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General Epidemiology and Methodology

Although epidemiologic research has become increasingly specialized over the past several decades, there remains a great need, in both practice and research settings, for general epidemiologists with solid foundational knowledge in epidemiologic and statistical methods and a clear understanding of general principles of the dynamics of health and disease in human populations.

The General Epidemiology and Methodology track exists to allow individuals interested in careers as generalists and methodologists to receive the necessary broad-based training. Within this track students can focus in one of these separate areas of study: Advanced Methodology or Pharmacoepidemiology. Alternatively, students can design their own research through an individualized track. Students are urged to work closely with their advisor to craft a course plan best suited to meet their needs. The courses listed as “recommended coursework” represent some the offerings in epidemiology, statistics, and bioscience that are commonly selected. Students selecting the General Epidemiology and Methodology track can be advised by any faculty member in the Department. Doctoral students interested in the Methodology track are highly encouraged to apply for the MHS degree program in Biostatistics.

First-year students master the material in the required courses and pass the comprehensive examination. Seminars and interaction with the academic advisor build the foundation for subsequent research. In addition to classes, students attend seminars in the Department of Epidemiology, Journal Club and Research-in-Progress meetings that reflect current issues in epidemiologic methods and research projects. Second-year students work on selecting a research project with a faculty research mentor. Many faculty members have lead roles in world-renowned cohort studies including, but not limited to, the Chronic Kidney Disease in Children (CKID), the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS), the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), as well as providing epidemiologic and statistical expertise to investigation on environmental biomarkers, in collaboration with faculty in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences.