Apr 01, 2023  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Applied Health Research and Evaluation, PhD

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Program Description

Clemson’s Department of Public Health Sciences Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Master of Science (MS) degrees in Applied Health Research and Evaluation rigorously prepare future scholars to conduct research in population health and healthcare. Students learn to design and employ cutting-edge research methodologies with community, private sector, and public partners to provide effective solutions to challenging health problems.

The doctoral program in Applied Health Research and Evaluation is designed to produce innovative, independent leaders in methodology and healthcare research skilled at transcending the traditional barriers between clinical, laboratory, and social science to rigorously test and evaluate clinical and population health data and then translate those findings into practice. Because this program fosters trans-disciplinary faculty collaboration and involves research partnerships in communities and healthcare settings in the region, graduates are prepared to initiate and conduct applied research and evaluation that improves a wide variety of health delivery systems. Graduates of this program possess a depth and breadth of knowledge in the determinants of health, healthcare systems, research and evaluation design, epidemiology, and quantitative and qualitative methods, making them valuable assets to academia, large corporations, the health insurance industry, government agencies, health care organizations, and consulting firms.

The curriculum emphasizes a full spectrum of methodological skills that enable students to design and implement research focused on health outcomes, effective and efficient health services delivery, comparative effectiveness of clinical and cost outcomes, and to conduct program evaluation. Students devote substantial attention to implementation science: that bridge between health research and health practice.

Our interdisciplinary faculty hold terminal degrees in health promotion and behavior, community psychology, epidemiology, health communication, medical sociology, medicine, health services research, health economics, and health policy.

Summary of Degree Requirements

The program requires 64 credit hours of course work; however students with a master’s degree may apply for twelve credit hours to be approved for transfer to Clemson.


Research Core Courses-30 credit hours
Graduate Seminar-4 credit hours
  • HLTH 8890 - Seminar in Applied Health Research and Evaluation  provides a forum during fall and spring semesters for presentation and discussion of student conducted research. This course is designed as a one-credit course in which doctoral students participate for four semesters (total of four credits). The class consists of weekly meetings focused on professional development, critical research analysis, effective communication and successful completion of a doctoral dissertation. Students develop communication skills, professional leadership skills and professional conduct expected of the Applied Health Research and Evaluation graduate student. Registration and attendance in HLTH 8890 is a requirement for AHRE degree candidates.

Cognate Courses-12 credit hours

Cognate courses are elective graduate courses chosen with the assistance and approval of the student’s advisor that improve the depth of understanding of the student’s chosen research area. A minimum of twelve 12 credit hours is required, and one of the courses must include three credits in advanced statistics or analysis relevant to the student’s research area. A set of four or five courses is chosen primarily from outside the department to create this content area. Most cognates are taken after completion of the first year of coursework when a student’s chosen research area has become more clearly defined. Cognates can also be enhanced through internships at an appropriate research setting in public, private, or government organizations.

  • Cognate Course-Advanced Statistics or Analysis relevant to research area (three credits)*
  • Cognate Course-Graduate course relevant to research area (three credits)
  • Cognate Course-Graduate course relevant to research area (three credits)
  • Cognate Course-Graduate course relevant to research area (three credits)

*Methods course in Nutrition, Physical Activity, Built Environment, Aging, Substance Abuse, Violence, Health Communication, Health Care, Research Specialization, Survey Design, Secondary Data Analysis, Advanced Qualitative Analysis, etc.

Dissertation-18 credit hours



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