PhD in Epidemiology

Admission Requirements

In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the following program requirements:

  • Baccalaureate Field A major in the biological, physical, or social sciences is preferred.
  • Grade Point Average At least 3.00/4.00.
  • Tests Required GRE General. For GRE General Tests, the combined verbal and quantitative scores must be at least 300.
  • Minimum English Competency Test Score
    • TOEFL 80, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21 (iBT Test); 60, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Writing 21 (revised Paper-Delivered Test), OR,
    • IELTS 6.5, with subscores of 6.0 for all four subscores, OR,
    • PTE-Academic 54, with subscores of Reading 51, Listening 47, Speaking 53, and Writing 56.
  • Letters of Recommendation Three required.
  • Personal Statement Required; the statement should address the applicant’s intended research, career goals, and reason for pursuing the PhD degree in the chosen area.
  • Other Requirements Applicants may submit their master's thesis as evidence of their ability to plan and complete significant health-related research. 

Degree Requirements

  • Minimum Semester Hours Required: varies by concentration. 96 from the baccalaureate; 98 from the baccalaureate for the Cancer Epidemiology concentration. Students in the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology concentration may be required to take 114 to 116 hours, depending on prior coursework taken.
  • Coursework: At least 9 hours must be in 500-level didactic courses in the student’s major area. If a collateral area is required by the major, at least 6 hours must be in the collateral area at the 500 level.
  • In addition to school-wide standards, no grade below B is acceptable in any Epidemiology or Biostatistics required course. If a grade below B is achieved in such a course, it may be repeated once. Failure to maintain this standard will be grounds for dismissal from the Epidemiology Program.

School-Wide Requirements 

School of Public Health Core Requirements
Biostatistics I
Biostatistics II
Introduction to Epidemiology: Principles and Methods
Foundations of Public Health a
Required Non-Credit Training
Human Subjects Research (HSR)
Title IX Training
SPH Academic Integrity Tutorial
a

IPHS 520 is only required of PhD students without an MPH degree.

Divisional Requirements 

Epidemiology Divisional Core Requirements
Logistic Regression and Survival Analysis
Design of Clinical Trials
Intermediate Epidemiologic Methods
Epidemiologic Computing
Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases
Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases
Applied Methods for the Analysis of Epidemiologic Data
Advanced Quantitative Methods in Epidemiology
Current Epidemiologic Literature
Epidemiology Research Seminar
Electives
Two 500-level substantive Epidemiology classes, in different areas, to prepare for substantive sections of preliminary examination (e.g. Cardiovascular, Cancer, Aging, Infectious, Pediatrics, Genetics) (4-6 hours)
At least one biological sciences class relevant to student’s research area is required if no prior biological sciences background (4 hours). Students may enroll in an undergraduate biological sciences courses; however these hours will not count towards graduation credits for the PhD.
Additional coursework in relevant area outside of Epidemiology and approved by the advisor (e.g. Biostatistics, Nutrition, Maternal and Child Health, Environmental Sciences, Sociology) (6 hours)
Remaining electives (13-15 hours)
Note: Students with a master’s degree in public health or a related area may receive up to 32 hours of credit towards the 96-hour total.

Other Requirements 

  • Dissertation Proposal : Required. 
  • Dissertation: Required. Students must register for IPHS 599 for at least 32 semester hours.
  • Preliminary Exam: Required.
  • Other Requirements: Each PhD student is required to obtain experience in classroom teaching. The teaching experience for doctoral candidates should at minimum consist of planning, leading and evaluating a minimum of two classroom sessions, which may be online or in-class sessions. If students are clear that they will be pursuing a career in academe, they should be encouraged by their advisors to go beyond this minimum.
    All PhD students’ efforts should be supervised and evaluated by appropriate faculty. Documentation should accompany this evaluation so that PhD students are clearly rated on their efforts at planning, teaching, and evaluating the students in their classes. Efforts of students who are laboratory or teaching assistants should be considered vital teaching experiences as long as there is appropriate evaluation of such efforts by faculty and students. It is the responsibility of the student and his or her faculty advisor to make sure the student's instructional experience is properly evaluated.

