PhD in epidemiology

Top epidemiology PhD programs in the USA

Content of the article- introduction to the epidemiology, importance of it, top universities, process, fees, duration and other related information.

“The study of the distribution, analysis, determinants and prevention of health-related problems such as disease condition is known as epidemiology.” 

In a broader sense, epidemiology included the study of disease, how often it occurs, why it occurs and what are the preventive measurements of it. 

Various study methods are employed for fulfil the present goal in which statistics, biology and mathematical knowledge must be required. 

Among different study methods, surveillance study, descriptive study and analytical study are most commonly used in the epidemic determination. 

Therefore we can say that epidemiological studies are strongly associated with medical science. 

  • During the research one have to investigate,
  • The disease status
  • Its prevalence in different population or region
  • Variation in the status of disease or disorder 
  • How it affects social life and economy. 

Also, extreme statistical analysis and data science are involved in epidemiology research. 

Here in the present article, I am enlisting some of the highly popular and renowned PhD programs for epidemiology. 

Note: all the PhD and doctoral programs associated with epidemiology are included in clinical research and medical science. 

PhD in epidemiology: 

Stanford Medicine- PhD in epidemiology (Health research and policy)

Stanford is a great place, we can say a dream place for researchers to do PhD. Situated in Stanford, California, It is officially known as Leland Stanford Junior University. 

It’s a type of private research university established in 1885 by Leland and Jane Stanford. They provide various research programs in engineering, medicine, physics, biology, chemistry, education and management. 

PhD in Epidemiology is conducted by the school of medicine Stanford. 

The aim of the present PhD program is to train students methodologically for doing cutting-edge research in epidemiology. The major focus of research is on computer science, statistics, bioinformatics, genetics and genomics.

Application and requirements: 

  • Statement of purpose and area of interest 
  • Three recommendation letters 
  • Official GRE or TOEFL test score 
  • Transcript of college or university 
  • CV including research or work experience in epidemiology

Process for doing a PhD: 

  • A candidate has to pass the preliminary examination prior to enrol 
  • Identify and propose a dissertation or research project in NIH style. 
  • Present it with the dissertation reading committee.  
  • Complete the final qualifying examination of the subject. 
  • Conducting and writing a dissertation 
  • Present it in a public seminar and publish a research paper on it 
  • Defend the dissertation 

Apply here: PhD in epidemiology at Stanford

For more detail on courses and requirements during PhD please visit here: Course requirements.

For more detail contact here: contacts for PhD in epidemiology.

Boston University- School of public health

Boston university is a type of private research university, situated in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. And it has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It was established in 1839. 

BU offers various programs in bachelors, masters and PhD. Their major research and doctoral programs are in medicine, biology, public health, business, law, and science etc. 

The doctor of philosophy in Epidemiology is governed by the school of public health at BU. Their area of study is cancer & ageing, infectious disease, renal disease, epidemiological methods and pharmacoepidemiology. Reproductive, perinatal and pediatric outcomes are also included in study areas. 

Their 24 primaries and 42 secondary faculties are capable of providing extensive research in public health and epidemiology. 

Application and requirements: 

  • A candidate must have completed a master degree in epidemiology, public health or relevant field. 
  • Statement of purpose and objectives
  • Three recommendation letters 
  • Official IELTS or TOEFL test scores are only valid for two years.
  • Transcript of college or university 
  • CV including research or work experience in epidemiology

Notably, here, the foreign applicant has to pass an English language proficiency exam before applying. 

Process for doing a PhD: 

A candidate has to propose the dissertation, complete coarse work, do research work, write a dissertation or thesis, present it at the international seminar and defend the dissertation. 

Read this PDF for more detail: download PDF 

Apply here: PhD in epidemiology at Boston University-School of public health

Read more on the present PhD program at BU: Requirements and information.

Emory University- Rollins School of Public Health

Emory University was established in 1836 by Methodist Episcopal Church. It was named after John Emory. It is situated at Atlanta, Georgia. 

The EU is a type of private research university and offers many subjects for bachelors, masters and PhD. The Rollins school of public health is one of the renowned and popular research organisations of Emory University. 

The Laney Graduate School of Rollins public health offers a PhD in epidemiology.   

Their aim is to make students independent investigators or researchers with specialised skills to be successful in academics as well as other research sectors. 

The areas of study are infectious disease like HIV/AIDS, genetic disease, cancer, epidemic methods, health disparities, social and molecular epidemiology. 

Application and requirements:

  • Obviously masters or baccalaureates degree from a regionally accredited university in the related disciplines.
  • Completely filled application with $75 application fees. 
  • 3 copies of recommendation letters 
  • Supervisor selection (with whom they want to do research). The list of guides is given on their website. 
  • Statement of purpose and objectives of the research (in 500 words)
  • CV indicating all the necessary qualifications, awards and research experience in epidemiology, if any. 
  • GRE scores within the last 5 year. 
  • University transcript. 

