2012-2013 Program Requirements for UCLA Graduate Degrees
Applicable only to students admitted during the 2012-2013 academic year.
Public Health Schoolwide Programs
An academic adviser is assigned to each new student by the chair of the respective department. Student and adviser together agree upon a study list for each academic quarter; any subsequent alterations must be approved both by the student's adviser. Students may change advisers after the first quarter as long as the student and the new adviser agree. This is done by filing a petition countersigned by the area head/department chair and the Associate Dean of Student Affairs.
Within the first three quarters of study, students file Doctoral Form 1, Petition for Establishment of Three-Member Guidance Committee and Study in Major and Minor Fields for the Dr.P.H. The guidance committee comprises three members including the student's adviser in the major field and the student's adviser in the minor field. On this form students list the courses to be taken for the minor which must be approved by the student's adviser and the department chair.
Community Health Sciences
An academic adviser is assigned to each new student by the head of the department. Student and adviser together agree upon a study list for each academic quarter. The adviser supervises the student's completion of course work and preparation for the written qualifying examinations, and can, but need not, serve as the Chair of the Guidance Committee appointed at the end of the first year of study.
After being enrolled for three quarters, students file Doctoral Form 1, which designates the membership of the guidance committee. The guidance committee consists of the student's adviser in the major field, a second faculty member in Community Health Sciences and the student's adviser in the minor (cognate) field. Courses to be taken for the cognate field are listed on this form. The members of the Guidance committee must be full-time faculty with appointments in the professorial series (tenure-eligible, in-residence, or acting or emeritus, with the proviso that one of the four faculty on the committee and/or the committee co-chair may hold an appointment in the Clinical or Adjunct professorial series. The Guidance Committee membership must be approved by the Department Chair. This committee functions as a group to assist in tailoring the program to the student's needs and objectives. The student is responsible for informing the committee about the student's progress, and should also turn to the committee first in the event that special assistance or intervention is required. Hence, the committee should be selected in recognition of its role in promoting the student's academic progress.
Major fields or Subdisciplines
Major fields and subdisciplines and typical course plans are listed below.
Consult the graduate adviser.
Community Health Sciences
Consult the graduate adviser.
Environmental Health Sciences
Recommended courses are determined in consultation with the adviser. Six full courses (four must be at the 200 or 400 level) in at least two School of Public Health departments other than Environmental Health Sciences are required for breadth. The major requires an additional area of concentration which may be either inside or outside the school.
Consult the graduate adviser.
Health Policy and Management
The Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.) is a schoolwide degree and the highest professional degree for leaders in public health, including health care, governmental public health practice, territorial non-profit, and other health-related organizations at the local, state, and national levels. Students who complete the program become well grounded in the study of health services organization, deliver and management. They also develop a mastery of population health, social and policy analysis, evidence-based health promotion, and program evaluation. The dissertation is applied and practical in nature and addresses a problem within an organizational context. Health services is one of the areas of specialization. There is no foreign language requirement. Program graduates advance to responsible leadership positions in a wide range of health-focused organizations in both the public and private secotrs.
Prerequisites are an M.P.H. degree or equivalent and at least two years of work experience in the field of health care of public health or health services delivery. Typical students will have worked in a government or private sector health agency and desire to advance their careers toward higher levels of leadership. Identifying a faculty adviser is another prerequisite for admission. Following matriculation, the adviser meets regularly with the student to develop a course curriculum and practicum tailored to the experience and career goals of the student. This individualized curriculum and the availability of coursework in other graduate programs within the university are strengths of this doctoral program.
The Dr.P.H. program can be completed in three years of full-time study, including two years of academic study and one year of field work experience (practicum or residency). In the first two years of study, formal coursework is intended to acquaint the student with the full scope of public health knowledge. The student is expected to complete 14-21 full courses beyond the M.P.H. degree in Health Policy and Management to develop mastery in the following areas (core competencies): (1) Population Health Perspective: Ability to identify and utilize the tools for developing and implementing population health and health care interventions, and perform evaluations of these interventions; (2) Assessment and Evaluation: Ability to amass and critically evaluate evidence for health effectiveness and dollar cost effectiveness of population-targeted policy and programmatic interventions to improve or maintain health; (3) Leadership: Ability to apply established leadership concepts and principles to structure and lead organizations or groups in health care, public health, or health-interested agencies; (4) Determinants of Health: Ability to articulate the complex relationships between underlying determinants and health for the U.S. population and key sociodemographically-defined (age, ethnicity, gender, SES) population subgroups; (5) Public Health Infrastructure: Ability to describe key aspects of the development/evolution of the ways that society organizes to protect and advance health, demonstrating an understanding of the historical underpinnings of current issues in public health policy; (6) Inter-Sectoral Relationships: Ability to understand, foster, and manage the relationships between the private and public health care sectors in the U.S.; (7) Systems Management: Ability to use effective management principles and practices to develop health improvement strategies in various sectors and settings; and (8) Organizational Management: Ability to apply advanced management precepts and tools, including performance and change, required for the efficient operation of a health services organization.
