PhD in Epidemiology


The doctoral degree in epidemiology is administered through the Department of Epidemiology & Preventive Medicine in the School of Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). This program is one of three public health doctoral programs that mark the important collaboration between OHSU and Portland State University (PSU). The doctoral programs are part of the planned OHSU/PSU School of Public Health. Read more about this plan here.

Epidemiological research is based on a broad spectrum of introductory and advanced courses in biostatistics, public health, epidemiology, and quantitative research methods. Epidemiology is defined as "the study of the occurrence and distribution of health-related states or events in specified populations, including the determinants influencing such states, and the application of this knowledge to control health problems" (Porta, 2008). Doctorally trained scientists investigate causes and correlates of health in randomized trials, observational research, and at individual and group levels of analyses, from investigations with original and existing data (secondary analysis).

Porta M.(2008) A dictionary of epidemiology (5th ed). Edited for the International Epidemiological Association, New York: Oxford University Press.

Program Objectives: Graduates will be able to identify important public health issues that warrant epidemiologic study and conduct independent, scholarly research that advances knowledge about the causes, prevention, and amelioration of human disease. PhD graduates will be prepared to work collaboratively with health professionals in other disciplines on research and applied projects that include epidemiologic elements and to teach graduate students and health professionals in academic, governmental, non-profit, and private sector settings.

Program Faculty: The Doctoral Program in Epidemiology draws on faculty members from across OHSU as well as PSU and a growing community of Portland-based epidemiologic researchers. The program provides a unique educational experience for students interested in immediately applying theory to practice as they prepare for careers as researchers and teachers.