The PhD program has two tracks, with a minimum of 63 credits each, which emphasize study design, measurement, quantitative analysis, and data interpretation.
Social/behavioral epidemiology recognizes that many of the major diseases affecting today’s population are related to lifestyle, and that the behaviors themselves (and their determinants) are an important endpoint for epidemiologic study. Diet and nutrition, exercise, and use of legal drugs — especially tobacco and alcohol — are among the most important contributors to disease, death, and disability in developed countries.
To understand modern disease epidemics and to develop ways of preventing them, it is important for public health professionals to understand the origins of these behavioral patterns and the ways in which they are influenced by environment, personality, family, and culture.
The focus of the clinical/biological epidemiology track is on the determinants and description of the diseases themselves. The program has particular strengths in the etiology of cardiovascular disease, cancer, genetics, and infectious disease.
Students study with experts in cancer, cardiovascular and infectious disease; nutrition; maternal, child and reproductive health; genetic epidemiology; behavioral interventions; and epidemiologic methods for clinical, observational and community-based research.