PhD in MCH or MCH Epidemiology

The Center of Excellence doctoral programs in Maternal and Child Health (MCH) and MCH Epidemiology are designed for those that are passionate about improving the health and well-being of women, children and families by addressing research questions relevant to these populations and/or using advanced analytic methods to turn data into information for MCH public health practice.

The MCH Epidemiology program at UIC is one of only a few programs in the nation specifically dedicated to the area of Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology. Students can enter the program through the Division of Community Health Sciences or the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. The MCHEPI  program at UIC-SPH was developed in response to a national call to increase the number of individuals who can assist state and local public health agencies in strengthening their data and analytic capacity related to the health of women, children and families.


  • Standard Community Health Science (CHS) Divisional prerequisites if no Masters of Public Health, standard CHS core theory, advanced methods and analytic requirements. Using MCH courses in these areas can meet some of these requirements.
  • Two core MCH core courses if no MPH in MCH
  • One MCH oriented analytic course
  • One to two MCH-related electives
  • MCH-oriented dissertation
  • Students in the program advance to candidacy after completing required coursework and passing a written preliminary examination. After advancement to candidacy, students complete a dissertation proposal and oral defense.
  • Ph.D. Course Requirement 2020


  • A minimum of 96 semester hours of credit, including up to 32 credits transferred from a Master’s degree and 32 credits for dissertation research. Students who waive courses must still accumulate 96 credits to graduate, but the total may be reached with additional research hours or methods courses.
  • A written and oral preliminary exam, including a 4 hour in-class methods exam, a 10 day take home data analysis, and either in-class or take home questions covering two substantive areas within MCH as determined by the student’s examination committee. Ideally, the preliminary exam is taken after all coursework has been completed, but it may be taken earlier with consent of the academic advisor.
  • A dissertation which must be conducted in conjunction with a state or local public health agency or using the data from such agencies.
  • Leadership coaching offered by the CoE-MCH.