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Program Description

The purpose of the Doctor of Public Health in Epidemiology (DrPH) is to educate professionals with knowledge, skills and abilities in the development of epidemiological methodology applied to health needs including the identification of risk factors, clinical research, programs assessment, prevention, protection and treatment of diseases. These professionals will contribute to the enhancement of the public health through analyses and reformulation of laws that impact health on the local, state and federal levels.

The DrPH is awarded after the successful completion of an interdisciplinary 63-credits curriculum. Students take a comprehensive test at the end of the 2nd year after their completing their class work. An original research of a significant contribution to the scientific knowledge or epidemiological application in a particular health field must be completed during the final years of the Program.

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Program Goals

The doctoral degree in Public Health (DrPH) with specialty in Epidemiology responds to the educational mission of the Public Health Program of the Ponce Health Sciences University and to the Essential Functions of the Public Health which establish the formation and continuing education for the health professionals. As part of our mission is the preparation of the public health students for the integration of the health community, for the participation of the epidemiologic transition and the current transformations of the health systems, private and governmental organizations and other health services. The formation of the doctoral students will be complemented with the necessary competencies in epidemiology as the specific area of public health.

The principal goal of the doctoral program in epidemiology is to educate professionals with the knowledge and skills in the epidemiological method as applied to diverse areas of specialization in the identification of health needs and risk factors and in the evaluation of health programs for the prevention, protection and treatment of illnesses. The specific objectives are the following:

  1. To describe and to interpret the principal indicators of health and illness to generate relevant information for making decisions and the formulation of health policies.
  2. To plan, design and coordinate protocols of investigation that can be accomplished following ethical principles and safety rules.
  3. To identify and to select appropriate epidemiologic designs that can answer the relevant questions to public health problems.
  4. To integrate the epidemiologic method with qualitative and statistical methods in the designs of investigation.
  5. To provide advice on the decision-making process and on public health policies using the epidemiologic method.

In evaluating the applicants, emphasis is placed upon integrity, character, academic achievements, motivation, emotional stability, GRE score, evidence of health care-related experience, interview reports, letters of recommendation and other information provided by the applicant.

 

The applicant must:

  1. Present evidence of the successful completion of a master’s degree in an institution accredited by the PR Council of Education or by a US recognized accrediting organization.
  2. Have completed three credits of College Mathematics and the following courses prior to admission:

 

Course Title Credits
Fundamentals of Public Health 3
Introduction to Environmental Health 3
Introduction to Epidemiology 3
Inferential Biostatistics 3
Psychosocial Aspects of Public Health 3
Public Health Managements 3
Bioethics 3
Total 21*

*If the student is missing any of these credits, it can be taken in our Institution or another one.

 

  1. Have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).
  2. Have taken the GRE examination (General Test) with a minimum score of 500 (290 new score), no more than five years earlier
  3. Attend a personal interview
  4. Submit the following documents:
    1. Official transcript from all universities attended (undergraduate and graduate).
    2. Three letters of recommendation
      1. Two of the letters of recommendation should provide input from people in responsible position who can comment on your academic, employment or volunteer performance, character and interest. For undergraduate, this often means professors, academic advisors or employer.
      2. The third letter must be of someone who is able to assess your advocacy experience. All of them should be written using the format accompanying the application form.
    3. GRE official score www.ets.org/gre – no more than 5 years earlier
    4. Certificate of No Penal Record (Criminal Background Check)
    5. Application fee non-refundable $100 (USD) non-refundable
    6. Essay and Curriculum Vitae

 

Upon acceptance, all students are required to submit the following:

  • Written confirmation of acceptance and a deposit of $100.00 to secure your seat in the entering class.
  • Physical Exam (form provided by Admissions Office)
  • Evidence of up to date immunization record (must include Varicella, Td Adult, MMR and three doses of Hepatitis B).
  • Other documents will be notified as pertinent

Application Process

The Application for Admission to the DrPH in Epidemiology can be downloaded or obtained personally at our Admissions Office.

Deadline to submit a complete application – May 30

Course Requirement

Students must complete all courses within the established time frame. The Program requires a minimum of credits according to the DrPH’s curriculum.

