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PhD Programs

Teniel Ramiki, Neuroscience (2).JPGInterdisciplinary Graduate Program in the Biomedical & Biological Sciences

The IGP is for students interested in pursuing a PhD in the basic biomedical or biological science departments. Participating programs and departments include:

Quantitative and Chemical Biology

Quantitative and Chemical Biology is a PhD track, multidisciplinary program introducing elements of biology to students who wish to pursue a doctoral degree at the interface of the chemical, physical, and biological sciences. The curriculum prepares students for research careers in any area of biomedical research, and many students choose to work in interdisciplinary fields such as chemical biology, structural biology, imaging sciences, molecular and cellular biophysics, or systems biology. Participating programs and departments include:

Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity

Initiative for Maximizing Diversity (IMSD) exists to increase the number of PhDs awarded to graduate students in biomedical research who are underrepresented in medicine. Applications are made through the IGP and QCB mechanisms according to the applicant’s interest. 

  • Interdisciplinary Graduate Program
  • Quantitative & Chemical Biology Program
  • Biochemistry
  • Biological Sciences
  • Cancer Biology
  • Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Pathology
  • Chemical and Physical Biology
  • Chemistry (Enter from QCB only)
  • Human Genetics
  • Microbiology and Immunology
  • Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
  • Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology
  • Physics (Enter from QCB only)


Biomedical Informatics

Biomedical Informatics is the interdisciplinary science of acquiring, structuring, analyzing and providing access to biomedical data, information and knowledge. As an academic discipline, biomedical informatics is grounded in the principles of computer science, information science, cognitive science, social science, and engineering, as well as the clinical and basic biological sciences.


Biostatistics graduate program emphasizes modern statistical thought and features the foundations of statistical inference, a topic of critical importance. The program aims to strike a balance between theoretical rigor, methodological proficiency, and functional aptitude. There is a strong emphasis on reproducible, validated research and how to achieve this from a statistical perspective.

Doctoral Program in Epidemiology

Epidemiology at Vanderbilt emphasizes training in advanced quantitative methods with strong roots in logic and causal inference. We engage students immediately as active collaborators in multidisciplinary research teams, focus on analysis of observational data, and encourage scholarly productivity throughout training. The PhD is based in The Institute for Medicine and Public Health with more than 127 researchers here who excel in large-scale collaborative research with basic and applied scientists worldwide focused on protecting and improving human health.

Health Policy and Health Services Research

Located in Nashville, Tennessee, Vanderbilt University’s Ph.D. in Health Policy scholars work and learn at the epicenter of the national health care industry and adjacent to an elite academic medical center. The program develops students’ expertise in using interdisciplinary methods to address a wide range of health policy and health service challenges in the United States while preparing them to work in elite academic, private sector, and governmental settings as part of multidisciplinary teams. The program also pairs candidates with faculty mentors and researchers in the Department of Health Policy and across Vanderbilt.

Hearing and Speech Sciences

The PhD program in Hearing and Speech Sciences is administered through the Vanderbilt University Graduate School. The program emphasizes preparation for research and teaching careers in audiology, speech-language pathology, and hearing or speech science. Doctoral education and training is integrated with the federally-sponsored research programs of faculty members.