Prevention Science is an interdisciplinary field that applies basic research on individuals, families, and their communities to the development, evaluation, and dissemination of scientifically based programs to promote the physical, social, and psychological well-being of individuals and their families.

What prevention scientists do:

  • Conduct basic research on risk and protective factors;
  • Design research-based prevention programs, practices, and policies;
  • Evaluate programs under natural and controlled conditions; and
  • Make recommendations for social policy and the improvement of existing programs.

About the program

The PhD in Prevention Science program is an interdisciplinary program involving the Department of Human Development, the College  of Communication, the College of Education, the College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, as well as the Department of Psychology, and WSU Extension. Faculty and students participate from four campuses:

  • Pullman
  • Vancouver
  • Spokane
  • Tri-Cities

It is administered by the Department of Human Development, with the program director a faculty member in Human Development Dr. Sammy Perone.

Student Opportunities

In partnership with WSU Extension, you will have many opportunities through course work and research experiences to engage in prevention-related outreach activities. You will take courses across disciplines. Faculty members from multiple disciplines will serve on your thesis and dissertation committees.

Watch the informational Prevention Science webinar to learn about the goals and structure of the program and available opportunities for students.

Program at a Glance

Our Prevention Science faculty and students conduct research within and across several focus areas, including:

  • Substance Use Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery
  • Community-Based Translational Research
  • Prevention Across the Lifespan
  • Physiological and Psychological Underpinnings of Risk and Resilience

Get to know some of our faculty and graduate students by watching their video introductions below.


Faculty Introductions

Erica Austin – Communication in Pullman

Learn more about Erica Austin and her research here.

Tracy Klein – Nursing in Vancouver

Learn more about Tracy Klein and her research here.

Michael Cleveland – Human Development in Pullman

Amanda Lamp – Medicine in Spokane

Learn more about Amanda Lamp and her research here.

Jennifer Duckworth – Human Development in Pullman

Amy Salazar – Human Development in Vancouver

Learn more about Amy Salazar and her research here.

Anne Cox – Kinesiology in Pullman

Learn more about Anne Cox and her research here.

Raven Weaver – Human Development in Pullman

Learn more about Raven Weaver and her research here.

Graduate Student Introductions

Meena Richardson – Human Development in Vancouver

Learn more about Meena Richardson and her research here.

You can find out more about the doctoral program in Prevention Science by watching a recent virtual webinar describing the goals, structure, and opportunities available at Washington State University.