Overview
The Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology is designed to produce an epidemiologist with indepth knowledge of methodology and analytic skills.
The program provides preparation in methodologic and applied epidemiology, emphasizing the use of advanced design and analytic techniques to problems of etiology, human biology, public health and evidencebased medicine. Applications are encouraged from those with strong quantitative skills who have completed an undergraduate or graduate degree in the biological sciences, public health, medicine, allied health, or related fields.
As a condition of admission, students must hold a Master’s degree in a related discipline (e.g., mathematics, statistics, epidemiology, public health) and have completed a Master’s thesis. Students entering the program with a relevant Master’s degree that does not require a thesis (e.g. Master of Public Health) will be assigned an administrative or research mentor upon entering the program who will evaluate their quantitative and writing skills before the student takes the screening exam.
Curriculum

Fourteen units of core course work are required in year 1 as preparation for the screening exam (assuming students have completed PM 510L and PM 512 or comparable classes from MS training). Additional units of trackspecific course work are required in year 2 or after.
A total of 60 units are required for completion, which may be fulfilled by any approved electives, plus dissertation research units.
After passing the screening exam, all students must enroll in at least two semesters of PM 610: Graduate Seminar in Biostatistics. The first semester of PM 610 is typically taken before the Qualifying Examination and the second semester of PM 610 before the final dissertation defense.

Screening Exam Core Courses 14 Units
 PM 511aL Data Analysis  4 Units*
 PM 517a Research Methods in Epidemiology  4 Units
 PM 517b Research Methods in Epidemiology  4 Units
 PM 518a Statistical Methods for Epidemiological Studies I, II  4 Units
 *PM 511b is recommended for Screening Exam

Students choose one track: Cancer Epidemiology, Genetic Epidemiology, Environmental Epidemiology, Clinical Trials, or General Epidemiology and Methods.
Cancer Epidemiology
 INTD 504 Molecular Biology of Cancer  4 Units
 PM 559 Cancer Epidemiology  4 Units
 PM 570 Statistical Methods in Human Genetics  4 Units or
 PM 579 Statistical Analysis of HighDimensional Data  4 Units
Genetic Epidemiology
 PM 533 Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology  3 Units
 PM 570 Statistical Methods in Human Genetics  4 Units
 INTD 531 Cell Biology  4 Units or
 PM 549 Human Molecular Genetics and Genomics  4 Units
Environmental Epidemiology
 PM 558 Environmental Epidemiology: Concepts, Methods, and Practice  4 Units
 PM 553 Human Exposure Assessment for Public Health  4 Units or
 PM 554 Health Effects of Environmental Contaminants  4 Units or
 PM 555 Environmental Health, Policy and Practice  4 Units
 PM 569 Spatial Statistics  3 Units or
 PM 570 Statistical Methods in Human Genetics  4 Units or
 PM 579 Statistical Analysis of HighDimensional Data  4 Units
Clinical Trials
 MPTX 517 Structure and Management of Clinical Trials  4 Units
 PM 523 Design of Clinical Studies  3 Units
 PM 511cL Data Analysis  4 Unitsor
 PM 515 Multivariate Statistics in Health Behavior Research  4 Units
General Epidemiology and Methods
Includes students who choose to design specific class electives with their adviser, tailored to their unique research interests.
 PM 588 The Practice of Epidemiology  4 Units
 PM 605 Systematic Review and MetaAnalysis  4 Units
 PM 523 Design of Clinical Studies  3 Units or
 PM 559 Cancer Epidemiology  4 Units or
 PM 569 Spatial Statistics  3 Units or
 PM 579 Statistical Analysis of HighDimensional Data  4 Units or
 PM 607 Nutrition and Health: Myths, Controversies and Science  4 Units

