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Washington State University

PhD in Prevention Science

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. Prevention scientists:

  • 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.

The doctoral program in Prevention Science at Washington State University 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. It involves faculty and students from four campuses: Pullman, Vancouver, Spokane, and Tri-Cities. It is administered by the Department of Human Development, with the interim program director a faculty member in Human Development (Dr. Sammy Perone). Through coursework and research experiences, students are given numerous opportunities to engage in prevention-related outreach activities through our partnership with WSU Extension. Students are required to take courses across disciplines and to have faculty members from multiple disciplines on their thesis and dissertation committees.

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. Read more about all our Prevention Science faculty here, and read more about their research labs and projects here.

Faculty Introductions

Erica Austin – Communication in Pullman

Learn more about Erica Austin and her research here.

Michael Cleveland – Human Development in Pullman

Learn more about Michael Cleveland and his research here.

Jennifer Duckworth – Human Development in Pullman

Learn more about Jennifer Duckworth and her research here

Anne Cox – Kinesiology in Pullman

Learn more about Anne Cox and her research here.











Graduate Student Introductions

Meena Richardson – Human Development in Vancouver

Learn more about Meena Richardson and her research here.

Tracy Klein – Nursing in Vancouver

Learn more about Tracy Klein and her research here.


Amanda Lamp – Medicine in Spokane

Learn more about Amanda Lamp and her research here.

Amy Salazar – Human Development in Vancouver

Learn more about Amy Salazar and her research here.

Raven Weaver – Human Development in Pullman

Learn more about Raven Weaver and her research here.

Learn more about Nicole Scalise 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.