Public Health Microbiology and Emerging Infectious Diseases - MS


Public Health Microbiology and Emerging Infectious Diseases - MS




The mission of the GW Master of Science (MS) Public Health Microbiology and Emerging Infectious Diseases 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 Public Health Microbiology and Emerging Infectious Diseases degree coursework helps enhance students' focus on diseases mechanisms, specifically microbial pathogens, and the use of modern biotechnologies and epidemiologic skills to prevent and control problems in the community resulting from infectious diseases. 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 Public Health Microbiology and Emerging Infectious Diseases program because they are essential for future health professionals and public health practitioners. As such, the goals of this program are that graduates will:

  • Understand the biological complexities of microbial pathogens and the diseases they cause.
  • Recognize the major epidemiologic and clinical features of microbial disease.
  • Understand how new biotechnologies (including genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics) can be applied to the study and control of microbial pathogens.
  • Develop an in-depth understanding of epidemiologic principles and practice.
  • Apply the principles of epidemiology, microbiology, and public health practice toward the detection, surveillance, investigation, and control of microbial diseases.

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 Public Health Microbiology and Emerging Infectious Diseases. Applicants to the program must hold an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. Preference is given to applicants with Biological Science or Public Health Laboratory experience.

In addition, MS Public Health Microbiology and Emerging Infectious Diseases applications will only be accepted by students who have completed:

  • Twelve or more credits in the biological sciences (not including Botany)
  • Three or more credits in chemistry
Core Requirements

PUBH 6002 | Biostatistical Applications for Public Health (3 credits)
PUBH 6003 | Principles and Practice of Epidemiology (3 credits)
PUBH 6007 | Social & Behavioral Approaches to Public Health (2 credits)
PUBH 6275 | Essential Public Health Laboratory Skills (2 credits)
PUBH 6080* | Pathways to Public Health (0 credits)
*Students without a prior Masters of Public Health degree from an accredited school of public health will be required to successfully pass this online course within one year of matriculation. There is no fee for this course. Find FAQs on the Advising page here.



Program-Specific Requirements

PUBH 6245 | Infectious Disease Epidemiology (2 credits)
PUBH 6247 | Epidemiologic Methods I: Design of Health Studies (3 credits)
PUBH 6853 | Use of Statistical Packages: Data Management & Data Analysis (3 credits)
PUBH 6259 | Epidemiologic Surveillance in Public Health (2 credits)
PUBH 6262 | Introduction to Geographic information Systems (1 credit)
PUBH 6276 | Public Health Microbiology (3 credits)
PUBH 6861 | Public Health Genomics (3 credits)
PUBH 6278 | Public Health Virology (3 credits)
MICR 8210 | Infection & Immunity (3 credits)


Field/Laboratory Experience and Final Project

PUBH 6016 | Field/Laboratory Experience (2 credits)
PUBH 6280 | Final Project (2 credits)



MEID Electives

8 credits from approved list found in the program guide or others with advanced advisor’s approval


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.

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 PHMEID 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.



There are numerous opportunities for Public Health Microbiology and Emerging Infectious Diseases degree program graduates as the national demand for a trained workforce in biodefense and emerging infections, and an international demand for training in diseases that affect the developing countries has reached critical proportions. Master of Science Public Health Microbiology and Emerging Infectious Diseases graduates are in high demand at academic and industrial research laboratories, international health agencies, NGOs, and private consulting groups. Graduates with an MS Public Health Microbiology and Emerging Infectious Diseases degree find careers in teaching, research, and consulting.
Jobs For Which You Will Be Prepared

Protocol Manager
Public Health Lecturer
Data analyst and Informatics Specialist
Research Associate
Research coordinator
Laboratory Operations Analyst
Program Analyst
A number of our graduates continue their education and pursue MD, PhD and DVM degrees.

Organizations You Are Prepared to Help

Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL)
RTI International
National Institute of Health
Academic institutions
State Departments of Health
DC Public Health Laboratory
Henry Jackson Foundation


Students pursuing a Master of Science in Public Health Microbiology and Emerging Infectious Diseases 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 Public Health Microbiology and Emerging Infectious Diseases MS program include biotechnology, infectious disease, disease research methods and analysis, and nutritional and environmental factors of disease.

Practice Experience for MS PHMEID ›

Recent FLE/Final Project research topics in the MS PHMEID program includes:

  • Biochemical and phenotypic characterization of a genetic zebrafish model of Smith – Lemli – Opitz syndrome
  • Factors associated with an infectious diseases consultation for pediatric S. aureus bacteremia
  • Demographic and Clinical Characteristics Associated with Use of Integrase Strand Transfer Inhibitors Among HIV+ Women of Child-Bearing Potential and Pregnant Women in the DC Cohort
  • Colistin Susceptibility Testing for Gram-Negative Bacterial isolates: Comparative Analysis of E-test and Sensititre System
  • Evaluation of Arbovirus Detection by Three Methods
  • Antibiotic prescribing patterns for treatment of uncomplicated urinary tract infections in adult females at emergency departments and physicians’ offices, 2008-2015
  • Attitudes, Risk Behaviors, and Feasibility of a Referral System Surrounding PrEP in Patients Presenting to the Emergency Department and an Urgent Care Clinic
  • Changes in Levels of Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs) and Tissue Inhibitors of MMP in Women Following Recent Sexual Trauma