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University of Pittsburgh    
2020-2021 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  May 24, 2024
2020-2021 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Department of Epidemiology

Epidemiology is the application of the scientific method to the study of disease in populations for the purpose of prevention or control. It is a key basic science of public health and preventive medicine. Epidemiologists play a fundamental role in public health and preventive medicine by identifying variabilities in human situations that may have a critical influence on the occurrence of disease within populations.

The epidemiological method for studying a problem involves three approaches:

  • Description of the frequency and determinants of a disease in a defined population;
  • Evaluation of factors that may cause a disease; and
  • Experimental studies of the effects of modifying risk factors on the subsequent frequency of a disease.

Contact Information


Anne B. Newman, MD, MPH
Katherine M. Detre Endowed Chair of Population Health Sciences
Professor of Epidemiology, Medicine, and Clinical and Translational Sciences
Director, Center for Aging and Population Health
University of Pittsburgh
Graduate School of Public Health
5126 Parran Hall
130 DeSoto Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Phone: (412) 624-3056
Fax: 412-624-3737

Executive Vice Chair:

Jane A. Cauley, DrPH
Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology
University of Pittsburgh
Graduate School of Public Health
A510 Crabtree Hall
130 DeSoto Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Phone:  (412) 624-0218
Fax:  (412) 624-7397

For information on admission and registration, please contact the Epidemiology Student Services Manager and Program Administrator, Lori S. Smith, at

Vice Chair for Education Maria Brooks, PhD
Director, Doctoral Program Thomas Songer, PhD
Director, Master’s Program Nancy W. Glynn, PhD
Director, MD/PhD Program Caterina Rosano, MD, MPH


Applying for Admission to Pitt Public Health  

The department accepts students with a variety of prior health-related professional degree backgrounds, prior graduate degrees, and superior students who have completed a bachelor’s degree. Students may matriculate for the MPH, MS, DrPH, or PhD degree. A joint MD/PhD program is also available. Major areas of emphasis within the department are aging, psychiatric, cancer, injury prevention, applied public health cardiovascular and diabetes, clinical trials and methods, infectious disease, molecular and genetic epidemiology, environmental epidemiology, global health, prevention lifestyle and physical activity,neuroepidemiology, obesity and nutritional epidemiology, reproductive, perinatal, and pediatric epidemiology, and women’s health.

Financial Assistance

Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) Appointment Information for doctoral program applicants and students only: Graduate Student Researcher Position  

Financial Assistance: Tuition & Financial Aid  

Minority Student Support Information:


In fiscal year 2017-2018, the faculty within the Department of Epidemiology received approximately $22.5 million in research funds. These projects, mostly federally funded, included activity in the major areas of focus within the department. For additional information, review details about our research practices   and our numerous Areas of Research Emphasis  .

Degree Requirements: Master’s and Doctoral Curricula

The student’s course of study includes Graduate School of Public Health core courses, department core courses, electives drawn from our frequently used courses, and other appropriate selections throughout the University. The sequencing of courses is developed in conjunction with the major advisor, taking into account background, area of focus, degree program, and Pitt Public Health requirements. The minimum credit requirement is 30 for the master’s programs for health professionals and 72 for the doctoral programs. A 45-credit MPH or MS is available for students who are not health professionals. This is a 16-month or 20-month program; MPH students will be involved in a hands-on internship. Master’s students must complete a (MS) thesis or essay (MPH) and doctoral students (PhD or DrPH) must complete a dissertation and one-semester Teaching Practicum experience. DrPH students must also fulfill a practicum requirement.

The following are the required departmental courses for students pursuing degrees in the Department of Epidemiology.





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