The Master of Science in Epidemiology in Temple’s College of Public Health prepares students for advanced study and research-oriented careers in epidemiology. Students learn to use rigorous epidemiologic methods and appropriate analyses to answer pressing research questions related to the public’s health. The master’s degree program will prepare you as a public health professional with expertise in
- application of modern statistical computing software, such as SAS and R, and statistical methods for large and complex data sets in public health and medicine;
- data management of health-related cross-sectional, experimental, longitudinal and survey data;
- study design and appropriate data analyses that can be used to accurately quantify and assess population-based, health-related outcomes; and
- proficiently interpreting and presenting results to various audiences.
Epidemiology is considered the foundational science of public health. It allows researchers and practitioners to identify and understand the descriptive characteristics, determinants, and risk factors that influence the public’s health. Students in the Epidemiology MS degree program examine complex global and local challenges related to chronic and infectious diseases; train to understand determinants of, and methodological issues in, cancer and social epidemiology; and apply their knowledge and skills to develop projects that seek to answer timely research questions.
Our graduates are prepared for doctoral programs, as well as for work in a wide range of settings, including academic institutions; applied research settings in health systems and hospitals; federal agencies (such as the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Institutes of Health and U.S. Centers for Disease Control); and local and state health departments. Graduates might pursue careers as epidemiologists; healthcare analysts, health equity managers or health system specialists; research/program managers and analysts; and other positions.
What sets apart our Epidemiology MS?
- Collaborative, interdisciplinary education: The program has a two-to-one student-to-faculty ratio, providing students with opportunities to work and engage with diverse faculty. Our location in the College of Public Health encourages interdisciplinary research and prepares students to work in interdisciplinary environments.
- Renowned professors: Our faculty includes experts who focus on behavioral and chronic disease epidemiology, cancer prevention and control, social determinants, and water-related diseases. They have practical experience working in interdisciplinary teams in a wide variety of settings, including community-based entities; federal, state and local government agencies; health systems and clinical practices; and international nongovernmental organizations.
- Real-world experience: You will gain hands-on experience working on projects with faculty, local or state agencies, private companies, or nonprofit organizations—making you competitive and prepared to launch your career after graduation.
Students complete the Epidemiology MS onsite. The master’s program offers a flexible curriculum: Students can choose to study full time to complete the MS in two years or part time to finish it in three years.
Students take core courses in epidemiology to advance their understanding and application of epidemiological and statistical methodology necessary for productive careers to improve the public’s health. Courses in the program address topics such as
- analyses of hierarchical (multilevel or clustered) data;
- data management and coding of health-related data;
- latent variable and structural equation modeling;
- methodological issues and strategies for prevention of leading chronic diseases;
- multivariable regression of general linear and generalized linear models; and
- social, behavioral and biological determinants of cancer and current methods in cancer epidemiology research and practice.
All students in the Epidemiology MS program are required to complete two semesters of thesis planning and development with department faculty supervision. The master’s thesis documents the student’s independent research and demonstrates mastery of a primary area of interest. The specific thesis topic is selected given the student’s interests and opportunities to advance epidemiologic research.
Epidemiology MPH vs. Epidemiology MS
The Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics offers both an MPH and an MS in Epidemiology. Though the two master’s degrees have many similarities, they are distinct from each other in the following ways.
- Coursework: The MPH includes core courses in the fundamentals of public health, covering biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology, health policy, and social and behavioral sciences. The MS, in contrast, includes core courses that focus primarily on epidemiology.
- Culminating experience: Students in the MPH program complete two semesters of community-based fieldwork and a final master’s project. Students in the MS program complete two semesters of independent research, including a final thesis project.
- Competencies: The MPH meets all competencies set forth by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). The MS meets many, but not all, CEPH competencies.
Depending on the specific electives that you choose in either program, you can gain many of the same skills and be prepared for many of the same careers after graduation, regardless of which program you choose.
Related Graduate Degrees in the College of Public Health
The College of Public Health also offers the MPH in Epidemiology, which prepares students for practice-oriented or research-oriented careers.
Other related graduate degrees include the
- PhD in Epidemiology,
- MPH in Applied Biostatistics,
- Clinical Health Services Research Certificate, and
- MS in Clinical Research and Translational Medicine.
You can engage with peers and find leadership opportunities in student-led clubs and organizations at the College of Public Health. Learn more about student clubs and organizations.