Ph.D. in Epidemiology

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Program Overview

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Epidemiology is an intensive research training program for students with prior training in epidemiology or related disciplines. It provides advanced education and training for students seeking a professional career in medical and health-related research, as well as for physicians and other persons who have attained professional degrees and are seeking to integrate epidemiological research and methods into their ongoing careers.

As a research-focused degree, students are given the skills necessary to approach health problems to generate consequential research questions and use the most appropriate epidemiologic methods to address them. The methodologically rigorous training comprises both formal classroom education and guided research with faculty mentors.

Students have unique opportunities to conduct collaborative research with clinical departments and research centers within the Miller School of Medicine. Interdisciplinary research opportunities also exist with health care settings that are in close vicinity of UM such as the Miami VA Healthcare System.

Key research areas include chronic disease epidemiology including cancer, diabetes, and obesity; behavioral epidemiology relating to substance abuse and HIV/AIDS, occupational disease epidemiology; and health disparities.

Pre-requisites: This program is primarily designed for persons who have completed an MPH degree, as well as for physicians and others who have a master or doctoral degree in a related discipline. At a minimum, students should have successfully completed a graduate-level, foundation of epidemiology course as well as two biostatistics courses. The admissions committee may conditionally admit students who do not meet these requirements and allow them to complete pre-requisites during their first year.



The Doctoral degree in Epidemiology degree is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

Upon completion of the Doctoral degree in Epidemiology, all graduates will be able to:

  • Competencies:
    Design epidemiologic studies applying sound methodology and assess the validity of results
    Develop data collection/management methods and tools needed for performing epidemiology investigations
    Utilize the application of statistical methods that are critical to epidemiologic inquiry; manage and manipulate data sets in statistical analysis software packages including SAS and R
    Identify major chronic and infectious diseases, their general patho-physiology, descriptive epidemiology and risk factors
    Critically evaluate scientific literature and synthesize the outcomes across studies, balancing limitations and contributions of each study
    Articulate research questions that advance scientific knowledge and develop a proposal for extramural research funding
    Effectively communicate (written and oral form) epidemiologic concepts to students and peers
    Conduct an advanced original research project and demonstrate mastery of the topic area
    Read, plan, develop and present epidemiologic data outside their area of mastery
    Conduct epidemiological research and be prepared to work collaboratively with scientists and practitioners in other fields
    Convey epidemiology concepts to new learners of epidemiology
    Recognize and identify the ethical issues relating to epidemiologic studies used in public health practice and/or research
  • Average Program Duration: approximately 5 years
  • Total required credits: 64 credits

Ph.D. in Epidemiology Curriculum

To meet the requirements, the courses must be completed as the core, dissertation, professional development seminars, and electives.

  • Electives (15 credits)
    EPH-600,700, 800 level courses not already listed
    BST-600,700, 800 level courses not already listed

Doctoral Dissertation (12 credits)

To advance to candidacy for the degree, in addition to completion of the required coursework, students complete an area of concentration and must receive passing marks on comprehensive examinations in epidemiology and biostatistics. The final credit requirements for the doctoral degree include registration and successful completion of the doctoral dissertation. The dissertation and oral defense are the culminating experiences for the Ph.D. in Epidemiology degree.

Ph.D. Financial Support:

Students who are admitted to the Ph.D. in Epidemiology and who are in good academic standing are supported financially through their graduate studies. Support includes:

  • Fully paid tuition
  • An annual stipend of $41,000
  • 100% of the University of Miami student health insurance premium for a single person

Curriculum information and course descriptions can be found here.
For the program application, click below.