Beyond the general university and school information for students, each academic program may have specific guidelines, policies and procedures that are specific to that program of study or degree designation alone.
The full list of academic programs, majors, concentrations, minors, certificates, along with program competencies, course descriptions and study abroad opportunities can be found in the IUPUI Campus Bulletin.
All undergraduate students in the School of Public Health receive academic advising support from an assigned academic advisor who can assist with academic exploration and planning, course registration, and general guidance. Students can find their assigned academic advisor and schedule appointments directly through the Student Appointment Scheduler (SAS). All students are expected to meet with their academic advisor at least once a semester, though they are available year-round for additional support.
Students in the pre-major who are still working towards admission to their program as a pre-major will work with their assigned pre-major advisor.
In addition to regular advising appointments, undergraduate students also have access to the FSPH academic advisingCanvas site. This site includes a variety of academic planning tools, tutorials, and forms. Students are encouraged to monitor this site regularly as critical information will be shared regularly through this site.
Undergraduate students in the School of Public Health as well as students enrolling in School of Public Health courses must be officially enrolled in order to attend class. Students who request a late enrollment for a course that is not designated as late enrollment (i.e., internship, courses that start later in the term) will not be granted permission to enroll in the course after the 25 percent refund period ends.
Students at risk of dismissal for lack of academic progress are monitored each term by the academic progress review committee in the Fairbanks School of Public Health. The Office of Financial Aid also monitors students for academic progress, and students who demonstrate a pattern of not making adequate progress risk losing their financial aid.
Although the School of Public Health does not consider issues of financial aid in making decisions about dismissal, it does assist the Office of Financial Aid by certifying whether students are making satisfactory academic progress. The good standing and academic probation requirements for undergraduate students are as follows:
Good academic standing
Students admitted to the Fairbanks School of Public Health are in good academic standing when their semester and IU cumulative GPAs are 2.5 or higher. Students must have an IU cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher to graduate.
A student will be placed on academic warning if their most recent semester GPA falls below 2.5 but their IU cumulative GPA remains 2.5 or higher. A student will be notified of academic warning status via IU email from the Fairbanks School of Public Health and is encouraged to meet with their academic advisor to discuss their progress before enrolling for future coursework.
Student records are reviewed for warning after the fall, spring and summer terms.
A student will be placed on academic probation if their IU cumulative GPA falls below 2.5. A student will be notified of academic probation status via a letter from the Fairbanks School of Public Health and must follow strict conditions as established by the undergraduate academic progress committee during this probation period.
The semesters in which a student is placed on academic probation may or may not be consecutive. Student records are reviewed for probation after the fall, spring and summer terms.
Final academic probation
A student will be placed on a second and final academic probation if their IU cumulative GPA falls below2.5 for a second time. A student will be notified of second academic probation status via a letter from the Fairbanks School of Public Health and must follow strict conditions as established by the undergraduate academic progress committee during this final probation period.
The semesters in which a student is placed on academic probation may or may not be consecutive. Student records are reviewed for probation after the fall, spring and summer terms.
After their final probation, if a student is not making satisfactory progress toward degree completion the academic progress review committee may recommend dismissal from Fairbanks School of Public Health. A student will be notified of their dismissal status via letter. Dismissed students will be required to withdraw from their upcoming semester courses. Upon dismissal from the Fairbanks School of Public Health students may seek admission to University College or another degree granting school at IUPUI.
A student can also be dismissed from the Fairbanks School of Public Health when, in the opinion of the academic progress review committee, the student has ceased making progress in the degree program.
Students who have been academically dismissed may appeal their dismissal. Appealsrequire documentation of extenuating circumstances that were not available during the review process.
Students who have been dismissed from the Fairbanks School of Public Health for academic reasons may petition for readmission after their semester and IU cumulative GPAs have returned to good academic standing.
In order to allow sufficient time for considering a petition for readmission, an eligible student should submit a petition before June 15for the fall semester, October 15for the spring semester, or March 15 for either summer session.
A student readmitted will be notified via letter from the Fairbanks School of Public Health. The letter will indicate any conditions and restrictions affecting readmission and continuance in the degree program.
