FAQ

Is there financial assistance for Ph.D. students?

All Ph.D. in Rural Health Sciences students in good standing receive tuition remission and a paid research assistantship.

Does the program follow a cohort model?

Yes, the Ph.D. in Rural Health Sciences follows a cohort model, with annual cohorts beginning each fall. Students are not admitted off-cycle.

Can work experience substitute for the requirement of a master’s or terminal degree?

Because of the rigor and accelerated pace of the Ph.D. program, which allows for the attainment of a Ph.D. in three years, students must possess a master’s or terminal degree to gain entry into the program.

Does the program include comprehensive examinations (“comps”)?

Yes, comprehensive examinations will occur immediately following completion of academic coursework (e.g., summer of year two) and will involve an examination of: 1) knowledge of rural culture and rural systems; 2) research design and interpretation skills; 3) collaborative project development skills; and 4) an oral assessment of a cumulative portfolio assembled throughout coursework.

What are the ways in which student learning is assessed?

Student learning outcomes are assessed through course-based assignments, experiential assessments, a cumulative portfolio and comprehensive examinations. In course-based assignments, attainment of student learning outcomes is assessed through a combination of written assignments (for example, papers, grant proposals), products (for example, infographics) and examinations. During experiential courses (for example, practicum), students are evaluated both by their on-site and faculty supervisors on their performance using a rubric-based performance assessment. As the student progresses through the program and generates products (for example, papers and infographics), they will assemble these into a portfolio that is assessed during the oral phase of the comprehensive examination process.

On which campus is the Ph.D. offered?

The Ph.D. in Rural Health Sciences is offered at the Macon campus of Mercer University.

Where can I learn more about the program’s faculty?

Faculty in the Ph.D. in Rural Health Sciences come primarily from the Department of Community Medicine. To learn more information about the Ph.D. in Rural Health Sciences program, call 1-800-MERCER-U