PhD in Epidemiology Curriculum

PhD in Epidemiology Curriculum

To complete this degree, you will take a combination of required Epidemiology Core courses, Methods courses, Elective courses, a Doctoral Minor, Doctoral Research Seminars, and guided Dissertation Research that together total 90 credits.

If applicants to the Epidemiology PhD program have recently completed an MPH program in epidemiology or a related area and therefore already have solid academic preparation in epidemiology and biostatistics, they may not need to take select foundation courses, which would reduce their required curriculum credits. Individuals accepted into the program who do not have the foundation courses in epidemiology and biostatistics will be required to take the full 90-credit curriculum:

  • Required Core Courses

    Take all 10 courses for a total of 30 credits

    • PBHL E517 Fundamentals of Epidemiology (3 credits)
    • PBHL E601 Advanced Epidemiology (3 credits)
    • PBHL E629 Introduction to Genetic Epidemiology (3 credits)
    • PBHL H620 Patient-Reported Health Outcomes (3 credits)
    • PBHL B551 Biostatistics for Public Health I (3 credits)
    • PBHL B652 Biostatistics for Public Health II (3 credits)
    • PBHL E710 Advanced Public Health Survey Methods (3 credits)
    • PBHL E715 Design and Implementation of Observational Studies (3 credits)
    • PBHL E720 Analysis and Interpretation of Observational Studies (3 credits)
    • PBHL B670 Fundamentals of Data Management - Using SAS (3 credits)
  • Methods Courses

    Choose 3 courses for a total of 9 credits

    • PBHL E651 Public Health Surveillance (3 credits)
    • PBHL B546 Longitudinal Data Analysis (3 credits)
    • PBHL B663 Survival Data Analysis (3 credits)
    • GEOG G588 Applied Spatial Statistics (3 credits)
    • PBHL B527 Clinical Trials (3 credits)
    • PBHL E635 Foundation of Public Health Informatics (3 credits)
    • PBHL S615 Culture and Qualitative Methods (3 credits)
    • PBHL B653 Applied Multivariate Analysis in Public Health (3 credits)
    • PBHL E730 Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology (3 credits)
    • PBHL E670 Systematic Review and Meta-analysis (3 credits)
    • PBHL E606 Grant Writing for Public Health (3 credits)
  • Elective Courses

    Choose 5 courses for a total of 15 credits

    • PBHL E765 Nutritional Epidemiology (3 credits)
    • PBHL E770 Occupational Epidemiology (3 credits)
    • PBHL E675 Fundamentals of Injury Epidemiology (3 credits)
    • PBHL E780 Pharmaco-Epidemiology (3 credits)
    • PHBL E731 Design and Analysis of Genetic Association Studies (3 credits)
    • PBHL E617 Environmental Epidemiology (3 credits)
    • PBHL E795 Cardiovascular Epidemiology (3 credits)
    • PBHL E606 Grant Writing for Public Health (3 credits)
    • PBHL E609 Infectious Disease Epidemiology (3 credits)
    • PBHL E610 Chronic Disease Epidemiology (3 credits)
    • PBHL E618 Cancer Epidemiology (3 credits)
    • PBHL E645 Public Health Informatics (3 credits)
    • SOC R585 Social Aspects of Mental Health & Illness (3 credits)
    • PBHL E750 Doctoral Topics in Epidemiology (Variable 1-3 credits)
    • PBHL E751 Doctoral Readings in Epidemiology (Variable 1-3 credits)
    • PBHL E752 Doctoral Level Directed Research (3 credits)
  • Minor Area

    Students must complete a PhD minor in an area related to a health and life science. The minor in most cases is comprised of four graduate level courses (12 credit hours) in the chosen area and must comply with the minor requirements of the respective department/unit.

  • Doctoral Research Seminars

    Students will enroll in three doctoral research seminars. Each seminar is one credit, for a total of three credits.

  • Dissertation

    The remaining 21 hours will be guided research dissertation hours.

Other Degree Requirements for the PhD in Epidemiology

Public Health Coursework
Epidemiology students without a graduate degree, certificate or coursework in public health will be required to complete on-line introductory modules on Environmental Health, Health Policy and Management, and Social and Behavioral Science to ensure that they have basic competencies in all five core public health areas. This is a requirement of the Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH), the school’s accrediting body.

PhD Advisory Committee
The department of Epidemiology will set up an advisory committee for the student, typically in the first year after admission to the PhD program. The advisory committee usually includes at least two epidemiologists and one or two faculty members from another discipline. The advisory committee will approve the student’s program of study and counsel the student until he or she passes the qualifying examination. Each PhD student will also be assigned to an academic advisor from one of the full-time faculty members in the department of Epidemiology.

Minor Area
The student will select a minor from an academic unit other than the department of Epidemiology. The PhD minor must be approved by the student’s advisory committee, and comply with requirements of the respective minor department or program. Examples of minors include: biostatistics, genetics, pharmacology, toxicology, health economics, environmental health, and health informatics.

Qualifying Examinations
The qualifying examination will be based upon the student’s PhD coursework and will be taken after all courses have been completed. Students who fail the qualifying examination are normally allowed to retake it only once. The qualifying exam will be a written exam.

Students who have passed the qualifying examination must enroll each semester (excluding summer sessions) for dissertation credits. Once such students have accumulated 90 credit hours in completed course work and dissertation credits, they must enroll for 6 hours of graduate credit (GRAD-G901) each semester until the degree is completed. The fee for this course is $150. Students are permitted to enroll in G901 for a maximum of six semesters.

The Department of Epidemiology will monitor the student’s progress toward the PhD degree and will make recommendations to the University Graduate School regarding the nomination to candidacy, the appointment of a research committee, the defense of the dissertation, and the conferring of the PhD degree.

The dissertation will be written on an original topic of research and presented as one of the final requirements for the PhD degree. The student’s dissertation research committee will be comprised of members of the graduate faculty. The chair of the dissertation research committee must be a regular faculty member in the department of Epidemiology and a full member of the Graduate Faculty. The student will submit to the IUPUI Graduate Office, acting for the University Graduate School, a two-page prospectus of the dissertation research and the membership of the research committee at least six months before the defense of the dissertation for their approval.

After the committee has reviewed the dissertation, the decision to schedule the defense will be made. The student will then present and defend the dissertation orally in a public forum before the committee. Following the dissertation defense, all deficiencies must be adequately addressed to obtain approval by the dissertation research committee.