Master of Science in the Field of Epidemiology

Program Director S.D. Cleary

The Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics offers the master of science (MS) in the field of epidemiology degree program. The goals of the program are to prepare students for careers in industry or academia and for continued study in a doctoral program. The program includes coursework that focuses on theoretical and applied epidemiological and statistical methods. 

Students may apply for admission to the doctorate of philosophy (PhD) in the field of epidemiology degree program prior to completing the MS degree. A maximum of 24 credits from the MS degree may be applied toward the PhD. The student must take a minimum additional 27 credits of coursework. The distribution of these courses between epidemiology and statistics depends on the nature of the master's degree and whether credits from that program are used to defray epidemiology and statistics coursework.

Applicants must have completed 6 credits in calculus I and II and 8 credits in human biology prior to beginning the program. Prior completion of 3 credits of linear algebra and 3 credits of SAS are strongly recommended.

Visit the program website for additional program information.

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 33 credits, including 13 credits in public health core courses, 6 credits in statistics core courses, 2 credits in program-specific courses, 9 credits in elective courses, and 3 credits consulting and thesis.

Preparatory requirements

The courses listed below (or equivalents) are prerequisites for admission consideration, and must appear on the student's transcript.

BISC 1115Introductory Biology: Cells and Molecules
BISC 1116Introductory Biology: The Biology of Organisms
MATH 1231Single-Variable Calculus I
MATH 1232Single-Variable Calculus II

Additional course requirements

Applicants who have not already completed one of the courses listed below (or equivalents to these GW courses) are considered for admission, but are eligible for conditional admission only. In such cases, students are expected to satisfactorily complete one of the courses within two semesters from matriculation in the program.

PUBH 6249Use of Statistical Packages: Data Management and Data Analysis
or STAT 2183 Intermediate Statistics Lab/Packages

Program requirements 

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 33 credits, including 19 credits in core public health, 2 credits in an epidemiology program-specific selective, 9 credits of elective courses, and 3 credits in consulting and thesis. In addition, all students must successfully complete a master's comprehensive examination.

Required core courses
Public health
PUBH 6003Principles and Practices of Epidemiology 13
PUBH 6247Design of Health Studies 13
PUBH 6252Advanced Epidemiology Methods 13
PUBH 6080Pathways to Public Health (required of students without an MPH degree only)0
And 4 credits in any graduate-level EXNS or PUBH courses.
STAT 4157
STAT 4158
Introduction to Mathematical Statistics I
and Introduction to Mathematical Statistics II
STAT 6201
STAT 6202
Mathematical Statistics I
and Mathematical Statistics II
Program-specific courses
One of the following 2-credit courses. Others may be taken as electives.
PUBH 6242Clinical Epidemiology and Public Health: Reading the Research2,3
PUBH 6244Cancer Epidemiology2
PUBH 6245Infectious Disease Epidemiology2
PUBH 6250Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS2
PUBH 6259Epidemiology Surveillance in Public Health2
9 credits in any graduate-level EXNS (public health), HSML, or STAT courses. Possible electives include:
PUBH 6121Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology3
PUBH 6123Toxicology: Applications for Public Health Policy3
PUBH 6124Risk Management and Communication3
PUBH 6243Topics in Clinical Epidemiology and Public Health: Reading the Research1
PUBH 6260Advanced Data Analysis for Public Health3
PUBH 6262Introduction to Geographic Information Systems1
PUBH 6263Advanced GIS1
PUBH 6283Biostatistics Consulting Practicum1
PUBH 6299Topics in Epidemiology and Biostatistics1-3
STAT 2118Regression Analysis 33
STAT 3187Introduction to Sampling 33
STAT 4181Applied Time Series Analysis 33
Consulting and thesis
PUBH 6258Advanced Topics in Biostatistical Consulting1
PUBH 6999Master of Science in Epidemiology Thesis2

1 Basis for master's general comprehensive examination.

2 In lieu of STAT 4157 and STAT 4158, students interested in applying to the PhD program in epidemiology may take STAT 6201 and STAT 6202 with the advisor's approval.

3 Undergraduate-level courses approved to be taken for graduate credit with additional work assigned.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Graduate Credit Requirement: 33 graduate credits are required
  2. Comprehensive Exam: successful completion of a written comprehensive exam upon completion of all coursework.
  3. Grade Point Requirements: A 3.0 (B average) overall grade point average is required.
  4. Time Limit Requirement: The MS must be completed within five years.