MS in Epidemiology


The MS program includes course work in epidemiology and biostatistics, epidemiology and public health electives, and a research-based master's thesis. This degree is appropriate for students with a bachelor’s degree or a clinical doctorate who prefer a program more strictly focused on epidemiologic research methods training than the MPH to prepare for research and teaching careers.

Likely Careers

Research institutes and organizations, clinical research, MD or PhD plus MS; Academia.


The GRE has been permanently eliminated from admissions for all Department of Epidemiology graduate programs; goal statement demonstrating good understanding or Epidemiology and role of training in career; excellent references that speak to qualifications for training/career in epidemiology; Personal History Statement; Resume/CV; Transcripts. The program is competitive.

Concurrent Option:   MD/MS, PhD Molecular Cellular Biology/MS

Application Deadline:  Dec. 1 for Autumn Quarter admissions


Upon satisfactory completion of the MS in Epidemiology, graduates will be able to:

  • Define and calculate measures of disease frequency and measures of association between risk factors and disease;
  • Describe the major epidemiologic research study designs and their advantages and limitations;
  • Describe the major sources of bias in epidemiologic research (confounding, selection bias and measurement error) and the ways to evaluate and reduce the bias;
  • Evaluate effect modification;
  • Apply guidelines to support whether an association is causal;
  • List and define the basic terms and methods used in outbreak investigation, infectious disease epidemiology, chronic disease epidemiology, disease prevention trials and evaluation of screening tests;
  • Design an epidemiologic study to address a question of interest;
  • Apply regression, classical methods of analysis of categorical data, and other appropriate statistical approaches to analyze epidemiologic data;
  • Interpret results of an epidemiologic study, including the relation to findings from other epidemiologic studies, the potential biological and/or social mechanisms, the limitations of the study, and the public health implications; and
  • Write a clear description of the rationale, methods, results and interpretation of an epidemiologic investigation.