4–5 years
Full time
Doctorate / PhD
Scholarships available

About this program

PhD in Mental Health

The PhD degree is a research-oriented doctoral degree. In the first two years, students take core courses in the Departments of Mental Health, Biostatistics, and Epidemiology, in research ethics, and attend weekly department seminars. Students must complete a written comprehensive exam (in January of their second year), a preliminary exam, two presentations and a final dissertation including presentation and defense. Throughout their time in the department, we encourage all doctoral students to participate in at least one research group of the major research programs in the department: Substance Use Epidemiology, Global Mental Health, Mental Health and Aging, Mental Health Services and Policy, Methods, Prevention Research, Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetic Epidemiology, Psychiatric Epidemiology, and Autism and Developmental Disabilities.

Admission requirements

Standardized Test Scores

Standardized test scores are not required and not reviewed for this program. If you have taken a standardized test such as the GRE, GMAT, or MCAT and want to submit your scores, please note that they will not be used as a metric during the application review. Applications will be reviewed holistically based on all required application components.

English Language Proficiency Test

Most international applicants must submit scores of an English language proficiency test. Unless an applicant meets one of the exemption criteria listed below, official English language proficiency test scores less than 2 years old will be required as part of the application. To fulfill this requirement, the Bloomberg School will accept scores from the following tests. Please contact Admissions Services if you have questions about acceptable test scores. We do not accept the TOEFL Essentials or TOEFL IPT.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the school website.

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Program content

Courses usually taken first year:

  • Seminars in Research in Public Mental Health (all terms required for first year students)
  • Psychopathology for Public Health (first term) 1
  • Public Mental Health (first term) 1
  • Psychiatric Epidemiology (second term) 1
  • Social, Psychological, and Developmental Processes in the Etiology of Mental Disorders (third term) 1
  • Prevention of Mental Disorders: Public Health Interventions (Third Term) 1
  • Introduction to Behavioral and Psychiatric Genetics (fourth term) 1
  • Brain and Behavior in Mental Disorders (fourth term) 1

Courses to be taken either first or second year:

  • Introduction to Mental Health Services (first term) 1
  • The Epidemiology of Substance Use and Related Problems (first term online and second term in person) 1

Courses usually taken second year:

  • Statistics for Psychosocial Research: Measurement (first term) 1
  • Grant Writing for the Social and Behavioral Sciences (fourth term)
  • Writing Publishable Manuscripts for the Social and Behavioral Sciences (second year and beyond only - second term)
  • Doctoral Seminar in Public Mental Health (2nd year PhD students only)

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the school website for more information


Tuition fee: $60,960 / year


Learning Outcomes

The PhD program is designed to provide key knowledge and skill-based competencies in the field of public mental health. To gain the knowledge and skills, all PhD students will be expected to:

  • complete required coursework, including courses that meet the CEPH competency requirements and research ethics;
  • successfully pass the departmental comprehensive exam;
  • select and meet regularly with a Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) as part of advancing to doctoral candidacy;
  • present a public seminar on their dissertation proposal;
  • successfully pass the departmental and school wide Preliminary Oral Exams;
  • complete a doctoral thesis followed by a formal school wide Final Oral Defense;
  • participate as a Teaching Assistant (TA);
  • attend Grand Rounds in the Department of Psychiatry; and
  • provide a formal public seminar on their own research.

Career paths

  • Assistant Professor
  • Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Psychiatric Epidemiologist
  • Prevention Scientist
  • Social and Behavioral Scientist

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About this institute

Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (BSPH), the number one ranked school of public health in the world, is dedicated to the improvement of health for all people and the education of a diverse global community of research...

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Contact info

Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health

615 N. Wolfe Street
21205 Baltimore MD

Phone no: +1 844-379-1319

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