The Ph.D. Program in Epidemiology, administrated by the College’s Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, trains public health professionals and researchers in the use of epidemiological principles to conduct innovative research, teaching and service to address existing and emerging public health issues.

The goals of the Program in Epidemiology are to:

  • Improve public health through the application of methods and approaches in Epidemiology
  • Create new knowledge in the field of Epidemiology, with a special emphasis on identifying emerging areas of enquiry, especially those that cross disciplinary boundaries
  • Translate new knowledge in Epidemiology so that it may be implemented and used to improve public health
  • Create the next generation of epidemiologists who can respond to the challenges in public health in the future, educate future students in the field, and provide service to the community
  • Serve the larger communities in which we live and work, by using our special skills and knowledge

More Information

  • Degree Competencies

    The Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics embraces the discipline-specific core competencies and cross-cutting/interdisciplinary competencies set forth by the Association of Schools of Public Health. The following competencies have been identified by the department as fundamental.

    Every student obtaining the PhD in Epidemiology should be able to:

    1. Describe the historical developments in epidemiology and how they provide context for current research and practice
    2. Evaluate and synthesize epidemiologic literature to appraise the state of knowledge in an area of public health
    3. Articulate research questions in epidemiology that address critical problems in public health
    4. Choose valid observational or interventional study designs, data sources, and analytic methods to answer epidemiological questions
    5. Apply key sources of epidemiologic data to inform programmatic and research activities
    6. Collect, organize, and manage data to ensure data integrity
    7. Lead and manage a research team to conduct an epidemiologic study
    8. Analyze epidemiologic data using valid statistical or mathematical methods to draw appropriate inferences from the results
    9. Develop a causal argument to link exposure to outcome in epidemiology
    10. Communicate epidemiologic information to professional and lay audiences
    11. Prepare a research proposal for extramural funding
    12. Assess ethical and legal principles as they pertain to the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of epidemiologic data
    13. Write an application to an institutional review board
    14. Teach epidemiologic concepts to peers and students
    15. Develop a plan to keep current with the epidemiologic literature, in terms of methods and content.

    In addition to these core competencies in Epidemiology, there is a set of interdisciplinary and cross-cutting competencies that form the basis for the doctoral level training. These interdisciplinary competencies are: Communications and Informatics; Diversity and Culture; Leadership; Public Health Biology; Professionalism; Program Planning; Systems Thinking. Students are expected to become proficient in the following areas: descriptive epidemiology, biology (a human physiology equivalent with competence in the dissertation disease topic), basic knowledge of the leading public health problems and the history of the discipline, problem conceptualization, study design, data collection and monitoring, data management, data analysis, interpretation, communication, ethics, a substantive area of original research and project management.

  • Curriculum

    The program requires a minimum of 55 credits to complete the Ph.D. degree in Epidemiology. This includes at least 30 credits of advanced coursework in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, at least 12 credits of approved electives, a minimum of 10 credits of dissertation research, and at least 3 credits of dissertation writing.

    Required Core courses for Ph.D. in Epidemiology (total 30 credit hours):

    EPID 8010 Cohort Study Design, Implementation, and Analysis (3 hrs)
    EPID 8020 Case Control Designs, Implementation, and Analysis (3 hrs)
    EPID 8030 Teaching Practicum (3 hrs)
    EPID 8040 Clinical Trial Designs, Implementation, and Analysis (3 hrs)
    EPID 8050 Integrating Research Designs (3 hrs)
    EPID 7700 Biomedical Ethics and Research Integrity in Epidemiology† (3 hrs)
    EPID 9100 PhD Seminar (3 x 1 hr)

    At least three of the following* (3 hrs each – 9 hours total):

    BIOS 6380 Survival Analysis
    BIOS 8030 Longitudinal Data Analysis
    BIOS 8110 Categorical Data Analysis
    BIOS 8220 Statistical Analysis of Clinical Trials

    * As new Biostatistics courses are developed and offered, the list of selective courses will be expanded accordingly.
    † Or equivalent course.

    Elective Courses

    The program will include 12 credits of elective courses that will allow the student to pursue specialized interests and add depth or breadth to their experience. Students may choose from elective courses in specialty areas of Epidemiology or from courses outside of the Department, as long as the course is approved by the academic advisor and is included in the Plan of Study. As relevant courses are developed in the Department, College and University, they will be made available to the students for electives. In general, courses need to be at the 8000 level. Please check online for current EPID or BIOS course offerings.

  • How to Apply

    General Guidelines

    Applicants to any of the MS or PhD programs offered by the department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics need to submit their application material through UGA’s Graduate School. Detailed information regarding the application process, and description of the materials that need to be submitted, are described in the UGA Graduate School website.

    For a complete application, you need to submit a transcript of courses, GRE test scores, a CV/Resume, Letters of Recommendation and a statement of purpose. See the detailed instructions on the graduate school website.

    Once the graduate school has received your complete application materials, we will be notified and log into the graduate school system to retrieve and review your application.

    Admission requirements

    All requirements for admission to a graduate program at UGA as specified by the graduate school need to be met. Consult the information on UGA’s graduate school website for that information. Additional, program-specific requirements also need to be met. Those requirements can be found in the departmental graduate student handbook.

    We do not have a hard minimum requirement for admission, but in general a GPA above 3.0 and GRE scores in the upper 50 percent – with an emphasis on quantitative scores – are required for consideration.

    Admission timeline

    December 15: Deadline to have complete application submitted to be considered for available assistantships.

    January 31: Deadline to have complete application submitted to be considered for admission, without assistantship.

    February – April: Applications will be reviewed and applicants notified.

    All other deadlines for fall admission as specified by the UGA graduate school need to be met. Our programs only admit students every fall.

    Admission considerations

    We are only able to admit a few students each year and the process is competitive. When we make admissions decisions, we look at both the academic strength of a candidate as well as the potential match for our department.

    Decisions regarding admission usually come in 3 types: admit with funding, admit without funding, and reject. Students considered most qualified and the best match for our programs are admitted with funding. The admission notification will specify the details of the funding (amount/duration). Students admitted without funding are expected to find sources of funding outside from our department (which could be within UGA or outside) if they decide to enroll in the program.

    For more information

    To learn more about the degree program and how to apply, email