Ph.D Program


In collaboration with the School of Public Policy Ph.D. Program

Ph.D. Concentration Primary Advisor: Dr. Lucy Wilson
Graduate Program Coordinator: Renee Decker

Ph.D. in Public Policy with Concentration in Emergency Services

**Students must apply to The School of Public Policy, who manages the Ph.D. degree. Emergency Health Services coordinates the Specialty studies and advises students for the required EHS courses in their chosen specialization**

Check the Public Policy website for current deadlines for formal admission requirements to the Ph.D. Program Public Policy Admission Deadlines


The Ph.D. curriculum for a student without a relevant master’s degree requires 48 hours of pre-dissertation coursework and 18 hours of dissertation research. The curriculum is divided into core courses, disciplinary foundation courses, and courses in an Emergency Services concentration. Students with an EHS master’s degree will have fewer course requirements to complete.

Ph.D. Examinations

In addition to examinations in particular courses, Ph.D. students must pass a comprehensive exam and a field exam. Students should consult with their advisor before signing up to take the comprehensive or field exam.

Doctoral Dissertation

All Ph.D. candidates must register for a minimum of 18 semester hours of doctoral dissertation research, PUBL 899. Guidelines for writing and defending dissertations are available on the Public Policy Graduate Student Group site. Copies of proposals and dissertations are available for inspection in the Graduate Student Reading Room.


This program is for the professional specializing in emergency public health, emergency management, or management of emergency health care systems, wanting to further their education or career potential. The curriculum is designed to provide graduate-level training and education to health care providers, researchers, educators, policymakers, and administrators.


Two pathways are available in the Emergency Services Concentration:

The Emergency Health pathway includes courses in disaster health, catastrophes, and systems design. The Emergency Management pathway includes courses in disaster mitigation, catastrophe preparation and response, and strategic planning. Click the links above for more information, required courses, and course electives for each pathway.

Dr. Lucy Wilson is the EHS concentration advisor. You will be assigned an advisor for the Ph.D. requirements by Public Policy.
You may also contact Renee Decker as the Graduate Program Coordinator for EHS concentration questions or Public Policy Department at for all other questions concerning the Ph.D. degree.

***PLEASE NOTE: All Emergency Health Services courses can be taken online via Distance Education. Most Public Policy Courses require in-person attendance.***


The Ph.D. program admits both full and part-time students. Classes are held once a week, at either 4:30 pm or 7:10 pm, allowing students who work full time to enroll in the program. The EHS courses in the specialization can be taken either in-person or online. The Public Policy courses are held in person.

GRE test results are not required. Admission decisions are based on the match between the program and applicant’s interests, academic record, and recommendations from professors (preferred) or others who can speak to the potential for success in graduate school.

Deadlines for Formal Admission to Ph.D. Program Public Policy Admission Deadlines

Click here for more detailed admissions information or to apply.