Coursework includes a public health leadership seminar featuring participating public health practitioners as well as scholars/academicians. The specific course program depends on the student's previous coursework, experience, and leadership interests. Because fostering discovery is important in preparing students for leadership positions, and flexibility is an appealing feature of this doctoral program, students may fulfill program requirements with appropriate coursework from other graduate programs within the university (Education, Law, Management, Nursing, Public Policy, and Sociology).
Foreign Language Requirement
Course requirements in the major field depend on the department/program and the field chosen. Students must take a minimum of six full courses (four must be at the 200 or 400 level) in at least two School of Public Health departments outside the major department.
The major department requires an additional area of concentration which may be either inside or outside the school. In departments allowing it, an equivalent field experience completed while a doctoral student and approved by the guidance committee may be substituted for the additional area of concentration.
A written screening examination of all students entering the doctoral program is required and must be successfully completed before the end of the first year in the program, if not taken prior to entering. Courses covered by this and other examinations are determined in consultation with an adviser and the department faculty. Students must complete the following courses, unless previously taken: Biostatistics 200A-200B-200C, 202A, 202B, M215, 250A-250B; any three additional graduate-level courses in biostatistics selected with consent of the adviser; three courses in the 400 series selected with consent of the adviser. All registered doctoral students must enroll in Biostatistics 409 (doctoral statistical consulting, field training course) for three consecutive quarters and in Biostatistics 245 every quarter.
In addition, required for breadth are 24 units of courses at the 200 or 400 levels selected with consent of the adviser in at least two School of Public Health departments/programs other than Biostatistics. The School also requires students to select an additional area of concentration. Biostatistics students fulfill this requirement by enrolling in Biostatistics 409 for three consecutive quarters. This requirement must be met prior to advancement to candidacy.
Electives, selected in consultation with the adviser, should be chosen from courses in mathematics, biomathematics, human genetics, AIDS, survey research methods, operations research, computer data processing, and other appropriate areas.
Community Health Sciences
If the student does not have a master's degree in public health, the school's core courses for the M.P.H. degree are required: Biostatistics 100A, Epidemiology 100, Health Policy and Management 100, and Environmental Health Sciences 100; and the department's core courses, Community Health Sciences 210, 211A-211B. Additionally, all students are required to take the following courses if they have not already taken them or their equivalents during the course of their master's studies: Community Health Sciences 212, Biostatistics 100A, 100B, and 406. These courses do not count toward the minimum course requirements for the doctoral degree.
In addition to the coursework specified above, the student must take a minimum of 48 units in residence in the doctoral program. Twenty of the 48 units required must be taken within the Department of Community Health Sciences. Only four units of individual studies (Community Health Sciences 596) may be counted toward the 48-unit minimum requirement. Students must take a minimum of two courses (eight units) in research methodology (i.e., data acquisition) and two courses (eight units) in statistics (i.e., data analysis). These courses may be taken inside or outside of the School of Public Health. All doctoral students must enroll in Community Health Sciences 286 (doctoral roundtable) every quarter until they are advanced to candidacy. With the exception of the first quarter of registration as a doctoral student, students may petition to waive out of the seminar for up to two quarters. The doctoral roundtable does not fulfill any of the 48 units required for the doctorate.
Students must complete a minor which is expected to be in another department within the School of Public Health. Six graduate-level courses (24 units) are required, four units of which must be taken from within one department. Students must consult with their advisers before declaring a minor.
