Track, Predict, and Prevent the Impact of Diseases on Public Health
Take your public health knowledge to the next level and become an epidemiological specialist in the area that interests you most.
The doctoral program in epidemiology lets you develop analytical expertise and gain teaching experience as you investigate public health problems, design full-scale studies, analyze data, and translate the results into public health action.
Here, you can grow your professional network and establish valuable connections with faculty who hold primary appointments with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).
Prefer private-sector epidemiology? Work with biotech firms located right on UAlbany’s Health Sciences Campus.
Program of Study
To earn your doctorate you need to meet the requirements for the master’s in epidemiology, and then complete advanced courses and at least one year of dissertation research and writing. You must study full-time for two or more sessions after you begin advanced coursework.
Admission Requirements (MS in Epidemiology)
- Principles and Methods of Epidemiology I and II
- Principles of Public Health
- Computer Programming for Data Management and Analysis in Public Health
- Principles of Statistical Inference I and II
- Quantitative Methods in Epidemiology
- Three electives in epidemiology, biomedical sciences, environmental health sciences, biological sciences, anthropology, or biometry and statistics. Electives can also be taken at Albany Medical College.
Advanced Graduate Courses
- General Topics in Epidemiologic Methods
- Two graduate-level statistics courses
- At least one advanced methodology course
Consult with your advisor to choose topical graduate courses that support your professional goals.
Work closely with a faculty member on an actual epidemiologic project, and gain experience in study design, data analysis, and data management. This requirement may also be fulfilled through your dissertation work.
Spend a year investigating your area of interest and conducting research that advances the field of epidemiology.
During your field placement, you get to apply your knowledge and skills to real epidemiological research projects.
More than 75% of faculty in the School of Public Health hold appointments with the NYS Department of Health, which provides opportunities for you to work in the labs of the internationally recognized Wadsworth Center.
You may also want to get involved with projects in the Cancer Research Center, Cardiac Quality Improvement Initiative, and Center for Health Workforce Studies.
PhD program alumni currently work for organizations like:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- National Institutes of Health
- New York Department of Health
- New York Office of Mental Health
- Purdue Pharma
Graduates are also pursuing academic careers at institutions including:
- Emory University
- Penn State University
- The Ohio State University
- University of California San Diego
- Albany College of Pharmacy
- Albany Medical College
Learning objectives that UAlbany students are expected to attain through their course of study within their academic program.
- Be able to define epidemiologic study designs-ecologic (correlational), cross-sectional, cohort, case-control, and experimental (intervention) studies-and compare their strengths and weaknesses.
- Be able to define and discuss the relationship of random error, systematic error, bias, the types of bias-selection, information, and confounding bias-and methods of bias control.
- Be familiar with the concept of effect modification and how it differs from confounding.
- Be able to define, contrast, and apply the concepts of validity and generalizability while reviewing epidemiologic studies.
- Be able to define and apply the epidemiologic criteria of causality and be able to distinguish between a measure of association and evidence of causality.
- Begin to be able to make an epidemiologic decision on a public health issue, even if given conflicting research results, exercising your critical judgment based on what you have learned in this course.
- Be familiar with the ethical issues pertinent to epidemiological studies.
- Describe public health as a system, including its unique and important features and their role within it, to general audiences.
- Apply measures of population health and illness, including risk factors, to community health improvement initiatives.
- Identify and distinguishing public health and prevention strategies from curative strategies for prevalent health problems.
- Describe the role of law and government in promoting and protecting the health of the public and identifying specific functions and roles of governmental public health agencies in assuring population health.
- Describe the public health role, and their own level of participation, in emergency responses for a range of contingencies that might arise.
- Identify and explaining how various occupations, professions, and careers contribute to carrying out public health’s core functions and essential services.
- Identify and describing key challenges facing public health workers in the early 21st century.
- Apply descriptive techniques commonly used to summarize public health data.
- Develop written and oral presentations based on statistical analyses for both public health professionals and educated lay audiences.
- Apply basic informatics techniques with vital statistics and public health records in the description of public health characteristics and in public health research and evaluation.
- Use statistical software to analyze public health data.
- Use information technology to access, evaluate, and interpret public health data.
- Identify key sources of data for epidemiologic purposes.
- Draw appropriate inferences from epidemiologic data.
- Comprehend basic ethical and legal issues pertaining to epidemiologic data.
- Distinguish between population and individual ethical considerations in relation to the benefits, costs, and burdens of public health programs.
- Solve problems under emergency conditions.
- Facilitate collaboration with internal and external emergency response partners.
- Apply statistical methods of estimation and hypothesis testing and explain the basics of correlation and regression for the purpose of analyzing the health of populations.
- Apply knowledge of statistical software and database management for the purpose of conducting research on the health of populations.
- Have a working knowledge of statistical software and database management.
- Conduct independent research in epidemiology
- Plan and execute, with considerable independence, original and extensive laboratory research on a significant problem in epidemiology.
- Demonstrate advanced communication skills, both verbal and written, to disseminate the results of research.