Skip to Main Content

PhD in Epidemiology

Our Epidemiology graduate programs equip you to advance the health of entire populations.


As a partnership between two high-level research universities with commitments to health-promoting social change, the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health (SPH) provides a uniquely comprehensive setting for pursuing training in one of our graduate degrees in Epidemiology. You will learn from and collaborate with epidemiologists, biostatisticians, policy professionals, behavioral/social scientists, and other nationally prominent experts in medicine and other clinical professions, environmental science, health administration, and other fields. Your Epidemiology degree will cover the full spectrum of design and analytic methods used to conduct epidemiologic studies in public health settings. You will gain first-hand experience in analyzing, interpreting, and reporting epidemiologic data to a variety of public health professionals.

Faculty in the OHSU-PSU SPH’s pioneering Epidemiology programs study exposures such as genetic and molecular factors; diet, physical activity, and sleep; worksite, school, and healthcare system characteristics; structural racism and other social determinants of health; environmental pollutants, community design, and social and economic policy. Our faculty study the prevention, management, and treatment of a wide range of health outcomes, including infectious disease, pregnancy outcomes, early childhood development, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, injury and violence, and dementia.

Program Benefits

We offer an MPH in Epidemiology, a Ph.D. in Epidemiology, and a dual MD/MPH in Epidemiology. All three Epidemiology graduate programs reflect the unique strengths of the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, including:

  • Small, intimate graduate programs that foster strong relationships between faculty and students, and a sense of community among graduate students.
  • A spirit of community engagement that encourages you to get involved and make an impact in real-world public health issues.
  • Groundbreaking epidemiology research exploring obesity, infectious disease, perinatal outcomes, injury/violence, aging, racial segregation, quantitative methods, and factors related to the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease.
  • Robust partnerships and collaborations that connect you with neighborhood groups, nonprofits, government programs, healthcare systems, and other organizations that are actively involved in public health.
  • Close collaboration with OHSU’s healthcare practitioners and scientific researchers, as well as with PSU’s faculty experts in urban affairs, social work, environmental science, community engagement, and other fields.
  • A commitment to health equity and social justice.
  • Access to an expansive inventory of data sets, due in part to our broad partnerships with state and county health departments.

Ph.D. in Epidemiology

The OHSU-PSU SPH’s Epidemiology Ph.D. program offers exceptional opportunities to engage in research and teaching activities necessary for leadership roles. Through the doctoral dissertation process, you will gain research competency by leading a body of independent epidemiologic research from initial design through submission for publication. Our current and recent Epidemiology Ph.D. candidates have pursued investigations related to economic policy, maternal and child health, obesity prevention and treatment, infectious disease modeling, hearing loss among military veterans, antibiotic stewardship, health impacts of insurance policies, and economic segregation, among other pressing and timely issues. To develop your skills as an educator, you will serve at least one term as a teaching assistant for a core Epidemiology course under the guidance of a faculty member.

Graduates of our Epidemiology Ph.D. program have an exemplary record of job placement. You will be highly qualified for university faculty positions and scientific leadership roles in government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private-sector health systems.

Accreditations & Rankings

The OHSU-PSU School of Public Health is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

Program Requirements & Guide

Taking effect in Fall 2019, the revised doctoral program in epidemiology requires the completion of a minimum of 108 credits in the following areas:

  • Epidemiology Core
  • Biostatistics Core
  • Public Health Core
  • Mentored Teaching
  • Approved Methods Electives
  • Other Electives
  • Dissertation

Please refer to the Program Guide for an overview of all degree requirements and a current program of study – Ph.D. Requirements.

Ph.D. Program Requirements Guide

Ph.D. Epidemiology program requirements and guide.


Recruitment & Admissions

Schedule an appointment with our Recruitment & Admissions Manager.


Core Competencies & Contact Information

Ph. D. Epidemiology - Core Competencies

Have Questions?

Students graduating from this program will be able to:

  • Apply population-based concepts of chronic and infectious disease epidemiology within appropriate biological, pathophysiological, social, and community contexts
  • Apply methods for collecting, evaluating, and synthesizing existing evidence of health determinants to research on public health problems
  • Apply appropriate data quality assurance and statistical methods for the research questions and study designs used in epidemiologic research
  • Formulate a testable hypothesis and propose a related study design and analytic approach that have the potential for advancing knowledge of the determinants of health and disease
  • Apply ethical principles to problems that arise in epidemiologic research and practice
  • Evaluate scientific, cultural, and political issues on epidemiologic research, including research goals, recruitment of study participants, and communication of results in the appropriate contexts
  • Demonstrate excellent verbal and communication skills in teaching epidemiologic principles and concepts at appropriate levels to different audiences

Contact our Program Directors or our Admissions Specialists with your questions about our Ph.D. program.

Application questions – Josh Hodsden, MBA, CPH
Schedule an Appointment

Program Coordinator – Emily Henkle, PhD, MPH


Take the next steps and apply to our Ph.D. in Epidemiology program.

Learn about the application process and requirements for applying to the Doctoral Degree in Epidemiology.

Apply Now

Application Information

Fall 2024 Applications will open August 18th. All documents are submitted to SOPHAS –

The GRE is no longer required. Any scores submitted will not be considered during application review.


  • January 15 - Decisions provided by end of March.

All application materials, including official transcripts from all schools attended and letters of recommendation, must be received in SOPHAS before the deadline in order to be reviewed. Applications completed after January 15 will not be considered.

Application Requirements

Admission information for Graduate OHSU-PSU School of Public Health students.

Graduate Admissions

Tuition & Fees

School of Public Health guidelines for tuition and fees for graduate programs.

SPH Tuition & Fees

Financial Aid

Learn more about SPH financial aid opportunities for graduate students.

SPH Financial Aid