Program Details

Minimum Credit Hours
Note: Includes any required electives, but no dissertation credit hours.

Application Cycle

Application Deadline:

November 28, 2023

Expected Duration
4-5 Years

Learning Environment

Admissions Information

Who Should Apply
Persons planning a career as public health researchers in the discipline of health behavior.

Prior Degree Required
Graduate-level degree (master’s).

Required Prerequisites

Undergraduate G.P.A.
An average grade of B (cumulative GPA 3.0) or better is preferred. Incoming students had a mean undergraduate GPA of 3.6.

Letters of Recommendation Required
3 (academic and/or professional)

Not Required

Visit Opportunities
Learn about opportunities to connect with faculty, staff, and current students virtually and in person.

How To Apply

I. Complete UNC Graduate School application
The Graduate School Application is a common application system for UNC Chapel Hill programs.

More Information

1. Application Fee

The UNC Graduate School application fee is $95. Information on UNC Graduate School Fee Waiver Requests

2. Applicant information,  including North Carolina residency information.

3. Educational history

Please upload a copy of your most recent transcript(s), including your current term grades, if applicable. (If grades are not yet available, send them to the UNC Gillings program contact as soon as they become available.) Be sure the transcript reflects the name of the institution and any degrees you received.

We advise that you order two copies of your transcript(s) to be sent to you. If you are admitted and choose to enroll, UNC will require official transcript(s) showing degree(s) awarded.

4. Community standards

You will be asked about honor code, crime, academic sanction, military discharge, etc.

5. Upload your personal statement.

Please upload a double-spaced statement of purpose of up to 1500 words. The essay should address the following:

  1. Explain how your academic, professional and life experiences have informed your interest in, and approach to, health behavior research and practice.
  2. Describe your role in conducting research in health behavior or related fields, and any research products such as papers and conference presentations, resulting from that work.
  3. Tell us about research interests you would like to pursue during your doctoral studies.
  4. Outline your long-term career goals and how receiving training in our doctoral program could advance them.
  5. Indicate up to 3 faculty you would be interested in working with and why.  Our faculty and their research interests are listed here: You are welcome to contact faculty in advance of applying to explore mutual interests and ascertain if they are likely to mentor incoming doctoral students in the subsequent year.
  6. Optional: Include information about any extenuating circumstances that might be reflected in your application materials that you would like to share with the admissions committee.

Statements of purpose should be original.

6. Upload your resume or CV.

7. Enter names of recommenders. UNC will then send them an email with instructions for submitting a letter on your behalf.

3 Letters of Recommendations are required. We encourage references from professors or teachers (or teaching assistants) or work/research supervisors who have worked directly and closely with you and who can speak about you with specificity.

8. Report test scores, if applicable.

GRE scores not required or considered

International applicants must submit official TOEFL or IELTS standardized test scores. Code 5816 routes to UNC. TOEFL/IELTS scores must be no more than two years old.

9. Document submission (check legibility of uploads)

Applicants should preview all documents uploaded into the application system to ensure that all documents are legible for committee review.

10. Track your progress.

You will be able to track status through the Graduate School application. Once a decision is made, you will receive an email instructing login to the Graduate School application portal to see the decision letter.

II. Application Review Process

More Information

1. Department reviews application and recommends a decision.

Time-to-decision varies. Departments make recommendations to the UNC Graduate School for admitting and denying applicants. Final decisions are rendered by the UNC Graduate School.

2. UNC Graduate School reviews department recommendation and renders a final decision:

The UNC Graduate School reviews all admissions recommendations made by programs. Once final decisions have been made, the UNC Graduate School will send the applicant an email instructing them to login to their application portal to see the decision letter.

III. Costs and Funding

More Information

When estimating costs, please visit the UNC Cashier’s Office and use the Graduate and Professional Program Tuition and Fees link. Please note that the tuition and fees of graduate programs at Gillings vary from other graduate programs at UNC.

Gillings departments and concentrations consider both domestic and international applicants for funding. Please see below for helpful tips and resources:

1. Applicants are encouraged to apply by the priority deadline to be considered for UNC Graduate School scholarships and fellowships. Departments and concentrations will decide which applicants to nominate. No additional application is required.

2. Please refer to our School’s Costs and Funding page and/or UNC-Chapel Hill’s Office of Scholarships and Student Aid (OSSA) website.

3. Apply for FEDERAL financial aid by March 1 (please verify this date via FAFSA). If you have been admitted and completed the FAFSA form by their deadline, the UNC Office of Scholarship and Student Aid will create a financial aid package for you.

4. Funding offers through the department, such as research assistantships, are possible but not guaranteed. Students typically are funded for at least the first two years of study.

5. Students positions at Gillings are posted here. The UNC Graduate School also provides resources for funding, including a listserv for incoming and current students, here.

During and After The Program

For more information on our curriculum and graduate school/career outcomes, please see our Student Handbook.



Gillings Admissions

Yolonda Childs
Academic Coordinator

Clare Barrington
Director of Doctoral Program

Who is my Academic Coordinator?
Assistant to Chair: Wendi Seiler
Looking for someone else?

135 Dauer Drive
302 Rosenau Hall, CB #7440
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7440
(919) 966-3761