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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.



Although the GWSPH does not require the GRE for other residential master's programs, students interested in applying to the MS in Epidemiology are required to submit valid GRE scores.    


Program Prerequisites

This program is a good fit for anyone with a quantitative orientation with an interest in improving human health. Students who are especially interested in working with diverse populations and those who wish to apply substantial methodologic and quantitative training to 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 prerequisites as follows:

Required Prerequisites* for applicants to the MS Epidemiology are:

  • Calculus I and II- 6 credits
  • Human Biology- 8 credits (6 credits lecture, 2 credits lab)
       * Transcripts are required for verification.  Transcripts provided must reflect these courses (undergraduate or graduate level), without exception, to be considered for admission.
And, these courses are Highly Recommended Admissions Prerequisites^:
  • Linear Algebra- 3 credits
  • SAS- 3 credits
     ^ Applicants may still be admitted if these courses have not been completed, however, these credits must be earned no later than the end of the first semester after matriculation. Credits for these courses do not count toward the 33-credit graduation requirement, nor are grades earned in these additional courses reflected in the overall grade-point average.


Epidemiology Core Requirements

PUBH 6003 | Principles and Practice of Epidemiology (3 credits)*
PUBH 6247 | Epidemiologic Methods I: Design of Health Studies (3 credits)
PUBH 6252 | Epidemiologic Methods II: Advanced Epidemiology Methods (3 credits)
PUBH 6080 | Pathways to Public Health (0 credits)**

* PUBH 6003 - residential delivery ONLY
** PUBH 6080 - Find FAQs on the Advising page here.

Core Course Descriptions


Epidemiology Statistics Requirements

PUBH 6264 | Quantitative Methods (3 credits)
PUBH 6260 or PUBH 6865 | Advanced Data Analysis OR Applied Categorical Data Analysis (3 credits each)


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


STAT 6201 | Mathematical Statistics I (3 credits)
STAT 6202 | Mathematical Statistics II (3 credits)



Statistics Course Descriptions

Consulting and Thesis

PUBH 6869 | Principles of Biostatistical Consulting (1 credit)
PUBH 6999 | Thesis (2 credits)





Required Program-Specific Courses (Choose One)

PUBH 6237 | Chronic Disease Epidemiology (2 credits)
PUBH 6241 | Nutritional Epidemiology (2 credits)
PUBH 6242 | Clinical Epidemiology and Public Health: Reading the Research (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 of Surveillance in Public Health (2 credits)


Epidemiology Electives

Select 13 elective credits.  See sample list of PUBH courses in the Program Guide, or select other graduate level courses with advisors approval.


Course Descriptions

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 .

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.

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

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

Program Guides

Past Program Guides

Students in the MS 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.


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. Grading will be completed by the faculty advisor, two additional readers, and faculty attending the student thesis presentation and defense.

Other Info


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 epidemiology 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

Student Profiles

Current Epidemiology MS students 

Oriana Beemer


Start Year: 2016

Oriana was born and raised in Colorado.  She completed a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science - Colorado State University in 2010 and became a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine - Colorado State University in 2014.   After completing her veterinary studies she worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services, National Import Export Service, Riverdale, Maryland.  In 2016, she joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services, Science Technology and Analysis Services, Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health, Surveillance Design and Analysis - Fort Collins, CO and is currently working there.

Byers, S.R., Beemer, O.M., Lear, A.S. and Callan, R.J. (2014), Evaluation of Glucose Response to 3 Types of Insulin Using a Continuous Glucose Monitoring System in Healthy Alpacas. J Vet Intern Med, 28: 1613–1620. doi:10.1111/jvim.12389

Beemer, O., Byers, S. and Bohn, A. (2013), Evaluation of Four Point-Of-Care Glucose Meters in Alpacas. J Vet Intern Med, 27: 990–995. doi:10.1111/jvim.12115


Chelsea Boyd


Start Year: 2017

Chelsea L. Boyd is pursuing her MS in Epidemiology at The George Washington University. After growing up in Northern Colorado, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Colorado State University in 2011, earning her BA in Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts with minors in Mathematics and Economics.

Since graduating, Ms. Boyd has held positions in a variety of fields, including arthropod-borne infectious disease research, marketing, event planning, higher education, and horse training and equestrian center management. Upon completing her master’s degree, she plans to pursue her PhD in Epidemiology. Her research interests include HIV/AIDS, mental health, reproductive and sexual health, and neglected tropical disease. She would like to use her degree to conduct research that helps inform policy decisions.


Mikaela Finnegan


Start year: 2017

Originally from Northern Virginia, Mikaela, whose father was a member of the Air Force, had the opportunity to live many places both in and outside the US. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a history minor. After graduating from UVA, Mikaela has been in the Washington area, working for a consulting company that conducts life science analyses related to infectious disease modeling, food and agricultural safety, and science policy research.


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.