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 (required). This degree is appropriate for physicians or other health professionals who prefer a more focused program than the MPH to prepare for research and teaching careers. Exceptional applicants with a bachelor's who seek a research career or PhD are also considered.

Likely Careers

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


GREs are not required for Fall 2021 applicants; goal statement demonstrating good understanding or Epidemiology and role of training in career; excellent references that speak to qualifications for training/career in epidemiology. Program is competitive.

Concurrent Option:   MD/MS

Application Deadline:  Dec. 1 for Autumn Quarter admissions, or for Summer Quarter admissions for postdoc fellows or concurrent MDs


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.