Under certain circumstances, students can seek grade changes for a course that has been completed if the student believes that a grade has been calculated or assigned incorrectly. The reasons for seeking a grade change are:
a grade discrepancy that arises because of computational errors
a grade discrepancy that arises because of errors in recording grades
a grade dispute that arises because of grading a paper or assignment in a manner that is inconsistent with grades assigned to other students
a grade dispute that arises because the grading criteria were not followed
or other improper conditions
A student who is seeking a grade change for one of these reasons must first contact the instructor and ask for the grade change. In the event the instructor does not change the grade, the student may appeal the instructor’s decision by filing a change of grade appeal with the registrar’s office. Once completed, the appeal will be sent to FSPH and students will be notified of final decisions after the appeal has been received and decided upon.
A student has 90 days after the conclusion of a course to appeal a grade. In cases of extenuating circumstances, petitions filed after this date may be considered.
Occasionally a student may seek a withdrawal after a course has been completed. Changing a grade after the grade is issued is rarely granted and only in extraordinary circumstances that prevented the student from officially withdrawing or would have imposed an unreasonable hardship on the student. A request to change from a letter grade to a withdrawal is never granted in the following situations:
the student earned a failing or poor grade
the student forgot to attend class
the student forgot to withdraw
the student did not know about the need to withdraw
Undergraduate FSPH students seeking their first degree may grade replace a maximum of 15 credit hours. If a student chooses to repeat a course and achieves the same or higher grade, both attempts will appear on their transcripts. On the transcript, the original grade will be replaced by an X, and only the second grade will be counted in the cumulative GPA. Students may “replace” the same course twice.
Grade replacement is not automatic. Students must contact their academic advisor to initiate this request.
Students who choose to pursue a minor must officially declare this minor on their IUPUI record. Students should contact the appropriate academic department for additional guidance on how to declare the minor. Minors will not be awarded to the student’s transcript unless it has been officially declared and successfully completed.
Undergraduate students pursuing an FSPH bachelor's degree program may not earn an FSPH minor or certificate in the same area of study as their major. For example, health services management students may not earn the health administration minor or health administration certificate.
The undergraduate student association is the official undergraduate school government that provides students a voice in matters pertaining to the affairs of the university and Fairbanks School of Public Health.
Students seeking more information about joining the UGSA should reach out to their academic advisor.
Master of Health Administration: Traditional and Executive
In order to be in good academic standing, the MHA program requires students maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA.
Students will be placed on academic probation and a hold will be placed on their account if their semester and/or cumulative GPA fall below a 3.0. Students on academic probation are given one semester to bring their GPAs to a 3.0 or higher. If students are unable to bring their GPA up to 3.0, their academic record will be reassessed by the MHA committee, and a decision will be made as to whether or not the student may continue in the program.
In order for courses to meet MHA graduation requirements, a grade of C or better must be earned. Courses where a grade of C- or lower has been earned must be retaken for the student to meet graduation requirements.
ALL grades (except ineligible coursework and transfer credit) are used in computing the university GPA.
If the course is an elective, it does not have to be repeated. However, required courses must be repeated.
All MHA students are assigned a faculty advisor and are asked to meet with their faculty advisor a minimum of three times during their MHA educations: (1) soon after the first semester begins; (2) at some point during the second semester of the first year; and (3) at some point during the fall semester of the second year.
Additionally, students should plan to meet with the FSPH graduate advisor for questions regarding course authorizations, course planning, and other operational or policy questions. MHA students can schedule an advising appointment with Elijah Barry through the Student Appointment Scheduler (SAS).
Arranged courses offered in the FSPH (PBHL-H 650: Independent Readings, PBHL-H 735: Research in Health Administration, and PBHL-H 702: Internship in Health Services Management) require authorization prior to registration. Please consult with your FSPH academic advisor for instructions regarding registration for these courses.
In some cases, a student may be eligible to transfer coursework/credit hours earned at another CAHME-accredited institution into the MHA program. Students may transfer no more than nine credit hours of coursework, in which a grade of “B” or better was awarded.
The student should submit a Request for Evaluation of Transfer Credit to the office of student success and attach a copy of the syllabus for the course to be transferred, along with other supporting documentation as needed. When the decision has been made, the student will be notified in writing.
The course instructor, faculty advisor, and MHA program committee will evaluate the transfer request. They will consider the following criteria when making the decision:
The course in question must be a graduate course in which the student received at least a B grade (no B-’s will be accepted).
The course in question must have been taken within the past three years.
The topics covered must be similar to the topics covered in the MHA course as demonstrated by a comparison of the syllabi and other materials from the two courses.
The course objectives must be similar to the objectives covered in the MHA course, as demonstrated by the syllabus.
