About the Department

Welcome to the University of Louisville’s Department of Epidemiology & Population Health 

Epidemiology is the core science of public health. The broad mission of public health, as defined in 1978 by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), is “enhancing health in human populations through organized community effort.” The science of epidemiology is directed at identifying the determinants of health, disease, disability and death in populations for the purposes of health promotion and disease control and prevention. 

Epidemiologists work at both the forefront of public health in the control and prevention of disease, disability and death, and behind the scenes researching risk factors and causes of health problems across populations. Epidemiologists play a key role in public health by collecting data on health indicators in populations. We detect, investigate and mitigate infectious disease outbreaks, design health and disease screening and surveillance programs, and primary and secondary preventive interventions. Most importantly, we generate new knowledge about the causes of health and disease and help guide health policy and promotion, as well as medical treatment.

Our department offers three degrees: an MPH with concentration in epidemiology, an MS in epidemiology, and a PhD in Public Health with specialization in epidemiology. Our curriculum encompasses epidemiologic theory, terminology, and methods, coupled with advanced statistical methods and concepts and methods from biomedical, environmental, ecological, social and behavioral sciences. This breadth of knowledge, and the ability to integrate diverse types of information, is necessary for unravelling the complex causal architecture of health and disease in populations, and for designing more effective ways of controlling, preventing and treating disease, and promoting population health.

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