Programs by Campus


School of Medicine

Department URL: 

Department E-mail: pbhealth [at] iupui [dot] edu



Degree Offered

Doctor of Philosophy

Master of Public Health, Epidemiology Concentration, Masters  Degree granted by the Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Public Health. For information on these programs, visit the Department of Public Health website,

Special Department Requirements

(See also general University Graduate School Requirements)

The Epidemiology PhD program is designed for advanced graduate students who wish to study the distribution of health and illness in diverse populations, to study the occurrence of illness, and to assess the determinants of health and disease risk in human populations. Admission into the PhD Program is based on completion of a baccalaureate degree, although it is anticipated that many applicants will have completed a post baccalaureate degree in epidemiology or another health related discipline. Successful applicants will have demonstrated strong analytical and quantitative skills.

Admission Requirements

The application deadline for the Epidemiology PhD program is January 15 of each year for matriculation in the following fall semester. Application documents to be submitted include:

  • Formal application to the Indiana University Graduate School
  • Resume or curriculum vita
  • Personal statement
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation from people who can comment on the applicant’s suitability for doctoral level studies (e.g., former professors, employers or other professionals involved in epidemiology)
  • Competitive scores on the GRE, GMAT, MCAT, LSAT, or DAT. The graduate entrance exam requirement may be waived if the applicant has a graduate or professional degree from an accredited US college or university.
  • TOEFL score of 213 on the computer version (or iBT equivalent of 79) required for applicants whose native language is not English
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended documenting a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in all prior academic work and a letter grade of B or higher in all that fulfill prerequisites

Selected candidates will be invited for a personal interview with members of the Admissions Committee.

Course Requirements

A minimum of 90 credit hours are required for the Epidemiology PhD degree. The 90 credit hours will consist of the following:

Required Courses (31 hours): A common core of 31 credit hours is required of all students who begin the program after the completion of a bachelor’s degree.

  • Fundamentals of Epidemiology PBHL P517    (3 hours)    
  • Advanced Epidemiology PBHL P601               (3 hours) 
  • Epidemiology Research Methods PBHL P600  (3 hours)   
  • Health Outcomes Research PBHL P612          (3 hours)     
  • Biostatistics for Public Health I PBHL P551     (3 hours) 
  • Biostatistics for Public Health II PBHL P652    (3 hours)   
  • Design and Implementation of Observational Studies PBHL P650  (3  hours)   

Required coursework still in development will address advanced public health survey methods, analysis and interpretation of observational studies, and multivariate analysis.

Methods Courses: All Epidemiology PhD students are required to complete three Epidemiology methods courses (9 credit hours).  Courses that qualify to meet this requirement focus on epidemiologic surveillance systems, categorical data analysis, survival data analysis, applied spatial statistics, clinical trials, and qualitative research methods.

Substantive Courses (15 hours): All Epidemiology PhD students must take 15 hours of substantive courses to provide expertise in specific epidemiology topics.  Eligible course topics include injury epidemiology, molecular and genetic epidemiology, infectious disease epidemiology, chronic disease epidemiology, cancer epidemiology, nutritional epidemiology, occupational epidemiology, pharmaco-epidemiology, genetic association studies, environmental epidemiology, cardiovascular epidemiology, and mental health and illness.

Minor Area (12 credit hours): All students must complete a minor in an area related to any of the health and life sciences. The minor may be obtained in areas such as pharmacology and toxicology, genetics, biology, physiology, bioinformatics, health economics, among many others. The minor area must be approved by the student’s academic advisor or graduate committee and it must comply with the requirements of the respective department/unit.

Doctoral Seminars (3 credit hours): Students will enroll in 3 doctoral research seminars; each seminar is 1 credit, for a total of 3 credits.

Dissertation (20 credit hours): The remaining hours to total 90 will be guided research dissertation hours. The dissertation will be written on an original topic of research and presented as one of the final requirements for the PhD degree. 

Qualifying Exam: All Epidemiology PhD students must pass a qualifying examination before they can proceed to their dissertation. The qualifying exam will cover the subject matter on which the dissertation work will be based and will be taken after the coursework for the PhD has been completed.  Students who fail the qualifying examination are normally allowed to retake it only once.  The qualifying exam will be written and oral.

Admission to Candidacy

After passing the qualifying examination and the completion of all required coursework, the student’s advisory committee will nominate the student to candidacy. Upon approval by the Dean of the University Graduate School, the student will be admitted to candidacy.

Students who have passed the qualifying examination and have been admitted to candidacy must enroll each semester (excluding summer sessions) for dissertation credits. Once such students have accumulated 90 credit hours in completed course work and deferred dissertation credits, they may maintain continuous enrollment by enrolling in one credit of G901; G901 may be taken for no more than a total of six credits.

Final Examination

This is an oral examination; primarily a defense of the dissertation.

Normal Progress and Termination

The Department of Public Health will monitor the students’ progress toward the PhD degree and will make recommendations to the University Graduate School regarding the nomination to candidacy, the appointment of a research committee, the defense of the dissertation, and the conferring of the PhD degree.

Academic Bulletins

PDF Version

Click here for the PDF version.