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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.

Admission Requirements

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

Degree Program Requirements

Please visit the university course catalog for: 

Degree Program Requirements (entry prior to Fall 2018)

The PhD program requires a minimum of 72 post baccalaureate degree credits, with at least 30 credits of advanced course 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 (from prior master's degree)

  • EPID 6030 Epidemiological Methods 1
  • BIOS 6030 Introductory Biostatistics
  • BIOS 6040 Intermediate Biostatistics 
  • EPID 6230 Computer Packages for Epidemiology or equivalent 
  • EPID 7120 Epidemiologic Methods II or equivalent 

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

  • EPID 7130 Observational Epidemiology (3)
  • EPID 7160 Survey Methodology (3)
  • EPID 7170 Clinical Trials Design, Conduct and Analysis (3)
  • EPID 7220 Analytic Epidemiology (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)
  • One Epidemiology content area course – (3)

Required seminars

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

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.


Students must prepare and defend a prospectus of proposed research.


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

Graduation Requirements

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

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