The Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics provides rigorous training in the fundamental sciences underlying public health practice. Using epidemiologic methods, we investigate social and behavioral determinants of health, with emphasis on cardiovascular disease, obesity, HIV/STIs, and cancer. The MPH in epidemiology emphasizes training in the application of epidemiologic methods to the study of disease occurrence, prevention and control.

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View the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics flyer.

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Requirements

The Master of Public Health in Epidemiology consists of 43 credit hours of graduate work, including 3 to 6 elective credit hours and a 6 to 9 credit hours capstone experience that includes an internship (3 credits, 240 hrs.) and either an MPH project (3 credits) or thesis (6 credits). A full-time student may complete our program in 2 years. Part-time students may take up to 4 years to complete the program.  The majority of courses are offered in the late afternoon and evenings. All requirements must be met and the degree awarded within five years following the date of entrance into the program. There is a recommended sequence for completing the MPH program that considers prerequisites and course scheduling.

Competencies

The Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in Epidemiology is a professional, practice-based degree. As such, upon completion of the degree requirements, all students are expected to demonstrate their ability to:

Epidemiology Common Core Competencies

  1. Identify vital statistics and other key sources of data for epidemiological purposes
  2. Describe a public health problem in terms of magnitude, person, time and place.
  3. Discuss the principles and limitations of public health screening programs.
  4. Comprehend basic ethical and legal principles pertaining to the collection, maintenance, use and dissemination of epidemiologic data.
  5. Explain the importance of epidemiology for informing scientific, ethical, economic and political discussion of health issues. 
  6. Apply the basic terminology and definitions of epidemiology.
  7. Calculate basic epidemiology measures.
  8. Communicate epidemiologic information to lay and professional audiences.
  9. Differentiate among the criteria for causality.
  10. Draw appropriate inferences from epidemiologic data.
  11. Describe epidemiologic study designs and assess their strengths and limitations.
  12. Evaluate the strengths and limitations of epidemiologic reports.

Epidemiology Cognate Competencies

  1. Calculate advanced epidemiology measures.
  2. Design, analyze, and evaluate an epidemiologic study.
  3. Design interventions to reduce prevalence of major public health problems.
  4. Demonstrate program administration and organizational leadership.

Curriculum

  Course Credits
Public Health Core EPIB 610  Foundations of Epidemiology 3
EPIB 650  Biostatistics I 3
HLSA 601  Introduction to Health Systems 3
HLTH 665  Health Behavior I 3
MIEH 600  Foundations of Environmental Health 3
Cognate Area EPIB 611  Intermediate Epidemiology 3
EPIB 612  Epidemiologic Study Design 3
EPIB 620  Chronic Disease Epidemiology 3
EPIB 622  Social Determinants of Health 3
EPIB 641  Public Health and Research Ethics 1
EPIB 651  Biostatistics II 3
Electives with Advisement 3/6
Capstone EPIB 785  Internship in Public Health 3
EPIB 786 Capstone Project in Public Health (3 credits) or
EPIB 799 Thesis (6 credits)
3/6
  Total Epidemiology MPH Program 43

Internship/Capstone

The MPH Program expects students to obtain a significant practicum experience in population-based health prior to graduation. A practicum/internship experience involves hands-on experience working and interacting with public health professionals. All students are required to obtain a practicum experience as part of the MPH program, regardless of prior experience.

The 240 hour internship is designed to enable students to gain practical experience as professionals under conditions conducive to educational development. The internship is a time-limited, supervised period of epidemiologic activities carried out in a public health organization that works with epidemiologic studies. The internship provides students with the opportunity to integrate and apply knowledge and skills obtained in the MPH program.

In addition to the internship, all students must choose to complete an applied project (EPIB 786, 3 credits) or a research thesis (EPIB 799, 6 credits) as the culminating experience of the program. These experiences are student-led and require synthesis and integration of knowledge acquired in coursework, practicum, and other learning experiences and the application of theory and principles in a situation that approximates some aspect of professional practice. When designing the project/thesis students should review the MPH competencies for their program. Students must address each competency between the internship and project/thesis.

There are numerous opportunities to obtain a practicum experience. Examples of previous student practica placements for the MPH in Epidemiology include:

  • Nutritional Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute (NCI)
  • Center on Health Disparities, Adventist HealthCare
  • Bureau of Primary Health Care, Office of Data Quality, Health Services Research Administration (HRSA)
  • Division of Cardiovascular Disease, National Health Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
  • Research Data Center, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
  • Food Surveys Research Group, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Department of Epidemiology (DEPI), Office of Surveillance and Biometrics, Centers for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), Secretariat for Multidimensional Security, Organization of American States (OAS)
  • Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
  • Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs
  • National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)