Performance Requirement

  1. A student must complete each academic year with a minimum grade point average of 3.00. Any student failing to meet 3.00 point GPA standard of performance or failing any course will be placed on probation and referred to the Student Promotion Committee.
  2. A minimum of B must be obtained on any require course
  3. A minimum of C must be obtained on any selective or elective course

Comprehensive Requirement

Comprehensive Examination must be taken upon completion of the second academic year. If the student fails to approve the examination, the student, must enroll in the next quarter in independent study courses which must be approved in its entirety in that quarter. Any student failing to meet this standard performance will be referred to the Student Promotion Committee.

Doctoral Dissertation Requirement

A Doctoral Dissertation according to the established guidelines with a research proposal defense and Oral Dissertation Defense is required to obtain the Degree of Doctor in Public Health with specialty in epidemiology.

Professional Behavior Requirement

Students must conduct themselves in accordance with the norms for professional conduct set forth by Ponce Health Sciences University.

Grading System

All courses and grades obtained will appear on the student’s academic record, including elective courses taken at other institutions.

 

All departments establish evaluation criteria for the successful completion of courses taught by the department. These criteria are made available to the students at the beginning of the course. It indicates the number of examinations, quizzes, laboratory exercises, grading procedures and practical tests with their weight. The grading system for graduate students is as follows:

 

Letter Grade
A 90-100
B 80-89
C 70-79
F Below 70
E Extended
I Incomplete
IP In Progress
P Pass
NP Not Pass
W Withdrawal
AW Administrative Withdrawal

Introduction

A Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) has been established to ensure that the Dr.PH-Epidemiology students completes the academic program within the acceptable time frame and with the expected quality of performance. This policy also ensures that the student financial aid requirements set forth by federal regulations have been met. Student’s academic progress should be evaluated annually at the end of each academic year.

Scope

This policy applies to all Dr. PH in Epidemiology students enrolled at Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU).

General Requirements

  1. Time Frame for Completion of the Academic Program

A student will be allowed a maximum time frame of five (5) years of enrollment beyond the standard of eight (8) years required for the completion of the Program.

The total credits for completion of a degree include those graduate courses accredited on admission to the Program.

Time Frame for Completion of the Academic Program

 

Program Standard Maximum
Doctoral Program in Public Health in Epidemiology 5 years 8 years

Definition of Full Time

Students with an academic load of six credits or more per trimester will be considered a full time doctoral student.  Student solely enrolled in the Doctoral Dissertation will also be considered a full-time student.

Definition of Part Time

Students with an academic load of less than six credits per trimester will be considered a part time doctoral student.

  1. Completion of the Dr.PH Requirements
    1. Course Requirement: Students must complete all courses within the established time frame. The Program requires a minimum of 61 credits.
    2. Performance Requirement:
      1. A student must complete each academic year with a minimum grade point average of 3.00. Any student failing to meet 3.00-point GPA standard of performance or failing any course will be placed on probation and referred to the PHSU Student Promotion Committee.
      2. A minimum grade of B may be obtained in required and selective courses.
  • A minimum grade of C could be obtained in elective courses.

 

  1. Comprensive Examination Requirement:

A Comprensive Examination (Comprehensive Exams) must be taken upon completion of the second academic year. If the student fails to approve the  Examination, the student must enroll in independent study courses during the next trimester. Independent courses are offered to give the students the opportunity to achieve the competences in the areas failed in the  Examination. Independent courses should be approved entirely during the next trimester. A maximum of 6 credits will be allowed to be taken as independent studies. Any student failing to meet this standard performance will be referred to the Student Promotion Committee.

  1. Doctoral Dissertation Requirement:

A Doctoral Dissertation according to the established guidelines with a research proposal defense and Oral Dissertation Defense is required to obtain the Degree of Doctor in Public Health with specialty in epidemiology.

Grade Requirement

In order to graduate, the student must complete all requirements and maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.00 GPA in scale of 4.00 point. Satisfactory Academic Progress is required for financial aid eligibility and will be reviewed on a yearly basis, at the end of each academic year.

 

