Doctoral Degrees

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

A PhD prepares you to do research in academia or industry. We offer the PhD in each of our seven departments.

Minimize PhD in Behavioral and Community Health Sciences

The PhD in behavioral and community health sciences prepares students to conduct research and teach in the social and behavioral sciences areas of public health and in academic settings. The PhD is focused on training researchers in the behavioral and community health sciences to integrate state-of-the art theory, designs, and analysis approaches to examine current problems in public health.

Minimize PhD in Biostatistics

The PhD in biostatistics is an academic degree program for students with a background in mathematics and a strong interest in biology and public health. The program emphasizes statistical theory and methods so that students are prepared to be effective statistical collaborators in interdisciplinary studies; lead the design and execution of studies; and develop biostatistics methodology.

Minimize PhD in Environmental and Occupational Health

The PhD in environmental and occupational health provides a broad theoretical and practical education for individuals who desire positions in academic, industrial, or government laboratories in the multifaceted discipline of environmental health sciences. The program combines training in classical toxicological and environmental biophysics with the new and continually developing fields of cellular and molecular pathobiology of environmental disease. Training is geared toward an understanding of how relevant environmental exposures, laboratory based model systems, and gene-environment responses can be interpreted and applied to the study of disease etiology in exposed and potentially exposed human populations.

Minimize PhD in Epidemiology

This program provides students with an advanced level of academic preparation to conduct research, teach, and mentor students. This includes concentrated training in epidemiological concepts and methodology and the completion of a research-based dissertation. Due to the wide range of ongoing faculty research within the department, students have the ability to select an area of emphasis on which to focus and to conduct research under the mentorship of an epidemiology faculty member. 

Please note that the Epidemiology PhD program can be adapted to have an applied focus. Through elective coursework, internship opportunities, and the dissertation, PhD candidates can obtain the essential skills required for public health practice.

Minimize PhD in Health Services Research and Policy

The Health Services Research and Policy (HSRP) PhD program meets an ongoing need for public health researchers who focus on cost, access and quality of the health care system. Graduates will be prepared to conduct research on policy issues affecting the organization, financing, and delivery of health care and public health services.

Minimize PhD in Human Genetics

The PhD in human genetics prepares students for research careers in academia or industry. The flexible curriculum provides a broad background in the field while allowing customized emphasis on laboratory genetics, statistical genetics and genetic epidemiology, or genetic counseling. Training in statistical genetics is interdisciplinary and can also be pursued through the Department of Biostatistics.

Minimize PhD in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology

The PhD program in the Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology prepares students for competitive research and teaching careers in academia, government agencies, and private industry. Our PhD students complete coursework that emphasizes the fundamentals of pathogen biology, immunology, cell biology, and molecular biology, which provides the necessary educational basis to conduct independent research mentored by our faculty.

How to apply

Review application deadlines and instructions or

Apply online now

Using SOPHAS, the centralized application service for graduate schools of public health.

Meet a doctoral student

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Covid vaccine misinformation target of Pitt study 

Covid vaccine misinformation target of Pitt study

KDKA CBS NEWS — Fueled by a grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, Pitt researchers are studying and combating false online information about vaccines. “Vaccines are often the victim of their own success,” said BCHS doctoral student Beth Hoffman, a research assistant at the Center for Resea... (02/01/2021)

Liu's research on the genetics of facial shape wins award at major international conference 

Liu's research on the genetics of facial shape wins award at major international conference

Dongjing Liu (HUGEN '20) won the International Genetic Epidemiology Society's first place poster award for his poster titled "Transcriptome-wide association study of human facial shape identifies potential mediating genes", which he presented virtually at the IGES Annual Meeting, July 1 - 4, 2020. ... (11/17/2020)
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A teen created a TikTok to help those with disordered eating, BCHS's Beth Hoffman weighs in. 

A teen created a TikTok to help those with disordered eating, BCHS's Beth Hoffman weighs in.

BUZZFEED NEWS - While this trend can be profoundly helpful in destigmatizing EDs and mental illnesses, experts caution young people not to rely on TikTok as their primary therapy. "Eating disorders thrive in isolation, so eating with other people is often very helpful for those in recovery," added ... (11/03/2020)
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Sundermann and Harrison describe genomic surveillance and ending the COVID-19 pandemic 

Sundermann and Harrison describe genomic surveillance and ending the COVID-19 pandemic

THE CONVERSATION - Knowing the genome sequence helps researchers understand how the virus is mutating into variants and how it's traveling from person to person. Alexander Sundermann (IDM '14, EPI '22), EPI and IDM's Lee Harrison, and Pitt Medicine's Vaughn Cooper explain genomic surveillance - wha... (04/12/2021)
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Wang wins ICSA Student Paper Award 

Wang wins ICSA Student Paper Award

Xinjun (David) Wang (BIOST ’22) wins 2020 ICSA Student Travel Award for his paper entitled “BREM-SC: A Bayesian Random Effects Mixture Model for Joint Clustering Single Cell Multi-omics Data”.  (04/26/2021)
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