Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology

The doctor of philosophy in epidemiology is designed to produce an epidemiologist with in depth knowledge of methodology and analytic skills.

The program provides preparation in methodologic and applied epidemiology, emphasizing use of advanced design and analytic techniques to problems of etiology, human biology, public health and evidence-based medicine. Applications are encouraged from those with strong quantitative skills who have completed an undergraduate or graduate degree in the biological sciences, public health, medicine, allied health, or related fields.

Program Director

Victoria Cortessis
Victoria Cortessis, PhD

Professor of Clinical Population and Public Health Sciences
Director of Research in Obstetrics and Gynecology

Application Deadlines


December 1st

For More Information


The PhD in Epidemiology requires a minimum of 60 units, with a maximum of 20 units from research and dissertation. In preparation for the screening examination, all students are required to complete the required and elective courses for the MS in Applied Biostatistics and Epidemiology (33 units). It is recommended that students register for two semester of seminar in epidemiology and an advanced topics course in epidemiology.

Seminar Topics:
Required Courses

Concepts of biostatistics; appropriate uses and common misuses of health statistics; practice in the application of statistical procedures; introduction to statistical software including EXCEL, SPSS, nQuery.

Major parametric and nonparametric statistical tools used in biomedical research, computer packages including SAS. Includes laboratory. 

Terminology/uses of epidemiology and demography; sources/uses of population data; types of epidemiologic studies; risk assessment; common sources of bias in population studies; principles of screening. 

Study design, ascertainment of study objects, questionnaire development, various methodological issues in study design and interpretation including bias, measurement error, confounding and effect modification. 

Principles and methods used in epidemiology for comparing disease frequencies between groups. Restricted to the analysis of binary outcome variables. 

Design, conduct, and interpretation of results of clinical trials; emphasis on principles affecting structure, size, duration of a trial, and the impact of ethical and practical considerations. 

Survey of natural history of infectious disease, methods of disease control and outbreak investigation, and an overview of the epidemiology of injury.

Elective Courses

Current elective courses can be found in the course catalogue.

Qualifying Examination

Doctoral candidates will complete a qualifying examination prior to submitting a proposal for their doctoral dissertation. In preparation for the examination, students are required to join an ongoing research project under the direction of the chair of the guidance committee.

Doctoral Dissertation

The program culminates in a defense of the doctoral dissertation based on research and findings presented during the qualifying examination.

Program Faculty

Currently Enrolled Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology Students

Felice Lin
Ugonna Ihenacho
David Daniel Bogumil
Sarah Cole
Fatimata Sanogo
Allyn Auslander
Alisha Chou
Qianxi Feng
Kaili Ding
Alicia Peterson
Melissa Woodhouse
Mark Shiroishi
Stephanie Navarro
Karl O`Sharkey
Sahra Mohazzab-Hosseinian
Tsz Fung Chan
Elizabeth Costello
Jalen Langie
Raymond Hughley
Ixel Hernandez
Jiayao Chen
Jiawen Chen
Vahan Aslanyan
Nicholas Acuna