NOTE:  We have closed applications to the DrPH program for fall 2020 while we review curriculum options. Please note that the Epidemiology PhD program can be adapted to have an applied focus. Through elective coursework, internship opportunities, and the dissertation, PhD candidates can obtain the essential skills required for public health practice.

The DrPH is an advanced professional degree that prepares students to apply theory and research methods in management roles or while conducting applied research. 


  • 72 credits, the majority from coursework
  • Coursework in epidemiology and statistics
  • Coursework in public health foundations and research ethics
  • Advanced coursework in clinical trials and grant writing
  • Practicum experience
  • 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.


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
  • Understand the context underlying the development of and prevention of health problems (e.g. genetic, cultural, social, economic, etc.) and how these factors influence the interpretation, dissemination, and adoption of research results
  • Identify and locate key sources of data for epidemiologic purposes
  • Calculate and interpret basic and advanced epidemiology measures
  • 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
  • Address ethical issues in the practice of epidemiology
  • 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
  • Demonstrate the ability to evaluate an activity in a public health context
  • Demonstrate the ability to use scientific knowledge and analysis to influence decision-making affecting public health
  • Communicate epidemiologic information to diverse audiences to inform and influence public health actions
  • Teach epidemiologic concepts to students and peers
  • Demonstrate the ability to work across diverse populations in the development of research, program, or policy activities
  • Demonstrate the ability to enhance public health actions through leadership and management principles
  • Demonstrate mastery of a substantive area, including application of that knowledge in conducting original research

Full program information

Student Handbook
Program Requirements/Graduation Check Lists


Thomas Songer, PhD, MPH, MSc
Assistant professor, and
director of the doctoral degree programs
5118 Public Health

Lori Smith
Student services manager and program administrator
5117 Public Health