Students will satisfy the internship requirement by registering for PBHL-H702 for three credit hours. Students should follow the following steps in order to be given permission to register for PBHL-H 702:
Students will be contacted by the instructor of record regarding an internship meeting to discuss internship requirements and options.
Upon completion of this meeting and identification of an internship location, the instructor of record will request registration authorization from the office of student success.
If the student is registering for the internship after the beginning of the semester, the student will need to obtain an add slip from the office of student success or complete the E-add form in one.iu.edu.
At the completion of the internship, all paperwork is to be submitted to the executive in residence, and the faculty advisor assigns a grade of “pass” or “fail” (“S” or “F”).
MHA Student Association (MHASA)
The MHA Student Association is a social organization that will provide networking and volunteer opportunities for all MHA graduate students. Contact the MHA program director for more information.
Upsilon Phi Delta
Upsilon Phi Delta is the national honor society for students in healthcare administration. The society recognizes scholastic excellence by students in the health administration field. Membership is by invitation only and students must achieve a minimum overall 3.8 grade point average in their studies. (Students who apply for graduation by the posted deadlines will be considered).
The Division of Student Life at IUPUI, as educators and advocates, provides student-centered services, consulting, facilities, learning experiences and programs for students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community.
Student representation on department committees
Fairbanks School of Public Health master's committee
MHA Student Association (MHASA): All MHA students are eligible for and encouraged to join the MHASA. Information about joining will be shared during orientation and periodically throughout each academic year.
Graduate Student Organization (GSO): The Graduate Student Organization is the graduate student government body on the campus of IUPUI. A Fairbanks School of Public Health (FSPH) student represents fellow FSPH students at the IUPUI GSO. The GSO meeting occurs once a month and a representative from the FSPH student government is required to attend.
Ad hoc committees as needed.
Master of Public Health
All MPH students are assigned a faculty advisor/mentor and are asked to meet with their faculty advisor/mentor a minimum of three times during their MPH education: (1) soon after the first semester begins; (2) during the second semester of the first year; and (3) during the fall semester of the second year.
Additionally, students should plan to meet with the FSPH graduate advisor for questions regarding course authorizations, course planning, and other operational or policy questions. MPH students can schedule an advising appointment with Elijah Barry through the Student Appointment Scheduler (SAS).
In some cases, a student may be eligible to transfer coursework/credit hours earned at another accredited academic institution into the MPH program. Students transferring from a CEPH-accredited program or school may transfer up to 15 credit hours of required or elective graduate coursework into the MPH program, if a grade of “B” or better was earned.
Students transferring from a non-CEPH-accredited program or school may transfer up to nine credit hours of required or elective graduate coursework into the MPH program if a grade of “B” or better was earned.
To request transfer of credit, current MPH students may obtain the transfer request form from the Student Portal. Students should attach a copy of the syllabus for the course credits to be transferred, along with other supporting documentation as needed. The course director and student’s faculty advisor will evaluate the transfer request. They will consider the following criteria when making the decision:
The course being evaluated for transfer credit must have been taken for graduate credit and the student must have received at least a “B” in the course (“B-” or lower is not acceptable for transfer credit)
The course being evaluated must have been taken within the past three years
The topics covered must be similar to the topics covered in the MPH course as demonstrated by a comparison of the syllabi and other materials from the two courses, and other materials as needed
The course objectives must be similar to the objectives covered in the MPH course, as demonstrated by the syllabi
When the decision regarding transfer of credit has been made, the student will be notified via email.
MPH students are required to pass the CPH exam before they graduate from the program. The CPH exam may be taken any time after successful completion of the core courses (P510, P511, P512 and P513) and before graduation from the MPH program. Students should plan to sit for the exam prior to the start of their final semester of coursework.
All MPH students will attend a CPH exam orientation session and be given access to the school's CPH exam prep Canvas course. Study modules, resources, and necessary forms for obtaining your exam voucher are included on this resource site.
A $250 CPH exam fee is assessed when students register for the 602 internship. After the CPH exam intent form is completed, students are issued a voucher that enables them to take the CPH exam at home (with remote proctoring) or at one of the exam sites. For more information about the CPH exam, visit CPH exam and CPH exam materials
Students in the MPH program and Graduate Certificate in Public Health program participate in a variety of IPE experiences, referred to as “IPE anchors.” The IPE anchors are associated with the core courses (P510, P511, P512 and P513). A one-time fee is assessed to cover the IPE anchors. During the IPE sessions, MPH students learn about, with and from students in other health professions as they solve complex health issues together. For more information about IPE, visit interprofessional education at IU.
