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Doctoral Programs

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Offered By: Department of Epidemiology

Onsite | Full-Time | 45 years

About the PhD in Epidemiology Program

The doctoral program in Epidemiology is anchored in public health and population research and analysis. Students approach research using epidemiologic methods to understand complex human health problems. The PhD requires two years of coursework followed by two (or more) years of research. Students are required to complete a teaching training curriculum and serve as a teaching assistant for methods and topical courses. Additionally, students must complete a written comprehensive exam, a practice oral exam, a preliminary exam, multiple oral and poster presentations, and a final dissertation including presentation and defense.

PhD in Epidemiology Program Highlights

Train with renowned faculty

100+ faculty across 8 research tracks in epidemiology

Access to wide range of coursework

Explore your interests with a wide variety of courses taught by our faculty


Write and publish

All of our doctoral students get training in writing papers and proposals through didactic learning and mentoring


Participate on research teams

The School is the leading recipient of NIH research funding among U.S. schools of public health, providing robust hands-on research opportunities

What Can You Do With a Graduate Degree In Epidemiology?

Visit the Graduate Employment Outcomes Dashboard to learn about Bloomberg School graduates' employment status, sector, and salaries.

Sample Careers

  • Epidemiologist
  • Consultant
  • Faculty Member
  • Science Director
  • Lobbyist
  • Health Commissioner

Curriculum for the PhD in Epidemiology

Browse an overview of the requirements for this doctoral program in the JHU Academic Catalogue and explore all course offerings in the Bloomberg School Course Directory.

Current students can view the PhD in Epidemiology requirements in the student handbook on the Epidemiology portal site.

Research Tracks

The Department's current research tracks in the PhD program include:

Cancer Epidemiology

Cancer Epidemiology offers a rich, vibrant and dynamic environment for masters and doctoral students, and postdoctoral fellows to actively participate, learn, explore and conduct cancer-related population-based and clinical research. The track has a long and successful history of training masters and doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows. Past students continue to conduct population-based cancer research and have made successful transitions to positions in academia, government and private sector organizations.

Cardiovascular Disease and Clinical Epidemiology

Cardiovascular and Clinical Epidemiology focuses on the use of epidemiologic methods in clinical research and practice as well as interdisciplinary training on the epidemiology of cardiovascular disease. The program integrates knowledge on all aspects of the disease: biology, behavior, treatment, and prevention. Training emphasizes active participation in research and translational epidemiology using a collaborative approach, which is enhanced by the close relationships between the Department of Epidemiology and clinical departments of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Clinical Trials and Evidence Synthesis

Clinical Trials and Evidence Synthesis offers students a unique educational experience in clinical trial and evidence synthesis methodology. Methods are applied to a variety of clinical areas including respiratory-, eye- and infectious diseases, and mental health. Student-faculty discussions, journal clubs, research-in-progress meetings, seminars and active participation in research add to both the depth and breadth of the program.

Environmental Epidemiology

Environmental Epidemiology concentrates on the impact of environmental exposures on health and disease states in human populations. This track integrates epidemiological methods, assessment of environmental exposures and understanding of specific disease processes to identify the health consequences of environmental exposures. Environmental Epidemiology provides basic information for risk assessment, risk communication, and environmental health policy decisions and has a central role in identifying, implementing and evaluating strategies for the prevention and control of environmental exposures. Training in Environmental Epidemiology emphasizes active participation in large population research projects, with close collaborations across the School and with national and international collaborators.

Epidemiology of Aging

Epidemiology of Aging focuses on the determinants of physical and cognitive health, disease, and function in older adults. Offers multidisciplinary training in methods and theories needed for the study of older populations. Strong ties exist with several multi-departmental training grants and programs. This training program also is connected to numerous large research projects.

General Epidemiology and Methodology

General Epidemiology and Methodology offers research and training opportunities in almost all areas of chronic disease epidemiology, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diseases of childhood and includes advanced methodology training in epidemiologic methods as well as providing individualized or customized training in statistical epidemiology, pharmacoepidemiology and social epidemiology.

Genetic Epidemiology

Genetic Epidemiology focuses on the study of genetic and environmental factors, and their interaction in disease and normal variation. Emphasis is on understanding the methodology and approach to designing, executing and analyzing genetic studies. Training is broad-based and collaborative and encourages participation in research from faculty in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Institute of Genetic Medicine, and the School of Medicine.

Infectious Disease Epidemiology

Infectious Disease Epidemiology provides training in the fundamentals of infectious disease epidemiology with an eye toward preparing graduates to work in teaching, research and practice. The program emphasizes principles and methods that can be used to understand the dynamics and control of transmissible diseases by all classes of organisms. The curriculum builds on the faculty's extensive and diverse experience researching and combating infectious diseases, ranging from hospital acquired infections, to neglected tropical diseases and sexually transmitted infections.

Admissions Requirements

For general admissions requirements, please visit the How to Apply page. This specific program also requires:

Prior Coursework

College-level math through pre-calculus, a biology course, and one additional science course

Prior Graduate Degree

Not required, but highly recommended

Prior Work Experience

One year of full-time work experience in a related field

Standardized Test Scores

Standardized test scores are not required and not reviewed for this program. If you have taken a standardized test such as the GRE, GMAT, or MCAT and want to submit your scores, please note that they will not be used as a metric during the application review. Applications will be reviewed holistically based on all required application components.

Tuition and Funding

All full-time PhD students will receive the following support for the first four years of the program: full tuition, individual health insurance, University Health Services clinic fee, vision insurance, and dental insurance.

Need-Based Relocation Grants
Students who are admitted to PhD programs at JHU starting in Fall 2023 or beyond can apply to receive a $1500 need-based grant to offset the costs of relocating to be able to attend JHU. These grants provide funding to a portion of incoming students who, without this money, may otherwise not be able to afford to relocate to JHU for their PhD program. This is not a merit-based grant. Applications will be evaluated solely based on financial need. View more information about the need-based relocation grants for PhD students.

Contact Us

Questions about the program? We're happy to help.

General Inquiries:

Senior Academic Program Manager
Frances S. Burman