Preparation for a Research Career

The PhD program in Epidemiology and Biostatistics is intended to prepare professionals for a career in conducting population-based research and clinical trials. This unique program strongly emphasizes the acquisition of applied skills in the complementary fields of epidemiology and biostatistics, as well as the theoretical foundations of these disciplines.

Graduates of this program will be prepared to address the practical challenges of conducting population-based, clinical and translational research in the multidisciplinary work environments of academia, government and industry. The program provides strong cross-training and mentoring to develop independent researchers skilled in designing and conducting studies—as well as analyzing and interpreting the results from an increasing variety of designs and databases in public health and medical research.

Although there is no specific required academic background, many of our students have prior bachelor’s or master’s degrees in biostatistics, epidemiology, statistics, health services research, public health or mathematical sciences. Practicing health care professionals who are interested in pursuing independent research careers are strong candidates for the degree program, as are those who hold master's degrees in psychology, computer science, engineering, business, biology and or chemistry. Candidates should have prior mathematical training that includes two semesters of calculus (univariate differential and integral) and statistical methods.

Following the successful completion of 56 hours of graduate coursework and subsequent qualifying exams, all candidates must write and successfully defend an approved dissertation. The dissertation should be the result of the candidate’s original research, and should add to or significantly modify what was previously known on the subject.


Contact information:

Director of Graduate Studies
Heather Bush, PhD 

Apply Now.

Why choose the PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics?

"Pursuing a dual doctoral degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at UK College of Public Health has enhanced my skillset, helped me develop professionally, and helped me achieve solid outcomes that will benefit my research career."

- Radmila Choate, Epidemiology and Biostatistics doctoral candidate


hours of required coursework.


hours of core courses.


year course cycles ensure availability of classes.

Next Steps

Ready to learn more about the PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics?


Read the graduate handbook.


Review available courses.


See Student Learning Outcomes and Competencies.