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Program Director's Message

Public health is rapidly changing, as evidenced by the recent update of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 10 essential public health services. For the first time, this includes a focus on big data and real-time data sources as well as the link between public health research and practice. Moreover, there is a call to build a more equitable public health infrastructure. Meeting this societal need will require more individuals skilled in conducting research and translating results within public health, academic and clinical settings. These changes to public health demonstrate the need for more epidemiologists trained with a focus on conducting clinical and public health research. 

The MS in Epidemiology program at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine provides rigorous, fast-paced training to prepare students for careers in public health and clinical epidemiological research. This degree complements the MS in Biostatistics and MPH degrees by providing a separate degree for students interested in the science of epidemiology. Epidemiology and its applications range broadly from work in public health departments to design of clinical trials and observational studies. Epidemiology, when offered as an MS degree, is also considered a degree in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math). In contrast, the MPH with a concentration in epidemiology is not classified as STEM.

The MS degree is different from the MPH with a concentration in Epidemiology in its requirements for a one-year thesis project (in place of an Applied Practice Experience and Culminating Experience) and coursework focused more on quantitative methodology plus ethical considerations in research. It is also distinct from the MS in Biostatistics program because of the thesis project's focus on epidemiologic study design, data collection and data analysis and the additional epidemiology course requirements. Yet, the unique MS in Epidemiology degree is also flexible to allow us to be responsive to student training and career goals as well as shifts in the field.

Thank you for your interest in the MS in Epidemiology degree. Please contact us for more information.

Elizabeth Hibler, PhD, MPH
Program Director, Master of Epidemiology
Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine (Epidemiology)
and Preventive Medicine (Cancer Epidemiology & Prevention)