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Epidemiology (PHD) 
Program Description

The PhD in Epidemiology is offered by the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Epidemiology is the scientific discipline concerned with the causes and prevention of human disease. Epidemiology focuses on the occurrence of disease among human populations, considering changes within populations over time and differences among and between populations in disease risk.

Epidemiologists today are involved in attempts to understand the causes and means of controlling AIDS and other infectious diseases, as well as chronic diseases including cancer and coronary heart disease. Much of our understanding of the links between sexual practices and AIDS risk, of smoking and cancer, of serum cholesterol and coronary heart disease, of obesity and mortality risk and of air pollution and chronic lung disease derives from epidemiologic studies.

The PhD in Epidemiology trains individuals for careers in research and teaching in academic settings, research institutes, government agencies and industry. It has been designed for students whose careers will focus on conducting investigator-initiated and collaborative epidemiologic research. On average, the doctoral program requires approximately four to five years for completion.

The first two years of this time are usually devoted to coursework, the qualifying exam, the comprehensive doctoral examinations, and development of doctoral research. The program is research oriented and centers on a major research project.

At least 46 credits are required for the major (including up to 10 units of independent study), plus a minimum of 18 dissertation units (EPID 920), and at least 9 units minimum for the minor (depending on minor department requirements). Consult the course listings for further details on specific course requirements and schedules.

The overall course of study will be developed by the student and the advisor and approved by the student's Graduate Committee and Chair of the Epidemiology Section.

View more about the program and the curriculum at:

Department/Academic Unit(s)

College of Public Health -

Arizona's first and only accredited college of public health, the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health is uniquely situated in the culturally rich and diverse Southwest. Distinguished for our outstanding community-based research and for our focus on eliminating health disparities among populations of the Southwest and globally, the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health offers tremendous opportunities to its students for education, research and community involvement.

The College of Public Health's interdisciplinary activities are enhanced by being part of the Arizona Health Sciences Center with campuses in Tucson and Phoenix. The College consistently ranks among the top five in American Indian and Hispanic graduates and students enrolled among accredited schools of public health, according to recent data from the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. In addition, the University of Arizona is one of only 62 members in the Association of American Universities, a prestigious organization that recognizes universities that have developed exceptionally strong overall research and academic programs.

College of Public Health  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Admissions Contact
Amy J Glicken
Graduate Program Coordinator
Michael J Tearne
Director of Graduate Studies
Kacey C Ernst
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Christina M Inocencio
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements
  • Master's degree in Epidemiology or similar field 
  • GPA of 3.2 or higher
  • At least one year of biological sciences
  • At least one year of college level mathematics (algebra and above)
  • Calculus and statistics are highly recommended, although not required
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume or CV
  • Statement of Purpose and Objectives
  • Research Statement
  • Mission and Values Statement
  • GRE scores
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores for international applicants

View more detailed admissions criteria at:

Applications should be submitted through SOPHAS, the centralized application service for accredited schools and programs of public health, at  

Standardized Tests

Required Test 
GRE - Send scores to the University of Arizona College of Public Health/SOPHAS, code 4253

International Students - Tests of English Proficiency
International applicants are required by the UA Graduate College to submit a TOEFL score of 90 on the iBT test. For students who take the IELTS examination, an overall score of 7 is required, with a score of no less than 6 on any individual band or module.  TOEFL and IELTS test scores must be dated within two years of the year of enrollment. Students may be requested to enter the Center for English as a Second Language to improve their verbal skills.

SOPHAS TOEFL Scores - Code 5688

Financial Aid

A variety of funding is available in the form of scholarships/fellowships, teaching assistantships, and research assistantships.  More information regarding tuition and financial assistance is available at:

Admissions Deadlines

Fall Deadlines
Priority deadline:  
December 1
Secondary deadline:  March 1

Note:  Students who apply by the priority deadline will be given the highest priority for admissions and consideration for scholarships and assistantships.

International Conditional Admission
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832
ETS Major Field Code(s) for this program: 0616
NRC Taxon(a) for this program: Public Health

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements

Required Major Courses (32 units)

  • EPID 573A Basic Principles of Epidemiology (3)
  • EPID 573B Epidemiologic Methods (3)
  • EPID 573C Advanced Epidemiology (3)
  • BIOS 576A Biostatistics in Public Health (3)
  • BIOS 576B Biostatistics for Research (3)
  • EPID 585 Public Health Fundamentals for Researchers (3)
  • PHCL 595B Scientific Writing, Presentation and Bioethics (2)
  • HPS 609 Evaluating Public Health Literature (1 unit; fall semester of first year)
  • EPID 660 Infectious Disease Epidemiology (3)
  • EPID 670 Chronic Disease Epidemiology (3)
  • EPID 696A Epidemiology Seminar (1 unit - 3 times) (or equivalent approved by Faculty Advisor)
  • EPID 796A Epidemiology Doctoral Seminar (1 unit - 2 times)

Electives (minimum of 14 units; 9 of which must be in Epidemiology/Biostatistics with at least (3) BIOS units in a Biostastics course beyond BIOS 576B)
Note: maximum of 10 units of Independent Study/Research Credit (EPID 599, 699, 799, 900).

Minor Courses - minimum 9 units (required minor units and examinations is dependent on the minor department requirements)

Dissertation (EPID 920, minimum 18 units)
Students will be required to defend their dissertation through a public presentation and oral examination with their committee.

Minor Requirements

The PhD Minor in Epidemiology is designed for individuals from other University of Arizona doctoral degree programs who wish to obtain graduate training in Epidemiology. A member of the primary Epidemiology faculty will serve as the Minor Advisor and sit on the student's graduate committee.

The PhD minor in Epidemiology is administered by the Epidemiology Graduate Program.  A total of a minimum of 15 course units are required.*

Required Minor Courses (minimum 15 units)

  • EPID 573B Epidemiologic Methods (3)*
  • EPID 573C Advanced Epidemiology (3)
  • BIOS 576A Biostatistics in Public Health (3)
  • BIOS 576B Biostatistics for Research (3)
  • Elective - EPID 600 level (to be approved by Epidemiology Faculty Advisor) (3)
Note on required PhD minor in Epidemiology coursework:
  • *Minor course prerequisites:  It is the responsibility of the student to have met course prereqisites (if not already required for the student's major):  *EPID 573A Basic Principles of Epidemiology
  • Minor GPA Requirement:  3.5/4.0 scale in the required PhD Minor in Epidemiology courses.
Student Handbook  

Program StatisticsInformation about these numbers

Program-level Information
Application Acceptance Rate 47%
Med. Time-to-degree (years) 4.50
Department-level Information
Enrollment Percent Male 43%
Enrollment Percent Female 57%
Enrollment Percent International 10%
Enrollment Percent URM 29%

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Last revised 30 Aug 2018