Rural Health Sciences, Ph.D.

The Ph.D. in Rural Health Sciences program at Mercer University School of Medicine is a three-year, multidisciplinary curriculum that requires 64 hours to complete, including 40 hours of traditional didactics/seminar, six hours of field-based practicum and at least 18 hours of dissertation. The curriculum draws from the fields of medicine, psychology, sociology, epidemiology, statistics, communication, management, economics and political science.

All Ph.D. students spend a summer semester immersed in a medically underserved rural Georgia community to design, implement and evaluate the impact of a novel health promotion initiative, and will additionally complete their dissertation research within a rural Georgia community.


The mission of the Ph.D. in Rural Health Sciences is to prepare students for research careers focused on improving the health of rural areas using multidisciplinary approaches.


Health equity in rural America

Guiding Principles

To achieve its mission and vision, the program has four Guiding Principles: rural focused, multidisciplinary, team-based and community-oriented.

Learn more about our Ph.D. in Rural Health Sciences program