Skip to main content
Tulane Home Tulane Home

PhD in Epidemiology

The PhD degree program prepares students for careers in epidemiologic research and teaching, usually in an academic setting. The PhD graduate is expected to have knowledge across a wide range of epidemiologic theory and methods as well as sustained experience in the conduct of research in one or more content areas. The Ph.D. program has a strong theoretical base and is focused on research. Graduates are likely to become independent researchers and faculty members. The Ph.D. is the terminal degree in epidemiology.

Program Competencies
  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of basic and advanced concepts of Epidemiology.
  • Exhibit proficiency in grant writing and protocol development.
  • Exhibit proficiency in advanced data analysis skills.
  • Exhibit proficiency in ethical and scientifically sound study design and conduct.
  • Demonstrate mastery of critical evaluation of the scientific literature.
  • Demonstrate excellence in scientific writing (Dissertation work - 3 paper format).
Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the school's admission requirements for entrance into Doctoral  programs at SPHTM.

Degree Program Requirements

The PhD program requires a minimum of 72 post baccalaureate degree credits, with at least 30 credits of advanced courses work taken at Tulane SPHTM. Up to 42 credits may be applied from a MPH or other master’s degree. The master’s courses will be reviewed and only courses fulfilling the required competencies will be applied toward the 72 credits for the PhD.  Prerequisite or similar courses needed for advanced study will not count in the 30 credits of advanced study, but may count toward the total 72 credits. 

The advisor works with the students in identifying the course of study in the doctoral program. If the doctoral student does not have a prior public health degree, they must obtain a grounding in public health. See Doctoral Student Handbook.

All Epidemiology doctoral students must serve as teaching assistants for EPID 7120 and EPID 7130 at least once.

Prerequisite Coursework

  • EPID 6230 Computer Packages for Epidemiology or equivalent
  • EPID 7120 Epidemiologic Methods II or equivalent
  • BIOS 6040 Intermediate Biostatistics or equivalent

PhD program course requirements

Advanced Doctoral Study - at least 30 credits of advanced course work: 

  • EPID 7130 Observational Epidemiology   (3)
  • EPID 7140 Survey Methodology (3)
  • EPID 7150 Clinical Trials Design, Conduct and Analysis (3)
  • EPID 8300 Advanced Epidemiologic Methods (3)
  • BIOS 7060 Regression Analysis (3)
  • BIOS 7150 Categorical Data Analysis (3)
  • BIOS 7300 Survival Analysis (3)
  • BIOS 8350 Clustered and Longitudinal Data Analysis (3)
  • Two Epidemiology content area courses (6)

Required seminars:

  • EPID 7000 Epidemiology Seminar (0-1)
  • EPID 8000 Doctoral Journal Club (0)   
  • SPHL 8500  Doctoral Interdisciplinary Seminar (2)

Elective courses

Selected from courses offered within the department, school, or university in consultation with an academic advisor.

Research Ethics

Students are required to take online research ethics training via CITI or another equivalent training program in research ethics. This certification must remain current throughout the program duration.

Comprehensive Exam

Students are required to pass a written comprehensive examination demonstrates general knowledge of epidemiologic and biostatistical methods and knowledge of the epidemiology in at least one content area. The exam will include sections on higher level epidemiologic methods, a content area and study design.

Prospectus

Students must prepare and defend a prospectus of proposed research.

Dissertation

Students must conduct original research and defend a dissertation based on that research. 

Academic Standards

Students in the Epidemiology PhD  program are required to maintain standards of performance that exceed the minimum required by the School. Students must earn a "B+" or better in all required coursework. Students who receive lower than a "B+" in required coursework must repeat the course at their own expense.

Contact Us

Department Chair: Jiang He, MD, PhD

Program Director: Emily Harville, PhD

Department Administrator: Therese Carter

Email: epi@tulane.edu

Phone: (504) 988-6809

Ready for More?

You can learn more in a webcast.