Students will complete residencies at both San Diego State University (Year 1) and the University of California at San Diego (Year 2). Dissertation units can be taken at both universities. Students must complete a minimum of 60 units and remain in good academic standing (e.g., minimum GPA 3.0)
Program Timeline (typical)
- Year One: 24 semester units at SDSU and mentored research
- Year Two: 36 quarter units at UC San Diego and mentored research
- Year Three: Research and work towards advancing to Candidacy/ Dissertation work (either university)
- Year Four: Dissertation work / Dissertation defense
Year 1- SDSU Courses
(subject to change due to course offering and availability)
(12 units required)
(12 units required)
Note: Registration in courses held outside of the School of Social Work is subject to instructor/departmental approval. Contact the instructor to ask permission to enroll and double-check that there are no time conflicts with the required courses.
SDSU Course Descriptions
The seminar advances understanding of policies and research related to health and substance use in the U.S.-Mexico border region and among migrant populations (e.g. deportation policies on substance use behavior). Students explore the intersection of substance use research, policy & substance use risk. This course uses research and a policy analysis framework to promote student critical thinking about the impact of alcohol and drugs and related policies on substance use behavior and co-occurring conditions (e.g. mental health, TB, HIV, poverty). Through seminar discussions and written assignments students will analyze current policies and develop evidence-based policy.
This seminar is designed to provide fundamental and advanced knowledge about the pharmacology and underlying causes of addiction in the most impactful substances of use and misuse in the U.S. Topics include: opioids and prescription drugs, marijuana, and cocaine among other substances. This class also aims to introduce the students to current research issues related to substance use and treatment of addiction.
This course is designed to provide students with an advanced technical understanding of the etiology, epidemiology and prevention and treatment of substance use and related problems. The course consists of three units reflecting the topical foci and will include: Lectures (guest and by the professor), discussions, and student presentations.
Current social and behavioral science theories to understand health-related behavior & how theories can guide the development of behavior change interventions to reduce negative health behaviors. We will take an ecological focus (i.e., person-in-environment) for this course and will focus on the application of health behavior theory at multiple levels (person, group, community, etc.). Particular emphasis will be given to discussing health-related disparities to explain health behavior.
The purpose of this course is to prepare students to conduct research with focus on substance use topics. This course is designed to introduce students to the process of research as a sequence of events & characterize different approaches to experimental and non-experimental substance use research. Students will learn how to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of various research designs and methods, understand measurement issues, including those related to reliability and validity.
This seminar provides a conceptual overview of advanced multivariate statistical analysis techniques used frequently in substance use/use research as well as application practice. Each week students will learn about a particular data analysis technique and will be asked to analyze data using the technique. Additionally, students will read empirical articles in the substance use literature which use the multivariate technique discussed during each course session.
PH 700A: Social Epidemiology
Topics covered in this seminar course include: Influence of SES, race, gender, workplace, neighborhood, social networks, and social policy on population health; Conceptual frameworks underpinning social epidemiology; Measurement and study design in social epidemiology; Social interventions for public health.
Seminar is designed to assist students with integration into the JDPs in Public Health and Interdisciplinary Research in Substance Use and the field of public health and related fields and helps students prepare for their future professional careers. This is a required course for Public Health JDP students.
Students will acquire skills needed to compete for health behavior research funding. Grant proposal writing, submission, review, and revision processes. Background information about grant review procedures and funding mechanisms, with emphasis on national institutes of health.
Year 2- UCSD Courses
(subject to change due to course offering and availability)
(12 units required)
email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
(12 units required)
(12 units required)
(taught every other year in Spring)
For all elective courses, email the instructor to ask for permission to enroll and ensure that there are no time conflicts with other/required courses.
UCSD Course Descriptions
MATH 282A. Applied Statistics I (4)
General theory of linear models with applications to regression analysis. Ordinary and generalized least squares estimators and their properties. Hypothesis testing, including analysis of variance, and confidence intervals. Completion of courses in linear algebra and basic statistics are recommended prior to enrollment. Prerequisites: graduate standing or consent of instructor. (S/U grades permitted.)
PSYC 210. The Methods of Human Cognitive Neuroscience (5)
Covers many of the neuroscience methods available to study human cognition, with emphasis on concepts of data analysis, and comparative assessment of the different methods (along with alternative nonhuman animal approaches), with an eye to pitfalls and interpretational limitations. Prerequisites: graduate standing.
FPM 270. Cultural Perceptions of Health and Disease (4)
To improve knowledge about health and illness within cultural contexts, including review and discussions of epidemiologic studies describing health indicators/beliefs/practices. Students interact with experts in cross-cultural health research to explore ethnicity/culture in health care delivery and utilization, and disease risk. Prerequisites: medical or graduate student. Other students admitted with consent of instructor.
FPM 259A. Applied Epidemiology—Scientific Analysis (4)
Students will explore an epidemiologic research question by reviewing relevant published literature, and then design and conduct appropriate data analysis using a pre-existing dataset. May be taken for credit two times. Prerequisites: Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health graduate students.
FPM 259B. Applied Epidemiology—Scientific Writing (4)
Students will learn the principles of scientific writing, review examples of scientific literature, and then complete a manuscript suitable for publication based on their project from FPM 259A. May be taken for credit two times. Prerequisites: Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health graduate student, FPM 259A.
FPM 259C. Applied Epidemiology—Scientific Presentations (4)
Students will learn the principles of scientific presentations, for the classroom, and for scientific meetings (both oral and poster presentations). Students will then prepare and deliver presentations based on their project from FPM 259A. May be taken for credit two times. Prerequisites: Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health graduate student, FPM 259B.
