Graduate degree programs in molecular epidemiology train students to further understand human health issues. These programs are typically research-based, include laboratory work, and may require a thesis or dissertation, depending on the degree level. Learn more about the field at each degree level here.
Graduate Programs in Molecular Epidemiology
Master of Science
Students can pursue a Master of Science (MS) in Molecular Epidemiology or pursue the subject as an area of expertise or specialization track for programs in areas like environmental health science or human genetics. In general, programs are typically on campus and may require around 38 units and a master's thesis. Students in these programs may also be expected to maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout their studies and may be provided with the opportunity to work in wet or dry labs in areas like pathology, preventative medicine, or biochemistry. Coursework for these degree programs may include subjects in data analysis, molecular epidemiology, epidemiology, cell biology, biochemistry, pathology, and environmental contaminants.
Doctor of Philosophy
Molecular epidemiology is more commonly available as a track or concentration area at the doctoral level in schools of public health or medicine. Students in these Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs typically undergo research rotations during the first 2 years to select a topic of research and a mentor. Then students usually complete a dissertation on their research area; possible areas include veterinary epidemiology, injury epidemiology, vaccine evaluation, and health disparities. Students in the program may take core courses in topics such as biostatistics, molecular epidemiology, genetic epidemiology, statistics, and genomics. PhD students may also be required to work as teaching assistants.
There is at least one graduate-level certificate available in genetic and molecular epidemiology that totals 9 credits. The program includes multiple field experiences where attendance is encouraged, but not mandatory, and requires a practicum experience for hands-on learning. Students in the program also complete a thesis project or culminating experience. Coursework consists of core courses in human genome epidemiology and molecular epidemiology in public health followed by electives in various subjects, like bioinformatics, human toxicology, statistical genetics, and cancer epidemiology.
Common Entrance Requirements
Students applying to graduate degree programs in molecular epidemiology must have a bachelor's degree, and students applying to the graduate certificate program in the field need to be current master's level students at the home institution. Some master's programs may offer admission for fall, spring, or summer semesters, while doctoral programs usually only admit for fall semester. Some programs may require students to meet a minimum GPA requirement, usually around a 3.0, and most of these programs require applicants to take the GRE and have their test scores submitted to the institution. Applications for these programs may include items such as transcripts, letters of recommendation, research experience, and/or a personal statement. Some doctoral programs may also include an interview process and typically consider how a student's research interests align with research interests of faculty members.
Students can pursue an MS, PhD, or graduate certificate in molecular epidemiology and receive hands-on training in the field. These programs typically require a final research project (thesis or dissertation) and include course topics in epidemiology, genetics, statistics, and more.