Epidemiology PhD Degree Program Overviews

Oct 26, 2019

Epidemiologists examine causes of diseases and work to develop solutions to help prevent the spread of disease. Learn about the Ph.D. program, common courses and employment outlook.

Essential Information

Epidemiology doctoral programs might include studies in chronic disease, infectious disease, nutrition and reproductive health. Graduates of an epidemiology Ph.D. program should be able to write scientific papers for publication and manage research projects. They should also be able to apply learned biological and social theories to the prevention of disease and promotion of well-being. Graduates often choose to pursue careers in education or research.

Prior to entering into a Ph.D. degree program, students must have acquired a bachelor's degree and a master's degree; schools may prefer candidates with master's degrees in epidemiology public health. Successful completion of courses in biological, physical, and mathematical sciences is recommended as well. Once in the program, students will complete a dissertation to graduate.

Ph.D. in Epidemiology

Coursework in an epidemiology Ph.D. program involves elements of biostatistics, medicine, oncology, and geography. Common course topics include:

  • Research data management and analysis
  • Alcoholism epidemiology
  • Epidemiology of cancer
  • Disease outbreaks and epidemics
  • Environmental health
  • Immunology

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Graduates of a Ph.D. program in epidemiology often work as research epidemiologists or college professors. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that epidemiologists will have an expected 5% job growth from 2018-2028. In 2018, the BLS reported that epidemiologists earned $69,660 as a median annual wage. In 2018, 7,060 epidemiologists were working in the country.

A Ph.D. in Epidemiology trains students in research, medicine and health to prepare them for careers as epidemiologists or postsecondary educators.

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