Zeyan at SER 2013

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The core of purely epidemiologic methodology is growing constantly and includes not only statistical methodology and principles of study design but unique ways of thinking about causation. The development of new concepts of scientific investigation in human populations contributes to epidemiology being increasingly recognized as a key methodology for etiologic studies in groups of people.


Prospective advisers and entering doctoral students are matched during the admissions process based on aligned interests and adviser availability. Within the first three quarters of study, student and adviser together agree upon a study list and identify a guidance committee that serves as mentorship network early in the student's career. It is likely that members of the guidance committee will serve on the formal doctoral committee, but this is not required.

Doctoral commitees are appointed by the Dean of the Graduate Division acting for the Graduate Council. Students may nominate qualified faculty to serve on their doctoral committee after passing the written qualifying exam and succesful completion of necessary course requirements.


Recommendation for the degree is based on the attainments of the candidate rather than on the completion of specific courses. The student must fulfill training equivalent to the course requirements for the M.S. degree in epidemiology. PhD students must also take Epidem M204 (4 units), an additional statistics course beyond the M.S. requirements (4 units), one course on pathobiology (4 units), and three doctoral seminars (2 units each) of which Epidem 292 is taken at least twice. The statistics and pathobiology courses must be approved by the doctoral adviser. Prior post-baccalaureate coursework may be applicable to some requirements with adviser and department approval.

Qualifying Exams and Advancement to Candidacy

In order to advance to candidacy, students must pass the Department's Written Doctoral Qualifying Examination and the Oral Qualifying Examination. After completing the course requirements, and passing both qualifying examinations, the student may be advanced to candidacy and complete work on a dissertation. All committee members must be present for the oral qualifying examination. Upon approval of the Graduate Division, one committee member who is neither the Chair nor Co-Chair may participate via videoconference.

Upon advancement, Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition is waived for up to nine quarters beginning with the quarter of registration immediately following the term of advancement.


The Department requires an oral defense and completion of an approved dissertation that demonstrates the student's ability to perform original, independent research and constitutes a distinct contribution to epidemiology. All committee members must be present for the dissertation defense. Upon approval of the Graduate Division, one committee member who is neither the Chair nor Co-Chair may participate via videoconference.