PhD in Epidemiology

close up of microscope with sample

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.

Admission Requirements

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

Degree Program Requirements & Comptencies–48 credit hours

Revised for Fall 2022


  1. Critique the scientific literature to assess the current state of knowledge and identify research questions for future investigation.
  2. Construct an epidemiologic study to advance the field of epidemiology and public health.
  3. Formulate an epidemiologic analysis plan using advanced methods to answer research questions.
  4. Design teaching and learning experiences grounded in pedagogical best practices in a chosen area of expertise.
  5. Develop a grant proposal for a public health research study with a compelling scientific narrative, description of investigator capacity, timeline, and budget.


Students must complete 48 credit hours of coursework and doctoral studies beyond the baccalaureate, with a minimum of 30 didactic hours at Tulane in the doctoral program. Up to 18 Credits can be transferred from Master’s degree.

PhD Foundational Requirements–15 credits

  • SPHL 6020 Foundations in Public Health (3 credits)
  • BIOS 6040 Intermediate Biostatistics (3 credits)
  • EPID 7160 Survey Methodology (3 credits)
  • EPID 7120 Epidemiologic Methods II  (3 credits)
  • EPID 7130 Observational Epidemiology (3 credits)

PhD Core Courses–12 credits

  • BIOS 7060 Regression Analysis (3 credits)
  • EPID 8300 Advanced Epidemiologic Methods (3 credits)
  • SPHL 8080 Public Health Pedagogy (3 credits)
  • SPHL 7500 Public Health Grant Writing (3 credits)

Concentration-Specific PhD Required Courses–15 credits

  • EPID 7000 Departmental Seminar (0 credits)
  • EPID 8000 Doctoral Journal Club (0 credits)
  • EPID 7170 Clinical Trials: Design, Conduct, and Interpretation (3 credits)
  • EPID 7220 Analytic Epidemiology (3 credits)
  • BIOS 7150 Categorical Data Analysis (3 credits)
  • BIOS 7300 Survival Data Analysis (3 credits)
  • BIOS 8350 Clustered & Longitudinal Data Analysis (3 credits)

PhD Elective Courses-6 credits

Electives are selected from relevant advanced level courses offered within the department, school, or university in consultation with an academic advisor. 6 credits minimum; Additional credits as needed to reach 48 credit graduation requirement and fulfill PhD Foundation Course requirements.

Educational teaching assistant experience

All PhD students at SPHTM are required to serve as a teaching assistant (TA) for two SPHTM courses while enrolled in the PhD program. Students should register for Teaching Assistantship Educational Experience (0 credits) during the terms they complete each TA requirement. 

*All other program requirements (e.g. research ethics, comprehensive exam, prospectus, and dissertation) remain the same across the old and revised programs, as outlined in the SPHTM PhD Handbook.

Contact Us

Department Chair: Jiang He, MD, PhD

Program Director: Emily Harville, PhD

Department Administrator: Therese Carter


Phone: (504) 988-6809

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