Skip to main content

Gerontology Ph.D. and Epidemiology M.S.

The graduate program in the Department of Epidemiology & Public Health (DEPH), School of Medicine, and the Gerontology Ph.D. Program, at the University of Maryland School of Medicine on the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus and University of Maryland Baltimore County, have developed a dual-degree program in which Gerontology doctoral students may simultaneously earn an M.S. in Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, with their Ph.D. in Gerontology. This program is only available to students who are accepted into the Gerontology Doctoral Program and remain in the program in good standing. While primarily intended for students in the epidemiology track of the gerontology program, any student in the gerontology program is eligible to apply for admission to this program. Those wishing to apply to the dual Ph.D.-M.S. program upon admission should indicate so in their application letter.


Those wishing to apply to the dual Ph.D.-M.S. program upon admission should indicate so in their application letter. Once admitted students will complete an application form. For students already enrolled in the program, please fill out the application form and return it to the gerontology coordinator at UMB. Once you indicate you want to be considered for the combined degree your original application to the gerontology doctoral program will be submitted to the epidemiology graduate admissions committee for review which makes the final determination about your admittance into the M.S. in Epidemiology.


There is significant overlap in coursework between the two degrees for students in the epidemiology track. The overlap includes 9 credits of Biostatistics, Principles of Epidemiology (3 credits), Observational Studies (3 credits), Epidemiology of Aging (3 credits), and Responsible Conduct of Research and Design (1 credit), as well as other courses taken to meet the epidemiology track requirements of the Gerontology Doctoral Program. In addition, students in the dual degree program will be required to take both the Clinical Trials and Health Survey Research Methods courses. This dual degree program allows students to apply these courses toward both degrees.


Only one (Ph.D.-level) dissertation is required. To meet the training goals of the dual-degree program, the dissertation must have significant epidemiological content and/or methods. At least one dissertation committee member, in addition to any member who is serving primarily as a medical consultant, must be an epidemiologist and graduate faculty member with a primary appointment in DEPH; at least one member must be a biostatistician and graduate faculty member of DEPH; and at least one dissertation committee member must have an appointment in the Gerontology Doctoral Program. Both graduate programs must approve the composition of the dual-degree dissertation committee. Only the Gerontology Program approves the pre-proposal (one page).


Both the Ph.D. and M.S. degrees are awarded together at the completion of all degree requirements. Students must remain in good standing in the Ph.D. program to continue in the dual-degree program. If a student withdraws from the Gerontology Ph.D. Program, he or she would need to complete the M.S. thesis and all other requirements in order to obtain the M.S.

Course Requirements for the dual-degree program (62 credits) 

Methods (15 credits) 

  • GERO750 Theory/Methods I (3)
  • GERO751 Theory/Methods Ii (3)
  • PREV600 Principles of Epidemiology (3)
  • PREV659 Observational Studies in Epidemiology (3)
  • PREV758 Health Survey Research Methods (3)*

GERO Core (15 credits) 

  • GERO614 Biology of Aging (3)
  • GERO681 Epidemiology of Aging (3)*
  • GERO700 Sociocultural GERO (3)
  • GERO672 Issues in Aging Policy (3)
  • GERO786 Psychological Aspects of Aging (3)

Statistics (13 credits) 

  • PREV620 Principles of Biostatistics (3)
  • PREV619 Biostatistical Computing (2)
  • PREV720 Statistical Methods in Epidemiology (4)
  • PREV721 Regression Analysis (2 credits)
  • PREV723 or 801 Survival Analysis (2 credits) or Longitudinal Analysis (3 credits each)

Other requirements (19 credits) 

  • PREV803 Clinical Trials (3)
  • Advanced elective in epidemiology (3)
  • Dissertation research (12 credits at UMB)
  • CIPP909 Responsible Conduct of Research (1 credit)**

* These three courses satisfy the MS requirement for 8 elective credits
** With an added day of ethics in aging research

Click here for dual degrees