Global Health (Evolutionary Global Health Sciences), PhD

Human health is the result of many interconnected factors. Influences including culture, ecology, natural and built environments and genetics produce uneven but shared patterns on health through intergenerational transmission. Because health problems are due to so many factors, all of which can vary widely among different populations, standard public health approaches are not always suitable for every populace. Instead, research designs and data analyses that are multifaceted enough to investigate the complex relationships between these effects are required. The goal is to help determine solutions to health problems that take into account the context out of which they have risen.

“Global health” uses approaches from a variety of disciplines to examine the ways in which a society’s susceptibilities to health problems such as obesity or infectious disease are impacted by seemingly disparate elements. The “evolutionary global health sciences” concentration under the Ph.D. in global health provides precise and intensive training in the methods that can be used to expose and explore these elements.

This concentration requires training in universal principles of research design, data analyses, quantitative and qualitative methods and anthropological interpretation in order to address specific questions that best pertain to student career goals.

Cultural evolutionary ecology, human behavioral ecology and evolutionary theories such as niche construction, dual inheritance and life history can all be used in conjunction with observational social sciences and public health methods to shed light on the complex nature of global health problems.

Students earning the evolutionary global health sciences concentration in the global health doctoral degree program develop a skill set that includes a wide range of data collection and inferential tools. These skills prepare graduates to manage basic or applied science teams and to design research, education, prevention or intervention programs that take into account two or more components (social, cultural, environmental, ecological or genetic) of the problems under study.

See the Global Health PhD page for further information on the degree program.

For the concentration in evolutionary global health sciences, 15 credit hours will be selected from an approved list of applicable courses. These courses are:

  • ASB 503 Medical Anthropology (3 credits)
  • ASB 500 Ethnographic Research Methods (3 credits)
  • ASM 560 Human Growth and Development (3 credits)
  • ESS 513 Institutions (3 credits)
  • One of the following (3 credits)
    • ESS/SSH 514 Urban and Environmental Health
    • SSH 591 Principles of Epidemiology for Global Health
    • ASM 456 Infectious Disease and Human Evolution

Students without a master's degree apply to phase I of the program, where they will receive a master's-in-passing. Students with a master's degree in a related field begin in phase II of the doctoral program, where they receive training to become expert scholars able to contribute not only to their chosen field, but to finding solutions to humankind's greatest challenges.

For more information, please contact or 480-965-6215.

Degree Offered

Global Health (Evolutionary Global Health Sciences), PhD
Liberal Arts & Sciences, College of


Plan of Study

The Plan of Study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study