Academic Programs Catalog

College of Human Medicine

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Graduate Study
Epidemiology - Master of Science

The master's degree program is designed to provide students with the epidemiologic and biostatistical skills essential to engaging in clinical and population-based research.
Students are trained in a wide range of applications of epidemiologic methods, from investigation into the causes of disease to the means for prevention. The program prepares students to participate in public health activities sponsored by academic, government and non-governmental organizations such as health planning, disease control, and community health projects.. Required core courses concentrate on the population approach to disease, quantification of disease frequency, approaches to acute disease outbreaks, relevant biostatistical techniques, sources of health data, research design and analysis, and the development of skills in epidemiologic judgment.  Specialized elective courses are offered in epidemiologic aspects of heart disease, cancer, reproductive health, and communicable diseases.


A bachelor's degree is required for admission to the program.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the University and the College of Human Medicine, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Epidemiology

The program is available only under Plan A (with thesis).  The distribution of credits within the student's program is determined by the student's academic advisor and guidance committeee. The guidance committee determines the form, scope, and time of required examinations.

Students must complete 40 credits, with no more than 6 credits at the 400-level:

1. All of the following courses (31 credits):
EPI 808 Biostatistics I 3
EPI 809 Biostatistics II 3
EPI 810 Introductory Epidemiology 3
EPI 812 Causal Inference in Epidemiology 3
EPI 817 Epidemiology of Communicable Diseases 3
EPI 826 Research Methods in Epidemiology 3
EPI 828 Seminar in Responsible Conduct of Research 1
EPI 836 Practicum in Epidemiological Methods 3
EPI 851 SAS Programming I: Essentials 1
EPI 852 SAS Programming II: Data Management and Analysis 1
EPI 899 Master's Thesis Research 4
LCS 829 Design and Conduct of Epidemiological Studies and Clinical Trials 3
2. One of the following courses (3 credits):
EPI 815 Epidemiology of Cardiovascular Disease 3
EPI 823 Cancer Epidemiology 3
3. An additional 6 credits of elective course work from the following list of approved courses:
EPI 805 Readings in the Historical Roots of Epidemiological Thought 3
EPI 815 Epidemiology of Cardiovascular Disease 3
EPI 816 Perinatal Epidemiology 3
EPI 823 Cancer Epidemiology 3
EPI 835 Neuroepidemiology 3
EPI 890 Independent Study in Epidemiology and Biostatistics 1 to 3
EPI 910 Themes in Contemporary Epidemiology 3
EPI 920 Advanced Methods in Epidemiology and Applied Statistics 3
EPI 950 Advanced Biostatistical Methods in Epidemiology 3
EPI 952 Duration and Severity Analysis 3
EPI 953 Analytical Strategies for Observational Studies 3
EPI 977 Social Epidemiology 3
EPI 979 Advanced Topics of Infectious Disease Epidemiology 3
STT 847 Analysis of Survival Data 3
Additional elective courses may be chosen with advisor approval.
4. Attend all MSU Graduate School Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Workshops (human)
5. Pass an oral examination in defense of the thesis.