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Epidemiology PhD

Protecting and Improving Health

Penn State College of Medicine is part of a select group of higher education institutions offering a PhD program in Epidemiology.

Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events (including diseases) in specific human populations, and the application of this study to the prevention and control of health problems.

Well-trained epidemiologists develop and evaluate hypotheses about the effects of various risk factors on human health, and develop the knowledge basis for disease prevention and control programs.

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About the Program


The objectives of the PhD in Epidemiology program are to train students to master current quantitative methods, obtain broad knowledge of major human disease epidemiology, and become expert in a specific disease or health status topic.

The 28-credit (minimum) PhD in Epidemiology program is offered primarily as a full-time degree program, and can be completed in four years of full-time study.

The required courses are offered by faculty of Penn State College of Medicine's Department of Public Health Sciences and taught at the College of Medicine in Hershey.

Learn more about the Epidemiology PhD curriculum.


Applicants to the Epidemiology PhD program must have completed a master's or Master of Public Health degree, focused on epidemiology and/or biostatistics, from an accredited U.S. college or university, or its equivalent in another country.

In addition, all applicants must have completed a bachelor's degree program at an accredited U.S. college or university, or the equivalent in another country, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Learn more about the Epidemiology PhD prerequisites.

More About Penn State College of Medicine

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Student Resources

Penn State College of Medicine strives to create the best culture of respect and inclusion for our students. A number of programs, services and facilities are available.

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Campus Life

Student Housing

Housing is available to Penn State College of Medicine students, residents and postdocs in University Manor East and West apartment complexes. One of the complexes is pictured as seen from a higher floor of a nearby building, with a road and trees framing it in the background.
Housing in University Manor apartments is available to Penn State College of Medicine students.

Penn State College of Medicine offers housing in its University Manor East or University Manor West apartments to full-time students, residents, postdoctoral scholars and visiting scholars.

Read more about on-campus housing.

Life in Hershey, PA

Penn State College of Medicine is in Hershey, PA, a town known as the home of the HersheyPark amusement park and the Hershey Chocolate Factory. Two banners depicting cartoon candy characters are seen on a light pole in downtown Hershey, PA, in summer 2016, with a brick building with large glass windows in the background.
Hershey, Pa., is known as "The Sweetest Place on Earth."

Penn State College of Medicine's primary campus is located in Hershey, Pa. The area provides numerous diverse and delicious dining experiences, sports, concerts and entertainment, and is a short drive away from the Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington, DC, metro areas.

Read more about life in Hershey.