The curriculum of this four-year program is designed to be interdisciplinary including core courses completed by all students, regardless of their chosen emphasis. Students apply directly into one of three emphases: Biostatistics, Clinical and Translational Epidemiology, or Health Systems Research.


Students who hold a relevant master’s degree take a minimum of 62 credits to earn a PhD in Population Health Sciences. Students who do not have a previous master’s degree take a minimum of 80 credits to earn a PhD in Population Health Sciences.


Applicants are strongly encouraged to take one semester of graduate level epidemiology and at least two semesters of graduate level statistics before entering the Population Health Sciences PhD Programs.  Applicants should also be proficient in at least one statistical package (SAS, STATA, R).  It is also recommended that applicants have previous research experience.

Core Curriculum

Population Health Sciences students will take the core courses as described below.

Course Prefix and Number Title Credit Hours
Required Courses
PHS 7000 Biostatistics II in R 3
PHS 7020 Analysis of Secondary Data 4
PHS 7030 Applied Modern Causal Inference 3
PHS 7100 Epidemiologic Theory and Methods 3
PHS 7310 Comparative Health Systems Seminar I 2
PHS 7305 PHS 1st Year Seminar 1
MDCRC 6450 Grant Writing 3
Total Number of Credits 19

Biostatistics Emphasis

PHS Biostatistics Curriculum

Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Emphasis

PHS Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Curriculum

Health Systems Research Emphasis

PHS Health Systems Research Curriculum

Qualifying Exam

After completing their coursework (generally by the conclusion of the spring semester of their second year), students will take a qualifying examination to assess their knowledge within their specific discipline and of the tools of research required in PHS.

PHS Competencies

PHS Competencies

Education Team

Maureen Murtaugh

Maureen Murtaugh, PhD
Director of Graduate Studies


Brigette Dunbeck

Brigette Dunbeck, MPA
Academic Advisor


Questions? Contact us by phone or email:

Phone: 801-587-2100

Williams Building, Room 1N490
295 Chipeta Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84108