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Epidemiology - MS


The mission of the GW Master of Science (MS) Epidemiology program is to educate individuals who are committed to making a difference by solving public health problems. Graduates from this program learn to apply critical and analytical skills to better understand disease and human health. Our graduates bring these skills into the world in order to develop, implement, and evaluate innovative health practices and policies.

In addition, the MS in Epidemiology degree coursework helps enhance students' focus on theoretical and applied epidemiological and statistical methods. At the George Washington University, we are proud to educate students who are committed to improving public health and engaging in and promoting public service. We emphasize these qualities in the MS Epidemiology program because they are essential for future health professionals and public health practitioners.

Program Prerequisites

This program is a good fit for anyone with an interest in improving human health. Students who are especially interested in working with diverse populations and those who wish to study broad categories of health concerns are great candidates for this MS in Epidemiology. Applicants to the program must hold an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. In addition, MS Epidemiology applications will only be accepted by students who have completed:

  • Introductory Biology: Cells and Molecules
  • Introductory Biology: The Biology of Organisms
  • Single-Variable Calculus I
  • Single-Variable Calculus II

The following courses are additional requirements. However, students lacking these courses may still be admitted with the expectation that the credits are earned within the first two semesters:

  • Statistical Computing Packages, or
  • Use of Statistical Packages Data Management & Data Analysis


Epidemiology Core Requirements

PUBH 6003 | Principles and Practice of Epidemiology (3 credits)
PUBH 6247 | Design of Health Studies (3 credits)
PUBH 6252 | Advanced Epidemiology Methods (3 credits)
PUBH 6299 | Topics in Epi/Bio (2 credits)


PUBH 6258 | Advanced Topics in Biostatistical Consulting (1 credit)
PUBH 6999 | Thesis (2 credits)


Core Course Descriptions

Epidemiology Statistics Requirements

STAT 4157 | Introduction to Mathematical Statistics I (3 credits)
STAT 4158 | Introduction to Mathematical Statistics II (3 credits)


STAT 62011 | Mathematical Statistics I (3 credits)
STAT 62021 | Mathematical Statistics II (3 credits)


Statistics Course Descriptions

Epidemiology Electives

Select 13 credits from approved list of Public Health or Statistics courses or others with advanced advisor’s approval.  See program guide for sample of available electives. 

Elective Course Descriptions


Professional Enhancement

Students in the MS Epidemiology degree program must participate in one day of Professional Enhancement. These activities are pre-approved by an advisor and may be Public Health-related lectures, seminars, and symposia related to your field of study.

Professional Enhancement activities supplement the rigorous academic curriculum of the Epidemiology MS and help prepare students to participate actively in the professional community. You can learn more about opportunities for Professional Enhancement via the Milken Institute School of Public Health Listserv, through departmental communications, or by speaking with your advisor.

Students must submit a completed Professional Enhancement Form to the Office of Student Records.

Remember to submit your documentation of Professional Enhancement before you apply to graduate.


The goals of the master’s thesis for the MS in Epidemiology are for the student to demonstrate proficiency through a formal presentation or report. The master’s thesis will require students to exhibit their ability to:

  • formulate hypotheses and research aims
  • select appropriate study design
  • identify risk and/or protective factors contributing to disease outcomes
  • develop an analytic plan
  • identify bias as part of a research proposal
  • apply methods of sound ethical research through completion of CITI training and submission of the research proposal to the IRB
  • use standard statistical software packages to manage and analyze data to address research questions
  • interpret results, including discussion of threats to internal validity

Students will work independently to conduct research for the master’s thesis under the oversight of a faculty member in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Grading will be completed by the faculty advisor and faculty attending the student presentation, and will follow credit/no credit scale.


There are numerous opportunities for Epidemiology degree program graduates as the population ages and the prevalence of both preventable and chronic disease grows. Master of Science Epidemiology graduates are in high demand at state and local governmental organizations, private health agencies, non-profit research centers, and educational institutions. Graduates with an MS Epidemiology degree find careers in teaching, research, and consulting.

Some examples of employers our recent graduates with a master’s degree in epidemiollogy have gone on to work for include:

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

US Department of Agriculture

GW Medical Faculty Associates

Galludet University

Milken Institute School of Public Health

Food & Drug Administration

MedStar Health



Students pursuing a Master of Science in Epidemiology have access to a world-class faculty with relevant expertise and diverse experience in research, governmental, and clinical settings. The many areas of interest and research experience for professors and lecturers in the Epidemiology MS program include chronic disease, infectious disease, disease research methods and analysis, and nutritional and environmental factors of disease.