Epidemiology - MPH



Epidemiology - MPH



The mission of the GW Master of Public Health (MPH) 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 MPH in Epidemiology degree coursework helps enhance students' capacity to think critically and creatively. 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 MPH Epidemiology program because they are essential for future health professionals and public health practitioners. In addition, we’re certain that Epidemiology graduates can:

  • Understand and adhere to high scientific standards for research.
  • Understand and follow guidelines for ethical treatment of research participants.
  • Communicate research findings to a lay audience.
  • Respect cultural diversity throughout all of the above.

Students may choose to focus on a distinct area of epidemiologic study, though concentrating in a specific area is not required.  In particular students who already have advanced degrees or extensive experience may wish to focus on a specific area of methodological inquiry. In the Curriculum section, a description of courses for each focus area is outlined.  A specific track of coursework can help you focus on areas such as the following:

  • Chronic Disease Epidemiology
  • Infectious Disease Epidemiology
  • Methods and Analysis
  • Nutritional Epidemiology
  • Environmental Epidemiology
  • Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology
  • Translational Epidemiology (Bench to Bedside)

Flexible Programming

To help students fit graduate school into their daily life, Milken Institute SPH provides flexible course offerings, which allows Epidemiology students to take up to 15 credits online.

Program Prerequisites

There are no specific pre-requisites for entering the epidemiology master’s program, other than a bachelor’s degree or higher degree. 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 MPH in epidemiology.

Advisors and Advising Info

MPH Core Requirements

PUBH 6000 | MPH Applied Practice Experience (0 credits)
PUBH 6002 | Biostatistical Applications for Public Health (3 credits)
PUBH 6003 | Principles and Practice of Epidemiology (3 credits)
PUBH 6007 | Social and Behavioral Approaches to Public Health (2 credits)
PUBH 6009 | Fundamentals of Program Evaluation (2 credits)
PUBH 6011 | Environmental & Biological Foundations of Public Health (3 credits)
PUBH 6012 | Fundamentals of Health Policy (2 credits)
PUBH 6021 | Essentials of Public Health Practice & Leadership 1: Leading Self and Teams in Public Health (1 credit)
PUBH 6022 | Essentials of Public Health Practice & Leadership 2: Managing Organizations & Influencing Systems in Public Health (1 credit)
PUBH 6023 | Interprofessional Education Experience (IPE) (0 credits)
PUBH 6015 | Culminating Experience (2 credits)



Epidemiology Requirements

PUBH 6247 | Epidemiologic Methods I: Design of Health Studies (3 credits)
PUBH 6853 | Use of Statistical Packages: Data Management & Data Analysis (3 credits)
PUBH 6252 | Epidemiologic Methods II: Advanced Epidemiology Methods  (3 credits)
PUBH 6260 | Applied Epidemiologic Data Analysis (3 credits)

Epidemiology Foundation Courses (select at least 4 credits from list below)

PUBH 6237 | Chronic Disease Epidemiology (2 credits)
PUBH 6241 | Nutritional Epidemiology (2 credits)
PUBH 6242 | Clinical Epidemiology & Decision Analysis (2 credits)
PUBH 6244 | Cancer Epidemiology (2 credits)
PUBH 6245 | Infectious Disease Epidemiology (2 credits)
PUBH 6248 | Epidemiology of Aging (2 credits)
PUBH 6250 | Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS (2 credits)
PUBH 6259 | Epidemiology Surveillance in PH (2 credits)


SPH Course Descriptions

Epidemiology Electives

4 credits from the Department of Epidemiology graduate level courses. See approved course list in program guide.

6 credits - any SPH graduate courses.  See approved course list in program guide.


Accelerated Program Option

The MPH in Epidemiology can be completed within one calendar year and is ideal for students who wish to experience an intensive program of study of epidemiology in the Nation’s Capital. Full Details

Suggested Focus Areas

Students do not have to focus on a given area of epidemiologic study; however, many students—in particular those who already have advanced degrees or extensive experience—may wish to focus on a specific area of methodological inquiry. The following describe courses available at GW SPH to support a comprehensive education in each of these focus areas. These do not represent all courses in each of the focus areas but serve as suggested electives through which to build depth in a particular area.  Since not all courses are offered each semester, please consult the program guide and website for up to date information on timing of course offerings.


