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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Victoria L. Holt
EPI 584
Seattle Campus

Doctoral Dissertation Seminar

Forum for Epidemiology doctoral students to obtain information for doctoral research, including: project ideas; forming a committee; developing a proposal; conducting the project; and presenting results. Prerequisite: EPI 512 and EPI 513, admission to the PhD program, successful completion of the preliminary examination, or second-year status. Credit/no-credit only. Offered: AWSp.

Class description

This course is intended to provide a forum for doctoral students in Epidemiology to interact with each other and to pursue topics and information that will be useful in completing their doctoral research.

Specifically, the seminar is intended to provide an opportunity for students, with assistance from faculty, to share information and experiences regarding: 1) ideas for dissertation projects; 2) forming a doctoral committee; 3) developing a short research description for the dissertation project; 4) conducting all phases of a dissertation project; and 5) presenting study results.

The seminar is also intended to provide an occasional opportunity to consider specific topics in more depth than is typical in other courses, or topics that are not included in other courses. Examples might include funding sources and requirements, IRB issues, job search strategies and skills, and presentation skills and tools.

Student learning goals

1. Formulate a dissertation project research question that will advance scientific knowledge about a topic of public health importance.

2. Develop a project description that presents the study aims, scientific background, public health significiance and methods for carrying out the dissertation project.

3. Develop dissertation project study procedures for the protection of the rights of human subjects.

4. Describe the critical components of the design, data collection, quality control,and data management procedures of the dissertation project.

5. Make a clear oral presentation on the design of the dissertation project.

6. Critically evaluate and comment on others' reserach proposals.

General method of instruction

This is a seminar course, primarily relying on instructor- and student-led discussions.

Recommended preparation

This course is open only to students in the PhD program in the Department of Epidemiology. Additional prerequisites include passing the department's preliminary exam for doctoral students, or 2nd year status in the doctoral program.

The course is required to be taken twice, usually Autumn and Winter.

Class assignments and grading

Sometime during the course of 2 quarters of enrollment, students are expected to give a 50-minute oral presentation and discussion of their proposed dissertation project. Additionally, students are expected to participate in class discussions at all class sessions, and provide written feedback to other students at the time of each presentation.

This course is offered C/NC only. Credit will be given to students who participate actively in all class sessions, provide written feedback to other students, and complete the presentation assignment.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Course Website
Last Update by Scott Davis
Date: 09/12/2013