Program Objectives & Requirements

The curriculum for the Prevention Science Doctoral Program is designed to ensure that students both (a) receive broad, interdisciplinary training in the area of prevention science; and (b) develop specialized expertise through the selection of relevant electives, research, and outreach activities.

Graduates of this program will have the following competencies:

  • A mastery of theory and basic research on human development in the contexts of family, peers, school, and community.
  • An understanding of: 1) individual, family, and environmental risk and protective factors and how they relate to optimal human development; and 2) the epidemiological approach to assessment of their prevalence.
  • The skills to conduct rigorous basic and/or applied research in the area of prevention science.
  • The ability to apply theory and research findings to the design of programs that promote optimal development and prevent poor physical, social, and emotional outcomes.
  • The ability to design and conduct scientific tests of program efficacy and effectiveness.
  • The ability to conduct translational research on program implementation, outcomes, dissemination cost, and sustainability (moving programs from research to practice).
  • Effective written and oral communication skills for the dissemination of research findings to a variety of audiences and for affecting evidence-based policy decisions.
  • The ability to write successful grant and contract proposals to fund prevention science research and programming.
  • The knowledge of and experience with effective teaching strategies.

Learn about career opportunities for prevention science graduates.

Degree Requirements

To earn a Ph.D. in Prevention Science, students must:

1) Complete the required courses in three core competency areas (a) developmental epidemiology and public health, (b) research methods and statistics, and (c) program development, implementation, and institutionalization,
2) Complete and successfully defend a Master’s Thesis,
3) Complete and successfully defend the Preliminary Doctoral Exam,
4) Complete and successfully defend a Doctoral Dissertation.

The Graduate Student Handbook includes detailed information about degree requirements, timelines and procedures.