PhD in Public Health Sciences in Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences

Admission Requirements

Applicants should have a minimum of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and, in most cases, should have completed a master’s or other graduate degree related to the theme of the doctoral program. Applicants who have a master’s degree in a different discipline may be admitted with the stipulation that they complete foundation course work during their enrollment for the doctoral degree. This coursework is in addition to the outlined curriculum, and is negotiated with the student’s academic advisor on a case-by-case basis.

Formal Application
The formal application, curriculum vitae, personal statement, application fee, three professional or academic letters of recommendation, official transcripts of all college work, official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test (requested/optional), and a scientific writing sample must be submitted to the UofL Graduate School.

International applicants are required to submit TOEFL scores and a foreign credential evaluation of their transcripts, regardless if their country speaks English as the main/one of the languages. The only exception is if they have previously attended a US Institution. 

Admission Deadlines
Admission for the program is accepted for the fall semester only each year.  For fall admission, domestic applications need to apply to the program online by the deadline of December 31 or March 31.  Applications received by December 31 will be reviewed for early admission and consideration of University Fellowships and departmental funding. International applications are due by March 1 to meet processing deadlines for fall admission. Applications will not be accepted after June 1 for the following fall semester.

Personal Statement
The personal statement should be a two-page essay which discusses the student’s background in health promotion, why the student is attracted the field, and how the degree helps the student reach his or her career goals. The student should also explicitly discuss their research interest. IN addition, prior work experience relevant to the health promotion discipline is also considered as a factor in acceptance into the program.

Deferment of Admission
If an applicant who has been accepted into the Health Promotion PhD program decides, for whatever reason, to defer admission until a future date, they may go into the graduate application site online and change the year of their application. However, this does not assure them admission for the future date. Each spring all applications will be considered for admission on the same level. Acceptance will depend on which applications in the pool for that year are determined the most competitive and accomplished by the HPBS Admission Committee and by the available space in the program.

Curriculum Questions
If you have questions concerning the content of the program, please contact Dr. Jelani Kerr, PhD Program Committee Chair, at or Dr. Monica Wendel, Department Chair, at

Any questions, contact Barbara Parker at or 502-852-3290. 

Stay connected TwitterFacebook LinkedIn YouTubeInstagram