Depending on a student's specific interests and career goals, students who are interested in an epidemiology graduate program in California can select from either a master's or a doctoral program. These programs may allow students to further specialize their studies by selecting a concentration area and pursuing independent research. Below, we will cover five universities in California that offer graduate programs in epidemiology.
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Epidemiology Graduate Programs in California
University of California - Berkeley
The University of California - Berkeley offers three different graduate programs in which students can study epidemiology. The 11-month Master of Public Health option is designed for professionals who have already obtained a doctoral degree, like dentists or physicians. The school also offers a 2-year Master of Science in Epidemiology program that allows students to study both epidemiology and biostatistics, as well as the basic science areas. Finally, Berkeley also offers a Ph.D. program in epidemiology which students can complete in around four years. The curriculum for this program is almost similar as that of the master's program though students must then complete a dissertation, take a number of exams, and have a more in-depth study of their chosen concentration.
University of California - Irvine
Students who enroll at the University of California - Irvine may be interested in the Master of Science degree program in epidemiology. This program can be completed in two years and requires that students complete a master's thesis at the end of their studies. The school also offers a Ph.D. program in epidemiology, which can be completed in between four and five years. Students who enroll in epidemiology graduate programs at UC - Irvine may be interested in pursuing some of the research fields that the faculty at this school have done significant work in. In particular, UC - Irvine has developed research areas in cancer epidemiology, with a couple of cancer research centers and programs dedicated to this field, like the UC Irvine Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and The California Cancer Registry.
University of California - Los Angeles
The University of California - Los Angeles also offers both a Master of Science and Ph.D. degree in epidemiology. Students who enroll in the master's degree program must complete a minimum of 56 credit hours in addition to either completing a master's capstone project or a master's thesis. Students in the Ph.D. program must also fulfill the same curriculum requirements while also completing a few additional courses in statistics and pathobiology, as well as doctoral dissertation rather than a thesis. The Department of Epidemiology is home to four different research centers related to epidemiologic research - the Center for Environmental Genomics, the UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health, the Behavioral Epidemiology Research Group, and the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health.
University of Southern California
The University of Southern California offers a Master of Public Health program that allows students to select the Biostatistics-Epidemiology concentration. In this program, students will take general courses in public health as well as 24 units of coursework that are specific to the epidemiology concentration. Sixteen of these units must be taken from a pre-determined list of course options, while students can select the remaining eight from elective options like environmental epidemiology, biological threats and terrorism, or reproductive and perinatal epidemiology. USC also requires that students complete a practicum component as part of the curriculum after completing some of the core public health courses. During this practicum, students will gain practical experience by working with some type of public health agency at the local, state, or federal level.
San Diego State University
San Diego State University is another option that students seeking epidemiology graduate programs may want to consider. This school offers a Master of Public Health program in which students can select a concentration in epidemiology. In this program, students must complete 51 units over the span of two years. Fifteen of these credits are completed through the core public health classes, 12 are through the epidemiology concentration courses, and 18 are completed through elective courses. Students must also complete three units through a field placement and three units through a capstone experience, which could be a master's thesis or manuscript.
Admission Standards for Graduate Degree Programs in California
Individuals who plan to enroll in graduate degree programs in epidemiology in California will need to send in a completed application file and make sure that they meet admission standards if they wish to be considered. Typically, master's degree programs in epidemiology prefer candidates who have a strong background in mathematics, biology, and the social sciences, though these programs typically don't specify a required bachelor's degree field. Some doctoral programs may admit students with only a bachelor's degree, while others may prefer applicants who have already obtained a master's degree. When applying for a program, students will generally need to send a completed application form, all past academic transcripts, a personal statement, letters of recommendation, and results from the GRE exam.
There are a variety of options for students interested in pursuing a graduate degree in epidemiology in the state of California that will equip them with research skills and experience. Though application requirements may vary depending on a specific program, most schools expect applicants to have a considerable preparation for graduate studies by having previously taken courses in mathematics and the sciences.