Epidemiology

Solve critical disease-related challenges by analyzing trends in population health.

The Epidemiology MPH program prepares future leaders in epidemiology to analyze public health trends, design and implement studies, and interpret results for policy and program development. Beyond investigations into the determinants of health and infectious and chronic disease, epidemiologists translate medical and laboratory data into population trends to identify changes in the public health burden of disease.

Our unique program infrastructure combines Epidemiology, Public Health Nutrition, Maternal & Child Health, and Community Health in one department, giving students access to faculty across disciplines.

Epidemiology MPH Info Sheet (PDF)

Advantages of the Epidemiology MPH

  • Connections. A long and close partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health—one of the best health departments in the country—provides field experiences, professional mentorship, and career opportunities.
  • Integrated health sciences. The University of Minnesota’s innovative infrastructure of six health sciences schools—one of three such models in the country—gives our students the ability to learn from and work with a diverse array of health experts.
  • Supportive environment. Students receive personal attention from world renowned epidemiology faculty, and a network of more than 10,000 alumni who are dedicated to student success.
  • Comprehensive curriculum. Grounded in current approaches to biologic and behavioral epidemiology, students are well-prepared with the skills needed for a successful career.
  • High ranking. A degree from a top 10 school of public health provides distinction in competitive career environments.

Dual-Degree Options

MPH/JD
A partnership between the Epidemiology MPH program and the JD program at the University of Minnesota Law School. Contact Kathryn Schwartz-Eckhardt (epichstu@umn.edu, 612-626-8802), for more information.

MPH/MD
A partnership between the Epidemiology MPH program and the MD program at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Contact Kathryn Schwartz-Eckhardt (epichstu@umn.edu, 612-626-8802), for more information.

The Epidemiology MPH core curriculum includes epidemiology, biostatistics, public health core courses, and basic science courses to provide you with a foundation in research methodology and design.

Through elective credits students explore related health science or statistical topics that enable students to develop a specialty emphasis in either specific public health topics (such as cancer, cardiovascular health, infectious disease, or reproductive health) or methodological areas.

Choose from two Epidemiology MPH programs:

  • Standard Program: 48 credits over 24 months (includes 38 credits of required coursework and 10 credits of electives)
  • Accelerated Program: 42 credits (includes 34 credits of required coursework and 8 credits of electives) Available to students who have completed an MD, DDS, DVM, or PhD in a related field.

Detailed Epidemiology MPH Curriculum Information (PDF)

Epidemiology MPH students also complete a Culminating Experience:

The culminating experience project may take one of three forms:

  1. A written report often in the form of a manuscript suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, that demonstrates your ability to do quantitative analyses. This can be based on data you collect yourself or obtained from another source.
  2. A literature review of publishable quality, which will demonstrate your ability to critically review the literature and synthesize published findings on a medical or public health topic.
  3. A grant proposal to the National Institutes of Health.

The Epidemiology MPH program admits applicants with a variety of backgrounds, including biology, law, mathematics, microbiology, genetics, medicine, and social and behavioral sciences.

Preference is given to applicants with good quantitative and analytic abilities. Admitted students must be comfortable learning statistical methods to address problems in human health and disease.

Preferred performance levels include a 70th percentile ranking on the quantitative section of the GRE and satisfactory grades in college-level quantitative courses such as algebra, statistics, calculus, or trigonometry. Relevant experience in a public health setting is preferred.

Admissions Requirements

View SPH admissions requirements

Admission Averages

Average score of admitted student Minimum score
GPA 3.58 3.0
GRE Combined 313 300
GRE Analytical Writing 4.6 3.5

The Epidemiology MPH program prepares students to take on the world’s most pressing public health challenges. Tuition at SPH remains one of the lowest among top 10 U.S. schools of public health. In fact, we have the lowest out-of-state tuition in the top 10, giving non-resident students access to expert faculty, education, and research at the lowest financial investment.

Tuition & Fees

View current tuition & fees

Funding

See a full list of scholarships available to public health students

Epidemiology MPH students are active in the public health community through field experiences and employment at local, state, and national public and private organizations. The required field experience provides an opportunity for students to establish themselves as professionals through mentorship, and to apply the knowledge and skills attained in the classroom through  hands-on work experience.

Recent field experience locations for Epidemiology MPH students include:

  • Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research
  • St Paul-Ramsey County Public Health
  • Ofstead and Associates, Inc., a medical research service firm
  • Penny George Institute for Health and Healing
  • Boston Scientific
  • United Hospital-Allina Hospitals and Clinics

Job Outlook

The national job market for epidemiologists is extremely strong. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment for epidemiologists is expected to increase by 24% over the next 10 years, primarily due to an increase in demand for epidemiologic analysis in preventative health care, chronic disease and emergency response.

What Do Epidemiologists Do?

Epidemiologists work at both the individual and community levels to translate medical and laboratory data into population trends. Beyond investigating the cause of a disease, epidemiologists also develop intervention strategies to prevent disease and promote health in the following areas:

  • Infectious disease
  • Chronic disease
  • Bioterrorism/emergency response
  • Maternal and child health
  • Social and behavioral health
  • Nutrition
  • Substance abuse and/or oral health

Description of work

Epidemiologists typically do the following:

  • Plan and direct public health research studies
  • Collect and analyze data to investigate health issues
  • Communicate their findings to health practitioners, policy makers and the public
  • Manage public health programs

Areas of focus (or career paths/options)

There are two common types career paths for epidemiologists:

Research epidemiologists typically work for universities, health departments (ex: MDH), and government organizations (ex: CDC, WHO) conducting research to better understand health issues.

Applied epidemiologists address health crises directly by working with governments or private industry, commonly in health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, health departments (ex: MDH), and government organizations (ex: CDC, WHO). Those in nonprofit organizations often do public advocacy work.

Examples of Positions Held by Recent Graduates of the Epidemiology MPH Program

UCare Minnesota
Healthcare Analyst

Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation, Inc.
Research Coordinator

Minnesota Department of Health (Minnesota)
Senior Epidemiologist
Disease Intervention Specialist
International Health Planner
Adult Immunization Coordinator

United HealthCare Services, Inc.
Healthcare Economics Analyst

Hennepin County (Minnesota)
Planning Specialist – Metropolitan Health Plan

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) (Atlanta, Georgia)
Scientific Investigator

Regulatory and Clinical Research Institute (Minnesota)
Epidemiologist

Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota (Minnesota)
Scientific Investigator

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Minnesota (Minnesota)
Epidemiologist/Healthcare Analyst

Genzyme (Boston, Massachusetts)
Associate Director of Epidemiology

The Lewin Group (Minnesota)
Research Consultant

National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Health Scientist

State of Minnesota (Minnesota)
Infectious Disease Epidemiologist

Application Deadline

For Fall Admission: May 1

Scholarship Consideration Deadline: December 1

SPH students meeting with a professor

“The program is designed to be flexible and integrates many health fields so it can fit across different public health interests.” Read More – Subin Jang, Epidemiology MPH student

Contact Us

Enrollment and Program Development Manager
Kathryn Schwartz Eckhardt
612-626-8802
schwa139@umn.edu

Program Director
Alan Lifson
lifso001@umn.edu