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Master's in Epidemiology

What is a Master of Science (MS) in Epidemiology?

The Master of Science (MS) in Epidemiology degree offered at Drexel University School of Public Health is a full-time graduate program designed to provide students with a solid understanding of epidemiologic principles and methods.

This graduate program provides students with the ability and capacity to solve complex health problems.

Why Pursue an Epidemiology Master’s Degree at Drexel Dornsife?

Unique benefits of the Epidemiology Master's program at Drexel Dornsife include:

MS in Epidemiology Competencies and Learning Objectives

MS students attain competencies in two areas: General Epidemiology Knowledge/Skills, and Epidemiologic Research Methods.

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

  • Address a research question by identifying appropriate study designs based on knowledge of biological basis of disease and calculating appropriate measures of disease frequency and risk
  • Review and critically evaluate the validity of the design, analysis, and interpretation of findings from published research studies
  • Create and manage datasets appropriate for epidemiologic analyses from sources such as surveillance, large-scale data (i.e, Big Data, such as electronic medical records, administrative claims data), or other health-related research
  • Conduct univariable and multivariable regression and other semi- and non-parametric analytic techniques of an epidemiologic data set using a standard statistical software package
  • Create effective peer-review quality written and visual summaries of analysis results

Graduates are prepared to work in applied epidemiologic and health research fields, or pursue doctoral training in Epidemiology.

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Master's in Epidemiology Admission Requirements and Prerequisites

The Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health seeks students with intellectual and interpersonal competencies who have the potential to serve as thought leaders in the field of public health.

The School has set a high priority on establishing a student body that is representative of the nation's population.

To be considered for the MS in Epidemiology program, applicants must meet these admissions criteria:

  1. An undergraduate bachelor's degree from an accredited US college/university, or its equivalent in another country
  2. Two semesters of college math
  3. Two courses of college biology (i.e. microbiology, physiology, genetics, etc.).

Competitive applicants will possess an undergraduate GPA of 3.30 or higher.

Application Requirements for the Epidemiology Master's Program

To have your application reviewed, applicants to the epidemiology graduate program must submit the following documents:

  • Online application
  • Official transcripts from every college-level institution you attended (academic records from institutions outside the U.S. must undergo a credentials evaluation)
  • English proficiency test score (TOEFL or IELTS), if applicable
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Statement of Purpose and Objectives (describing career and educational goals, professional experience, and area of research interest)

Applications for the Masters of Epidemiology program do not require the GRE.

Applicants to the Epidemiology MS should submit their application and materials through SOPHAS – the centralized application service for schools of public health.

To learn more about Drexel Dornsife's application and admission requirements, please visit the page below:

Review Admissions and Application Requirements

Master’s in Epidemiology Program Curriculum

The MS in Epidemiology curriculum is designed to provide students with the ability to effectively engage in and report research to answer complex public health problems. This includes the development of appropriate research questions and aims, the design and conduct of epidemiologic studies, and the appropriate analysis, interpretation and presentation of research data.

Students will develop a course of study that will build their skills and knowledge in the following areas:

  • Epidemiology Methodology
  • Biostatistics
  • Public Health Research Methods
  • Data Analysis

The MS in Epidemiology requires two years of coursework, consisting of required core courses and electives in the Dornsife School of Public Health. Students are required to complete a Master’s research project.

Core courses in the program include:

  • EPI 500 Introduction to Epidemiology and Biostatistics - 3 credits
  • EPI 560 Intermediate Epidemiology - 3 credits
  • BST 555 Introduction to Statistical Computing - 3 credits
  • BST 553 Longitudinal Data Analysis - 3 credits

Students have flexibility to select electives that align with their research interests and professional goals, including topics such as autism, cardiovascular disease, perinatal epidemiology, and disease outbreak investigation.

In order to receive a Master’s in Epidemiology, students must complete 45 credit hours. In year one, students will complete 27 credits, and in year two, 18 credit hours. There are 21 credits of required courses, 18 credits of electives and 6 additional credits for the masters research project.

Master's Project

In addition to coursework, students completing an MS in Epidemiology will be required to complete a Master's project which includes:

  • A written proposal identifying and describing testable hypotheses developed from a literature review
  • Managing and analyzing a sufficiently large dataset to permit hypothesis testing using appropriate multivariate techniques
  • A written report of the project including standard sections of background, methods, results, discussion and references
  • An oral presentation of the project to department faculty and students

A faculty advisor serves as the supervisor of the master's project. The department requires an additional second reader of the written report, and this reader may be another faculty member in the department or a doctorally trained colleague who has expertise or an affiliation with the project through its organizational site or dataset.

Epidemiology Degree Requirements

Completion of the MS in Epidemiology requires:

  • A minimum of 39 credit hours of coursework
  • A substantial data analysis project (6 credit hours) with a written report and oral presentation
  • A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher

To learn more about the MS in Epidemiology curriculum and to see a sample plan of study, please follow the links below.

Review Degree Requirements and Courses

Sample Plan of Study

How Long Does a Master’s in Epidemiology Take?

The Master’s in Epidemiology graduate program is full-time. Most students complete the program in less than two years. For a suggested sequence of courses, review the plan of study.

What Can You Do With an MS in Epidemiology?

Program graduates work in an applied epidemiologic field, health research field, or they pursue doctoral training in epidemiology. Graduates are employed by state and local governments, nonprofits, universities, health insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies.

A Master’s in Epidemiology prepares individuals for unique career paths and advancement opportunities, including:

  • Clinical Research Coordinator
  • Research Analyst
  • Senior Epidemiologist
  • Local/State/Federal Epidemiologist
  • Clinical Scientist

An MS in Epidemiology provides a unique opportunity to investigate and become an expert in current topics that inform public health aspects of medicine, nursing, law, or other fields.

Master’s in Epidemiology Salary Scale

While salary can range across industries, the median annual wage for epidemiologists was $81,390 in May 2023.

Is a Masters In Epidemiology Worth It?

Pursuing a Master’s degree in Epidemiology can be a great stepping stone for advancing in your career, or pursuing a doctoral degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for epidemiologists is growing much faster than average and is projected to increase of 27% between 2022 and 2032 for masters-trained epidemiologists.

Who Should Apply to Drexel’s Master’s of Epidemiology Program?

The MS in Epidemiology program is a good fit for students interested in a STEM degree in applied epidemiologic and health research, like MS program alum Isabel Ramos, who became interested in epidemiology after taking a course on medical sociology as an undergrad.

The epidemiology master's is also a good program for those considering a career change or planning to eventually pursue doctoral training in epidemiology. Program alum Edwin McCulley, a former Hospital Corpsman in the U.S. Navy, earned his bachelor's degree in Health Sciences from Drexel and is now an epidemiology doctoral student at Dornsife.

Further develop your skills and propel your career forward with a Master’s degree in Epidemiology. Take the next step:

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image of 92 percent of Masters students receive scholarships

Paying for Your Public Health Degree

Historically, more than 92% of full-time masters students receive some type of scholarship funding.

The Dornsife School of Public Health makes every effort to ensure that students receive as much financial assistance as possible through merit-based scholarships, grants and student loans.

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Félice Lê-Scherban, PhD, MPH
Program Director
Associate Professor of Epidemiology

David A. Wood, MBA, MS
Executive Director, Enrollment Management