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Epidemiology PhD

Epidemiology is concerned with the study of factors that determine the distribution of health and disease in human populations.

The purposes of epidemiological research are to discover the causes of disease, to advance and evaluate methods of disease prevention, and to aid in planning and evaluating the effectiveness of public health programs. Epidemiologists are interested in the study of infectious and noninfectious diseases. In recent years, they have turned their attention increasingly toward the study of conditions affected by forces in the social and physical environment.


Our program takes most students four and one half years to complete. In addition to the required courses, students identify an area of scientific knowledge in which they develop competence. Qualifying examinations as well as a dissertation are required for completion of the program. Students who are interested have the opportunity to complete a Designated Emphasis (DE) in Computational and Genomic Biology.


The amount of coursework necessary for each doctoral student varies greatly, depending on a student’s previous coursework, experience and background. A master’s degree in epidemiology or a related field is preferable. Successful applicants often have work experience in a public health setting or in epidemiologic research.


Graduates are prepared for academic careers in research and teaching.

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