Epidemiology

epidemiology

Study and control disease or injury patterns in populations

Career opportunities: Local/state epidemiologist, research epidemiologist, pharmacoepidemiologist, clinical laboratory scientist, academic

Overview

Epidemiology focuses on the study of the distribution and determinants of health in populations and communities. It is the scientific foundation of public health research that seeks to reduce risk factors and improve health. The discipline also contributes to public health practice and policy, and research in other health-related fields such as medicine and pharmacy. This concentration area is designed to train professionals to apply the principles and methods of epidemiological investigation in a broad range of settings. Students who seek epidemiology as a concentration typically have strong quantitative training, or are interested and enjoy quantitative or mathematical work. They tend to describe themselves as enjoying science, problem-solving, analytic reasoning, and have goals that include studying the causes, cures, and prevention of health problems. MPH graduates with a concentration in epidemiology are employed as epidemiologists in a broad range of organizations, such as federal, state and local public health agencies, private, government and academic research, pharmaceutical and other industries, health care organizations and medical settings, legal settings, and consulting firms.

Faculty in the Department of Epidemiology teach courses and advise students in the epidemiology concentration. The curriculum is designed to prepare practicing epidemiologists and to provide a foundation for those who wish to continue to a PhD program in epidemiology. Courses and other educational experiences are carefully structured to enable students to develop competence in very specific epidemiology skills.

If you are interested in the epidemiology concentration, please contact Aubrey Bonsal.

Epidemiology Curricula

Additional information on the curriculum, including plans of study, can be found in the MPH Student Handbook.

Epidemiology Core Courses

  • PHC 6000 Epidemiology Methods I
    Prereq: PHC 6001, and PHC 6052 or PHC 6050; or approval of department.
  • PHC 6011 Epidemiology Research Methods II
    Prereq: PHC 6000, and PHC 6052 or PHC 6050 or approval of department.
  • PHC 6002 Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases
    Prereq: PHC 6001, and PHC 6052 or PHC 6050 or approval of department.
  • PHC 6003 Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases and Disability
    Prereq: PHC 6001, and PHC 6052 or PHC 6050 or approval of department.

Internship/Applied Practice Experience

The purpose of the MPH internship/APE (usually a research internship for epidemiology students) is to (1) apply the skills learned across the MPH curriculum and within epidemiology specifically, and (2) advance the student’s understanding of epidemiology and public health in a real-world application and setting. Typically, MPH students should seek an internship that will extend their post-graduate competitive profile in future education (e.g., PhD, MD), or in various government, private, and agency employment markets. Based on students’ goals, the internship setting may be in a public health agency, academic setting, or another related organization or agency. Within those settings, students may focus on a variety of specific disciplines or content areas of research, such as infectious or chronic disease, genetics, or cancer.

Special Project/Capstone

Students must complete a special project/capstone project that demonstrates their ability to define an issue, apply methods appropriate to their concentration, and produce results. These final activities of the MPH program are intended to encourage students to understand their projects in the larger context of public health as a cross-disciplinary field and in relation to the competencies expected of all MPH graduates.


Interested in the other concentrations offered in the MPH program? Explore other options on the Concentrations page.