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Epidemiology MS

Epidemiology is concerned with the study of factors that determine the distribution of health and disease in human populations. The purposes of epidemiological research are to discover the causes of disease, to advance and evaluate methods of disease prevention, and to aid in planning and evaluating the effectiveness of public health programs. Epidemiologists are interested in the study of infectious and noninfectious diseases. In recent years, they have turned their attention increasingly toward the study of conditions affected by forces in the social and physical environment.

Admission to the Epidemiology MS program is limited as it shares admission slots with the Epidemiology PhD program. For the past two academic years, only one applicant a year was admitted to this program. Most applications are redirected to be reviewed for the Epidemiology and Biostatistics MPH (2-year) program.


Our master’s of science program is a two-year program. This program differs from our master’s in public health program in that students emphasize their depth of course work in one or more basic science areas complementary to epidemiologic research and are not required to take the breadth courses in public health.

Students must complete at least 24 credits of courses in epidemiology and biostatistics, complete a minimum of three months of epidemiological research, and complete 48 units overall. In addition, a master’s capstone paper is required.


  • Applicants need to have a strong background in biological, social or mathematical science, which will provide a basis for the application of epidemiological methods and principles to the study of diseases.
  • Common undergraduate majors for admitted applicants include biological, social or mathematical sciences.
  • Common work experience for admitted applicants includes experience in a public health setting.
  • Submissions of GRE scores are optional but recommended for this program, especially if you have no other evidence of quantitative, verbal, or analytical abilities in your application.


Graduates will be prepared for careers in epidemiologic research.