Epidemiology Snapshot

Hello, prospective students! Welcome to our brief overview of Epidemiology at UNC Gillings.

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Dr. Steve Marshall, professor and director of UNC’s Injury Prevention Research Center, teaches his epidemiology class outside on a beautiful Carolina day.


Epidemiology at UNC Gillings is one of the world’s leading academic departments of its kind. We are part of  one of the top schools of public health in the nation within a  university long seen as one of the “public ivies.” Our renowned faculty members provide students with training in effective research practices and methods. We also work with our students to apply their epidemiology research to a variety of health problems here in North Carolina and around the world.

Interested in finding out more? Visit our full department website.

By the numbers

Students conducting survey.

48 full-time faculty

150 adjunct faculty


  • 12 MPH
  • 18 MSCR (Master of Science in Clinical Research)
  • 181 PhD
  • MPH with Veterinary Epidemiology Concentration – new this year!
Our faculty

Our faculty and students conduct research in nine key areas:

  • Cancer etiology, prevention and control
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Environmental and occupational health
  • Health care
  • Infectious diseases
  • Injury etiology, prevention and control
  • Pharmacoepidemiology
  • Reproductive/perinatal/pediatric health
  • Social epidemiology

Discover more on ReachNC, a web portal with to-the-minute information about our faculty members’ grants, publications, research interests and  networks.

Contact us

For general questions regarding the department, degrees or admissions, contact:

Carmen Woody, Student Services Manager

  • 919-966-7458
  • carmen_woody@unc.edu
Epidemiology is:

  • Determining the occurrence of disease.
  • Finding genetic, environmental, social and behavioral risk factors for disease.
  • Evaluating effectiveness of prevention and treatment of disease.
Even as students, we are making a difference.
"So many folks over generations in North Carolina have put their taxes and physical selves into making this a great school, of which I am the beneficiary. The best I can do is use what I have learned here to help repay that debt to them and their descendants."
Nabarun Dasgupta
Doctoral Student
In Epidemiology at Gillings, we:

  • Develop and apply research methods to understand patterns, causes and consequences of health and disease.
  • Collaborate with colleagues across the School and University to leverage our capacity to make a difference.
  • Apply our research to improve the health of populations.

In North Carolina, across the United States, and around the world, our faculty members have active studies, giving our students the chance to work with them to investigate:

  • Stroke patterns in North Carolina
  • Causes of breast and prostate cancers among African Americans
  • Genetic susceptibility factors underlying heart disease and reproductive outcomes
  • Causes of autism and ADHD
  • Prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission in Africa
  • Malaria transmission in Africa and Thailand
  • Safety of commonly prescribed medications
  • Patterns of injury in worksites or particular occupations
  • and much more…..
Epidemiology at Gillings has been the right choice for me.
"When you enter this department, you join a community of scholarship forged from collaboration between students, faculty and disciplines. Our training starts in the classroom and extends to support public health in North Carolina, the U.S. and abroad."
Sydney Jones
Doctoral Student

Master of Public Health (MPH): A two-year terminal degree program for physicians and other doctoral-level professionals.

Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR): An interdiscipinary research degree program jointly sponsored by the NC Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute (tracs.unc.edu). Develops student skills for a career as a PI and collaborator in clinical/translational research.

MPH with a Veterinary Epidemiology Concentration: A two-year program offered in collaboration with North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Provides graduate training for veterinarians interested in public health service-oriented careers with local, state, federal and international public health and animal health agencies.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD): Prepares students for careers in research and teaching, often at a university, federal or state agency, or private research institution.

Where will a degree in Epidemiology take you? Our alumni hold senior leadership positions in the U.S. and around the world in:

  • Colleges and universities
  • Research organizations such as RTI International and FHI 360
  • Health departments (and global equivalents)
  • Governmental and non-governmental agencies such as CDC, NIH and WHO
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Hospitals and health systems
  • and in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors

Recent alumni positions include:

  • Public Health Officer, U.S. Air Force
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences
  • Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, National Center for Disease Control
  • Senior Epidemiologist, Malaria Alert Centre/Communicable Diseases Action Centre at the University of Malawi College of Medicine
  • Epidemiologist, GSK
  • Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Ohio State University
  • Director of Operations, Northern California Ctr for National Children’s Study
  • Director, Genetic Epidemiology, American Cancer Association
  • CEO, Domestic Violence Prevention and Education Initiatives

Find out more about careers in epidemiology.


Interested in finding out about our course offerings?

Faculty in epidemiology create a welcoming, interactive classroom environment in twenty-first century teaching and research facilities. What’s more, we have plenty of quiet nooks and wired spaces to meet, collaborate, and take problem solving to the next level.

Take a look at our complete course catalog, plus syllabi, to find out more.


Interested in finding out more? Visit our department’s website.