The MPH degree includes a 240-hour applied practice experience (internship). Students should consult with their faculty advisor/mentor and the director of career and professional development to prepare for their practice experience.
Students must complete a proposal form and obtain authorization before they may register for their applied practice experience (i.e. the 602 internship). MPH internship resources are available at the Student Portal.
MPH students are to consult with their faculty advisor to prepare for their integrated learning experience/final project/capstone course. The integrated learning experience (ILE) occurs toward the end of the MPH program. The MPH Final Project Handbook provides more details about the ILE requirements, and is available at the Student Portal.
This course is designed to expose students to published material on a specific topic or technique in the field of public health. The material to be studied will be determined primarily by the student under the direction of a faculty member with input from the student’s faculty advisor.
The student is expected to work closely with the faculty member to identify the material to study, plan a timeline for completion of the study, and determine the nature of the study product. Generally the product will be a summary and interpretation of the material studied in the form of a literature review.
The student and faculty member will complete a written agreement form, which can be found on the website, prior to registering for the course. The form outlines the scope of work for the semester. This agreement will also be signed by the student’s faculty advisor.
Students may register for one to four (1-4) hours of academic credit for this course. Students must document at least 45 clock hours of effort for every one hour of academic credit. The documentation of effort should be submitted along with the final paper. A student may repeat this course once. The Readings in Public Health permission form is available at the Student Portal.
Students who have completed all MPH requirements and earned an “R” grade for the Final Concentration Project (ILE) are required to enroll in one credit hour each semester until the project grade has been assigned. Enrollment in one credit of PBHL-700 allows students access to the library, computer labs, IRB, and other campus facilities/services, and allows them to meet with faculty advisors.
In addition, it allows students to retain eligibility for financial aid and loan deferment. Upon satisfactory progress toward the final project, students will receive a grade of “S” in the one-credit course from their faculty advisor.
Please contact FSPH student success to request course authorization for continuous enrollment.
Master of Science in Biostatistics
All students must undergo an MS competency evaluation. Students pass the MS competence exam and register for six credit hours of elective courses upon the departmental approval. The MS competence examination will be given twice a year.
When a student enters the PhD program, they will be assigned an academic advisor by their PhD program director. The advisor will be a faculty member in the student's major department.
Students should consult with the program director at least once per semester while taking courses. The PhD program committee will also conduct a yearly review of all students’ progress through the program.
Potential courses for transfer credits to fulfill required courses need to be reviewed as soon as possible.
Minor courses are planned with a minor advisor and with the faculty on the advisory committee (HPM) or their assigned faculty advisor.
Each student will have an advisory committee. The purpose of the advisory committee is to guide students in their academic progress prior to completing the qualifying exam. The HPM PhD program committee plus at least one faculty member who is not a member of the Department of Health Policy & Management (i.e. “outside” member) will act as the student’s advisory committee.
Outside representation on the advisory committee will be identified and chosen (often from the students’ minor area) by the HPM PhD program committee in consultation with the student by the end of the student’s first academic year.
At the conclusion of each academic year, information regarding academic progress and co-curricular activities will be requested of each student. Typically, this will be accomplished via a private, web-based form.
The information provided will be used to provide feedback and mentor students during one-on-one meetings scheduled in the fall, near the start of the academic year. At least two members of the advisory committee will be members of the graduate faculty.
The names of faculty advisory committee faculty members will be forwarded to the dean of the University Graduate School for approval when students have completed their first year in the PhD program.
The program faculty members aim for students to complete the program expeditiously while still producing high quality dissertation research. Full-time students will often complete all of the program requirements within three to five years. However, the time to complete a PhD program is less predictable than many other academic programs and may take longer than four years.
The University Graduate School mandates that all required coursework must be completed within the seven calendar years prior to the qualifying exam. Coursework completed more than seven years before the qualifying exam may be revalidated according to procedures outlined in the University Graduate School Bulletin.
Once a student passes the qualifying exam, they have up to seven years to complete the dissertation. However, in total, students may not take more than 10 years to complete all program requirements (coursework, qualifying exam, and dissertation).
