PhD in Public Health

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. Students applying to the primary concentration in Environmental and Occupational Health must have completed a full year of general chemistry, at least one semester of organic chemistry, and two semesters of  calculus; one course in human physiology is also required for those interested in a secondary concentration in the ASAC-ABET Accredited MS Program in Industrial Hygiene, Occupational Safety, and Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology. Those interested in the ASAC-ABET Accredited MS Program in Industrial Hygiene must meet the criteria listed above. In addition, applicants should have a prior degree  in the physical/life sciences or engineering fields with course work in physics, chemistry, biology, or mathematics. Relevant work experience or significant physical or life science or engineering course work may be considered for applicants with undergraduate degrees in other, nonscience fields.
  • Grade Point Average At least 3.00/4.00.
  • Tests Required GRE General. For GRE General tests, 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 Internet-based); 60, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Writing 21 (New Paper-Based—after August 2018); 550 (Institutional Testing Paper-Based—prior to August 2018), 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 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 course work taken.
  • Course Work 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.
Course Title
Required Courses
Foundations of Public Health
Introduction to Epidemiology: Principles and Methods
Biostatistics I a
Biostatistics II a
  • Additional Required Courses: Students must complete three noncredit trainings: HIPAA Research Training, Human Subjects Research, and Academic Integrity Tutorial.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to complete at least one course recommended by the Director of Graduate Studies which provides a broad introduction to public health.
  • Remaining courses and their distribution depend on the student’s area of concentration. PhD students are admitted into one of the following primary concentrations: Biostatistics, Community Health Sciences, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, Epidemiology, or Health Policy and Administration.

Biostatistics Concentration Requirements

Course Title
Concentration Required Courses
Introduction to Epidemiology: Principles and Methods
Large Sample Theory
Advanced Statistical Inference
Linear Models
Biostatistics Research Seminar (at least 1 semester hour)
Electives
Select 19 hours of electives with 12 hours from the following:
Generalized Linear Models
Missing Data
Computational Statistics
Bayesian Methods
Advanced Survival Analysis
The remaining 7 hours may NOT include BSTT 400, BSTT 401, BSTT 505, BSTT 523, BSTT 524, or BSTT 525.

Community Health Sciences Concentration Requirements

  • PhD students in Community Health Sciences must complete all of the SPH requirements for the PhD degree. Students must select 12 hours for their concentration. The student will be tested in the concentration area as part of the preliminary examination. Additional compensatory courses are required if the equivalent course work was not completed at the master’s degree level. These compensatory courses are: EPID 403, CHSC 446, BSTT 400, BSTT 401, CHSC 400,  CHSC 480, or their equivalent. Advisor approval is necessary for elective course selection. PhD students pursuing a program in Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology have additional requirements.
Course Title
Concentration Required Courses
Advanced Theories and Topics in Community Health Sciences
Advanced Research Methods for Community Health Sciences
Advanced analytic methods courses (6 hours) a
Advanced research methods courses (6 hours) a
Seminar in Community Health Sciences (2 hours)
Concentration
Select 12 hours for the concentration

Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Concentration Requirements

  • PhD students concentrating in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences must complete all of the SPH requirements for the PhD degree.
  • The EOHS concentration requires that PhD students complete EOHS 595 (registering for four semesters/one hour each semester) and one graduate-level course in qualitative or quantitative methods chosen in consultation with their advisor.
  • In addition, students must complete the division core, choosing at least one course in each of the following three areas:
  1. Exposure Assessment
  2. Health Assessment
  3. Risk Assessment and Policy
  • Students should see their advisor for a list of courses in each area.

Epidemiology Concentration Requirements

Course Title
Concentration Required Courses
PhD students concentrating in Epidemiology must complete all of the SPH requirements for the PhD degree. In addition, students must take:
Intermediate Epidemiologic Methods
Epidemiologic Computing
Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases
Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases
Advanced Quantitative Methods in Epidemiology
Current Epidemiologic Literature
Epidemiology Research Seminar
Logistic Regression and Survival Analysis
Design of Clinical Trials
Sampling and Estimation Methods Applied to Public Health

Health Policy and Administration Concentration Requirements

  • PhD students in Health Policy and Administration must complete all of the SPH requirements for the PhD degree. No additional course requirements are specified. In addition, a minimum of 21 hours of course work relevant to the disciplinary area of Health Policy and Administration is taken in consultation with the faculty advisor.

Additional Course Requirements for Those Pursuing a Secondary Concentration

Cancer Epidemiology Concentration Requirements (Epidemiology (EPID) students only)

Course Title
Secondary Concentration Required Courses
PhD students concentrating in Cancer Epidemiology must complete all of the SPH requirements for the PhD degree. In addition, students must take:
Intermediate Epidemiologic Methods
Epidemiologic Computing
Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases
Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases
Advanced Quantitative Methods in Epidemiology
Current Epidemiologic Literature
Epidemiology Research Seminar
Logistic Regression and Survival Analysis
Special Topics in Human Nutrition
Cancer Epidemiology
Advanced Cancer Epidemiology
Genetics in Epidemiology
Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology
Advanced Special Topics in Epidemiology (Special Topics: Social Epidemiology or Surveillance Epidemiology)

Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Concentration Requirements (Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (EOHS) and Epidemiology (EPID) students only)

Course Title
Secondary Concentration Required Courses
PhD students concentrating in Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology must complete all of the SPH requirements for the PhD degree. In addition, students must take:
Logistic Regression and Survival Analysis
Intermediate Epidemiologic Methods
Epidemiologic Computing
Occupational Health and Safety Practice
Advanced Quantitative Methods in Epidemiology
Current Topics in Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology
Applied Methods in Occupational Epidemiology
Applied Methods in Environmental Epidemiology
Occupational and Environmental Disease
Risk Assessment in Environmental and Occupational Health
Occupational Safety and Health Management Systems
Injury Epidemiology and Prevention
Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases
Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases
Geographic Information System Application in Public Health
Geographic Information Systems for Planning and Policy
Epidemiology Research Seminar
PhD Seminar in EOHS
  • Dissertation Required. Students must register in IPHS 599 for at least 32 semester hours.
  • Other Requirements Students must obtain supervised experience in classroom teaching in at least one course for at least part of a semester.

Interdepartmental Concentrations

Students earning a graduate degree in this department may complement their courses by enrolling in select concentrations after consulting with their graduate advisor. Interdepartmental concentrations available for this degree include:

Medical Scientist Training Program

The UIC School of Public Health has particularly strong programs in epidemiology, biostatistics, prevention research, community health, health systems management, occupational and environmental safety and health, and quantitative methods. Application to the PhD program is normally made at the time of application to the College of Medicine; however, applicants will also be considered during their first two years of medical training. Students must apply to the Medical Scientist Training Program and to the College of Medicine and indicate in their application that they are interested in one of the divisions of the UIC School of Public Health. Criteria for admission to the program include academic excellence, prior research experience, potential for independent and creative research, and commitment to a career in academic medicine. Students receive a stipend throughout their years of study. For more information, contact:

Linda Forst,  Senior Associate Dean, SPH
(312) 996-1374
lforst@uic.edu

or the Medical Scientist Training Program: Larry Tobacman, MD, Director
(312) 413-1010
lst@uic.edu

or Roberta Bernstein, Coordinator
(312) 996-7473
roberta@uic.edu