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Dual Degrees, Gerontology and Epidemiology

Dual Degree Program in Gerontology and Epidemiology

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 Baltimore 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. 

Coursework:  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.

Dissertation:  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).

Degrees: 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)

  • Theory/Methods I (3)
  • Theory/Methods Ii (3)
  • Principles of Epidemiology (3)
  • Observational Studies in Epidemiology (3)
  • Health Survey Research Methods (3)*

GERO Core (15 credits)

  • Biology of Aging (3)
  • Epidemiology of Aging (3)*
  • Sociocultural GERO (3)
  • Issues in Aging Policy (3)
  • Psychological Aspects of Aging (3)

Statistics (13 credits)

  • Principles of Biostatistics (3)
  • Biostatistical Computing (2)
  • Statistical Methods in Epidemiology (4)
  • Regression Analysis (2 credits)
  • Survival Analysis (2 credits) or Longitudinal Analysis (3 credits each)

Other requirements (19 credits)

  • 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

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