The policy of the University Graduate School is that students may be dismissed for failure to maintain adequate academic progress toward the degree. For candidates, this standard is set by the faculty of each program or by the student's dissertation committee. The student must first be notified of deficient academic progress by being placed on probation for one semester. If the deficiency is not rectified, then the student may be dismissed.
The PhD program committee regularly reviews students’ academic progress. Considerations for adequate academic progress may include the number of credits earned per year, the academic performance in courses (with greater weight given to program core courses), and progress on the dissertation. Other considerations may be made on a case-by-case basis.
Following the passing of the qualifying examination, the student’s advisory committee will submit a nomination to candidacy form to the University Graduate School. Upon approval of the dean, the student will be admitted to candidacy and awarded a certificate of candidacy.
The date of successful completion of the qualifying examination (not the date of final approval of candidacy) is the one used in determining the seven-year period for currency of courses and completion of the dissertation.
Students who have passed the qualifying examination must enroll each semester (excluding summer sessions) for any remaining required coursework or dissertation credits. Once such students have accumulated 90 credit hours in completed coursework and deferred dissertation credits, they must enroll for six hours of graduate credit (GRAD-G901) each semester until the degree is completed.
The fee for this course is $150. Students are permitted to enroll in G901 for a maximum of six semesters. Failure to meet the continuous enrollment requirement will automatically terminate the student’s enrollment in the degree program. Please contact the office of student success’ PhD program liaison for authorization to enroll.
Biostatistics PhD students need authorization to register for the following:
Topics in Biostatistical Methods (PBHL B698)
Biostatistics Doctoral Dissertation Research (PBHL B800)
Students should register for B698 under the BIOS PhD advisor and B699 under their thesis/research director.
Epidemiology PhD students need authorization to register for the following courses:
Doctoral Readings in Epidemiology (PBHL E751)
Doctoral Research in Epidemiology (PBHL E752)
Epidemiology Dissertation Credits (PBHL E800)
Health Policy and Management PhD students need authorization to register for the following:
Doctoral Readings in Health Policy and Management (PBHL H751)
Doctoral Research in Health Policy and Management (PBHL H752)
Doctoral Research in Health Policy and Management (PBHL H799)
Health Policy and Management Dissertation Credits (PBHL H800)
Students should register for H799 under the HPM PhD program director and H800 under their dissertation director.
Please contact the PhD student success to request course authorization.
In some cases, a student may be eligible to transfer coursework/credit hours earned in another degree program into their PhD program. Per the Indiana University Graduate School, students may transfer no more than 30 credit hours into a PhD program. Also, students are encouraged to consult with their advisory committee as to whether they would benefit most from transferring these credits versus substituting alternative coursework.
The HPM PhD program only allows transfer of credit for the public health foundations courses, which consist of nine total credit hours.
The student should complete a request for transfer form, obtained from PhD student services, and attach a copy of the syllabus for the course to be transferred, along with other supporting documentation (e.g., examinations, papers). Transfer requests should be submitted to the PhD student success representative.
The course director and student advisor will evaluate the transfer request. They will consider the following criteria when making the decision:
The course in question must be a graduate course in which the student received at least a B grade (no B-‘s will be accepted).
The topics covered must be similar to the topics covered in the student's PhD course as demonstrated by a comparison of the syllabi and other materials from the two courses, and supporting materials.
The course objectives must be similar to the objectives covered in the student's PhD course, as demonstrated by the syllabus.
When course transfer decisions have been made, the student will be notified in writing.
The culmination of the PhD program is the writing and public oral defense of the dissertation, which is required of all PhD students. The dissertation must be an original contribution to knowledge and suitable for publication as one or more peer-reviewed articles in a high-quality journal.
The dissertation is written under the supervision of a research committee as described below. The research committee, led by the research director, is responsible for judging the dissertation’s qualification as an original contribution to knowledge and suitability for publication.
Rather than writing a conventional dissertation, students may elect to write a dissertation that consists of three related papers of publishable quality. The research committee must approve the selection of the three-paper option. There are advantages and disadvantages to a three-paper dissertation. Often, three-paper dissertations can be submitted and published more efficiently because they are already organized and formatted as manuscripts for submission to a journal.
However, three paper dissertations can also be more challenging to complete because they may cover more research questions and analyses than a conventional dissertation.
The student shall write a complete dissertation proposal and conduct a public oral defense of the proposal. A complete dissertation proposal will typically include all introductory information, clearly defined research questions or specific aims, hypotheses when appropriate, conceptual or theoretical framing, literature review, proposed methods (including an analysis plan), and a discussion of expected findings, strengths, and limitations.
