Graduate Academic Programs

Master's Degree Programs

Master of Public Health Degree (MPH), Epidemiology Major

Description of Program

The MPH in Epidemiology prepares students to assume a leadership role in public health, academia or the private sector. Graduates will be able to perform epidemiologic analyses that influence health and disease management with a defined focus on rural communities by contributing to the understanding of the etiologies of disease prevention, and wellness, and the improvement of public health through excellence in research and practice. Epidemiology students will develop skills in study design and understanding of the social determinants that affect health with an emphasis on research. The graduate will leave with extensive training in research methodology and study design.

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 43 graduate credit hours is required for this program.  A minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) is required for graduation. A minimum grade of C– is required in each course. All electives for completing the degree must be approved by the advisor. Prerequisite courses may be prescribed for students lacking sufficient background for graduate study in public health.

Master of Public Health Degree Requirements (43 credits)

MPH Degree Common Course Requirements (22 credits)

Complete each of the following public health core courses (15 cr.):

  • HPER-C 510 Organization and Administration of Public Health Programs (3 cr.)
  • HPER-C 589 Social and Behavioral Determinants of Health (3 cr.)
  • HPER-T 591 Introduction to Statistics in Public Health (3 cr.)
  • HPER-V 512 Environmental Health Science (3 cr.)
  • HPER-Y 611 Epidemiology (3 cr.)

Complete each of the following required public health courses (7 cr.):

  • HPER-C 644 Field Experience in Public Health (5 cr.) (prerequisite: GPA of at least 3.0)
  • HPER-C 650 MPH Culminating Experience (2 cr.)

Epidemiology Concentration (21 credits)

Complete each of the following courses (15 cr.):

  • HPER-Y 614 Chronic Disease Epidemiology (3 cr.) (p: HPER-Y 611)
  • HPER-Y 619 Infectious Disease Epidemiology (3 cr.) (p: HPER-Y 611)
  • HPER-Y 624 Social Epidemiology (3 cr.) (p: HPER-Y 611)
  • HPER-Y 652 Advanced Epidemiology (3 cr.) (p: HPER-Y 611)
  • HPER-Y 654 Advanced Epidemiological Methods (3 cr.) (p: HPER-Y 611)

Complete six credits of graduate-level electives selected in consultation with the student's advisor (6 cr.):

Special Opportunities

Graduates with epidemiology degrees are likely to get hired soon after graduation. Emergent infectious diseases and the need to improve health of an aging nation require an understanding of the epidemiology of both infectious and chronic diseases. Moreover, as the emphasis of obesity reduction and other lifestyle related health issues continues to increase, there are special opportunities for epidemiologists who are familiar with health maintenance and wellness strategies. The relationships that epidemiologists identify among healthy lifestyles and positive outcomes will shape the wellness programs of the future. Epidemiology is a field that often has international opportunities, even for recent graduates.


Epidemiologists are everywhere and hold a variety of job titles. Many have learned the discipline on the job so candidates with formal training will have a competitive edge in the marketplace. The following is a list (not by any means exhaustive) of possible job settings:

  • State, county and city health agencies
  • Environmental consulting companies
  • Private corporations
  • Federal government
  • International organizations
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Academia (colleges and universities)

Epidemiologists study patterns of disease. Epidemiology is an expanding field that also now includes the study of disease avoidance and wellness. The variety of tasks in which an epidemiologist may be engaged is extensive. As a result, this is a career that can be flexible and continually evolving. Some typical job responsibilities include:

  • Collection of disease outbreak data
  • Study design development
  • Data analysis
  • Program evaluation design
  • Study coordination

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