Thank you for your interest in Epidemiology’s application process. A competitive applicant to the Department of Epidemiology will generally have strong biological and quantitative preparation, although no particular courses are required. Some background in the behavioral sciences is also desirable. In addition, applicants should have some relevant biomedical research experience or other evidence of the ability to perform well in a research setting. This can be paid or volunteer experience or coursework. Below are steps and links that will guide you through the application process.

Information here will be updated for the fall 2019 application season later in summer 2019

If you cannot find the information you need, please submit an Inquiry Form

Application Information at a Glance

PhD Applicants



  • GRE Scores
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
December 11, 2018: Apply now

MPH Applicants



  • GRE or MCAT Scores: Waived if applicant holds prior doctoral degree from U.S. institution.
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
February 1, 2019: SOPHAS February 12, 2019: Apply now

MSCR Applicants



  • Prior doctoral-level professional degree (MD, PharmD, PhD, DDS, nurses with PhD, DVM, etc.) or extensive health-professional experience (RNs, PAs).
  • At the time of enrollment, applicants will simultaneously be residents, clinical fellows, post-doctoral fellows, or junior faculty at UNC or Duke University.
  • GRE or MCAT Scores: Waived if applicant holds prior doctoral degree from U.S. institution.
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
March 12, 2019: Apply now

International Applicants to any Degree Program



  • GRE Scores:Waived if applicant holds prior doctoral degree from U.S. institution. USMLE scores cannot be substituted.
  • TOEFL or IELTS Scores: See The Graduate School’s website for exceptions to this requirement.
Depend upon the degree program - see above


Decide which degree is for you

Begin the application process

Scheduling a Visit

Prospective students should review these visitation instructions in order to plan their visit to the Department and meet with faculty members.

You may want to use the Gillings Program Search (GPS) for prospective students. The GPS provides a search option for our School’s degree and non-degree programs, as well as the ability to drill down to an overview of each program’s quick facts and related information about how to apply. See our tuition and fees page for related information.

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Master of Public Health (MPH) Programs Show Details

Master of Public Health in Public Health Data Science (MPH Residential)

Accurate interpretation and use of data is crucial to understanding health needs and devising and implementing comprehensive, evidence-based solutions.

The Public Health Data Science concentration—one of the first applied data science programs situated within a school of public health—will give you the skills and knowledge to employ cutting-edge data science tools and, in turn, respond to pressing public health issues and advance effective solutions.

Data science draws upon multiple disciplines, combining the statistical skills to manipulate data and make inferences, the mathematical skills to model phenomena and make predictions, and the computer science skills to manage and analyze large data sets.

Steeped in the public health context, our program offers a unique focus on leveraging the foundational statistical, mathematical and computer science elements of data science to generate useful information from data sources relevant to public health. Our chief focus is to optimize data science to help address the most critical public health problems in the world today.

Master of Public Health in Health Equity, Social Justice and Human Rights (MPH Residential)

The Health Equity, Social Justice and Human Rights (EQUITY) concentration is hosted by the Gillings School’s Departments of Epidemiology, Environmental Sciences and Health Behavior to prepare students for positions in diverse areas of public health through training in quantitative, qualitative and community-engaged approaches in research and practice. As a cross-cutting and interdisciplinary concentration, EQUITY provides students with a fundamental understanding of the history, principles, theories and frameworks of health equity, anti-racism, social justice and human rights. This concentration trains students to apply skills to assess social determinants of health and structural inequities, and to devise community-engaged solutions to address them through public health practice or research.

Master of Public Health in Applied Epidemiology (MPH Residential)

Epidemiology—the study of the distribution and determinants of disease or other influencing risk factors in a population—is, in many ways, the cornerstone of public health inquiry and problem solving.

Unlike clinical medicine that predominantly focuses on an individual’s health and wellbeing, epidemiology uses a broader lens to examine the health of populations. In doing so, we are able to identify public health threats and inform targets for intervention to reduce risk and improve health.

In the Gillings Applied Epidemiology concentration, students will learn to apply epidemiologic tools and approaches to describe patterns of disease or public health issues affecting diverse populations using an epidemiologic framework and, in turn, help drive solutions to problems.

Examples of recent public health topics that our students have explored include HIV, cardiovascular disease, environmental exposures, the opioid epidemic, suicide rates, HPV vaccine, efficacy of cancer treatments, the role of nutrition, among others.

Other Master’s (MHA, MS, MSCR, MSEE, MSPH) Program Show Details

Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR Residential)

Develops the skills necessary for a successful career as a principal investigator and collaborator in clinical/translational research. The program emphasizes study design, fundamentals of data analysis and collaboration with methodologists (including biostatisticians); proposal development/grant writing, interdisciplinary collaboration, project oversight (including patient safety and IRB compliance), presentation of study results, and professional development. The MSCR program is jointly sponsored by the TraCS (North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences) Institute.

Doctoral Program Show Details

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD Residential)

Students develop research and teaching skills in epidemiology through coursework, doctoral research, practice opportunities, and preliminary doctoral examinations.

Certificate Program Show Details

Certificate in Field Epidemiology (FEPI Online)

This is a 12-credit hour program of graduate study that addresses: core functions of outbreak investigation; surveillance systems and methods; infectious disease epidemiology; and field epidemiology methods. All courses are taught completely online. No travel to the UNC-Chapel Hill campus is required. Online certificates are available to any interested student NOT currently enrolled at UNC-Chapel Hill. After viewing the GPS overview, see our Certificate in Field Epidemiology partner page for additional information.

Certificate Programs Show Details

Graduate Certificate in Interdisciplinary Health Communication (CIHC Residential)

Provides current degree-seeking residential UNC graduate students with specialized training in health communication. Courses are designed to build expertise for applied practice, academic, and research settings. IHC faculty represent 6 disciplines and conduct research on e-health, message tailoring, risk communication, health decision-making, dissemination, media effects, usability of electronic medical information, and health marketing. Residential certificate programs are available to students currently enrolled in a residential graduate degree program at UNC Gillings.

Graduate Certificate in Public Health Informatics (CPHI Residential)

This 12-credit hour specialized educational option prepares graduates for a variety of public health informatician roles. Combining the existing strength of the SPH curriculum and the informatics curriculum at the School of Information and Library Science (SILS), it will offer focused education with emphasis on public health information systems, information management and manipulation as well as evidence-based public health policy. The PHI certificate is envisioned as complementary to a graduate degree from SPH. Residential certificate programs are available to students currently enrolled in a residential graduate degree program at UNC Gillings.

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