The PhD concentration in Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology trains public health practitioners to carry out high-level analytic work, notably with state and local public health agencies. PhD students gain background knowledge in reproductive/perinatal and pediatric epidemiology, and with the analytic and leadership skills necessary to enable them to engage in data based decision-making to promote the health of the maternal and child health population. Students are given the tools necessary to turn “data into information” to improve the health of women, children and families.
The concentration is jointly housed in the divisions of community health sciences and epidemiology and biostatistics. The concentration is coordinated by the UIC Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health, one of only 13 centers nationwide funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services.
The Center's mission is to train future and current professionals to address health inequities among women, children and families. Curricula are rigorous, evidence-based and steeped in social justice, practical experience, and collaboration with communities and various maternal and child health partners. The Center's goal is the development of local to global leaders focused on supporting the health and well-being of women, children and families.
Doctoral students conduct their dissertations with state or local public health agencies utilizing a variety of state and local health data including vital statistics, PRAMS, hospital discharge data, and Medicaid claims on topics such as postpartum contraception, opioid use in pregnant women, severe maternal morbidity, geographic differences in access to prenatal care among racial/ethnic groups, the health and well-being of children and adolescents in foster care, and gestational diabetes in pregnancy.
Students in the PhD in MCH Epidemiology (MCHEPI) can enter the MCHEPI PhD program through the Division of Community Health Sciences or the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (EPID-BSTT). Regardless of division, MCHEPI PhD students are required to take courses in both Epidemiology and Maternal and Child Health (MCH), along with courses from other disciplines that focus on the substantive, analytic, and technical aspects of the public health planning cycle.
The School of Public Health also offers a PhD concentration in Maternal and Child Health.