Master of Science in the Field of Epidemiology

Program Director S.D. Cleary

The Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics offers the master of science (M.S.) 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. Comprehensive examinations are required.

If desired, a student may apply for admission to the doctorate of philosophy (Ph.D). in the field of epidemiology degree program prior to completing the M.S. degree, in which case a maximum of 24 credits from the M.S. degree may be applied to the Ph.D. course work 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.

Visit the program website for additional program information.

At the completion of the MS program in Epidemiology students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in basic epidemiology concepts, e.g., formulate hypotheses and research aims, select appropriate study design, identify risk and/or protective factors that contribute to disease outcomes, develop analytic plans, and identify bias.
  • Demonstrate competence using standard statistical software packages to manage and analyze primary data or conduct secondary data analyses to address research questions
  • Demonstrate proficiency in data analysis and interpretation of results, including discussion of threats to internal validity, and compose a formal presentation or report
  • Describe and apply methods to conduct sound ethical research

Preparatory Requirements

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

BISC 1111Introductory Biology: Cells and Molecules
BISC 1112Introductory Biology: The Biology of Organisms
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 Stat Lab/Packages
or PUBH 6249 StatPackages/DataMgt&DataAnlys

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 Epi/Bio (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 6242ClinicalEpid&Decision Analysis
PUBH 6243Topics:ClinicalEpi&DecAnalysis
PUBH 6244Cancer Epidemiology
PUBH 6245InfectiousDisease Epidemiology
PUBH 6250Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS
PUBH 6260Adv DataAnalysis-Public Health
PUBH 6262Intro-Geog Information Systems
PUBH 6283Biostatistics Consulting Practicum
PUBH 6299Topics in Epi/Bio
Approved statistics elective courses:
STAT 2118Regression Analysis
STAT 4181Applied Time Series Analysis
STAT 3187Introduction to Sampling
Consulting and thesis
PUBH 6258Adv Topics/Biostat Consulting
PUBH 6999Master of Science in Epidemiology Thesis

Graduation Requirements

  1. Graduate Credit Requirement: 33 graduate credits are required
  2. Comprehensive Exam: A written comprehensive exam will be administered based on the course content of PUBH 6003 Prin & Practice/EpidemiologyPUBH 6247 Design of Health Studies, and PUBH 6252 Advanced Epidemiology Methods. The exam is administered upon completion of all courses.
  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