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PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology

This program provides students with an advanced level of academic preparation to conduct research, teach, and mentor students. This includes concentrated training in epidemiological concepts and methodology and the completion of a research-based dissertation. Due to the wide range of ongoing faculty research within the department, students have the ability to select an area of emphasis on which to focus and to conduct research under the mentorship of an epidemiology faculty member. 

Requirements

  • 72 credits, about half coursework and half research
  • Coursework in epidemiology, statistics, and statistical packages
  • Coursework in public health foundations and research ethics
  • Advanced coursework in clinical trials and grant writing
  • Teaching assistant experience
  • Advanced dissertation research and coursework in an area of specialization

Recent Dissertation Titles

Browse titles in D-Scholarship, the institutional repository for research output at the University of Pittsburgh.

Competencies

Graduates will be able to:
  • Identify major health issues in the population, and describe these issues in terms of magnitude, person, place, time, and their associated risk factors
  • Identify and locate key sources of data for epidemiologic purposes
  • Calculate and interpret basic and advanced  epidemiology measures
  • Describe epidemiologic and biologic models of disease etiology and control
  • Identify the principles and limitations of public health screening programs
  • Identify, evaluate, and synthesize key studies in the scientific literature for a given topic area
  • Develop a research proposal to submit for funding
  • Apply ethical principles pertaining to the collection, maintenance, use and dissemination of epidemiologic data for research
  • Conduct data collection and create data files appropriate for data analysis
  • Apply quantitative and critical thinking skills to analyze data from epidemiologic studies
  • Interpret epidemiologic results in a causal framework
  • Communicate epidemiologic information to professional audiences
  • Teach epidemiologic concepts to students and peers
  • Demonstrate mastery of a substantive area, including knowledge and application of that knowledge in conducting original research related to the topic
Full program information:
Student Handbook
Graduation Check Lists


Doctoral Program Contacts

Tom Songer, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor
Director, Doctoral Degree Programs
A511 Crabtree Hall
412-624-5326
tjs@pitt.edu

Lori Smith
Student Services Manager and Program Administrator
A537 Crabtree Hall
412-383-5269
smithl@edc.pitt.edu
Through the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) students undertake a physician-scientist training program tailored to their specific research interests, spending and initial two years in University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, followed by three years of research at  Pitt Public Health, and a final two years of medical training. Find out more...
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