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MPH in Epidemiology

The MPH in Epidemiology is a professional degree that prepares students to serve as epidemiologists in mid-level positions in public health research or practice settings. The program appeals to professionals currently employed in the health field and as well as those without previous training or experience in public health.

The MPH degree in epidemiology is highly analytical and methods-based. Students learn to apply conceptual methodology to the study of public health problems and health disparities as a means of understanding how to prevent or address them. As an MPH student in epidemiology, the knowledge base and research skills are applied within a chosen content area of current importance in the field, such as chronic or infectious disease; environmental, reproductive, molecular/cancer, or genetic epidemiology.  Through coursework and other learning experiences, students gain a thorough knowledge of the sources of health data, how to collect data from original sources, process, analyze and effectively report findings from epidemiologic studies.

Graduates can design and carry out studies in which epidemiologic information is needed for making sound health policy decisions or for the management of research projects in both public and private agencies and institutions.

Program Competencies
  • Pose the appropriate research question or questions when given a public health or medical problem requiring an epidemiological investigation.
  • Select the appropriate study design to answer the research question.
  • Identify demographic, social/behavioral and environmental factors which have an impact on the problem under investigation.
  • Specify the data needed to answer the question, including data on possible confounding factors identified above.
  • Write a study protocol detailing the objectives and methods for such an investigation.
  • Identify the sources of health data such as demographic reports, vital statistics records, disease registries, and clinic and hospital records and how to access these sources.
  • Interpret health status indices based on these data, such as mortality and morbidity rates.
  • Plan, organize, and manage procedures for collecting data from existing sources as well as original sources such as household surveys or subjects identified for specific studies.
  • Use computer software for data processing preparatory to statistical analysis.
  • Analyze data using appropriate statistical techniques under the guidance of someone with more advanced training.
  • Interpret the results in consultation with an investigator experienced in the problem area.
  • Critique epidemiologic literature for strengths and weaknesses of the methodology in published studies.
  • Discuss from knowledge of the literature the epidemiology in a chosen area of interest, namely chronic diseases, infectious diseases, environmental, reproductive, genetic or molecular epidemiology.
Admission Requirements

Students applying to master's programs at SPHTM must meet the school's general admission requirements and submit materials per the application requirements.

Degree Program Requirements

In addition to the SPHTM academic standards, students in the MPH in Epidemiology and those taking advanced epidemiology courses must demonstrate the following performance standards:

  • All students must complete and earn a "B" or better in the prerequisite EPID 6030 Epidemiologic Methods I before advancing to EPID 7120 Epidemiologic Methods II or other advanced epidemiology courses.
  • Any Epidemiology student receiving a grade of "C" in any required course (including any core course) must repeat the course.
  • Epidemiology students receiving a grade of "F" in any course will be dismissed from the program, unless special extenuating circumstances can be demonstrated.
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0.

The MPH in Epidemiology requires 45 credits.

SPHTM - Core Courses (18 credits)

  • BIOS 6030 Introductory Biostatistics (3)
  • EPID 6030 Epidemiological Methods I (3)
  • GCHB 6030 Social and behavioral aspects of global health (3)
  • GEHS 6030 Survey of Environmental Health (3)
  • GHSD 6030 Introduction to Health Systems, Management and Policy (3)

In addition:

  • TRMD 6010 Biological Basis of Disease (3) is required for the MPH in epidemiology. This knowledge may be demonstrated through prior course work or passing the challenge exam for Biological Basis of Disease.

MPH in Epidemiology - Required Courses (19 - 20 credits)

Required courses  (11 credits)

  • EPID 7120 Epidemiologic Methods II (3)
  • EPID 7130 Observational Epidemiology (3)
  • BIOS 6040 Intermediate Biostatistics (3)
  • EPID 6230 Computer Packages for Epidemiology (2)

At least two of the advanced methods courses below are required (5 - 6 credits minimum):

  • EPID 6290 Genetic Epidemiology (3)
  • EPID 6340 Clinical and Translational Research Methods (3)
  • EPID 6420 Clinical Epidemiology (3)
  • EPID 6750 Outbreak Epidemiology (3)
  • EPID 7160 Survey Methodology (3)
  • EPID 7170 Clinical Trials: Design, Conduct and Analysis (3)
  • EPID 7310 Meta-Analysis (3)
  • EPID 7410 Pharmacoepidemiology (2)

At least one descriptive epidemiology course below are required (3 credits minimum):

  • EPID 6090 Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases (3)
  • EPID 6210 Cancer Epidemiology (3)
  • EPID 6220 Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology (3)
  • EPID 6320 Molecular Epidemiology (3)
  • EPID 6480 Reproduction Epidemiology (3)
  • EPID 7210 Epidemiology of HIV/STIs (3)
  • EPID 8810 Human Molecular Genetics (3)

Elective courses (7 - 8 credits)

Selected from courses offered within the department, school, or university in consultation with an academic advisor.

Practicum (SPHL 9980)

All students in the MPH in Epidemiology complete a 200 hour practicum to gain practical experience. The practicum is usually completed after core courses are completed.

Culminating Experience (SPHL 7950)

Students in the MPH in Epidemiology conduct a public health analysis.

Contact Us

Department Chair: Jiang He, MD, PhD

Program Director: Susan Hassig, DrPH

Department Administrator: Therese Carter


Phone: (504) 988-6809

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You can learn more in a webcast.