The proposal defense should also include a clear plan of acquiring necessary data. When necessary data have already been acquired, students are encouraged to also include relevant descriptive analyses. The written dissertation proposal must be formatted according to University Graduate School requirements for doctoral dissertations. The complete dissertation proposal should be submitted to the research committee for review at least 30 days before the public oral defense.
Oral proposal defense: The oral dissertation proposal defense is as important as the written dissertation proposal document. Final approval of all committee members is required before the oral defense can be conducted. However, the oral defense may be scheduled in advance of final approval, and students are encouraged to do so to ensure full attendance.
The oral defense must be attended by all members of the students’ research committee. Other faculty from the Department of Health Policy and Management are also welcome to attend. To allow for adequate presentation and critical discussion, a total of two hours should be scheduled.
The student should prepare a 30-40 minute presentation. The remaining time will be dedicated to critical and in-depth questions and discussion, which may occur during or after the completion of the formal presentation. At the end of the oral defense, committee members only will participate in a final discussion. Then, the research committee must vote on the outcome of the defense. Four options are available to the committee:
1) pass, 2) conditional pass, 3) deferred decision, and 4) failure. If a student passes the dissertation proposal, they will continue on to complete the full dissertation. If a student does not pass the proposal defense, the research committee may require changes to the written dissertation proposal, and/or a revised oral defense.
Dissertation prospectus (i.e., approval of proposal): Once a student has fully passed the proposal defense, the student will submit to the University Graduate School a two-page prospectus describing the planned dissertation research and signed by the dissertation committee members.
If the proposed research involves human subjects, animals, biohazards, or radiation, a plan for obtaining approval from the appropriate university committees must also be obtained. The membership of the dissertation research committee as well as the dissertation prospectus must be approved by the University Graduate School at least six months before the final defense of the dissertation.
While the minimum time between the prospectus and final defense is six months, prospectus approval does not entitle a student to completion after six months. Many students will require more time to complete and successfully defend their dissertation.
When the dissertation has been completed, the student should submit an unbound copy to each member of the research committee as the initial step in scheduling the defense of the dissertation. The full dissertation copy must be received by the committee members at least 40 days before the oral defense date.
All members of the research committee will be expected to read the dissertation in its entirety before attending the defense. At this stage both the student and the committee members must extend certain courtesies to each other. It is the responsibility of the student to give the committee members sufficient time to read the dissertation without making unreasonable requests of them based upon University Graduate School time limitations, immediate job possibilities, contract renewal or some other reason.
Similarly, committee members should not keep a student’s work for inordinate periods of time because of the press of other duties. Once a faculty member assumes membership in a research committee, it becomes another part of his or her teaching assignment, comparable to conducting regularly scheduled classes.
The written dissertation proposal must be formatted according to University Graduate School requirements for doctoral dissertations (link below).
After the committee members have read the dissertation, there should be direct communication (either in writing or orally) between the student’s dissertation research committee chairperson and the other committee members about its readiness for defense. Readiness for defense, however, is not tantamount to acceptance of the dissertation; it means that the committee is ready to make a decision.
The decision to hold a doctoral defense, moreover, is not entirely up to the research committee. If a student insists upon the right to a defense before the committee believes the dissertation is ready, that student does have the right to due process (i.e., to an oral defense) but exercises it at some risk.
Oral dissertation defense
The oral dissertation is as important as the written dissertation document. The oral defense must be attended by all members of the student’s research committee. But, the oral defense is intended to be a public presentation and discussion for a broader academic community. Therefore, all other faculty members in the department of Health Policy and Management are encouraged to attend and participate in the examination.
In addition, students are expected to directly invite their fellow PhD students, Health Policy and Management department faculty and staff, as well as other in the Fairbanks School of Public Health or broader IUPUI community who may have an interest in their work.
To allow for adequate presentation and critical discussion, a total of two hours should be scheduled. The student should prepare a 40-45 minute presentation, during which mainly clarifying questions will be asked. The remaining time will be dedicated to critical and in-depth questions and discussion.
At the end of the oral defense, faculty members only will participate in a final discussion. Next, the research committee must vote on the outcome of the defense. Four options are available to be the committee: 1) pass, 2) conditional pass, 3) deferred decision, and 4) failure.
