Frequently Asked Questions

I am interested in epidemiology, but which degree is best for me?

  • If you have a growing interest in epidemiologic research and strong quantitative skills, consider the MS degree. Graduates often work in analysis of health-related data and many choose to pursue a PhD in epidemiology.
  • If you are interested in applying epidemiologic principles to public health practice, the MPH degree may be the best choice for you.
  • If you already hold a master’s degree and would like to direct epidemiologic research, apply to the PhD program.

How can I use a PhD in epidemiology?

With a PhD degree in epidemiology, you will be prepared to work as a research scientist in state or federal governments, clinical settings or health-related industries. You could also teach and conduct research as a university-level faculty member. Learn more about how our alumni are using their degrees.

Do I need a master’s degree to be eligible for the PhD program?

Applicants to the PhD program are usually expected to hold a master’s degree. Exceptions may be considered if applicants are otherwise qualified.

How long does the PhD program take?

Typically, coursework is completed in three years of full-time work. Time to complete the dissertation varies depending on the nature of the research.

I already have a master’s degree. Can I transfer some of my credits?

Courses in a relevant master’s degree may be considered for transfer credit. Requests for transfer credit must be approved by the MS/PhD graduate director.

Is financial assistance available for this program?

Both the School of Public Health and Health Professions and the university offer fellowship, scholarship and award opportunities to qualified students. Additionally, UB’s Office of Financial Aid can help you navigate the process of applying for and managing your aid.

Do I need to choose a mentor before entering the PhD program?

No. The admissions committee will assign an academic advisor to start you with your coursework. Matching of students with faculty typically occurs after the second year of study.