Process for doing a PhD:

  • A candidate has to clear course work, Six hours of EPI (electives to gain knowledge and experience in related field).
  • All students must have to participate in TATTO- teaching assistant training and teaching opportunities programs.
  • 200 hours of a research assistantship (literature review, sample collection, data collection-evaluation and analysis) each year. 
  • Writing the dissertation 
  • Defending the thesis

For more detail and guidance download the official PDF on PhD in epidemiology.

Apply for PhD here: the Application process 

Michigan state university: 

The MSU was originally built as the Agriculture College of the State of Michigan and at that time, it was the first institute in the entire state for studying agriculture. 

It was established in 1855 under the Morrill act. A type of public research university, Michigan state university is situated in East Lansing, Michigan. Interestingly, MSU is one of the largest universities across the USA. 

Michigan state university’s department of epidemiology and biostatistics of the college of Human Medicine conducts PhD programs in epidemiology. 

The benefit of doing PhD here is they provide NIH (national institute of health) grant for the selected students. They accept PhD applications throughout the year. 

Application and requirements:

  • Master degree in epidemiology, public health or relevant subjects. 
  • Transcript of university 
  •  GRE score (not more than 5 years)
  • Three recommendation letters  
  • Personal statement in 1000 words stating the goal, aim career plans and area of interest. 
  • Document of research experience in the relevant field. 
  • Research interest form and guide’s name with whom candidate wants to do a PhD. 
  • Copy of master’s or dissertation thesis, project report and published article or research paper. 
  • For non- American citizens, TOEFL and IELTS are compulsorily required. 

Financial aids provided.

Read more on Application requirements.

Apply from here: Apply to Michigan state university

Click here for more detail on courses and academic structure of PhD in epidemiology at MSU.

University of Washington- school of public health 

University of Washington was established in 1861. It’s a type of public research university settled in Seattle, Washington. 

20 Nobel Prize laureates and numerous Pulitzer Prize winners were passed out from the UW. They provide many different courses for bachelors, masters and PhD. 

Application and requirements:

  • A candidate has to pass a preliminary examination first. The examination system is different from other universities. The WU’s PhD examination is divided into two parts; Part-1 written exam and part II oral examination. 
  • Has to submit three copies of recommendation letter
  • Transfer certificate. 

Degree requirements:

A candidate has to propose a dissertation and write a thesis within the 5 years of their academic works. 

Once the dissertation is completed, a candidate has to submit the thesis to the university and has to complete the viva voce. 

In the end the candidate has to defend their thesis. 

In addition to this,  a candidate has to publish a research paper. 

For more detail please read the official PDF: PhD in epidemiology University of Washington

Visit the epidemiology department of WU here. 

New York University- School of public health 

NYU was founded in 1831 located in New York, Greenwich Village, Lower Manhattan. Their branches are located even in Abu Dhabi, Berlin, Accra, Aires and other countries of the world. 

37 Nobel awards, 30 Pulitzer Prize and 30 Academic Awards are won by the university passouts. 

Application and requirements:

A candidate has to submit the application form via the SOPHAS (here is the link of SOPHAS).

Must have completed a master’s degree in epidemiology or biostatistics and /or relevant subjects. 

Three recommendation letters. 

CV with work or research experience in the field of public health or epidemiology. 

Good TOEFL or GRE score. 

Transcript from the last university or college attended. 

Degree requirements:

The degree requirement at the university of new york is the same as the above. 

More information- PhD in epidemiology, school of public health, university of New York

University of florida- Department of public health 

Established in 1853, the university of Florida is located in Gainesville, Florida. 

It is a type of research university and the only university which is a member of the Association of American Universities in florida. 

The application and degree requirements are almost the same as discussed above. For more detail please read this PDF on PhD in epidemiology University of florida.

These are some of the top universities across the USA. Some other universities for doing PhD in epidemiology is given below, 

Tulane University- Department of epidemiology.

Admission requirements

Program competencies and PhD requirements 

Other information: Click here.

The University of Iowa- college of public health

PhD in epidemiology- degree requirements, program competency and other related informations.

More information- student handbook for PhD. 

These are some of the top most universities in the USA for doing PhD in epidemiology. 


Epidemiology is a less popular but more demanding subject. In an epidemic condition, like the epidemic of coronavirus, an epidemiologist’s role is unmatched. Their expertise helps to prevent and outbreak of disease. Doing a PhD in epidemiology might be a wise decision in the upcoming years. 

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