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Population Health

Population Health degree

The public service health research degree. The goal of Population Health sciences is to determine the health of communities instead of individual patients. Its focus is prevention — of illness, adverse health behaviors, and injury. And also on creating innovative solutions to wellness problems that affect large numbers of people.

Population Health is an interdisciplinary degree by nature. At SIU, it is a flexible degree customizable to your unique research and career interests.

Program CompassView Degree RequirementsView all courses

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Population Health

A doctoral degree in Population Health opens doors to career advancement in several key areas of public health. You should tailor your curriculum and research interests to your career goal — in academic, clinical, professional or research settings.

  • You will identify a primary area of emphasis and a secondary emphasis.
  • You will learn advanced research methods, statistics and qualitative data analysis, and grant writing skills — and gain practical experience with professional job skills required for your career.
  • Your dissertation includes three distinct research projects, all of which will be submitted to peer-reviewed journals as part of your dissertation preparation. You will be a seasoned researcher upon graduation, with demonstrable experience in your focus area.
  • You can complete this degree remotely.

Concurrent Degree Option

We offer a concurrent M.P.H. / Ph.D. program in Public Health and Population Health. Coursework sequencing in this program will help you complete both degrees in a timely manner.


  • Undergraduate degree in public health or related field
  • 5 years of health-related work experience OR a graduate degree in health education + 3 years of health-related work experience
  • 3.5 GPA overall as an undergraduate, 3.6 GPA overall as a graduate

* We are not accepting applications for the Concurrent Degree program at this time and all Ph.D candidates are required to have a master's degree for admission consideration.

Specialties / Research Areas

Sub-disciplines include:
epidemiology • public health • nutrition • exercise science • social determinants of health and health disparities • health equity • policy making


Participation in advanced research is a crucial step in demonstrating mastery of the areas where you want to grow your career. SIU is a nationally ranked research university, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to prepare your own research with the goal of professional publication. Or, you can engage in on-going research with federally funded, faculty-led research projects.

We encourage our students to join the professional community by presenting their research at national and even international conferences. And our faculty are committed to helping you get those first publication credits that are so important for career success. 

Facilities & Labs

  • Public Health Analytics Lab. Analyze big data sets to create predictive models of health issues; analyze interviews and focus group transcripts from community members to generate new public health theories.
  • Julie A Honerkamp Cancer Rehabilitation Laboratory (Strong Survivors)
  • Hemodynamics Lab
  • Exercise Physiology/Biochemistry Lab
  • Social Psychology of Sport Lab
  • Biomechanics and Sport Technology Lab
  • SIU Safety Center

Application Deadline

Students must have all application materials submitted by April 1st to be considered for fall admission.

Admission is highly contingent on a faculty member's capacity for a new student and the student's alignment with that faculty member's research. Visit the Graduate Admissions website for application details.

Contact Information

Justin McDaniel
Program Director
Pulliam Hall 307