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PhD Degree in Epidemiology

OverviewThe ProgramFacultyAdmissionsDegree requirementsContact

Overview: The Drexel University School of Public Health offers a methodologically rigorous doctoral training program in epidemiology that comprises both formal classroom training and guided research with faculty mentors trained in top public health programs nationally and internationally. The size of our School encourages students to develop in-depth working relationships with their mentors, during their formal
training program and after graduation.

The Program: The PhD in Epidemiology is a full-time research-focused degree program that will prepare graduates to use the science of epidemiology in research to ask and answer substantial and innovative public health questions. The PhD program prepares students to approach problems with critical analytic skills necessary to generate meaningful epidemiologic questions and utilize the most appropriate research strategies to address them. Additionally, the core values of the School and Department concerning human rights and social justice will infuse students with the commitment to pursue important and innovative public health research topics even when faced with methodological challenges, and to undertake studies that generate knowledge applicable to diverse social, ethnic, and geographically defined populations. Students have five calendar years to complete the program and typical completion time ranges from three to four years. The PhD program guide can be found here.

Faculty: Drexel faculty are dedicated to balancing research and teaching. Research areas in which faculty are actively engaged include: epidemiology of aging, psychiatric epidemiology, cardiovascular disease epidemiology, epidemiology neurodevelopmental disorders, infectious disease epidemiology including studies of chronic viral infections and HIV/AIDS pathogenesis, cancer epidemiology, and psychosocial/behavioral studies of HIV/STI risk. Faculty research areas can be seen here and individual faculty web pages can be found here.

Admissions: Applicants to the PhD Program in Epidemiology must possess an MPH degree or master's degree in Epidemiology or a related field and demonstrate potential for high level of performance in the PhD Program and subsequent contributions to the field of Epidemiology. More detail on the application process can be found here. To begin your application, please go here. Our online application is free and you can start you application now and have the option to finish it at a later date.

The deadline for the Drexel PhD in Epidemiology Program is December 15, 2015 for the 2015-2016 school year. Please email Mary Genevieve Carty at for more information regarding admissions.

Degree requirements: Completion of the PhD in Epidemiology requires: (1) a minimum of 69 quarter credit hours of course work beyond the master's degree; (2) maintenance of a cumulative grade point average in the program of at least 3.3; (3) passing a written doctoral comprehensive examination; (4) passing a candidacy oral examination; (5) completing a dissertation of publishable quality; and (6) passing the final defense. Coursework requirements typically include:

  • Three courses in the School’s doctoral training core
  • Eleven required Departmental doctoral courses
  • Two epidemiology elective courses
  • Two biostatistics elective courses
  • One course in research ethics and scientific integrity
  • One course in teaching methods

A layout showing a three-year progression through doctoral program course and thesis requirements can be found at the bottom of this page.

Dissertation research will entail an epidemiologic research project of high scientific merit with substantive public health impact. The topic will be selected in consultation with the student’s departmental faculty advisor but may also involve collaboration with other interested faculty at Drexel and at other institutions.

Contact: Prospective students are invited to contact Mary Genevieve Carty at or to call 215-762-2518. Prospective students are also welcome to contact individual faculty members regarding specific research interests. For a complete list of Epi/Bios faculty members and their profiles, please click here. Current student profiles and contact information can be found here.

PhD in Epidemiology Program Guide (PDF)

Epidemiology PhD Program – example three-year, 69 credit sequence







Epidemiology (3 cr)

PBHL 630


Epidemiology (4 cr)

PBHL 830

Infectious Disease Epidemiology (3 cr)

PBHL 636


Biostatistics I (3 cr)

PBHL 620


Biostatistics II (3 cr)

PBHL 621


Methodologic Challenges: Adv Epidemiology II (3 cr)

PBHL 834





Biostatistical Computing (3 cr)

PBHL 623