Course Work and Research Credit

The student’s first year of doctoral study is ordinarily devoted to full-time course work applicable to the major and minor fields. Second-year students normally continue formal course work in preparation for the Oral Qualifying Examination and by enrolling in independent studies (300-level course work). Before a student can register for full-time research (350-level course work), he/she must successfully complete the oral exam. Prior to passing the oral exam, doctoral students may petition to register for full-time research credits for one semester, in the event that they have completed all required course work.

Required Courses 
Doctoral students must take one introductory epidemiology course (EPI 200, EPI 201, EPI 208. EPI 500 or EPI 505). Students must also successfully pass 10 credits of intermediate-level courses in biostatistics. Approved intermediate biostatistics courses include BIO 210, 211, 213, 222, 223, and 226. Doctoral students who began their programs prior to fall 2005 must successfully pass two intermediate-level courses in biostatistics. This Biostatistics requirement should be met primarily with coursework from the department of Biostatistics. However, at most, 5 credits of CAD approved coursework from outside the Department of Biostatistics may be substituted.

Students who believe that they have the equivalent preparation of the introductory biostatistics and epidemiology school-wide requirements may petition to waive these requirements.

Departments may however, stipulate specific courses which may be used to fulfill the intermediate-level biostatistics course requirement. Doctoral students in Global Health and Population may meet their intermediate-level biostatistics requirement by taking GHP525 Econometrics for Health Policy. In addition, students in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences may take S030 Intermediate Statistics: Applied Regression and Data Analysis offered at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Course Performance
Throughout the doctoral student’s career at HSPH, the CAD and Registrar’s Office monitor student performance in course work. Grades of B- or better (Harvard Business School grade equivalents are I and II) must be obtained in all courses used to meet the degree requirements for major and minor fields.

Students making unsatisfactory progress will either be required to withdraw from degree candidacy or will be permitted to register for the subsequent semester, subject to specific academic conditions. If specified conditions are not fulfilled by the date set by the registrar, degree candidacy may be terminated.