Requirements for Applicants

Requirements for Applicants

Applicants to the M.S. in Epidemiology and Ph.D. in Epidemiology degree programs must have a strong background in the biological sciences including at least four upper division and/or graduate courses in a relevant biomedical science. In addition to epidemiology course work, students matriculating without prior medical training are expected to acquire further knowledge in a field or fields of application. The Graduate Group in Epidemiology coursework emphasizes quantitative methods in epidemiology; the GGE does not offer a course of study consistent with that which would be obtained in a M.S. or Ph.D. of Public Health curriculum.

Master's and Doctoral Programs

With one exception, the required courses for the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are identical.  The doctoral program also differs from the master’s program in that a dissertation is required (the master’s program requires either a thesis or a combined written/oral examination).  Full-time students who have taken the mathematics/statistics prerequisites normally complete degree requirement for the M.S. in one to two years; students in the Ph.D. program usually complete their studies in five to six years.  Ph.D. students usually take the pre-qualifying written examination at the end of the summer of their first or second year in the program and the oral qualifying examination in the second or third year.

In addition to required courses, students must complete nine units of course work within one of the following Areas of Emphasis:

As part of both the M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs, students elect an Area of Interest, a field of study within epidemiology. The Areas of Interest include:

  • Epidemiologic Methods and Biostatistics
  • Health Services and Health Economics
  • Infectious Disease Epidemiology
  • Nutritional Epidemiology
  • Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology
  • Reproductive, Perinatal, Developmental & Pediatric Epidemiology
  • Social and Behavioral Epidemiology
  • Wildlife Epidemiology
  • Zoonotic and Vector borne Disease Epidemiology
  • Cancer Epidemiology

A list of elective course options can be selected from the Area of Interest Approved Electives.

As part of the Ph.D. degree, there is also an opportunity to achieve recognition by having a Designated Emphasis in:

Students must, in concert with their guidance committee and graduate advisor, select and complete a minimum number of units from elective courses within their proposed Area of Emphasis. In addition to the Area of Emphasis, students will select or develop a Special Topic, which will be their specific research focus. Special Topics, regardless of students' Areas of Emphasis, tend to focus on specific diseases (Johne's, AIDS, tuberculosis, etc), specific species (dairy cattle, sturgeon, sea otters, etc), or specific environmental conditions (oil spills, silicon implants, homelessness).

Degree Requirements

General requirements for the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are established by the UC Davis Office of Graduate Studies.  Specific degree requirements for the M.S. and Ph.D. in epidemiology can be found here.

The University of California and Graduate Studies

UC Davis is one of nine campuses in the University of California System. It is located in the City of Davis, 15 miles west of Sacramento, CA. The Graduate Group in Epidemiology is within the The Office of Graduate Studies. New students and prospective students considering graduate study in Epidemiology at the University of California, Davis, can contact any current graduate students, faculty members, or the coordinator regarding any questions.

UC Davis is one of ten campuses. It is administered by The Office of Graduate Studies.