Sociomedical Sciences

The Sociomedical Sciences PhD program is interdisciplinary, with study divided between the Mailman School of Public Health and one of three departments in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (Anthropology, History, or Sociology). The PhD is designed for individuals who wish to combine training in history or in a social or behavioral science discipline and to study questions significant to public health and medicine. Our PhD program graduates go on to do research and teach in institutions of higher education, to serve in leadership positions in public health agencies and community organizations, and to work the private sector.

Dissertation research advances knowledge in a student’s discipline while also answering questions central to public health. This includes applying social science theory and methods to the study of social factors that shape health behaviors, health disparities, and use of health care services; exploring the social structure of healthcare delivery systems, and analyzing the relation between these systems and the populations they are designed to serve. Student profiles, as well as our students’ publications give a rich sense of the breadth of student work. Faculty mentors are drawn from the Department of Sociomedical Sciences, as well as from other Mailman School faculty with social science training, and faculty from social science departments in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

The department awards a number of fellowships to recognize academic achievement and support future scholarly success. Research experience is considered a critical aspect of graduate training, and so most fellowships and assistantships involve some form of research apprenticeship. For more information on the funding packages provided to students who matriculate in our doctoral programs, see the frequently asked questions.

Learn more about the PhD on the SMS Doctoral Programs website