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MS Epi Data Analysis Project

Drexel University and the Dornsife School of Public Health have long-standing commitments to an experiential learning philosophy. Consistent with this, the MS Epidemiology program includes a culminating data analysis master’s project, BST 699, performed under the mentorship of a faculty mentor from the Epidemiology department and, in some cases, with a preceptor who works in a setting outside the department.

Through the data analysis project, students come to appreciate how epidemiology is applied in real-world settings and consider how their project, and the discipline of epidemiology in general, connects to broader issues in public health.    

Data Analysis Project Proposal and Requirements

Students develop their master’s project proposal under the guidance of their faculty mentor, and they finalize their project during the second year.

The project is designed to demonstrate the ability to effectively engage in research. This includes the development of appropriate research questions and aims, the design and conduct of epidemiologic studies, and the appropriate analysis and interpretation and presentation of research data, in order to produce graduates who have a solid understanding of epidemiologic principles and methods and the demonstrated ability and capacity to apply that understanding and skill.

The MS Epidemiology master's project includes a written proposal identifying and describing testable hypotheses developed from a literature review. The project also includes management and analysis of a sufficiently large dataset to permit hypothesis testing using appropriate multivariate techniques.

This data analysis project allows student to demonstrate the following competencies:

  1. Develop a testable research hypothesis with appropriate research aims based upon a literature review
  2. Design and conduct an epidemiology study which is valid and efficient
  3. Conduct appropriate statistical analyses of a complex epidemiologic dataset
  4. Present research results in a written format consistent with professional standards
  5. Describe and demonstrate principles of ethical conduct of human subjects research
  6. Communicate the work in a clear and logical report and oral presentation

At the end of the master’s project, each student submits a written report including standard sections of background, methods, results, discussion and references. The student also gives an oral presentation to department faculty and students.