  1. One “F” or one “NP” in any of the courses, or a cumulative GPA less than 3.00 in the academic year is not allowed. A grade of “F” in any course will be referred to the Student Promotion Committee, to be considered for dismissal from the academic program.
  2. The student may have a maximum of two elective courses with C in record.
  3. A student repeating a course or with a GPA less than 3.00 will be considered in academic probation.
  4. If the student fails to obtain a grade of B or more in a repeated course, he/she will be referred to the Students Promotion Committee for a consideration of dismissal from the academic program.
  5. Courses with “F” grade will remain on record after they are successfully repeated, but only the new grade (s) will be used to compute the grade point average.
  6. Grades of “P” (Pass) or “NP” (No Pass) are applicable to the qualifying examination. Grades of “IP” (In Progress), “P” (Pass) or “NP” (No Pass) are applicable to the research proposal defense and dissertation.
  7. When the research/dissertation activity requires more than one trimester for its completion, the student will receive a grade of “In Progress” (IP) for each trimester and until the research/dissertation is completed.
  8. A grade of “I” (Incomplete) will only be allowed under very special circumstances as determined by the faculty member teaching that particular course. The student must remove the “I” (Incomplete) by the end of the following trimester or an administrative “F” will replace it.
  9. Graduate courses not offered at PHSU could be taken at other institution only with permission and approval of the Dr. PH Coordinator, Associate Dean for Public Health and the Dean for Health Sciences.
  10. If the student obtained a reversed dismissal, he/she won’t be in satisfactory academic progress and is considered both on academic and financial aid probation.

Financial Aid Eligibility

A student failing to meet the program requirements will be dismissed. Students notified that they are to be dismissed from program, have the right to appeal the case in writing to the University President within seven working days after receiving the notification.

The Appeal or Due Process for Dismissal

Students who are notified by the Program’s Academic Dean a decision of the Students Promotion Committee that he/she must repeat failed courses during the next academic year or to be dismissed from the program, have the right to appeal the decision within seven working days after receiving the notification.

The appeal or due process presented below must be followed.

The student will appeal in writing to the Students Promotion Committee (SPC) and include all relevant documentation to support the request.  The Committee will evaluate the reasons and evidence submitted to determine if they change their initial decision.  After the meeting, the SPC has 48 hours to submit its decision to the Program’s Academic Dean, who will notify the decision to the student.

If the SPC sustains the adverse decision, the student has the right to appeal to the Dean of Behavioral and Brain Sciences (SBBS). The appeal must be submitted in writing within seven working days after receiving the notification.  The SBBS’ Dean will evaluate the appeal and the student’s academic record. The SBBS’ Dean can appoint a three-member Ad-Hoc Committee to re-evaluate all evidence. Rejection of the appeal by the Dean is final.

If an Ad-Hoc Committee is appointed, they will notify the student in writing of the date and the time when the appeal will be evaluated. After the meeting, the Ad-Hoc Committee has forty-eight (48) hours to submit a recommendation to the SBBS’Dean. The Dean will consider the Ad-Hoc Committee recommendation and make the final decision within forty-eight (48) hours.

Any decision will be reported to the student in writing. The decision made by the Dean of the SBBS is final.

The same process described above will be followed in the case that the adverse decision made by the Committee is for non-academic reasons, such as unacceptable professional behavior. The SBBS’  Dean,  or the VP for Student Affairs will refer the case to the SPC. If the recommendation of the SPC is to dismiss the student, the appeal process described above may be activated.

In the event that an adverse decision is made due to non-academic reasons and the SBBS’s Dean sustains the decision after the appeal process, the student may appeal to the Vice-President for Academic Affair. Any additional appeal should be submitted to the PHSU President.

Professional Behavior Requirement

The students should conduct themselves in accordance with the norms for professional conduct set forth by the Ponce Health Science University at all times.

Commitment to Public Health Philosophy

It is expected that every student be committed to the betterment of our fellow human beings as exposed by the philosophy that governs the Public Health Profession.

Academic Probation and Financial Aid Eligibility

Any student failing to meet the grade requirement might be place on academic probation for one trimester, but will be eligible for financial aid. Students that fail to comply with grade requirements after the prescribed probation time will be referred to the Student Promotion Committee for dismissal from the program.

Appeal Process for Academic and Financial Aid Probation

Students notified that the Public Health Students Promotion Committee (SPC) decided to dismiss them from the Dr.PH Program, or that he/she must repeat failed courses during the next academic year, will have the right to appeal the decision within seven working days after receiving the notification.

The appeal or due process presented below must be followed.

The student will appeal in writing to the Public Health Students Promotion Committee (SPC). The letter should include all relevant documentation to support the request. The Committee will evaluate the reasons and evidence submitted to determine if they would change their initial decision. The SPC has 48 hours to submit its decision to the Associate Dean for Public Health, who will notify the decision to the student.

If the SPC sustains the adverse decision, the student has the right to appeal to the Dean of Health Sciences. The appeal must be submitted in writing within seven working days after receiving the last notification. The Dean of Health Sciences will evaluate the appeal and the student’s academic record. The Dean can appoint a three-member Ad-Hoc Committee to re-evaluate all evidence. Rejection of the appeal by the Dean is final.

