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Biostatistics and Epidemiology

Master of Science (MS) in Epidemiology (36 credits)

The MS Degree in Epidemiology provides students with an in depth understanding of the role of this core public health discipline. It teaches sufficient knowledge of epidemiology theory, research methods, and analytical methods to allow effective participation in interdisciplinary public health efforts and the development of specialized skills. Applicants need to have strong quantitative and verbal skills.

Epidemiology is one of the fundamental skills for public health, clinical practice, and population health research. The MS degree in Epidemiology emphasizes research applications in the public health field. Students enrolled in this program will hone their quantitative analysis skill set through coursework and a substantial research project that deepens their understanding in epidemiological and statistical methods. Graduates will be prepared to pursue careers in several sectors – including governmental agencies, industry including pharmaceutical companies, and healthcare organizations. Graduates will be well prepared to pursue doctoral-level coursework.

Students are only admitted to begin coursework in the fall semester.

How is the MS different from the MPH?
The MS in Epidemiology is an academic degree oriented toward research. It is designed for students who wish to gain a more in depth understanding in epidemiology methodology. The MPH in Epidemiology is a professional or practice degree that provides broader training in public health and epidemiology.


Competencies for the Master of Science in Biostatistics (30 credits)

Each Concentration identifies competencies for each degree offered. These competencies reflect the full range of knowledge, skills, and other attributes that a student will acquire as a result of completing the requirements for a particular degree.

Upon graduation, a student completing the MS curriculum in Epidemiology will be able to:

  • Identify and synthesize scientific literature on clinical and public health topics in order to generate hypotheses, conclusions, and recommendations
  • Select and implement epidemiologic techniques to quantitatively assess patterns and changes in disease occurrence
  • Develop and test a specific hypothesis using an appropriate study design and analysis plan
  • Evaluate strengths and limitations of health data for public health research and/or practice
  • Design and implement data quality control and management methods during data collection and/or analysis
  • Appropriately analyze and interpret epidemiologic data to extend the current knowledge of public health research or practice
  • Discuss study findings and their implications with professional audiences


Curriculum for the Master of Science in Epidemiology (36 credits)

Students seeking the MS in Epidemiology degree must complete 36 credits of academic work with a minimum GPA of least 3.0; earn no more than six (6) credits bearing grades less than “B,” and complete the degree requirements within five years. Courses are three credit hours unless otherwise noted and semester when each course is typically offered is noted parentheses. Students should review the Forward Schedule for long-term course planning and the Course Schedule for each semester to determine when, where, and how a course is offered.

  • CORE COURSES (12 credits)
    • PHCO 0502 – Principles and Methods of Epidemiology
    • PHCO 0504 – Introduction to Biostatistics (Prerequisite: Quantitative Skills Assessment)
    • PHCO 0512 – Public Health Foundations (Spring)
    • ENOH 0560 – Public Health Biology and Physiology (Spring)
      (Note: students with a clinical background may be exempt from this 3-credit course, but are required to take an alternative 3-credit class)
  • REQUIRED METHODS COURSES (12 credits) Note: Students should review the Course Descriptions in the School Catalog for specific information about prerequisites required for required courses and recommended electives. Semesters when the required courses will be offered are noted for your course planning.
    • EPID 0656 – Intermediate Epidemiologic Research Methods (Fall/Spring)
    • EPID 0657 – Applied Methods in Epidemiologic Research (Fall/Spring)
    • BIST 0535 – Biostatistical Computing (Fall/Spring)
    • BIST 0551 – Applied Regression Analysis for Public Health Studies (Fall/Spring)
  • -also-
    Choose one of the following six:
    • EPID 0621 – Survey Research Methods in Epidemiology (Fall)
    • EPID 0753 – Advanced Epidemiologic Research Methods with Applications (Spring) Note: Doctoral-level course requires special permission from the instructor.
    • BIST 0615 – Applied Categorical Data Analysis (Fall)
    • BIST 0627 – Applied Survival Data Analysis (Spring)
    • BIST 0650 – Applied Longitudinal Data Analysis (Fall)
    • HBSP 0726 – Intermediate Survey Methods (Summer) Note: Doctoral-level course requires special permission from the instructor.
    • UGPH 0605 – Qualitative Research Methods (Fall)
  • -also-
    Choose one of the following eleven:
    • EPID 0550 – Public Health Surveillance
    • EPID 0552 – Infectious Disease Epidemiology (Fall)
    • EPID 0563 – Introduction to Outcomes Research (Fall)
    • EPID 0601 – Cancer Epidemiology (Spring)
    • EPID 0607 – Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology (Fall)
    • EPID 0638 – TB: A View from the Trenches
    • EPID 0650 – Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology (Fall)
    • EPID 0652 – Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases (Fall)
    • EPID 0672 – Pharmacoepidemiology and Therapeutic Risk Management (Spring)
    • EPID 0673 – Social Epidemiology (Spring)
    • EPID 0677 – Molecular Epidemiology: Integration of Biomarkers in Population-Based Research
    • UGPH 0560 – Maternal and Child Health (Fall)
    Note: With permission of advisor, students may choose a second advanced methods course instead of a sub-discipline selective.
  • RESEARCH (6 credits)
    • RESH 0620 – MS in Epidemiology Thesis Proposal Seminar (Fall)
    • RESH 0621 – MS in Epidemiology Research
  • Other Requirements
    • EPID 0602 – MS in Epidemiology Journal Club (0 credits; required 2 times)
      (Students must attend a minimum of 4 meetings per semester in their last two semesters; students must attend after completing EPID 0656)