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The doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) in epidemiology prepares students for careers in research, teaching and consulting. Students develop research and teaching skills in epidemiology through coursework and practice opportunities. The curriculum provides rigorous and comprehensive training in epidemiologic methods for clinical and population-based research including study design, statistical analysis and interpretation of results, as well as research areas of focus for epidemiologic research including chronic diseases, infectious diseases, injury, and gene by environment interactions. The program’s etiologic orientation is based on the premise that knowledge of genetic, physiologic, behavioral and environmental factors contribute to understanding the underlying causes of complex human diseases needed to develop and evaluate effective preventive and treatment measures. The first two years of the program emphasize research and statistical methods complemented by theoretical and process-oriented coursework relevant to epidemiology. The last two years will largely be dedicated to dissertation research.

Career Profile

Graduates typically work as faculty members in academic institutions; scientists in research centers, e.g., the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the pharmaceutical industry, or may assume leadership positions in state or federal health agencies such as CDC, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Program Application Requirements

Resume/CV, Statement of Purpose, 3 Letters of recommendation, Supplemental Application / Portfolio

Graduate Program Application Requirements

Our School of Public Health is CEPH accredited, and we participate in SOPHAS (Schools of Public Health Application Service). Our MPH Admissions process is a two-step process. All MPH applications must be submitted through the national SOPHAS service and applicants must also submit a WVU Graduate application.

Program Application Test Requirements


Application Deadlines

Fall Deadline

Dec 15

Spring Deadline


Summer Deadline


English Proficiency Requirements

All applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency. WVU accepts either the TOEFL or the IELTS for this purpose. Learn more about our English language proficiency requirements.

Accreditation Information

WVU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The School of Public Health is CEPH accredited.

Faculty Profile

Dr. Gregory A. Hand

He previously served as Professor of Exercise Science and Associate Dean for Research and Practice of the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina, USA. He received his PhD degree from the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, his MPH degree from the University of South Carolina and a MS degree from the University of Arizona. He received postdoctoral training at the Moss Heart Center, UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Dr. Hand began his research career examining the neurobiological basis for cardiovascular adjustments to muscular activity. His interest in physical activity and the physiological stress associated with movement led him to begin research on the effects of physical activity on physiological, metabolic and anthropomorphic issues related to infection and antiretroviral therapy in people living with HIV/AIDS. Currently, Dr. Hand’s research is focused on energy balance, weight management and the health outcomes associated with the amount of energy that an individual expends and consumes. He has published over 100 journal articles and book chapters on the role of physical activity and exercise on determinants of health and health outcomes. His work has been funded by multiple federal agencies, private foundations and corporate entities. He has been honored by election to American Physiological Society, The Obesity Society, Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society and The American Association for Advancement of Science. He is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine.

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