Epidemiology Graduate Programs

PhD in Epidemiology

 - concentrations in Applied Public Health Epidemiology; and Cancer Health Equity Science
 - dual programs with MD, MSW, and PharmD
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The Division of Epidemiology

Welcome to the Division of Epidemiology in the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health, at Virginia Commonwealth University.

The mission of the Division of Epidemiology is to provide outstanding epidemiology and public health training, conduct innovative research, and engage in impactful service.

The Division integrates research, education and public health service programs. We offer a fully accredited Master’s of Public Health degree and dual programs with medicine (MD), social work (MSW), and pharmacy (PharmD). Our close ties to the Virginia Department of Health allow us to provide opportunities for our students to immerse in experiential learning with our public health partners. Our doctoral training program in epidemiology cultivates public health scientists equipped to use state-of-the-art research methods for the purpose of advancing fundamental knowledge of issues central to the improvement of population health. The epidemiology program is also available to medical students through the School of Medicine's MD/PhD program.

Working collaboratively with the highly productive, multidisciplinary centers and institutes at VCU, our faculty conducts innovative research aimed at understanding the interface between behavior and physiology to integrate social, psychological and biological approaches to understanding health and illness over the life course. The Division offers a strong collegial atmosphere where faculty, students, and postdoctoral fellows work together to promote and share in the creation of knowledge related to the improvement of population health.

The Department of Family Medicine and Population Health, Division of Epidemiology has been training public health students for twenty years, resulting in over 500 graduates! The division is research-intensive with close ties to public health practitioners in state and local department of health agencies. Philosophically, we believe in fully immersing students into their chosen career path as quickly as possible in the training experience. Linking didactics immediately to context is extremely important for adult learners.

The research programs in the division are diverse and reflect the diversity of our faculty. Our philosophy in research is grounded in team science. We believe discovery occurs more quickly when teams representing different disciplines work together to solve public health problems. Cross-fertilization of ideas beyond disciplinary boundaries leads to more rapid discoveries and translation of science to practice and policy to promote population health.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Division of Epidemiology embraces differences in the human experience as a driver of learning, compassion and change. We actively work towards ensuring a climate of mutual trust and respect. Individuals of differing cultural backgrounds, identities, abilities and life experiences are embraced, engaged and empowered to drive excellence and success. We value diverse perspectives and continuously strive for our working and learning environments to foster dignity, professionalism, mutual respect, and inclusivity. These environments will be achieved by learning from past mistakes, anticipating future challenges, and embracing opportunities to reflect and improve. We encourage open communication and discussion among all members of our community.

  • As educators and mentors, we support all learners in achieving their professional goals, regardless of background, culture or socioeconomic status.
  • As researchers, we actively work towards diversifying our scientific endeavors to foster research participation and representation of historically disadvantaged and underserved populations and to ensure that our research benefits all populations we serve.
  • As learners, we seek to understand the cause and effect of negative institutional structures of discrimination and their impact on the lives of those in our community and nation. We are vigilant in our pursuit of knowledge, and we seek to mobilize lessons learned to develop comprehensive solutions to present-day and future problems in society and health.
  • As colleagues and peers, we work to ensure that every member of our academic community is respected and valued for who they are and for the qualities they bring to our education, research, and community engagement endeavors.