University of Colorado Denver

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Health and Behavioral Sciences


1380 Lawrence St., Room 1251

Denver, CO 80217

United States





Program Information

Degrees Offered:

PhD in Health and Behavioral Sciences

Format: Campus

Program Description:

In response to the growing challenges in health care and public health, the PhD Program in Health and Behavioral Sciences was established in 1994 to develop leaders able to address contemporary health issues within the political, economic, cultural, biomedical and social framework of our society. The program provides an overarching framework integrating social, behavioral, and natural science perspectives on health and health care, while allowing the student to select and fully develop a particular research interest and professional career within the health and behavioral sciences. Whether it is the AIDS epidemic and gender inequality, drug use, the cost and quality of health care, the ethics of health care, palliative care, decision-making, social networks, or health disparities, professionals in this field play a central role in pursuing an understanding of the underpinnings of health and the contextual conditions essential for its creation and maintenance.

HBS PhD students will gain expert knowledge of research design and methods, the determinants of health and disease, the structure and organization of health care systems, behavioral choices and how to use them to enhance wellness, the contribution of individual, social and cultural factors to health behavior, and how guided change in health care systems may enhance quality, efficacy and access.


  • Interdisciplinary and collaborative, blending the social and behavioral sciences and public health research
  • HBS prepares students for careers in academia, government, and other applied settings, as researchers and teachers.


Specialized Training in: Theoretical Perspectives in the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Human Ecology and Environmental Adaptation, Research Design, Social and Behavioral Determinants of Health, Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods

Financial Support: We offer two-year full tuition scholarships and stipends to accepted students. Financial aid is available through the Financial Aid Office. Students interested in research assistantships should contact the individual faculty member with whom they wish to work regarding potential assistantship positions.

*The HBS PhD program is a WRGP offering in-state tuition for residents of WICHE’s 15 member states, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam

Applications: Applications are due by February 15 (Fall admission).

Career paths of graduates: Our recent alumni have taken postdoctoral fellowships at Columbia University and the University of Texas at Austin; faculty positions at the University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health and Regis University; and research positions at Denver Health Medical Center, the Veteran’s Administration, and Kaiser Permanente. ​

Why CU Denver? As Colorado’s only public urban research university, CU Denver educates a diverse student body through quality academics, ambitious research and creative work, and civic engagement in the city we call home. Graduates gain the powerful combination of immersive classroom and real-world experiences that are in demand today, while the city benefits from well-educated, top talent and a new generation of knowledge that fuels the future of Denver and our region.

We are committed to diversity and equity. Students from all backgrounds will find resources & support on campus.


The University of Colorado Denver is Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

International Student Requirements:

International students must meet ALL of the standard requirements and also must provide: • Original transcripts and documentation in English (or a certified English translation) of the completion of a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, or the equivalent • Documents required to process immigration documents • Certified English translation of all academic records and references not in English • $75.00 international non-refundable application fee • Evidence of proficiency in English as demonstrated by one of the following: - Citizen of a country whose official language is English - TOEFL or IELTS - Graduate of CU Denver’s ESL Academy - Earned bachelor’s degree or higher from a foreign or US accredited institution where the language of instruction was English. - Earned a bachelor’s degree from the US or successful completion of at least 2 semesters (12 credits) of full-time study in a graduate-level master’s program at an accredited institution with a minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA.

Facts & Figures

Financial Aid: Yes

International Financial Aid: Yes

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Intensive

Loans Offered: Students are encouraged to work with the University's Financial Aid Office to obtain information on financial aid opportunities. University of Colorado Denver FASFA Code: 004508

Locale: Large City

Size & Settings: 0-999

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