Epidemiology Graduate Programs

Jan 02, 2019

Graduate degree programs in epidemiology are usually research-based and offer a variety of formats and concentration areas. Here we discuss a few of the different types of programs and what makes them unique.

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Graduate programs in epidemiology usually combine coursework in areas of epidemiology, statistics and public health. Students can study the subject at the master's or doctoral level and may be able to find flexible formats that fit their schedules. Learn more about a few of the graduate degree options in epidemiology.

Types of Graduate Programs in Epidemiology

Master of Science in Epidemiology

There is a lot of variety in Master of Science (MS) in Epidemiology degree programs, with some of these programs requiring as little as 36 credits and some as many as 60 credits. Some of these programs may be available in full- and part-time formats, may offer specific tracks, like clinical research methods or general epidemiology, and can usually be completed in 12 to 24 months, depending on the program and/or format. Students in these programs typically have a range of research opportunities and work closely with faculty mentors as they complete a thesis and/or other research projects. Some course topics for these programs may include biostatistics, epidemiology, data collection and statistics.

Master of Public Health in Epidemiology

Master of Public Health (MPH) in Epidemiology programs typically take 2 years to complete, may range from 45 to 63 credits and may be available in full- and part-time formats. Some of these programs may also be available in online, on-campus and hybrid formats and usually require a practicum experience for hands-on learning and a thesis or capstone project. Students may be able to further specialize in areas such as global health or maternal and child health, and some of these programs may be specifically designed for students with advanced degrees in public health and/or work experience in the health field. Coursework typically includes courses in epidemiology and public health and may cover topics like health policy, public health communications, methods in epidemiology and biostatistics.

Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Epidemiology degree programs may range from about 45 to 55 credits and typically require a dissertation. Students in these programs may also need to complete a preliminary exam and/or write a paper that could potentially be published in their area of interest. These programs also usually provide various opportunities for research and/or teaching experiences. Students can typically tailor the curriculum to meet their specific research interests, but some course topics for these programs may include biostatistics, research design, ethics, issues in public health, data management and research methods in epidemiology.

Common Entrance Requirements

Applicants to graduate degree programs in epidemiology usually need at least a bachelor's degree, but some doctoral programs may require a master's degree. Students applying to MPH or PhD programs may be required to have at least a professional master's degree in epidemiology or a closely related-field and/or it may be preferred to have some professional work experience in public health. A few of these programs may have a minimum GPA requirement around a 3.0, while most require the GRE test scores. Students applying to any graduate program in epidemiology can usually expect submitting their official transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, a personal statement and/or a resume with their application.

Students interested in studying epidemiology can pursue master's or doctoral degree programs that usually provide ample research experience in the field. Students can usually focus their studies in a particular area of the field and will likely need to complete a thesis or dissertation, based on the degree level.

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