FPM 276. Health Behavior Interventions I (4)
Course will include a discussion of intervention goals suggested by major theories of health behavior change. Common communication modes and messages will be studied, including examples using small group settings, mass media, legislation, and telephone counseling. Prerequisites: must be enrolled in the SDSU/UC San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health.
FPM 278. Scale Development for Behavioral Health Measurement (4)
Course will present theory and methods for developing scales to assess health behavior constructs (e.g., self-efficacy, social support). Prerequisites: must be enrolled in the SDSU/UC San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health. Graduate level statistics or research methods class.
FPM 280A. Practicum in Health Behavior I (4)
Students will learn about grant writing, project management, and preparation of manuscripts for publication and presentations for scientific meetings, and also work individually with a faculty mentor to learn how to conduct a health behavior intervention. S/U grades only. Prerequisites: must be enrolled in the SDSU/UC San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health (PU75 and PU75). Courses must be completed in sequence (e.g., A before B and B before C).
FPM 280B. Practicum in Health Behavior II (4)
Students will learn about grant writing, project management, and preparation of manuscripts for publication and presentations for scientific meetings, and also work individually with a faculty mentor in preparing manuscripts using data from a specific health behavior intervention. S/U grades only. Prerequisites: must be enrolled in the SDSU/UC San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health (PU75 and PU75). Courses must be completed in sequence (e.g., A before B and B before C).
FPM 280C. Practicum in Health Behavior III (4)
Students will learn about grant writing, project management, and preparation of manuscripts for publication and presentations for scientific meetings, and also work individually with a faculty mentor in analyzing existing data sets. S/U grades only. Prerequisites: must be enrolled in the SDSU/UC San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health (PU75 and PU75). Courses must be completed in sequence (e.g., A before B and B before C).
*FPM 259 and FPM 280 series are both a part of the UCSD Global Health Program. Must email the program coordinator for approval.
FPM 288. Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods (4)
Focus on qualitative methods addressing both theoretical and practical dimensions of conducting qualitative research. Identify research questions for which qualitative methods are appropriate, and to critique qualitative research in terms of design, interview techniques, analysis, and interpretation.
FMPH 221. Biostatistical Methods I (4)
Introductory graduate course on the analysis of biomedical data using the R statistical software. Topics include t-tests, ANOVAs, linear regression, model diagnostics, model building and selection, interaction, confounding, multiple comparisons, and robust tests based on ranks and resampling. Prerequisites: biostatistics major or program approval.
FMPH 224. Clinical Trials (4)
The graduate class will cover statistical aspects of clinical trial design, monitoring, analysis, and ethics of human subjects research. Data analysis and computation will be emphasized. Prerequisites: successful completion of FMPH 221 and FMPH 222 or program approval.
FMPH 291. Special Topics in Public Health (1–4)
Topics of special interest in public health. Topics may vary from quarter to quarter. May be taken for credit up to twelve times for a maximum of forty-eight units.
FMPH 400. Introduction to Biostatistics (4)
Students will understand principles of measurement of clinical data, recognize data types, and determine statistical methods for analysis of a given data set. They will gain experience in preparing a clinical dataset for analysis by statistical software. They will learn skills to conduct graphical and numerical exploratory data analysis; comparative tests of categorical, ordinal, and continuous data; linear and logistic regression; and survival analysis by life table and Kaplan-Meier techniques. Prerequisites: must be enrolled in MPH program (FM75) or program approval.
FMPH 418. Infectious Diseases: Epidemiological Methods and Emerging Trends (4 units).
Designed to increase students’ understanding and skills required to investigate, prevent and control infectious diseases. Students will be introduced to a variety of fundamental and novel epidemiological methods through practical exercises and case studies of particularly important or emerging communicable diseases.
MED 231. Intro to Mixed Methods Research (4)
This course will provide an overview of mixed methods research, with an emphasis on its application in public health research. Specific examples will be drawn largely from the fields of substance use and HIV research. The course will begin with a discussion of the history and philosophy of mixed methods research, and will maintain a focus on the epistemological underpinnings of both mixed methods designs and their component parts. Consideration will be given to a number of research traditions that can be subsumed under the general headings of “quantitative” and “qualitative” methods, including epidemiological surveys, in-depth qualitative interviewing, ethnography, social network analysis, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Methods for collecting, analyzing, integrating, and reporting data from multiple sources will be discussed. The course will have an applied focus and will include lectures, presentations of applied mixed methods research by guest experts, applied and methodological readings, and student presentations
MED 268. Statistical Concepts for Biomed Research (4)
This course introduces statistics methods for basic, pre-clinical, and clinical research. Topics include descriptive statistics, t-tests, ANOVA, linear and logistic regression, survival analysis, power and sample size, non-parametric methods, and factorial experiment design. Emphasis is on applications rather than theorems and proofs. Students will gain the ability to design efficient and informative basic research and clinical trials, to perform statistical analyses using the R statistics software, and to critique statistical results in published biomedical research
MED 276. Grant Writing Practicum (4) (taught every other year i.e. 2019, 2021, etc.)
The focus of this course will be on grant writing and developing persuasive arguments. Previously submitted funded and non-funded grants will be used to illustrate revision and response to reviewers, as well as to provide source materials to perform mock study section reviews. This course will help students write their first grant proposals and understand the process of proposal scoring and reviewing
MED 281. Scientific Writing Circle (1)
The goal of MED 281 is to support student’s development as independent scientists and science communicators. We will approach scientific writing in public health as a coherent genre with distinct subtypes (i.e., manuscripts, abstracts, research protocols). By the end of the course students will complete a manuscript that is suitable for submission to a peer-reviewed journal and will feel confident selecting a journal and navigating peer review.