If an Ad-Hoc Committee is appointed, they will notify the student in writing the date and time set to appealing meeting. The Ad-Hoc Committee has forty-eight (48) hours to submit a recommendation to the Dean of Health Sciences. The Dean of Health Sciences will consider the Ad-Hoc Committee recommendation and make the final decision within forty-eight (48) hours.

Any decision will be reported to the student in writing. The decision made by the Dean of Health Sciences is final.

The same process described above will be followed in the case that the adverse decision made by the Committee is for non-academic reasons, such as unacceptable professional behavior. The Associate Dean for Health Sciences or the VP for Student Affairs will refer the case to the SPC. If the recommendation of the SPC is to dismiss the student, the appeal process described above may be activated.

In the event that an adverse decision is made due to non-academic reasons and the Dean of Health Sciences sustains the decision after the appealing process, the student may appeal to the Vice-President for Academic Affairs and then to the President.

Reinstatement of Financial Aid

Financial Aid eligibility is contingent upon satisfactory academic progress. It is the student’s responsibility to request reinstatement of financial aid.

Enforcement

The President, the Dean for Academic Affairs and the Dean for Student Affairs, the Registrar and the Financial Aid Director will receive all pertinent data to ensure proper enforcement of the policies set forth.

 

Created and Revise by V. Green & M. Roubert August 5, 2016

For more details of PHSU tuition and fees please refer to: 2018-2019 Tuition and Fees  or 2019-2020 Tuition and Fees

ALL TUITION AND FEES ARE PAYABLE ON OR BEFORE REGISTRATION.

Ponce Health Sciences University reserve the right to increase the tuition or other fees as deemed necessary.

Ponce Health Sciences University is pleased that you have selected our institution to continue with your academic and professional goals. The Office of Student Financial provides you with the information and tools to assist you in reaching educational goals. Please take your time to navigate through the various links we have provided and feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office if you need more information: psmfinstu@psm.edu

Financial Aid Application Process Links
Important Links (External):

Important Links for PHSU application forms and manual

PHSU Financial Aid Application – click to download the form
– Request for Aid and Loans
– Student Authorization

Click here to download your
– Student Financial Aid Manual

Federal Financial Aid Programs

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loan: students who meet the requirements established by the US Department of Education may receive a Direct Loan, according to the academic program: graduate and professional students are eligible to receive up to $20,500 per academic year. As an institution that previously participated in the HEAL Programs our MD, Doctorate and PhD in Clinical Psychology, as well as certain Master Degree Programs might be eligible for additional amount of loan. The amount is established annually by Federal Regulations. The Financial Aid Office provides orientation about the application process for student loans, the student’s qualifying requirements and the specifics regarding interest rate, orientation fess, repayment process, etc. The student must submit an agreement form known as a Master Promissory Note, and complete electronic entrance counseling, both on-line: www.studentloans.gov.
  • Direct Loan-Plus Graduate Loan: This is a federal fixed-interest loan for graduate and professional students, beyond the DL Unsubsidized award, to cover any additional cost of attendance. The interest rate and origination fee, which is annually fixed by the Federal Government, begins to accrue from the date of the first disbursement. The loan qualifying process requires a credit check verification, on-line entrance counseling and an on-line submission of a Master Promissory Note: www.studentloans.gov
  • Private Loans (Alternative Loans). These are credit-based loans that may be used to supplement other types of financial aid programs. The loan amounts vary according to amount requested and approved for the student. The interest rate is variable, accrued while in school and usually based on the current “Prime Rate” plus a lender’s predetermined interest rate. Repayment may be up to 20 years. These Private Alternative Loans provide funds to complete the remaining need after the student is awarded other financial aid. Due to the high interest rate that these loans represent, the student should consider these loans as a last resource to their financial need. PHSU does not recommend any specific lender, the evaluation and selection is a student’s individualized decision.
  • Historical Private Lender List
    PHSU does not deny or otherwise impede the student’s choice of an alternative lender or cause unnecessary delay in loan certification of these loans. The following is a list of the three private loans that have been most commonly selected by our students during last two previous academic years, however, we reiterate that the student may select any other lender they esteem will meet their financial need.