In addition to the required courses, the remaining required units may be selected from any of the courses below.
Electives will be determined by the student’s needs and interests. When appropriate, courses not listed below may be chosen from the University course offerings with approval from the student’s adviser and Program Director. Sufficient familiarity in computer languages to operate major software packages for data management and analysis is required.
 GERO 520 Life Span Developmental Psychology  2 or 4 Units
 INTD 504 Molecular Biology of Cancer  4 Units
 INTD 531 Cell Biology  4 Units
 INTD 561 Molecular Biology  4 Units
 INTD 571 Biochemistry  4 Units
 MICB 551 Prokaryotic Molecular Genetics  4 Units
 MPTX 511 Introduction to Medical Product Regulation  3 Units
 MPTX 512 Regulation of Pharmaceutical and Biological Products  3 Units
 MPTX 513 Regulation of Medical Devices and Diagnostics  3 Units
 PHBI 550 Seminar in Advanced Cellular, Molecular and Systemic Physiology  1 Unit
 PM 512 Principles of Epidemiology  4 Units
 PM 515 Multivariate Statistics in Health Behavior Research  4 Units
 PM 516a Statistical Problem Solving  1 Unit
 PM 516b Statistical Problem Solving  1 Unit
 PM 517a Research Methods in Epidemiology  4 Units
 PM 517b Research Methods in Epidemiology  3 Units
 PM 518a Statistical Methods for Epidemiological Studies I, II  3 Units
 PM 518b Statistical Methods for Epidemiological Studies I, II  3 Units
 PM 522a Introduction to the Theory of Statistics  3 Units
 PM 523 Design of Clinical Studies  3 Units
 PM 527 Epidemiology of Infectious Disease  4 Units
 PM 529 Environmental Health: An Epidemiological Approach  4 Units
 PM 530 Biological Basis of Disease  4 Units, 2 years
 PM 533 Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology  3 Units
 PM 534 Statistical Genetics  3 Units
 PM 538 Introduction to Biomedical Informatics  3 Units
 PM 544L Multivariate Analysis  3 Units
 PM 549 Human Molecular Genetics and Genomics  4 Units
 PM 552 Statistical Methods in Clinical Trials  3 Units
 PM 553 Human Exposure Assessment for Public Health  4 Units
 PM 554 Health Effects of Environmental Contaminants  4 Units
 PM 555 Environmental Health, Policy and Practice  4 Units
 PM 558 Environmental Epidemiology: Concepts, Methods, and Practice  4 Units
 PM 559 Cancer Epidemiology  4 Units
 PM 569 Spatial Statistics  3 Units
 PM 570 Statistical Methods in Human Genetics  4 Units
 PM 571 Applied Logistic Regression  3 Units
 PM 575 Statistical Methods in Environmental Epidemiology  3 Units
 PM 579 Statistical Analysis of HighDimensional Data  4 Units
 PM 588 The Practice of Epidemiology  4 Units
 PM 591 Machine Learning for the Health Sciences  4 Units
 PM 603 Structural Equation Modeling  4 Units, 2 years
 PM 605 Systematic Review and MetaAnalysis  4 Units
 PM 607 Nutrition and Health: Myths, Controversies and Science  4 Units
 PM 610 Seminar in Biostatistics and Epidemiology  1 Unit
 PM 611 Advanced Topics in Epidemiology  3 Units
 PM 790 Research  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 Units
 PM 794a Doctoral Dissertation Units: 2
 PM 794b Doctoral Dissertation Units: 2
 PSCI 665 Drug Transport and Delivery  4 Units
 PSYC 514 Psychopathology  4 Units
 PSYC 524 Research Design in Developmental Psychology  4 Units
 RSCI 531 Industrial Approaches to Drug Discovery  4 Units
 RSCI 532 Early Stage Drug Development  3 Units
 RSCI 533 Safety Evaluation during Drug Development  3 Units
 SSCI 581 Concepts for Spatial Thinking  4 Units
 SSCI 582 Spatial Databases  4 Units
 SSCI 583 Spatial Analysis and Modeling  4 Units
 SSCI 585 Geospatial Technology Project Management  4 Units
 SSCI 586 GIS Programming and Customization  4 Units
 SSCI 587 Spatial Data Acquisition  4 Units
 SSCI 588 Remote Sensing for GIS  4 Units
 SSCI 589 Cartography and Visualization  4 Units
 SSCI 591 Web and Mobile GIS  4 Units

The Screening Examination will be taken at the end of the first or second year after students have completed their core classes and covers material learned in these classes and the core knowledge of epidemiologic theory and applications. Prior to the screening examnation a mentor who will serve on the qualifying exam committee must be identified. The screening examination will consist of an applied and theory component and will be conducted in class over two to three days. The written component will be drawn from the core courses. A student failing the screening examination may be given a second opportunity to retake either one or both portions. Students failing the examination for the second time will terminate with the MS degree upon satisfactory completion of 37 units and an acceptable master’s thesis.
PhD Characteristics
The USC Graduate School is committed to providing detailed information on the inputs, outcomes, and overall characteristics of its PhD programs, for the purposes of full transparency and to support informed decisionmaking.
Program Director
Email: wiemels@usc.edu