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:
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.
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.
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.