Students must complete a minimum of 50 units beyond the requirements of the M.P.H. degree in Epidemiology. Epidemiology M204 (four units) and either four units for a course in statistics beyond Biostatistics 100B/110B or four units in methodology from a list approved by the department are required. The requirements are equivalent for all students, regardless of whether they hold a prior doctoral degree. Students must take at least five full courses (20 units) of the 50 units within the Department of Epidemiology, and a minimum of six full courses (24 units) in at least two School of Public Health departments other than Epidemiology. At least four of the six non-Epidemiology courses must be at the 200 or 400 level. Students must also take three quarters of Epidemiology 292 for a total of six units, thereby fulfilling the 50-unit minimum requirement.
A field experience is required, chosen in consultation with the adviser, for a duration of at least eight months, and is composed of full-time field training at no more than two sites, with at least one being outside of the School of Public Health. During the field experience, students enroll in eight units of Epidemiology 596 in each quarter of the academic year. These 596 units are in addition to the 50-unit minimum requirement. It is recommended that the field work take place after the student has passed the written qualifying examination. The chosen field site may be with a government or non-government health agency, a private foundation, the military, or with a business in the private sector. The selected site should have public health relevance and offer exposure to creative epidemiologic practices and experiences. The intent is to provide experience in recognizing and describing health problems, determining causative factors, developing intervention or prevention strategies, and evaluating the effect or impact of health programs or policies.
Health Policy and Management
The core curriculum of 14 required courses includes Health Policy and Management 200A, 200B, 206 or M274, 207, 231, 232, 237A-237B, M249L, M287, 438, M442; one four-unit life course requirement from the following: Community Health Sciences 238, 285, Health Policy and Management M241, M242, M449A; and one four-unit management course to be selected from the following: Health Policy and Management 234, 251A, 431, 433, 437, 440A and 445.
Teaching experience is recommended but not required for the doctoral degree.
Written and Oral Qualifying Examinations
Academic Senate regulations require all doctoral students to complete and pass University written and oral qualifying examinations prior to doctoral advancement to candidacy. Also, under Senate regulations the University oral qualifying examination is open only to the student and appointed members of the doctoral committee. In addition to University requirements, some graduate programs have other pre-candidacy examination requirements. What follows in this section is how students are required to fulfill all of these requirements for this doctoral program.
Before advancement to candidacy, students must pass written examinations in the major prepared and administered by the guidance committee or by the faculty of the department. Normally no more than one reexamination after failure is allowed. The doctoral committee is nominated after the student has made a tentative decision on a dissertation topic. The doctoral committee consists of at least four faculty members who hold professorial appointments. Two of the faculty must be tenured. For students specializing in Epidemiology, the chair of the committee and one additional member must be from Epidemiology. Three of the four must hold appointments in Public Health; one must be an outside member who holds no appointment in Public Health; one of the four must be from the minor field. The doctoral committee administers the University Oral Qualifying Examination after the written examinations have been successfully completed.
Community Health Sciences
Before advancement to candidacy, all coursework must have been completed, and the student must have passed two written examinations and an oral qualifying examination in the major field. The first written examination is taken by all students. The other is tailored to the specific interests of the individual student. Both written examinations may be repeated only once. In addition, the student must complete the requirements for the minor field.
The first examination provides an assessment of the student's breadth of substantive knowledge, theory, and methods that are common to the disciplines that comprise Community Health Sciences. Students are expected to demonstrate a coherent and well-synthesized command of this material. This examination is administered by the departmental doctoral committee in the Fall Quarter of each year. The second examination is in one of the areas of specialization: public health policy, health education/promotion, sociocultural aspects of health, public health nutrition, and international family health. Students are expected to demonstrate in-depth knowledge in the area, and to be able to apply this knowledge and knowledge derived from the minor to problems or practice and policy. The examination is based on a reading list generated by the student in consultation with the student's guidance committee, which also administers the examination. It is administered after the first examination at a time that has been agreed upon mutually by the students and the guidance committee.
After the student has passed the written qualifying examinations and completed the minor requirements, and at least one month prior to taking the University Oral Qualifying Examination, a doctoral committee is nominated. The student first selects the committee chair, who also serves as the student's adviser. The student and chair then work together to nominate the remaining committee members. The doctoral committee consists of at least four faculty members including the chair, who hold professorial appointments at UCLA. Two of the faculty must be tenured. Two of the four must hold appointments in Community Health Sciences; one must be an outside member who holds no appointment in the school of Public Health; one of the four must be from the minor field. Eligible faculty include those in the tenure-eligible series, the in-residence series, acting or emeritus in these series; in addition, one of the four committee members, who may also cochair if appropriate, may hold an appointment in the adjunct or clinical professorial series. The composition of the committee must be approved by the department chair. The doctoral committee guides the student's progress toward completion of the dissertation.
