Doctoral Degree (PhD) in Epidemiology

Earn the highest degree in epidemiology with our research-intensive PhD program.

The PhD Program in Epidemiology provides advanced theoretical and complex experiential training that allows you to independently lead and conduct all phases of an epidemiologic research project. You will learn to critically evaluate research and design, conduct, analyze, interpret and discuss original, independent epidemiologic research.

Jo Freudenheim explains the role of an epidemiologist.

Jo Freudenheim, PhD explains what an epidemiologist does, during Covid-19 and beyond.

The PhD degree requires 72 credit hours: a minimum of 60 hours of graduate courses, independent study and directed research plus a maximum of 12 hours of dissertation credit. You must maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 and a minimum grade of B (3.0) in all required courses.

The required core coursework includes the principles and methods of epidemiology, biostatistics, public health, and professional development. You are also required to take four elective courses in epidemiology (e.g., cancer epidemiology, cardiovascular epidemiology, epidemiology of infectious disease, nutritional epidemiology, epidemiologic applications to environmental health, molecular epidemiology). All students attend the departmental seminar for presentations regarding new research in epidemiology.

You will choose a specialty area of focus for your dissertation work, which can include disease focused areas such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, and women’s health, and/or exposure foci such as genetic, environmental, molecular, nutritional and physical activity epidemiology or health services research. The balance of coursework is tailored to your interests and is planned in consultation with your faculty advisor.

Additional Experiences

In order to better prepare you for success following your graduate training, a number of additional experiences are part of the doctoral program. All doctoral students are trained in the responsible conduct of research. You will have experience with primary data collection, obtain experience as a teaching assistant, as well as getting extensive experience in both written and oral communication of scientific research.

Training in Cancer Epidemiology

Within the PhD program, we offer a training program in cancer epidemiology, providing students with expertise in multidisciplinary research integrating epidemiology and cancer biology and other related disciplines.

Learn more about the training in cancer epidemiology within the PhD program.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the EEH PhD program are prepared for research positions in academia, government, clinical settings or industry, for teaching at the university level, and for positions conducting epidemiologic research to prevent or control disease.

View a list of positions held by some recent graduates from the EEH doctoral program.

Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD Collaborative Program)

The integrated Medical Scientist Training Program results in both an MD and a PhD in seven to eight years. This program is offered in collaboration with UB’s School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Learn more about the MD/PhD collaborative program.