Programs by Campus


Department of Epidemiology
Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health

School URL:

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

(Please note that when conferring University Graduate School degrees, minors, certificates, and sub-plans, The University Graduate School’s staff use those requirements contained only in The University Graduate School Bulletin.)



Degrees Offered

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and doctoral minor in Epidemiology

(Also Master of Public Health Degree and Epidemiology Concentration granted by the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health. For information on these programs, visit the Fairbanks School of Public Health website,

Special Department Requirements

(See also general University Graduate School Requirements)

Doctor of Philosophy

The Epidemiology Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. program is December 15 of each year for matriculation in the following fall semester.  Applications must be submitted through the Schools of Public Health Application System (SOPHAS) at  Documents to be submitted with the application include:

  • Resume or curriculum vita
  • Statement of purpose and objectives
  • 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 scores for applicants whose native language is not English.  Preferred minimum scores are as follows:
    • Internet-based TOEFL:  minimum score of 106
    • Computer-based TOEFL:  minimum score of 263
    • Paper-based TOEFL:  minimum score of 620
    • IELTS (total band score):  minimum score of 7
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended which document 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 courses that fulfill prerequisites.
  • World Education Services (WES) ICAP course-by-course evaluation for all post-secondary foreign institutions attended.
  • Application to the Indiana University Graduate School

Selected candidates will be invited for a personal interview with the admissions committee.

Course Requirements

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

Required Courses (31 cr.): A common core of 30 credit hours is required of all students who begin the program after the completion of a bachelor’s degree. Required coursework includes advanced public health survey methods, analysis and interpretation of observational studies, and multivariate analysis.

Methods Courses (9 cr.): All Epidemiology Ph.D. 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 cr.): All Epidemiology Ph.D. students must take 15 hours of substantive courses to provide expertise in specific epidemiology topics.  Eligible course topics include injury epidemiology, infectious disease epidemiology, chronic disease epidemiology, cancer epidemiology, nutritional epidemiology, occupational epidemiology, pharmacoepidemiology, genetic association studies, environmental epidemiology, cardiovascular epidemiology, and mental health and illness.

Minor Area (12 cr.): 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 advisory committee and it must comply with the requirements of the respective department/unit.

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

Dissertation (20 cr.): 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 Ph.D. degree.

Qualifying Exam: All Epidemiology Ph.D. students must pass a qualifying examination before they can proceed to their dissertation. The written qualifying exam will be taken after the coursework for the Ph.D. has been completed.  Students who fail the qualifying examination are normally allowed to retake it only once. 

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 G901; G901 may be taken for no more than six semesters.

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 Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. degree.

Doctoral Minor in Epidemiology

The curriculum for the 12-credit minor in epidemiology provides students with concepts and principles of the research, field, theory and practice of epidemiology.  Required courses:  P517 Fundamentals of Epidemiology and P601 Advanced Epidemiology plus two course from the following:  

E609  Infectious Disease EpidemiologyE610  Chronic Disease Epidemiology

E618  Cancer Epidemiology

E635  Foundations of Public Health Informatics

E651  Public Health Surveillance

E655  Historical Evolution of Epidemiology

E675  Fundamental of Injury Epidemiology

E715  Design & Implementation of Observational Studies

E716  Environmental Eipdemiology

E720  Analysis and Interpretation of Observational Studies

E730  Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology

E731  Design & Analysis of Genetic Association

E765  Nutritional Epidemiology

E780  Pharmaco-epidemiology

E795  Cardiovascular Epidemiology

Doctoral students must notify the IU School of Public Health before beginning their course of study for the minor.  All courses must be taken in the Fairbanks School of Public Health.  Students who have already completed any of the required courses as part of their Master of Public Health or Ph.D. requirements cannot apply these courses toward their Ph.D. minor in Epidemiology.  In this case, students must work with their faculty advisor to identify four alternate Epidemiology courses.

Academic Bulletins

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