Graduate Programs

The signatures of Behavioral and Social Sciences training at Brown University include health behavior interventions, development, and evaluation. Our students collaborate across disciplines, researchers, and communities.

Students and faculty engage in research that seeks to identify social, psychological, and behavioral risk factors for disease and illness; understand the psychosocial determinants of health care; understand health protective behaviors, relationships, and institutions; and develop and evaluate health-promoting interventions that are grounded in behavioral and social science theory. Students in the Doctoral Program in Behavioral and Social Health Sciences demonstrate mastery of relevant theory and methods, assessed via coursework and examinations, and complete a dissertation that represents original research.

Additional Resources

The School of Public Health is home to several world-class research centers, such as the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Center for Health Promotion and Health Equity, Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine, the International Health Institute, Mindfulness Center, and the Brown University AIDS Program. Our faculty members also collaborate with researchers at Brown's Population Studies and Training Center, Institute for Brain Sciences, Providence/Boston Center for AIDS Research, Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, as well as the Rhode Island Department of Health. These centers and institutes offer doctoral students a rich learning environment in which to explore topics of interest.

Application Information

The most competitive applicants will have an earned master's degree in public health or in a behavioral or social science field (e.g., psychology, sociology, anthropology, education, communication). To be prepared to complete the doctoral degree requirements, applicants should have taken quantitative courses, such as undergraduate or graduate level calculus, statistics or probability coursework; and demonstrate research experience relevant to public health. A key element in evaluating applications is our assessment of the fit between applicant intellectual and research interests and those of one or more of the faculty. Students should identify potential faculty mentors in their application; advance correspondence with potential faculty mentors is highly recommended to establish fit. See a list of our faculty members open to taking students.

Applicants to this School of Public Health program should apply through SOPHAS, a centralized application service for accredited schools and programs in public health. The application opens each year in mid–August. The GRE is not required.

Application Requirements

GRE Subject:

Not required

GRE General:

Not required


Required if applicable

Official Transcripts:


Letters of Recommendations:


Personal Statement:




Additional Materials:

Application Fee

Additional Requirements:

International Applicants:

  • Language Proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS if applicable)
  • Transcript Evaluation (if applicable)

Comprehensive application requirements are detailed on the School of Public Health's admissions requirements website.


Application Deadline

Completion Requirements

A PhD degree in Behavioral and Social Health Sciences at Brown requires completion of 16 courses for students without a master's degree; up to four (4) of these may be fulfilled by prior graduate coursework. Doctoral students must maintain an average of B or higher in the coursework required for the Ph.D., complete written and oral qualifying exams, and a dissertation representing original contribution to the field.

Alumni Careers

Learn More


Department Chair
Katie Biello
Director of Graduate Studies
Kate B. Carey

Contact and Location

Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Mailing Address

Brown University
Box G-S121-4
Visit the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences