Hi everyone, I am a new member here to SDN and I'd like to ask for some advice. I have decided recently that I want to get into the field of Epidemiology and my goal is to conduct my own research (in cancer or global health/infectious disease). I am trying to decide between a MPH or PhD in Epi (starting Fall 2008). I have been told that I should get a PhD, since I want to conduct my own research. Looking more at different university websites, it seems rather difficult to make the jump straight to the PhD without a MPH or other masters. Johns Hopkins would probably be my top choice at the moment because its high ranking/resources and proximity to my girlfriend (though we would be willing to move). So should I be optimistic about possibly getting into a PhD program at Hopkins, UNC, Pittsburgh, or Wisconsin? Would going the MPH/PhD route be more realistic? Will I need to make a more definite decision on my research (cancer vs. ID) before applying for a PhD? Would you recommend a more Epi-related job for the next year before applying? Thanks!