Program Details

Minimum Credit Hours
47 (varies)

Application Cycle

 Consultation with the Director of Graduate Admissions will be required in order to be considered for admission in any semester other than Fall.

Application Deadline
December 12, 2023

Expected Duration
4-5 Years

Learning Environment

Admissions Information

Who Should Apply

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in epidemiology prepares students for careers in research and teaching, often at a university, federal or state agency, or a private research institution. Students develop research and teaching skills in epidemiology through coursework and practice.  The department welcomes applications from students with bachelor degrees as well as those with prior graduate degrees.

Prior Degree Required
Previous masters degree beneficial but not required.

Required Prerequisites

Undergraduate G.P.A.
An average grade of B (cumulative GPA 3.0) or better is recommended. Incoming students had a mean undergraduate GPA of 3.6.

Letters of Recommendation Required
3 (academic and/or professional)

Prospective applicants are encouraged to attend Open House events. See Visit Opportunities below.

If you are unable to attend the Open House and would like to schedule a visit, follow the instructions at Interviews are not required by the program.

Visit Opportunities
Learn about opportunities to connect with faculty, staff, and current students virtually and in person.

How To Apply

I. Complete UNC Graduate School application
The Graduate School Application is a common application system for UNC Chapel Hill programs.

More Information

1. Application Fee

The UNC Graduate School application fee is $95. Information on UNC Graduate School Fee Waiver Requests

2. Faculty Interest(s)/mentor(s)

Applicants to the PhD degree programs must indicate on the UNC Graduate School application at least 1 (up to 5 possible) faculty member(s) with whom you would like to work.

3. Applicant information,  including North Carolina residency information.

4. Area(s) of interest

Select all applicable areas of interest from the dropdown.

5. Educational history

Please upload a copy of your most recent transcript(s), including your current term grades, if applicable. (If grades are not yet available, send them to the UNC Gillings program contact as soon as they become available.) Be sure the transcript reflects the name of the institution and any degrees you received.

Applicants currently enrolled in degree programs are required to upload an unofficial transcript that includes fall semester/quarter grades. If the application is submitted before fall grades have posted, applicants are responsible for uploading an updated transcript through the application status portal once the grades have posted.

We advise that you order two copies of your transcript(s) to be sent to you. If you are admitted and choose to enroll, UNC will require official transcript(s) showing degree(s) awarded.

6. Community standards

You will be asked about honor code, crime, academic sanction, military discharge, etc.

7. Upload your Statement of Purpose.

The essay is a critical piece of the admissions process. We will evaluate both the content of the essay and your writing skills in considering your application.

All applicants should write an essay of 1000 words or less. In this essay, please address the following questions:

  • Describe why you are interested in predoctoral training in epidemiologic methods and substantive research.
  • Describe previous lived experience, academic courses and degrees, and work experience that have prepared you for advanced research in public health.
  • Describe your career goals, short and longer-term research questions, and the populations you hope to serve with your epidemiologic training.
  • Indicate which departmental program area(s) and/or faculty interests align with your goals. You may indicate multiple program areas and faculty.

Applicants should also include any additional information about their interests, prior background or special circumstances which may be helpful to the Admissions Committee in evaluation of the application.

8. Upload your resume or CV.

9. Enter names of recommenders. UNC will then send them an email with instructions for submitting a letter on your behalf.

3 Letters of Recommendations are required. We encourage references from professors or teachers (or teaching assistants) or work/research supervisors who have worked directly and closely with you and who can speak about you with specificity.

10. Report test scores, if applicable.

GRE scores are not required for application.

International applicants must submit official TOEFL or IELTS standardized test scores. Code 5816 routes to UNC. TOEFL/IELTS scores must be no more than two years old.

11. Document submission (check legibility of uploads)

Applicants should preview all documents uploaded into the application system to ensure that all documents are legible for committee review. Applications to the PhD program that are incomplete as of January 31st will NOT be reviewed for admission.

12. Track your progress.

You will be able to track status through the Graduate School application. Once a decision is made, you will receive an email instructing login to the Graduate School application portal to see the decision letter.

II. Application Review Process

More Information

1. Department reviews application and recommends a decision.

Time-to-decision varies. Departments make recommendations to the UNC Graduate School for admitting and denying applicants. Final decisions are rendered by the UNC Graduate School.

2. UNC Graduate School reviews department recommendation and renders a final decision:

The UNC Graduate School reviews all admissions recommendations made by programs. Once final decisions have been made, the UNC Graduate School will send the applicant an email instructing them to login to their application portal to see the decision letter.

III. Costs and Funding

More Information

When estimating costs, please visit the UNC Cashier’s Office and use the Graduate and Professional Program Tuition and Fees link. Please note that the tuition and fees of graduate programs at Gillings vary from other graduate programs at UNC.

Gillings departments and concentrations consider both domestic and international applicants for funding. Please see below for helpful tips and resources:

1. Applicants are encouraged to apply by the priority deadline to be considered for UNC Graduate School scholarships and fellowships. Departments and concentrations will decide which applicants to nominate. No additional application is required.

2. Please refer to our School’s Costs and Funding page and/or UNC-Chapel Hill’s Office of Scholarships and Student Aid (OSSA) website.

3. Apply for FEDERAL financial aid by March 1 (please verify this date via FAFSA). If you have been admitted and completed the FAFSA form by their deadline, the UNC Office of Scholarship and Student Aid will create a financial aid package for you.

4. Funding offers through the department, such as research assistantships, are possible but not guaranteed.

5. Students positions at Gillings are posted here. The UNC Graduate School also provides resources for funding, including a listserv for incoming and current students, here.

During and After The Program

For more information on our curriculum and graduate school/career outcomes, please see our Student Handbook.



Gillings Admissions

Bretney Waller
Academic Coordinator

Daniel Westreich
Director of Graduate Admissions

For general questions about the department, the degree program, or admissions, contact us via email at or call us at (919) 966-7430. Questions about employment should be directed to (919) 966-7460.

Main Department Contacts

Academic Coordinators

Mailing Address
Department of Epidemiology
UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
135 Dauer Drive
2101 McGavran-Greenberg Hall, CB #7435
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7435

Our offices are located on the second floor of McGavran-Greenberg Hall.