The student is advanced to candidacy and commences work on a dissertation by passing the University Oral Qualifying Examination, which is administered by the doctoral committee. Only the student and the committee members attend this examination; all committee members must be present. The examination may be repeated once if a majority of the committee so recommends.
Health Policy and Management
Students are required to pass a written qualifying examination after completion of most of the required coursework, normally at the beginning of the third year of study. A doctoral committee is nominated after the student makes a tentative decision on a dissertation topic. The committee consists of at least four faculty members who hold regular appointments: two of the faculty must be tenured, two of the four must hold appointments in the department, and one must be an outside member who holds no appointment in the School of Public Health. The doctoral committee administers the University Oral Qualifying Examination (the dissertation proposal hearing), normally during the first six months of the practicum.
Required coursework must be completed prior to the commencement of the practicum. The practicum accommodates the completion of a problem-solving study for the specific organization. A preceptor is identified within the organization who assists the student in structuring the practicum and delineating expectations and opportunities. Usually, but not necessarily, this practicum is accomplished within the context of the student's primary employment. Advisers and the Dr.P.H. Committee members assist in placement when students are not employed or the place of employment is not appropriate for the student's course of study.
During the first quarter of residency students prepare a dissertation proposal that addresses a problem of interest or concern (practical relevance) to the preceptor organization. The proposal may deal with needs assessment, program design, program implementation, program evaluation, or some combination of the above. The emphasis in this problem-solving dissertation is not necessarily to test a hypothesis derived from a disciplinary or theoretical perspective but rather to address a problem defined within the context of the preceptor organization and the environment in which it interacts. Students are expected to employ competencies gained from prior education/experience and doctoral coursework in addressing this problem. The proposal is to be written, reviewed by the doctoral committee and the practicum preceptor organization, and approved during the first six months of the residency. The expectation is that the prepared project be feasible and realistic within the context and resources of the organization, and normally can be completed within one year of the beginning of the practicum.
Advancement to Candidacy
Students are advanced to candidacy upon successful completion of the written and oral qualifying examinations.
Every doctoral degree program requires the completion of an approved dissertation that demonstrates the student's ability to perform original, independent research and constitutes a distinct contribution to knowledge in the principal field of study.
Final Oral Examination (Defense of the Dissertation)
Required for all students in the program.
Maximum allowable time for the attainment of the degree is 24 quarters of enrollment or eight years. This limitation includes quarters enrolled in previous graduate study at a UC campus prior to admission to the doctoral degree program and leaves of absence. However, the approved normative time-to-degree is 18 quarters (six years). It is expected that students will normally complete coursework by the end of the third year in residence (nine quarters); complete written and oral examinations and advance to candidacy by the middle of the fourth year in residence (11 quarters); and complete the dissertation and defense by the end of the sixth year (18 quarters).
Termination of Graduate Study and Appeal of Termination
A student who fails to meet the above requirements may be recommended for termination of graduate study. A graduate student may be disqualified from continuing in the graduate program for a variety of reasons. The most common is failure to maintain the minimum cumulative grade point average (3.00) required by the Academic Senate to remain in good standing (some programs require a higher grade point average). Other examples include failure of examinations, lack of timely progress toward the degree and poor performance in core courses. Probationary students (those with cumulative grade point averages below 3.00) are subject to immediate dismissal upon the recommendation of their department. University guidelines governing termination of graduate students, including the appeal procedure, are outlined in Standards and Procedures for Graduate Study at UCLA.
Special Departmental or Program Policy
In addition to the standard reasons outlined above, a student may be recommended for termination for failure to failure to complete the required course work within seven quarters of matriculation.
In addition to the standard reasons outlined above, a student may be recommended for termination for: failure to maintain a 3.00 grade point average for two consecutive quarters following matriculation into the doctoral program; a second failure of any written qualifying examination in the major or minor fields; a second failure of either oral examination; or exceeding enrollment time limits.
A student may appeal a recommendation for termination first to the departmental chair, then to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, then to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and finally to the dean of the school.