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 course work that focuses on theoretical and applied epidemiological and statistical methods. 

If desired, a student may apply for admission to the doctorate of philosophy (PhD) in the field of epidemiology degree program prior to completing the MS degree, in which case a maximum of 24 credits from the MS degree may be applied to the PhD coursework requirements. In this instance, the student will be required to take a minimum of 27 additional credits of course work. The distribution of these courses between epidemiology and statistics depends on the nature of the master's degree and whether the transferred credits will be used to defray epidemiology and statistics course work.

Specific admission requirements are shown on the Graduate Program Finder.

Required Prerequisites* for applicants to the MS, Epidemiology are:

  • Calculus I and II- 6 credits
  • Human Biology- 8 credits       

And, these courses are Highly Recommended Admissions Prerequisites^:

  • Linear Algebra- 3 credits
  • SAS- 3 credits

Specific admission requirements are shown on the Graduate Program Finder.

Visit the program website for additional program information.

Preparatory Requirements

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

BISC 1115
BISC 1125
Introductory Biology: Cells and Molecules
and Introduction to Cells and Molecules Laboratory *
BISC 1116
BISC 1126
Introductory Biology: The Biology of Organisms
and Introduction to Organisms Laboratory
MATH 1231Single-Variable Calculus I
MATH 1232Single-Variable Calculus II

Additional Course Requirements

Applicants lacking the courses listed below (or equivalents to these GW courses) will be considered for admission, but will be eligible for conditional admission only with the expectation that these courses will be completed satisfactorily within two semesters following matriculation in the program.

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

Program Requirements 

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 33 credits, including 17 credits in core courses and 13 credits in elective courses, and 3 credits in consulting and thesis.

Required core
Public health core
PUBH 6003Principles and Practices of Epidemiology (basis for MS general comprehensive)
PUBH 6247Design of Health Studies (basis for MS general comprehensive)
PUBH 6252Advanced Epidemiology Methods (basis for MS general comprehensive)
PUBH 6299Topics in Epidemiology and Biostatistics (credits vary per course- may take 1 or 2 courses)
Statistics core
One of the following:
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 (students interested in applying to the PhD program in epidemiology may register in STAT 6201 & STAT 6202 with advisor's approval)
13 credits from the following:
Approved public health elective courses:
PUBH 6001Biological Concepts in Public Health
PUBH 6002Biostatistical Applications for Public Health
PUBH 6004Environmental and Occupational Health in a Sustainable World
PUBH 6007Social and Behavioral Approaches to Public Health
PUBH 6121Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology
PUBH 6123Toxicology: Applications for Public Health Policy
PUBH 6124Problem Solving in EOH
PUBH 6242Clinical Epidemiology and Decision Analysis
PUBH 6243Topics in Clinical Epidemiology and Decision Analysis
PUBH 6244Cancer Epidemiology
PUBH 6245Infectious Disease Epidemiology
PUBH 6250Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS
PUBH 6260Advanced Data Analysis for Public Health
PUBH 6262Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
PUBH 6283Biostatistics Consulting Practicum
PUBH 6299Topics in Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Approved statistics elective courses:
STAT 2118Regression Analysis
STAT 4181Applied Time Series Analysis
STAT 3187Introduction to Sampling
Consulting and thesis
PUBH 6258Advanced Topics in Biostatistical Consulting
PUBH 6999Master of Science in Epidemiology Thesis

*Honors Program students and those who have been invited to join the Scholars in Quantitative and Natural Sciences (SQNS) Program take BISC 1120 instead of BISC 1125 for the lab component. 

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 4 years.