Additional IU Graduate School requirements for scheduling and preparing the dissertation
Thirty days prior to the scheduled defense of the dissertation, the candidate must submit to the University Graduate School a one-page announcement of the final examination. This announcement must follow a format available in the University Graduate School’s Preparing Theses and Dissertations (link below).
The announcement contains, among other things, a summary of the dissertation (not less than 150 words), which is informative and contains a brief statement of the principal results and conclusions. The announcement must bear the signature of the research committee chairperson.
If the candidate has published any scholarly articles relevant to the topic of the dissertation, bibliographic references should be included in the summary. A copy of such announcements will be sent to other members of the graduate faculty in the Fairbanks School of Public Health and other schools who might like to attend.
Once the dissertation defense has been scheduled, the announced time and place of defense must not be changed without the approval of the dean of the graduate school. Any member of the graduate faculty who wishes to attend the final examination is encouraged to do so; it is requested, however, that the faculty member notify the chairperson of the research committee in advance to that adequate space can be arranged.
Students should familiarize themselves with any additional details found here:
Students who have completed their PhD curriculum requirements, including dissertation credits, must enroll in GRAD G901 each semester, excluding summers, until their dissertation has been completed. This course is offered for six credit hours each semester at a cost of $150.
Students may enroll in G901 for a maximum of six semesters. Failure to meet this requirement will automatically terminate the student’s enrollment in the degree program. Please contact Shawne Mathis in the office of student success for authorization to enroll.
Students must select at least one minor subject. A minor provides additional research training in an area that complements the primary degree training. Courses counted toward a minor cannot also be counted toward the major. The determination of the minimum requirements and examination procedure (if any) for the minor is entirely at the discretion of the minor department or program.
The minor should be chosen from the list approved by their program. A list of approved minors can be found on the Fairbanks website. If students wish to complete a minor not on this approved list, they should obtain approval from their PhD program director. In certain cases, intradepartmental or interdepartmental minors may be approved. However, approval should be requested prior to pursuit of any of the proposed courses of study.
The director of the Health Policy and Management PhD program will schedule students to take the qualifying examination when they have completed all required courses, including minor courses. Exams will typically be offered following the conclusion of the fall semester (i.e., over winter break) or during the summer, with accommodations made at the discretion of the program director.
The qualifying examination will be designed to assess students’ mastery of the competencies for the Health Policy and Management PhD program. At the discretion of the minor department(s) or the interdepartmental committee, the qualifying exam may cover the minor subject(s) as well.
The Department of Health Policy and Management faculty will assess whether the student has answered the items completely and correctly to determine if they have passed or failed the exam. Students who fail the qualifying exam may retake it only once. If the exam has multiple parts and the student fails one part, they may retake only the part they failed.
The date of passing is regarded as the date of passing the final portion of the examination. The qualifying exam must be passed at least eight months before the date the PhD degree is awarded.
As students near the completion of their coursework, they should consult with the HPM PhD program director for guidance of scheduling and preparing for their qualifying exam.
The qualifying examinations consist of two components, a written examination component and an oral examination component (often referred to as preliminary examination). All students must successfully complete these two parts prior to being admitted to Candidacy.
Qualifying examinations - written (required)
Students must pass an initial written qualifying examination in the areas of probability, mathematical statistics, generalized linear models, longitudinal data analysis, and survival analysis. The written qualifying examination is offered once a year during a weeklong qualifier exam session before classes start in August and is administered in two sections – theoretical biostatistics and applied biostatistics.
The format of the written qualifying exam
The theory exam is an in-class exam that covers the materials from the five D core courses: Stat 51900, Stat 52800, Stat 52500, Stat 53600 and PBHL –B574
The applied exam is a weeklong take-home exam. Students will have access to a dataset from a real biomedical study with detailed explanation on study design and variables. Students will be asked to perform relevant data analysis to address several scientific questions.
To pass the exam, students need to submit a technical report that contains five sections: introduction, statistical method and data analysis, results, discussion and reference, and successfully defend their work orally before the exam committee made by three faculty members.
The preparation and the administration of the written part of the qualifying examination is overseen by the program graduate examination committee. Students are expected to have completed and passed both sections of the written qualifying examination on or before their written qualifier deadline.
Deadline for completion of the written qualifying part
The deadline for having successfully completed the qualifying examination is three years for incoming full-time students with a master’s degree and four years for part-time students who are entering the program with a master’s degree, or for full-time students entering the program without a master’s degree. Students have at most two attempts to successfully complete each part of the examination.