Other Financial Aid Options:
Military Scholarship Programs: Students interested in a military career may consider apply for one of the scholarships programs for healthcare professions offered by the US Army, the US Air Force, Navy or the National Guard. The students must contact the desired program:

National Health Services Corps Scholarship Program: available for students in the primary health care specialties and committed to serving part or their entire career in federally designated health professional shortage area. Learn more about this program at: nhsc.bhpr.hrsa.gov

Financial Aid Application Process

Direct Loan Application Process
Students interested in applying for a Direct Loan must comply with the federal requirements and following requirements:

      1. Have financial need.
      2. Be an US Citizen or an Eligible Non-Citizen.
      3. Have a valid social security number.
      4. Enroll in an eligible program as a regular student working toward a degree.
      5. Meet satisfactory academic progress standards.
      6. Register (or have registered) with the Selective Service if you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25.
      7. Certify that are not in default on a federal student loan and that do not owe money on a Federal student grant.
      8. Student cannot exceed the aggregate loan limit established by the Department of Education.
      9. Comply with the Entrance Interview/Counseling.
      10. Provide all the documents and information required by the Financial Aid.

Students must fill the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the corresponding academic year, in order to be evaluated to determine eligibility for federal and state funds. It must be submitted on line at www.fafsa.gov no later than last working day of April. The PHSU school code is G24824. Students need a pin number, which can be obtained at www.pin.ed.gov.

Once the student submits the FAFSA, the Department of Education will send an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) to the school, which will be used for evaluation and analysis.

VERIFICATION
Students with a FAFSA application selected for verification by the Department of Education will be required to submit the following documents:

  • Complete a Verification Worksheet (provided by the Financial Aid Office)
  • Copy of the Tax Return (IRS or PR tax return form) or
  • W-2 form(s) (if apply)
  • Evidence of wages, salaries, tips, etc., reported on the FAFSA
  • Others

If the student (student’s parent or spouse) is not required to file income tax return, he/she will be required to complete and sign a Certification of Income, provided by the Financial Aid Office, among other documentation. Note: No loan will be process until the verification process is completed.

NEED ANALYSIS
As part of the evaluation, the Financial Aid Office will take in consideration the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is the amount that the student should contribute towards his/her cost of education, and it is determined by the Federal Government. The need analysis consists of the following basic calculation: Cost of Attendance minus EFC equals Financial Need. As part of the analysis, it will be considered any other expected financial aid (external funds such as Vocational Rehabilitation, Veteran Administration, military scholarships, and any other grant or scholarship). Note: A student cannot receive financial assistance in excess of the determined Financial Need.

Awarding and Notification
The next step is the awarding of financial aid amounts by PHSU and preparing the award notification for the student. Once the awarding process is completed, a Notification of Award is sent to each student.

Return Policy and Requirement for Withdrawal and Return of Federal Financial Aid (see PHSU catalog refund policy section)

Suspension of Eligibility for Drug-Related Offenses
If convicted of any offense involving the possession of a controlled substance, a student’s eligibility for Title IV Financial Student Aid Program will be denied for:

  • One year after the first conviction
  • Two years after the second conviction
  • Indefinitely after the third conviction

Eligibility may be restored if the student partakes of an approved Federal Government Rehabilitation Program.

Please refer to the Student Financial Aid Manual for specific information regarding all the dynamics of financial aid as it applies to new and continuing students.

Financial Aid Contact Information:

Financial Aid Personnel:
Mrs. Myrian Gaud Maitín, MBA
Financial Aid Manager
mgaud@psm.edu

Mrs. Nicole Vázquez Colon, MSS
Financial Aid Officer
nivazquez@psm.edu

Ms. Mariannette Cruz Rentas, BS
Administrative Assistant
macruz@psm.edu

Office Hours
Monday to Thursday: 8:00-11:30 am – 1:00-4:30 pm
Friday: Administrative Work (By appointment only)

Financial Aid Office Contact Information
Phone Number: (787) 840-2575 ext. 2134, 2135 or 2136
E-mail: psmfinstu@psm.edu
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 7004, Ponce. Puerto Rico 00731
Physical Address: 388 Zona Ind. Reparada 2 Ponce PR 00716-2347

Applicants must submit the following documents:

  • Official transcript from all undergraduate and graduate universities attended
  • Letter of Recommendation Format – Written by individuals familiar with the applicant’s professional work and skills
  • Certificate of No Penal Record (Criminal Background check)
  • USD $85.00 Application Processing Fee (check or money order payable to Ponce School of Medicine)
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Deadline to submit a complete application – May 30

Procedure to Apply

Readmission Application

Faculty

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