College of Public Health students graduating


Epidemiology is a scientific discipline commonly defined as the study of the distribution and determinants of disease and injury in human populations. This broad scope includes understanding the distribution, patterns and causes of adverse health outcomes as well as those associated with their control and prevention, and the complex interaction of factors that play a role in these processes. The key element that distinguishes epidemiology from other health sciences is its focus on groups and populations, rather than individuals, and thus it can viewed as the foundation of public health research and evidence-based practice.

What do we do?

Epidemiologists observe, investigate and analyze how the distribution of disease varies by age, gender, race, behavior and lifestyle choices, occupational and environmental exposures, genetic determinants, pre- or co-existing conditions, screening and medical interventions, health protective laws and other factors. This makes epidemiology inherently multi- and cross-disciplinary, and is evidenced in the breadth of courses offered in our department such as infectious, chronic, cancer, cardiovascular, oral, environmental and occupational and managerial epidemiology, as well as by the range of research topics engaged in by our faculty and students.


Job Announcement

Epidemiology Department Chair

The University of Kentucky invites applications for the position of Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology of the College of Public Health. This position leads a multidisciplinary academic department with 11 full-time primary faculty members who conduct research in a variety of sub-disciplines of epidemiology including cancer, aging, occupational/ environmental, infectious disease, genetic and social epidemiology, and substance use. In FY2017, department faculty garnered $1.9 million in primary research funding and $ 3.7 million in collaborative funding. Collaborative research funding with the other health sciences colleges on this land grant campus have been critical to the success of the faculty. Department faculty maintain a robust teaching agenda in the college’s academic programs, which include the Master of Public Health (MPH), Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology and Biostatistics (PhD), the Doctor of Public Health (DrPH), and a college-wide Bachelor of Public Health (BPH) degree. 

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What do we offer?

The Epidemiology Department in the UK College of Public Health, and their faculty, are committed to the practice of epidemiology in our teaching, our research and our service. We teach basic epidemiologic principles to all students in the various programs in our college, as well as to students and professionals in a wide range of disciplines, including medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry and veterinary sciences. The more advanced and specialty courses are usually targeted to individuals seeking a career or more in-depth training in epidemiology. Our faculty conduct research across a number of areas of interest, such as cancer prevention and survival, infectious diseases, environmental effects on health, pharmacoepidemiology and health effects of injury, trauma and abuse. Students have opportunities to work with faculty in research projects, both as research assistants and as part of their capstone requirements.