Fall 2018 Courses

All students in the PhD program in Epidemiology are required to take 13 courses for credit, including 9 core courses, 2 or more methods elective courses, and 2 or more substantive elective courses. Each of these courses must be taken for credit and for a grade.

In addition to the approved methods and substantive elective courses, students may choose appropriate elective courses offered by other graduate departments at Brown University when relevant to a student’s thesis work or career goals.

Students pursuing a PhD in Epidemiology are required to take the following core courses:

PHP 2150 - Foundations in Epidemiologic Research Methods
PHP 2200 - Intermediate Methods in Epidemiologic Research
PHP 2250 – Advanced Quantitative Methods for Epidemiologic Research
PHP 2180 – Interpretation and Application of Epidemiologic Evidence
PHP 2510 - Principles of Biostatistics and Data Analysis
PHP 2511 - Applied Regression Analysis
PHP 2090 - Research Grant Writing for Public Health
PHP 2130 - Human Biology for Public Health
PHP 2260 - Applied Epidemiology Analysis Using SAS

In addition, doctoral students are required to take the following non-credit courses during the first semester:

Graduate Student Course on SAS Data Management

Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR) Course


Students must also take 2 methods elective courses and 2 substantive courses.

Research Assistantships

Students in Epidemiology participate in RAships in a variety of on and off campus settings, including Public Health Research Centers, the Rhode Island Department of Health, and clinical departments at Brown-affiliated hospitals.  An RAship is an integral part of the student’s training program. Prior to the end of the first semester, the Epidemiology Graduate Program Director will identify one or more RA options for an individual student, through discussions with the student and potential RA advisors.

Written Qualifying Exam

Students are required to pass a written qualifying exam, which tests their knowledge on intermediate and advanced Epidemiology. For full-time students the qualifying exam is taken at the end of the fourth semester (June).

Grant Writing

Over their first summer, students are expected to devote 20 hours per week to their RAship, and 15-20 hours per week to developing their dissertation project and developing specific aims for an external fellowship or grant. Using skills learned in PHP 2090, students are expected to continue grant writing during the third semester, with the goal of submitting a grant application at the end of the third semester, or during the fourth semester (depending on deadlines for differing submission opportunities).

Teaching Requirement

PhD students are required to develop experience and expertise in teaching. A Teaching Assistant-ship (TAship) for doctoral students is 20 hours per week.  It is typically fulfilled in the third or fourth semester, and replaces the RA-ship for that semester. Although specific responsibilities are at the discretion of the course instructor, typical TA roles include: grading and marking, holding office hours, developing midterms and finals, running tutorials or lab sessions, and facilitating class discussions. The second Teaching Experience (TE) is done as a registered course, with a service expectation of up to 10 hours per week, and with no payment in addition to the student’s regular support.  Although specific responsibilities are at the discretion of the course instructor, typical TE roles include: delivering a guest lecture, contributing to lesson plans, participating in syllabus development, mentoring students, holding office hours, and other pedagogical activities.