Additional Course Requirements for those Pursuing a Concentration  

PhD in Epidemiology, Concentration in Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology

PhD students concentrating in the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology concentration must complete all of the School of Public Health Core requirements for the PhD. Students in the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology concentration are NOT required to take the Epidemiology Divisional Core requirments. 

Occupational Health and Safety Practice
Environmental/Occupational Health Seminar
Exposure Assessment Strategies
Environment, Toxicology, and Disease
Applied Methods for the Analysis of Epidemiologic Data
Current Topics in Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology
Applied Methods in Occupational Epidemiology
Applied Methods in Environmental Epidemiology
Risk Assessment in Environmental and Occupational Health
Injury Epidemiology and Prevention
Select one of the following three courses:
Geographic Information System Application in Public Health
Geographic Information Systems for Planning and Policy

PhD in Epidemiology, Concentration in Cancer Epidemiology

Environmental and Occupational Toxicology
Datamining Applications in Public Health
Cancer Epidemiology
Advanced Cancer Epidemiology
Genetics in Epidemiology
Public Health Surveillance
Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology
Advanced Special Topics in Epidemiology
Special Topics in Human Nutrition a
Electives
Students must take a minimum of 16 hours of electives.
At least one biological science class (4 hours) relevant to the student’s research area is required if no prior biological sciences background.
a

With permission of the division, students may substitute HN 532 and submit a waiver request to apply the credit.

PhD in Epidemiology, Concentration in Maternal and Child Epidemiology (MCHEPI)

  • A minimum of 96 semester hours (32 hours can be transferred from a master’s degree).
  • Summary of course requirements: 17-18 hours of master’s level epidemiology and MCH courses; an additional 2-3 hours of basic epi courses; 6 hours of CHS doctoral theory and methods courses; 7 hours of MCH Epidemiology courses; 18 hours of advanced analytic methods courses; 32 hours of credit for dissertation research; and additional courses to earn the minimum 96 hours.
  • A written and oral preliminary exam, including a 4-hour in-class methods exam, a 10-day take-home data analysis, and either in-class or take-home questions covering two substantive areas within MCH as determined by the student’s examination committee.
  • A dissertation which must be conducted in conjunction with a state or local public health agency or using the data from such agencies.
Master's-level Epidemiology courses (if no MPH in Epidemiology)
Foundations of Public Health
Biostatistics II
Intermediate Epidemiologic Methods
Epidemiologic Computing
Master's-level MCH courses (if no MPH in MCH)
Select one of the following MCH core courses:
MCH Inequities and Responses I
Maternal and Child Health Inequities and Responses Part II
MCH Policy and Advocacy
Select one of the following Epidemiology required basic courses:
The Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS
Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases
Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases
Public Health Surveillance
CHSC Doctoral Theory and Methods courses
Advanced Theories and Topics in Community Health Sciences
Reproductive/Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiology courses:
The Epidemiology of Pediatric Diseases a
Reproductive and Perinatal Health
Advanced Analytic Methods courses:
Logistic Regression and Survival Analysis (Prequisite for EPID 501) a
Applied Methods for the Analysis of Epidemiologic Data
Advanced Quantitative Methods in Epidemiology
Applied Survey Sampling and Analysis
Select one of the following courses:
Longitudinal Data Analysis
Hierarchical Linear Models
Additional Professional Development Requirements for the MCH EPI program
Journal Club - MCHEPI students host a journal club once a month. All PhD students are invited to attend.
Career Development/Leadership and Management Training - Students are required to attend one to two IPHS 595 seminars that focus on professional development and skills building.
Leadership Training and Coaching - Each MCD PhD student is required to meet with an MCH leadership coach each year of their academic career.
a

A dissertation which must be conducted in conjuction with a state or local public health agency or using the data from such agencies.