Epidemiology Graduate Programs Online

Jan 10, 2019

Graduate programs in epidemiology are usually only available online at the master's level. Find out what specific kind of degree is generally offered in this field, the common coursework for the degree and some typical admissions requirements.

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Epidemiology graduate degree programs are typically available online as Master of Public Health (MPH) in Epidemiology programs. Most commonly, these programs are full-time and can be completed in 2 to 2.5 years, but some hybrid programs are available and may be taken part-time. Explore the details of this MPH program here.

Information for Online Master's Degree Programs in Epidemiology

Coursework for online MPH in Epidemiology programs usually include topics from public health, epidemiology and statistics and provide hands-on learning through applied practice courses, capstone courses and/or other community-based experiences. Although courses titles vary by degree program, below are a handful of common course topics for these programs.


Students in MPH in Epidemiology online programs can expect to take at least 1 course in biostatistics, but most programs require 2 courses in this field. Usually the 2 courses are divided into a basic, foundational course that discuss statistics in public health and a more advanced course that discusses statistical methods in more detail. Specific topics that these courses may cover include linear models, experimental design, analysis of variance (ANOVA), regression, probability and survival analysis.

Public Health

Usually as a part of the public health part of the MPH program, students are required to take a course that discusses the different foundational concepts and systems in public health. These courses provide an overview of the field, as well as the history and theories of public health. Students may also discuss current challenges in public health and/or public health systems on a global scale.

Epidemiology Methods

Courses that discuss methods in epidemiology may also be divided into level 1 and level 2 courses or provide an overview course plus a more specific course in the topic, such as analytic epidemiologic methods. Usually the level 1 or overview course talk about the major concepts in research and analysis methods in epidemiology, including statistical analysis, experimental design, bias, data quality and other quantitative techniques. Advanced or specific courses may go into more detail in a particular area and/or train students how to analyze and present their research results.

Computer Applications

Students in these programs may take a course that covers a variety of computer applications in epidemiology or courses that focus on a particular technique, such as SAS programming. Broader courses that examine different computer-based techniques may look at topics in management, data entry, confidentiality and editing and usually still incorporate SAS programming. Specific courses in SAS programming go into great detail on how to utilize the software program for data analysis and provide students with hands-on exercises, assignments and projects with the software.

Applied Practice

Students in MPH in Epidemiology programs usually complete the program with a culminating experience, which may take the form of an applied practice course, capstone course or practicum experience. Some of these courses may have students working closely with faculty and field professionals, while others are community-based and challenges students to meet an actual community need. For online students, these hands-on experiences are usually completed in their local area.

Common Entrance Requirements

Online MPH in Epidemiology programs typically require applicants to hold at least a bachelor's degree and have a minimum GPA around a 3.0. Some programs may require or prefer for students to have work experience in the health field. Most of these programs require students to have GRE scores that were taken within the last 5 years from when the student applies. Other common application materials for these programs include transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement and an updated resume or CV.

Students can earn online MPH in Epidemiology degrees in about 2 years. Though coursework may be completed online, most of these programs still require a final, hands-on learning experience typically conducted in a student's local community.

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