Non-Academic Requirements

Professional Enhancement

Students in degree programs must participate in eight hours of Professional Enhancement. These activities may be Public Health-related lectures, seminars, or symposia related to your field of study.

Professional Enhancement activities supplement the rigorous academic curriculum of the SPH degree programs 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 student records department [email protected].

Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Training

All students are required to complete the Basic CITI training module in Social and Behavioral Research prior to beginning the practicum.  This online training module for Social and Behavioral Researchers will help new students demonstrate and maintain sufficient knowledge of the ethical principles and regulatory requirements for protecting human subjects - key for any public health research.

Academic Integrity Quiz

All Milken Institute School of Public Health students are required to review the University’s Code of Academic Integrity and complete the GW Academic Integrity Activity.  This activity must be completed within 2 weeks of matriculation. Information on GWSPH Academic Integrity requirements can be found here.

Past Program Guides

Program Guides from prior Academic Years

Students in the MPH in Epidemiology program should refer to the guide from the year in which they matriculated into the program. For the current program guide, click the "PROGRAM GUIDE" button on the right-hand side of the page.

To view sample schedules and learn about the core competencies developed within the program, see the degree program guide.

Students in the GW MPH programs gain practical skills and knowledge through their practice experiences. It is important for MPH Epidemiology graduates to feel confident in their skills and gain real-world experience during their studies. Students in the Epidemiology MPH program complete both an Applied Practice Experience (Practicum) and a Culminating Experience to practice their knowledge and skills in real-world settings.


In the Department of Epidemiology, the Applied Practice Experience (Practicum) is a course designed to engage students in a Practice Activity—a planned, supervised, and evaluated experience in a public health organization. The Practice Activity can be related to either primary research or public health practice. It might include activities such as conducting literature reviews, writing proposals, or collecting and analyzing data.

The Practice Activity for the MPH Epidemiology degree may not be directly related to the student's day-to-day work. This is to ensure that students learn and apply new skills in the context of public health. If the student does conduct the Practice Activity at his/her place of employment, it must be work for which the student is not remunerated.

Culminating Experience

The Culminating Experience (CE) integrates the knowledge and skills students acquire through their academic work and the Practice Activity. The CE requires students to identify and define a specific public health issue and formulate hypotheses to address that issue. Students work with data obtained through either primary research or from an existing dataset. The process of proposal development, data analysis, interpretation, and extrapolation of the results culminates in a written report or manuscript and an oral presentation.

Some previous CE research topics in the MPH Epidemiology program include:

  • Cancer
    • Inflammatory Breast Cancer
    • Disparities in Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
    • Associations between Behavioral Factors and Cance
    • Use of Technology in the Care of HIV
    • Infected Individuals
    • Care of Pediatric and Adolescent HIV-Infected Patients
    • Adherence to Antiretroviral Medications
    • Development of Resistance to Antiretroviral Medications
  • Infectious Disease
    • Listeria at Meat Packaging Plants
    • Food Contamination and Surveillance
  • Other
    • Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Low Birth Weight
    • Use of Standardized Case Definitions in Adverse Events following Immunization Surveillance
MPH 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 MPH Epidemiology degree find careers in teaching, research, and consulting.
Jobs For Which You Will Be Prepared

Analytical Epidemiologist
Clinical Research Coordinator

Patient Centered Medical Home Program Consultant
Research Statistician

Senior Quality Improvement Analyst

Specialist, Public Health Preparedness and Response

Organizations You Are Prepared to Help

ICF International
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield

Walter Reed Army Institute of Research
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Association of Public Health Laboratories


Students pursuing an MPH 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 Master of Public Health program include chronic disease, infectious disease, disease research methods and analysis, and nutritional and environmental factors of disease.