PhD Epidemiology

Concentration: Epidemiology (EPY)
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health
Delivery: Traditional
Epidemiology, considered a fundamental science of public health, is the study of the distribution and determinants of disease and disability in populations. Epidemiology is historically rooted in the study of the causes of infectious diseases (epidemics); however, through industrial development and the demographic transition during the 20th century, epidemiology now encompasses the study of all types of health conditions.

The PhD degree is a terminal academic degree and represents outstanding academic achievement.  The doctoral concentration in Epidemiology is a research degree, centered on a major dissertation research project within a broad public health context. 

The PhD program is designed to educate persons to be independent researchers and public health professionals in academia, research institutes, government or industry.  While graduates sometimes seek additional training after graduation through postdoctoral fellowships, a graduate of the PhD program is prepared to be a faculty member of a graduate program in a university or in a position in a public health organization, multidisciplinary setting, government or industry. 

The PhD concentration in Epidemiology requires that applicants have a solid foundation of knowledge of concepts and skills of epidemiology, an understanding of public health concepts and the public health perspective, and the ability to read and understand reports of clinical and epidemiological studies.  However, it is anticipated that students may need additional training in one or more of these areas, depending upon their background before entering the program.  On average, the doctoral program requires four to five years for completion following the Master’s or other advanced degree.

Program of Study

If you have questions on your program, please contact the Doctoral Training Office at

Current students may access their Degree Works planner (Degree Works may also be accessed from or OASIS). Students may view their current progress in Archivum at (See Archivum instructions.). If you are not a current student, or want to view program requirements from a different catalog year please use these sources:  

There may be circumstances in which a student may need to change their catalog year. This must be initiated through a discussion with your academic advisor. Details regarding USF policy on changing catalog year can be found at

Current Competencies (beginning fall 2017)

PhD Competencies
Epidemiology Competencies