Financially supported full-time students who enter the program with a master's degree or equivalent are expected to have successfully completed the qualifying examination by August at the end of their second year. Financially supported full-time students who enter the program without a master's degree are expected to complete the qualifying examination by August at the end of their third year. The department will not guarantee funding for full-time students beyond this period.
If students do not pass both sections of the examination by the above deadline, they will be terminated from the program.
A student will have at most two attempts to pass the written qualifying examinations. The first attempt must include the entire written examination, i.e. both the theoretical and applied sections. If one or both sections are not passed on the first attempt, then one additional attempt, on or before the deadline, is allowed. During the second attempt, the student may only sit for the section(s) not passed in the first attempt. A student’s first attempt at the qualifying examination will result in one of the following three outcomes:
Pass both written sections: The student has demonstrated fundamental understanding of the core material and the examination committee believes he/she will be successful in completing the PhD program.
Pass one section: The student has demonstrated fundamental understanding of one section, but lacks adequate understanding of the other. The student must sit for the section not passed at a future examination session.
Fail: The student has failed to demonstrate an adequate understanding of the material from the core courses and thus fails the examination. The student must sit for both sections at a future written examination session.
A student’s second and final attempt at the written qualifying examination will result in one of the following two outcomes:
Pass: The student has demonstrated fundamental understanding of the core material and the examination committee believes he/she will be successful in completing the Ph.D. program.
Fail: The student has failed to demonstrate an adequate understanding of the material from the core courses and thus fails the examination, with privilege to continue in the program terminated.
Students who fail any part of the written qualifying examinations will be able to review their graded examinations and, if they choose to appeal the grade(s), will be allowed to do so within 30 days of receiving the grades. The program directors will not accept for consideration any appeal beyond this one month period.
Qualifying examinations - oral (required)
A student becomes eligible to take the oral part of the qualifying examinations after successfully passing the written qualifying examination. This examination consists of an oral presentation on an advanced research topic suggested by the student to the student’s advisory committee, which administers this examination.
In preparation for this examination, the student must provide the committee with a paper (10-15 pages) outlining the advanced topic to be covered, clearly indicating the scope and depth of the planned research along with relevant references. In the examination, the student is expected to display an in-depth understanding of the chosen subject matter.
The committee may ask the student questions, which normally will be directed to the subject matter of the research but may, by natural extension, also cover any other relevant topic including the minor subject.
The oral qualifying examinations will normally be completed at the end of all required coursework, before the student embarks on the dissertation, but may occur prior to all coursework depending on the student’s preparation and how far along they are in their dissertation research. The student must pass this examination (as well as any remaining minor area requirements) before passing on to candidacy.
The director of the epidemiology PhD program will schedule students to take the qualifying examination when they have completed all required core courses, methods courses, substantive courses and minor courses. The director will assemble the qualifying exam committee consisting of at least two primary faculty members in the department. The qualifying examination will be designed to assess students’ mastery of the stated competencies for the epidemiology PhD program.
Normally the qualifying examination will be scheduled once a year for students who have completed their coursework; the exam will be a written take-home exam conducted over a two-week period. In a timely fashion, the qualifying exam committee members will assess whether the students have answered the items completely and correctly determine if they have passed or failed the exam. Students who fail the qualifying exam are normally allowed to retake it only once. If the exam has multiple parts and the student fails one part, they may retake only the part they failed.
The date of passing is regarded as the date of passing the final portion of the examination. The qualifying exam must be passed at least eight months before the date the PhD degree is awarded.
As students near the completion of their coursework, they should consult with the EPI PhD program director for guidance of scheduling and preparing for their qualifying exam.
Members of the University Graduate School faculty ultimately determine standards of admission, set the general requirements for degrees, pass upon the specific requirements of programs, approve courses for graduate credit, and certify candidates for degrees.
These functions are executed by the graduate council and the dean and administrative staff. More specifically, the University Graduate School faculty serve on advisory and research committees for doctoral students, direct master’s theses and doctoral dissertations, and elect members of the graduate council. Details about the University Graduate School policy can be found in the Graduate Bulletin, updated annually.
Each department in the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health is responsible for specifying the program requirements, monitoring students’ progress toward the degree, and making recommendations to the University Graduate School regarding nomination to candidacy, appointment of a research committee, defense of the dissertation, and conferring of the degree.