MS in Epidemiology

Degree Description and Learner Objectives

This program is designed to prepare graduate level students for professional career opportunities in which specialized knowledge of epidemiologic methods and analytic techniques are useful. Placement possibilities include employment in local, state, or federal health agencies, academic departments within Schools of Public Health or Colleges of Health Sciences, or private enterprise.

Graduates of the MS program will be able to:

  1. Define the concepts and contents of epidemiology.
  2. Formulate a research hypothesis.
  3. Determine study aim, objectives and appropriate study design to address the hypothesis.
  4. Describe health and disease measurement in a clinical and community populations.
  5. Identify risk and/or preventive factors that may contribute to outcome to incorporate them into a research study.
  6. Use computers to collect, manage and analyze data for evaluation of hypotheses.
  7. Use questionnaires and measurement instruments in collection of data.
  8. Use existing databases to provide background or supportive data to address research questions.
  9. Analyze data and to compose an understandable and presentable report of the results.
  10. Perform ethical research.


A baccalaureate degree is required. Undergraduate preparation must have included two semesters of biological sciences and mathematics through algebra. Coursework in statistics is highly desirable.

Required General Courses

NOTE: For more detailed information on MS requirements, consult the Student Handbook.

In addition to the requirements listed below, all students are required to attend 80 percent department seminars and Journal Club meetings. Also, each student must present one scientific poster at the department level, and the department recommends that they present at the international, national, regional, state, or University level at some point in the student’s program of study.

Number Title Hours
CPH:6100 Essentials of Public Health 1 s.h.
BIOS:4120 Introduction to Biostatistics 3 s.h.
EPID:5610 Intermediate Epidemiology Data Analysis with SAS and R 3 s.h.
EPID:5241 Statistical Methods in Epidemiology 4 s.h.
EPID:4400 Epidemiology I: Principles 3 s.h.
EPID:5600 Intro. to Epi Data Management & Analysis 3 s.h.
EPID:6400 Epidemiology II: Advanced Methods 4 s.h.
CPH:7270 Principles of Scholarly Integrity: Public Health 1 s.h.
PATH:5133 Introduction to Human Pathology 4 s.h.
PATH:5270 Pathogenesis of Major Human Diseases 3 s.h.

Choose one of the following two courses:

Number Title Hours
EPID:6550 Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases
3 s.h.
EPID:6600 Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases 3 s.h.

In addition, students must select either Preceptorship
(non-thesis degree) or Thesis (thesis degree):

Number Title Hours
EPID:5950 Preceptorship in Epidemiology 3 s.h.
EPID:7000 Thesis 3-6 s.h.

Epidemiology Electives

A minimum of 5 s.h. of electives must be selected from any course offered by the Epidemiology Department (EPID). In addition, the student will work with her/his adviser in selecting at least 2 s.h. of elective coursework pertinent to educational goals and background. Selection may be made from among courses in the Epidemiology Department or from any graduate course in the university catalog provided approval is obtained from the adviser on the Plan of Study.

Students may need to do additional elective course work in order to complete the minimum 39 s.h. required for the degree.

Suggested College of Public Health Electives:

Number Title Hours
BIOS:6310 Introductory Longitudinal Data Analysis 3 s.h.
BIOS:6210 Applied Survival and Cohort Data Analysis 3 s.h.
CBH:5220 Health Behavior and Health Education 3 s.h.
HMP:4000 Introduction to US Health Care System 3 s.h.
OEH:4240 Global Environmental Health 3 s.h.

Total Semester Hours Required for M.S. in Epidemiology (minimum): 39

MS Degree Without Thesis, Master’s Final Examination

The master’s examination is a written in-class exam that measures learning of epidemiological concepts and knowledge of epidemiological thoughts as presented in required courses. This exam is offered twice per year.

MS Degree With Thesis, Master’s Thesis Defense

The master’s thesis defense is an oral presentation of the purpose, methods, and results of the thesis research. A specially formed committee will thoroughly examine the student’s area of knowledge associated with the context of the work. The goal of the thesis is a document that is publishable in a peer-reviewed journal.