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Joint Doctoral Program in Interdisciplinary Research on Substance Use



Program Co-Directors

Program Description

The School of Social Work at San Diego State University and the Division of Global Public Health, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego) offer a Joint Doctoral Program in Interdisciplinary Research on Substance Use. This program was designed to prepare the next generation of leaders in substance use research with the knowledge and skills to advance evidence-based and applied substance use interventions, programs and policies. The program has a decidedly global health flavor.

Our program provides advanced education and training specific to the interdisciplinary field of substance use. 


The program builds on mutual and complementary strengths of faculty in both institutions and will be the most productive doctoral programs in the nation associated with a School of Social Work.


Admission to the Program

Each year, in the Fall semester, four students will be admitted with funding (tuition and a $20,000 yearly teaching/research stipend) for up to 4 years. Students are expected to be available for full-time participation in the program. Interested students will apply to the program via CSU Mentor and an online department application (see PhD Admission Requirements and PhD Application Procedure) where additional application materials will be submitted. Applications will be reviewed by the UCSD-SDSU JDP Admissions Committee.


prescription drugs

The program is among the first in the nation to focus on substance use prevention (broadly defined).

Program Curriculum

Year one of the program students will complete a residency at SDSU, Year 2 they will be in residence at UCSD. Once advanced to doctoral candidacy, dissertation units can be taken at both universities. Students must complete a minimum of 60 units in the program.

Program Timeline* (typical)

  • Year One: complete 24 semester units at SDSU
  • Year Two: complete 36 quarter units at UCSD
  • Year Three: Research and work towards advancing to Candidacy/ Dissertation work (either university)
  • Year Four and Five: Dissertation work/ Dissertation defense

Program Learning Outcomes

Program graduates will have the skills to:

  1. Apply and build upon extant social science theories and conceptual models related to substance use research
  2. Lead new avenues or research in substance use and addiction prevention and treatment
  3. Develop and evaluate applied prevention programs, broadly defined, related to substance use and misuse and associated health and societal outcomes

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last updated: 12/10/2015