Education: Learning by Doing

More than just classroom learning

Through its two Ph.D. programs, the Department of Health Behavior and Policy provides a collaborative, multidisciplinary learning environment for the next generation of scholars.

With a diverse patient population and proximity to state legislators, there’s no better place to study and research than right here in Richmond. Our curriculum goes beyond the textbook, with opportunities to engage with the community, collaborate with experts across multiple disciplines and learn alongside our accomplished faculty mentors.  

Ph.D. Programs

For students who aim to make meaningful contributions to public health, the Department of Health Behavior and Policy offers two Ph.D. programs.

Our faculty are dedicated to helping students discover and claim their areas of expertise, and both doctoral programs within the department offer the following:

  • A core curriculum in research methods and statistics
  • A broad selection of interdisciplinary electives
  • Dedicated mentored research experiences
  • Professional development seminars
  • Access to VCU Health research institutes and centers
  • Stipend and tuition defrayment for up to four years
  • Opportunities for financial support covering dissertation expenses
  • Small class sizes
  • Emphasis on applied research

Healthcare Policy and Research Ph.D.

In preparation for research positions in academia, government and the private sector, this program trains students to use economic and statistical frameworks and methods to address important health policy issues. 

About the Policy and Research Ph.D.

Social and Behavioral Sciences Ph.D.

This program equips students with an understanding of health as the intersection of structural, cultural, social, behavioral and biological factors, preparing them to become scientists, educators and program administrators across a broad spectrum of health care settings.

About the Behavioral Sciences Ph.D.

M.D./Ph.D. Dual-Degree Program

VCU trains physician-scientists to improve human health through a combined program that blends medicine and science throughout the entire curriculum.

Discover the M.D./Ph.D.

Master of Public Health

Administered by the School of Population Health, VCU’s MPH program provides a framework for the current state of public health. Our faculty provide academic support for students enrolled in this program.

About the M.P.H.

Postdoc Training in Cancer Prevention and Control

Funded by the National Institutes of Health, this two-year program through the Massey Cancer Center is for early-career individuals in the social sciences (psychology, sociology, economics, anthropology), public health, biostatistics and those who have completed clinical training in medicine or nursing.

About the postdoc program