Master of Science in Epidemiology

Learn more about the Epidemiology program

The epidemiology program addresses health disparities as a crosscutting theme at the local, national, and global levels via didactic training, practicums, and applied ‘hands-on’ research leading to the written thesis. All students take a sequence of core courses in epidemiology, health disparities research, and introduction to the concentrations. Then the students choose one of the three areas of concentrations offered for their electives and thesis focus.

Program Description

Our curriculum provides an opportunity for students:

  • to develop an understanding of the principles of social justice and health equity, and to recognize the biological, social, and economic determinants of health disparities nationally and globally; through scientifically grounded training in theory, policy and, research in epidemiology
  • to study and apply epidemiological methods to the investigation of health disparities, and to understand role of community-based and community-engaged research in the amelioration of health disparities
  • to recognize existing disparities across common health conditions and specific methods to eliminate such disparities


A descriptive listing of the core courses and elective courses can be viewed on our Course Descriptions page.

Application Deadlines- Fall 2024

Priority: January 15

Application fee is waived for priority applicants. Applications received by this date will receive priority consideration for admission and scholarship aid.

All Applicants: April 1

Final application deadline for entrance to Fall 2023.

Please be sure to review the Graduate School Admissions page and the Admissions Requirements Checklist before beginning the online application.

Sample Course Schedule

FALL ICreditsSPRING ICredits
Epidemiology I – EPID 50013Epidemiology II – EPID 50023
Biostatistics I – EPID 50033Biostatistics II – EPID 50053
Research Ethics & Professional Development Seminar – EPID 50101Computer Software Lab II – EPID 50061
Research Ethics & Professional Development Seminar – EPID 50111
Core Concentration I – Introduction To Social And Behavioral Health & Health Disparities Research – EPID 50073Core Concentration II –Introduction to Cancer Epidemiology – EPID 50081.5
Core Concentration III –Introduction to Infectious Disease Epidemiology – EPID 50091.5
Research Ethics & Professional Development Seminar – EPID 50121Research Ethics & Professional Development Seminar – EPID 50131
Thesis Research – EPID 9999 03*0Thesis Research – EPID 9999 01#0

Program Requirements

The M.S. in Epidemiology program is a 4-semester program requiring each student to complete 34 credit hours. These 34 credit hours are comprised of: 23 credits of core courses, and at least 11 credits in concentration-specific courses, inclusive of a thesis. All students take a sequence of core courses in epidemiology, health disparities research, and an introduction to the program’s concentrations. Students then choose one of the three areas of concentrations offered for their electives and thesis focus.

Areas of Concentration

The Master of Science in Epidemiology program offers three concentration areas:

  • Cancer Epidemiology (CE)
  • Infectious Disease Epidemiology (IDE)
  • Social and Behavioral Epidemiology (SBE)

The Cancer Epidemiology concentration provides graduate students with a firm foundation in the application of epidemiological methods to the study of cancer and cancer health disparities. Despite recent progress on the “war on cancer” on many fronts, the aging of the global population is predicted to result in an ever-increasing burden of cancer on societies that is unequal across different population subgroups, if current trends in incidence and prevalence continue unabated. Epidemiologists will continue to play a central role in the prevention and control of cancer, and reduction in cancer disparities through their participation and leadership roles in cancer registries, population demographic studies, screening programs, developing biomarkers of risk factors and early diagnosis, furthering the understanding of underlying risk factors, and performing impactful research on cancer prevention and survivorship.

The Infectious Disease Epidemiology concentration provides graduate students with extensive training in the epidemiologic principles related to the microbiology, virology, and parasitology of infectious diseases and the associated clinical and scientific methods associated with diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases, surveillance along with modes and dynamics of transmission, disease elimination strategies, global, national, and local disparities in infectious diseases, and exploratory and inferential statistical analyses to model disease patterns. This track will forge the successful training of scientific professionals who will be able to interact with other interdisciplinary professionals so as to mitigate the impact of infectious diseases and infectious disease-related disparities.

The Social & Behavioral Epidemiology concentration provides graduate students with a command of essential concepts and skills in epidemiology and a solid foundation in human social and behavioral science theories, research methods, and their application to clinical and public health challenges, including disparities in social and behavioral health. Students who choose this concentration will develop competency in topics such as social determinants of health, health promotion, and risk and resilient behaviors in disease prevention and control. The concentration in social and behavioral epidemiology also provides graduates with comprehensive research, advocacy, and program planning and management skills and prepare them for careers in local, national, and global disease prevention and control programs and population health management.

Experiential Learning

Professional Development Seminar

Students participate in a monthly seminar series focused on hot topics in epidemiology and research ethics. Learning from working professionals helps students to network, as well as articulate their knowledge and skills relevant to the workplace.

Master’s Thesis

All master’s students must identify a faculty member who will serve as the mentor for the Thesis. In addition a faculty member will be assigned to serve as the ‘reader’ for the Thesis. This process is expected to be a culminating project based on interest, exposure and experience of students and mentors. The mentors will facilitate and oversee research thesis projects for the students. Each master’s student must write a thesis and follow the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences policies and procedures. The students will be required to present his/her thesis as a poster at the established annual research symposium day for the Epidemiology Program. The poster session will be in lieu of a formal thesis defense. The Thesis mentor and reader must sign off on the Master’s Thesis Reviewers Report once the thesis has been successfully completed.

Part-time Enrollment

The program is designed to be completed full-time or part-time. To accommodate our students needs, we offer coursework throughout the day and the evenings.