College of Public Health Guidebooks

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Welcome to the PhD Program at the College of Public Health! 


The PhD Program

The PhD is granted in recognition of high attainment in a specific field of knowledge. It is a research degree and is not conferred solely upon the earning of credit, the completion of courses, or the acquiring of a number of terms of residency, but also the successful completion of scholarly work. The length of residency and the requirements below are minimums; programs/colleges may elect to establish more rigorous requirements.

The degree will be granted after the student has shown proficiency and distinctive achievement in a specified field, has demonstrated the ability to do original, independent investigation, and has presented these findings with a high degree of literary skill in a dissertation. A major professor will be appointed as soon as possible but no later than the time the student has completed 50% of the program. The advisor will advise on any specific subject matter deficiencies and assist in the choice of a major professor and area of research.

The University of South Florida is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools (SACS). The College of Public Health degree programs are accredited by the Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH).

Admission information can be found on our Graduate Admissions page.

PhD Guidelines

These PhD Guidelines present the USF Office of Graduate Studies policies. The College of Public Health may impose stricter guidelines, policies and procedures as determined by each department. It is the responsibility of the student to review and follow the specific guidelines with their department chairs, major professor and committee members.

Additional USF policies, not found in these guidelines, may be found at: or at


The PhD Guidebook

This PhD Guidebook has five sections. Follow these five steps to work through your program. 

Please send feedback on the PhD Guidebook



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