Infectious disease epidemiology is typically offered as a concentration area for students in master's or doctoral epidemiology programs. These programs provide students with basic training in the subject, as well as coursework and/or research opportunities in specific infectious diseases. Explore a few of the different program options and their requirements.
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Types of Graduate Programs in Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Master of Science in Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Students can pursue a Master of Science (SM or ScM) in Epidemiology with a concentration in infectious disease that may require as much as 64 credits of coursework. These programs can typically be completed in 2 years, but some program may offer a 1-year program for students who hold a doctorate degree. Students in these programs may be required to maintain a specific GPA (around a 2.75), pass comprehensive exams and/or complete a thesis or final research project. Master's students usually take fewer credits in the concentration than doctoral students, and may take courses in topics such as biostatistics, epidemiologic methods, methods in infectious disease epidemiology, outbreak investigation and epidemiology of infectious diseases.
Doctor of Science in Infectious Disease Epidemiology
At the doctoral level, students can earn a Doctor of Science (SD or ScD) in Epidemiology with a concentration in infectious disease that may take 4 to 5 years to complete. Students in these programs are usually required to complete various comprehensive exams and a dissertation. These programs may also require students to fulfill teaching responsibilities and attend journal clubs in infectious disease epidemiology, research meetings and/or seminar series. Coursework at the doctoral level is usually flexible, but students may take courses in areas like epidemiology theory, concepts in infectious disease epidemiology, vaccine policy, human physiology, research methods and food and water-borne diseases.
Graduate Certificate in Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Students wishing to study infectious disease epidemiology at the graduate level, but not wishing to pursue an entire graduate program in the field, may pursue a graduate certificate in the subject. Typically, these certificate programs are designed for current graduate students, such as students pursuing a Master of Public Health (MPH), and are usually around 15 credits in length. Students usually take 2 or 3 core courses and then a few elective courses in specific areas of interest. Coursework for these programs may cover topics in epidemiology of infectious disease, malaria, HIV and AIDS, laboratory methods, vaccines and more.
Common Entrance Requirements
In order to apply to graduate degree programs in infectious disease epidemiology, students need to have at least a bachelor's degree and for graduate certificate programs in the field, students usually need to already be enrolled at the institution. Some of the graduate degree programs may require students to have prior coursework in areas such as biology and math, and/or work experience. Successful candidates to these programs may have significant research experience and/or good written and verbal communication skills. Depending on the program, students may need to include their transcripts, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, personal statement and/or resume with their application.
Students can earn a graduate certificate, master's or doctoral degree in infectious disease epidemiology to acquire the necessary knowledge and research skills for the field. Most master's and doctoral programs require students to complete a final research project.