Program Requirements

The requirements for completion of the Ph.D. in Global Infectious Diseases include the completion of 36 credit hours, an internship, and a research thesis.

The requirements for this PhD degree include completion of a minimum of 36 credit hours, an internship, and a research thesis. It is expected that the student will be able to complete the program within 5 years. Each student will take didactic courses for 3-4 semesters with course selection consisting of both core and electives. Below, core courses for students are described as Lists A, B, C and D. All of the courses in List A are required whereas Lists B, C and D offer several options. List B includes courses on population science and science policy. List C includes basic science courses related to infectious disease. List D includes courses on Bioethics. Additional elective courses will be tailored to the specific needs of the student. There is a wealth of courses that are ongoing at GU that will serve as electives (see below and Table 1).

List A (All are required, 21 credits):
MICB-515 – Biological Threat Agents and Emerging Infectious Diseases (3 credits)
MICB-612 – Immunology (3 credits)
BCHB-501 – Biochemical and Cellular Sciences (4 credits)
BIST-502 – Applied Biostatistics (3 credits)
MICB-800,801 – Interdisciplinary ID Seminar (two semesters, 4 credits total)
MICB-852 – Student seminar (1 credit)
PPOL-638 – International Public Health (3 credits)

List B (At least two, 6-7 credits):
BIST-505 – Epidemiology and Public Health (3 credits)
BIST-541 – Principles of Epidemiology (3 credits)
MICB-604 – Innovation Systems for Science, Technology & Health (3 credits)
BIOL-362 – Shaping National Science Policy (3 credits)
MICB-603 – Science and Technology in the Global Arena (3 credits)
MICB-606 – Public Policy for Scientists (4 credits)
PPOL-590 – Survey of Population Problems (3 credits)
INTH-444 – Global Patterns of Disease (3 credits)

List C (At least one, 2-3 credits):
BIOL-415 – Parasitology (2 credits)
MICB-619 – Virology (3 credits)
MICB-629 – Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenesis (3 credits)

List D (One of the following, 3 credits each):
LAW-364 – Public Health Law and Ethics
LAW-369 – AIDS Law and Ethics
PHAR-534 – Ethical Issues in Scientific Research

Elective courses: Selected from Lists B and C and Table 1 to fulfill a total of 36 credit hours (5-7 credits)

Table 1. Other elective courses for students

Course Title Number Department

Emerging Infectious Diseases

MICB 524

M & I

Bacteriology & Mycology

MICB 614

M & I

Social Propagation of Global Infectious Disease

MICB 501

M & I

Topics in Immunology

BIOL 486


Health in Conflicts, Crises, Disasters

INTH 449

International Health

Health, Environmental Issues and Development

INTH 440

International Health

Globalization and Health Care

INTH 445

International Health

Health Law and Policy

LAW 206

Law Center

Global Health Law Seminar

LAW 493

Law Center

Health and Human Rights Seminar

LAW 183

Law Center

HIV/AIDS in Africa Practicum

LAW 482

Law Center

Table 2. Sample Curriculum*

  • Fall 1
    • MICB 515 (List A)
    • MICB 612 (List A)
    • MICB 800 (List A)
    • BCHB 501 (List A)
  • Spring 1
    • BIOL 415 (List C)
    • BIST 502 (List A)
    • BIST 505 (List B)
    • BIST 541 (List B)
    • MICB 801 (List A)
  • Fall 2
    • LAW 364 (List D)
    • MICB 852 (List A)
    • PPOL 638 (List A)
  • Spring 2
    • MICB 603 (List B)
    • Elective 1
    • Elective 2

* Actual course selection will vary based on interests of the student.

Research Rotations:

Students will do rotations in 2 or 3 different research programs during the first year. Students should select a thesis mentor by the end of the first year.

Qualifying and Comprehensive Exams:

The qualifying examination is designed to demonstrate that students have gained sufficient knowledge from their required coursework to continue in the program. Students will identify a topic important for global infectious disease and prepare a research proposal on that topic. Proposals must include some aspect of infectious disease but with a focus upon a specific type of research, i.e., policy, basic science, epidemiology, surveillance, mathematical models, etc. Students will identify a topic and select an examination committee at the end of the first year and must successfully defend this proposal to the committee by the end of the third semester. Students who fail this examination will be allowed to revise the proposal and defend it. In this case, the examination must be completed by the end of the fourth semester.

Ph.D. Dissertation:

After completion of all examinations and coursework the students will complete a doctoral dissertation in accordance with regulations of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The thesis committee (see above) will determine when the dissertation is acceptable.