Epidemiologists play an important role in the protection of the public health through the study of patterns of diseases within communities and populations, along with the development of treatment and prevention programs. Those who wish to study epidemiology can pursue a range of degrees. The following options are available at several schools in the state of Texas.
Graduate Degree Programs in Epidemiology
Master of Public Health
One degree option for future epidemiologists is the Master of Public Health (MPH). The MPH is a professional degree, and the goal of programs may be to apply epidemiology concepts to the practice of public health. The MPH typically requires about 45 credit hours and could be completed in around two years. In addition to their coursework, students enrolled in a MPH program will often be required to complete a practicum and a culminating experience such as a capstone course or written paper.
Master of Science in Epidemiology
The Master of Science (M.S.) in epidemiology is a research-focused degree. It is often completed in two years of study. Students will usually complete a series of core and elective courses. Concurrently with their coursework, those pursuing the M.S. will conduct research, usually culminating in a research-based thesis on an area of significant academic interest.
Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology
Students whose goals include research or teaching careers may elect to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Epidemiology. The Ph.D. in epidemiology often requires three to four years of study to finish the required coursework, in addition to completing a research-based dissertation and defense. Preliminary and qualifying examinations are other frequent requirements to earn the degree.
Epidemiology Programs in Texas
Within the state of Texas, there are a range of opportunities to earn the degrees detailed above.
University of Texas
At the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, students can pursue the MPH, M.S., or Ph.D. in epidemiology. Specific courses and completion requirements will depend upon the degree being pursued. Six campuses, placed to meet the varied and diverse public health needs across the state, offer the various programs of study, with Houston having the largest number of students. The university boasts of several well-respected research centers that may be of interest to students pursuing study in epidemiology, including the Center for Infectious Diseases and the Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health.
Texas A&M University
Students can pursue the MPH at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. The program can be completed in an on-campus or online format. Courses of interest may include field epidemiology and disaster epidemiology. Research centers include the USA Center for Rural Public Health Preparedness and the Center for Population Health and Aging.
University of North Texas
The University of North Texas offers degree options towards the MPH, M.S., and Ph.D. Courses will vary by degree, but may include chronic disease epidemiology or applied data analysis in epidemiology. The MPH is offered in an online as well as on-campus format; and the other degrees must be completed in person at the Health Science Center in Fort Worth. Students can elect to participate in public health initiatives to benefit the community, such as mosquito monitoring, an asthma abatement program, or environmental epidemiology research.
Applications to any of these programs are typically made through the Schools of Public Health Application Service. Students are usually expected to submit transcripts, GRE scores, and a statement of purpose. For MPH programs, some schools permit MCAT results to be utilized in place of GRE scores. Ph.D. program applicants may have additional requirements such as an interview or submission of a writing sample.
Within the state of Texas, there are several universities offering these graduate degrees in various portions of the state. Programs are available at the master's and Ph.D. levels and may be offered on campus or online.