior Science
  • Applied Health Economics & Outcomes Research (AHEOR)
  • Population Health Intelligence

Program Outcomes

Graduate of the PhD program are able to:

  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge and application of population health frameworks and concepts.
  • Apply knowledge of the structures, performance, quality, policy and environmental context of health care to the formulation of solutions to and prevention of population health problems.
  • Formulate population health research questions that are informed by relevant theoretical and conceptual models; systematic reviews of the literature; valid, reliable and generalizable data; and stakeholder needs.
  • Select appropriate study designs to address specific population health research questions.
  • Collect, analyze and/or interpret data obtained either prospectively (by survey, surveillance, qualitative or mixed methods) or retrospectively through existing public and private sources to identify determinants of health.
  • Conduct ethical and responsible research in the design, implementation and dissemination of population health research through implementation of research protocols with standardized procedures.
  • Apply appropriate design and analytic methods to clarify associations between variables and to identify causal inferences.
  • Communicate findings and implications of population health science research through multiple modalities to academic, professional and lay audiences.

Program Audiences

An earned master's degree or other professional degree (e.g., PharmD, JD, MD) is required. Preference is given to applicants who have completed a master's degree or master's level coursework in appropriate fields of study such as public health, social work, health policy and behavioral sciences. Certificate program graduates are not eligible for admission. Students may transfer a maximum of 12 applicable graduate credits into the program from other accredited institutions.

Students in the program come from a variety of fields and have included:

  • Healthcare professionals working within healthcare settings, healthcare plans or management companies, academic organizations, community organizations and public/government entities
  • Healthcare program administrators
  • Health information technology (HIT) professionals working in provider and payer systems
  • Individuals working in healthcare-related professional organizations and trade associations
  • Professional who work in an organization involved in the delivery, administration and/or financing of health care or who are seeking to change fields within the healthcare system
  • Pharmaceutical, biotechnology and device industry professionals working in outcomes research, product reimbursement, medical communications, new product development, biostatistics, regulatory and medical science liaison field operations


The PhD in Population Health Science requires completion of a minimum of 62 credits, including competency examination and dissertation. 




Admissions Considerations

  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.3 or better
  • GRE scores that are less than five years old and preferably at or above the 50th percentile
  • Three to five years of work experience
  • Earned master's degree or post-baccalaureate professional degree (e.g., PharmD, JD, MD) in an appropriate field of study (certificate program graduates are not eligible)
  • Competency in basic statistics demonstrated by one of the following:
    • Graduate coursework in statistics with a grade of "B" or higher (course may be taken at JCPH prior to matriculation into PhD program)
    • Passing score on JCPH statistics qualifying test or other non-credit exam
  • Graduate coursework in research methods (course may be taken at JCPH prior to matriculation into PhD program)

Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend an information session prior to submitting an application.

901 Walnut Street, 10th Floor   
Philadelphia PA 19107
888-71-APPLY (27759)