About the Program

The Program in Pharmacoepidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health was established to promote excellence in pharmacoepidemiology and is the world’s oldest and most comprehensive academic program on this field.  Since the Program’s founding in 1986, pharmacoepidemiology has evolved tremendously to become a fundamental tool to safeguard and promote public health.  The Program has made important contributions to this evolution. Under the direction of Alexander Walker, Arnold Chan and, more recently, Sonia Hernández-Díaz, the Program and its associated faculty (Sebastian Schneeweiss, John D. Seeger, and Soko Setoguchi) have published extensively in the scientific literature and they provide rigorous training for a select group of students each year. The program offers an 80-credit ScD and a 42.5-credit SM. The achievements of our graduates, whom currently occupy key positions in academic programs, regulatory agencies, pharmaceutical companies, and health care institutions, speak for the value of the Program.  

The Program has evolved and joined forces with the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology & Pharmacoeconomics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Harvard Medical School, an international center of excellence for training Fellows and junior investigators on CER and drug safety.  We work together to deliver a new direction in Pharmacoepidemiology and CER training that will provide an integrated experience, including collaborative interactions with multiple faculty at HSPH, BWH, and other institutions, specialized curriculum with core and elective coursework, individual candidate training plans, and ongoing Program evaluation.  Through these collaborations we can offer a multidisciplinary forum for scientific exchange and a wide range of career development formats that will suit the needs and goals of individual scholars.

The immediate objective of the Pharmacoepidemiology and CER Program described below is to equip scholars with the knowledge and expertise they need to evaluate the comparative effectiveness and safety of drugs, vaccines, procedures and medical devices.  The long-term goal is to train a new generation of trainers and leader investigators that will advance the field.