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Program Description

The purpose of the Doctor of Public Health in Epidemiology (DrPH) is to educate professionals with knowledge, skills and abilities in the development of epidemiological methodology applied to health needs including the identification of risk factors, clinical research, programs assessment, prevention, protection and treatment of diseases. These professionals will contribute to the enhancement of the public health through analyses and reformulation of laws that impact health on the local, state and federal levels.


The DrPH is awarded after the successful completion of an interdisciplinary 63-credits curriculum. Students take a comprehensive test at the end of the 2nd year after their completing their class work. An original research of a significant contribution to the scientific knowledge or epidemiological application in a particular health field must be completed during the final years of the Program.

Program Goals

The doctoral degree in Public Health (DrPH) with specialty in Epidemiology responds to the educational mission of the Public Health Program of the Ponce Health Sciences University and to the Essential Functions of the Public Health which establish the formation and continuing education for the health professionals. As part of our mission is the preparation of the public health students for the integration of the health community, for the participation of the epidemiologic transition and the current transformations of the health systems, private and governmental organizations and other health services. The formation of the doctoral students will be complemented with the necessary competencies in epidemiology as the specific area of public health.

The principal goal of the doctoral program in epidemiology is to educate professionals with the knowledge and skills in the epidemiological method as applied to diverse areas of specialization in the identification of health needs and risk factors and in the evaluation of health programs for the prevention, protection and treatment of illnesses. The specific objectives are the following:

  1. To describe and to interpret the principal indicators of health and illness to generate relevant information for making decisions and the formulation of health policies. 
  2. To plan, design and coordinate protocols of investigation that can be accomplished following ethical principles and safety rules.
  3. To identify and to selec5t appropriate epidemiologic designs that can answer the relevant questions to public health problems.
  4. To integrate the epidemiologic method with qualitative and statistical methods in the designs of investigation.
  5. To provide advice on the decision-making process and on public health policies using the epidemiologic method.

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