The Master of Science program in epidemiology requires at least 39 s.h. of graduate credit and is offered with or without thesis. Students who choose to complete the degree without thesis are required to pass a comprehensive examination. All students must maintain a g.p.a. of at least 3.00. Those who receive a grade of C in 7 s.h. of coursework may be dismissed from the program.

Students are required to attend 80 percent of all Department of Epidemiology seminar meetings and journal club meetings for three semesters. They must present one scientific poster at the departmental level before they may graduate, and the department recommends that they present at the international, national, regional, state, or University level before graduating.

The Master of Science with a major in epidemiology requires the following coursework.

Core Courses

Students must take CPH:7270 Principles of Scholarly Integrity: Public Health during their first year in the fall semester (enroll for 0 s.h.) and in the spring semester (enroll for 1 s.h.). They must retake CPH:7270 if they completed the course more than four years ago or if they have changed degree programs.

Students enrolled part-time (less than 9 s.h.) who have a graduate research assistantship appointment may choose to register in EPID:5925 Epidemiology Journal Club: Evaluating the Literature for 1 s.h.; however, the credit earned for this course will not be applied toward the minimum semester hours required for the M.S. in epidemiology. 

Students with a strong biosciences background may choose to substitute PATH:5270 Pathogenesis of Major Human Diseases in place of PATH:8133 Introduction to Human Pathology for Graduate Students if it better complements their training plan. This is an advanced course that requires a strong foundation in molecular biology and related disciplines, but may be suitable for some students.

All of these:
BIOS:4120Introduction to Biostatistics3
EPID:4400Epidemiology I: Principles3
EPID:5241Statistical Methods in Epidemiology4
EPID:5600Introduction to Epidemiology Data Management and Analysis3
EPID:5610Intermediate Epidemiology Data Analysis with SAS and R3
EPID:5925Epidemiology Journal Club: Evaluating the Literature0-1
EPID:6400Epidemiology II: Advanced Methods4
CPH:6100Essentials of Public Health2
CPH:7270Principles of Scholarly Integrity: Public Health (taken first year in the fall semester for 0 s.h. and in the spring semester for 1 s.h.)0-1
One of these:
PATH:5270Pathogenesis of Major Human Diseases3
PATH:8133Introduction to Human Pathology for Graduate Students4
One of these:
EPID:6550Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases3
EPID:6600Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases3
One of these:
EPID:5950Preceptorship in Epidemiology (for nonthesis students)3
EPID:7000Thesis/Dissertation (for thesis students; may be taken twice)3

Electives

Students must earn a minimum of 5 s.h. in elective coursework from Department of Epidemiology courses (prefix EPID) and 2 s.h. in additional graduate coursework pertinent to a student's educational goals and background (the additional 2 s.h. may be earned in an epidemiology course or in another graduate course, with the advisor's approval). The following courses are recommended.

BIOS:6210Applied Survival Analysis3
BIOS:6310Introductory Longitudinal Data Analysis3
CBH:5220Health Behavior and Health Education3
HMP:4000Introduction to the U.S. Health Care System3
OEH:4240Global Environmental Health3

Students may need additional elective coursework in order to complete the minimum 39 s.h. required for the degree.

Other Requirements

Department of Epidemiology Seminar

Every week during the academic year, the Department of Epidemiology seminar provides a forum for speakers to present information or research pertaining to diverse topics in epidemiology. Contact information for the seminar coordinators is located on the Department of Epidemiology website under Preceptorship, Journal Club, and Seminar Contacts. Information about the schedule is distributed each semester and also is available on the University of Iowa Events Calendar. Students are expected to achieve at least 80 percent attendance at the seminar during each semester of enrollment.

Journal Club for First-Year Students

Journal Club for first-year students is for those who are new to the department and is offered in the fall semester. The focus is for students to gain experience reading, in interpretation, and in critically evaluating recently published journal articles. Students should register in EPID:5925 Epidemiology Journal Club: Evaluating the Literature, section 1.

Journal Club

Every other week during the academic year, the Journal Club meets to discuss articles of interest in the field. Contact information for the Journal Club coordinators can be found on the Department of Epidemiology website under Preceptorship, Journal Club, and Seminar Contacts. Information about the schedule is distributed to students each semester. Students are required to achieve at least 80 percent attendance at Journal Club for three semesters during their time in the program.

Scientific Poster Requirement

Every student is required to present at least one scientific poster at the department level, and is encouraged to present at the international, national, regional, state, or university level at some point prior to graduation. A student’s advisor or thesis/preceptorship mentor can help determine the suitability and timeline for the poster presentation.

For nonthesis students, this poster requirement takes the place of an oral seminar presentation as part of the preceptorship requirement. Nonthesis students would typically formulate preceptorship research into a poster presentation, though the requirement may be met by a poster presentation of other research, such as from an independent study or research related to employment.

For thesis students, the poster requirement is in addition to the oral seminar presentation requirement for the thesis. Thesis students would typically formulate thesis research into a poster presentation, though the requirement may be met by a poster presentation of other research, such as from an independent study or research related to employment. The poster must be submitted for review to the student’s advisor or thesis/preceptorship mentor a minimum of 10 days before the poster session. A Department of Epidemiology poster session is held at the end of the fall and spring semesters. 

Master's Final Examination for the M.S. Without Thesis

The master’s examination is a written in-class exam that measures learning of epidemiological concepts and knowledge of epidemiological thoughts as presented in required courses. This exam is offered twice per year.

Master's Thesis Defense for the M.S. With Thesis

The master’s thesis defense is an oral presentation of the purpose, methods, and results of the thesis research. A specially formed committee thoroughly examines a student’s area of knowledge associated with the context of the work. The goal of the thesis is a document that is publishable in a peer-reviewed journal.

Undergraduate Degree/M.S.

The Undergrad to Grad Program provides an opportunity for University of Iowa students interested in health science to earn their undergraduate degree and a M.S. degree in epidemiology in five years. Undergraduate students should apply to the program by February 1 of their junior year. 

For additional information, visit M.S. in Epidemiology—Undergrad to Grad on the College of Public Health website.

Applicants must apply through the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS); they also must pay the required application fee to the Graduate College through the University of Iowa Office of Admissions when prompted. For detailed application information, visit How to Apply to the Department of Epidemiology web page.

The epidemiology faculty considers several factors when evaluating applications for admission, including Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General Test scores, grade-point average, letters of recommendation, intent and motivation for graduate study, and research interests. Students with deficiencies in one area may be admitted if all other components of their application are very strong.

All applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree and have a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.00. Undergraduate preparation must include two semesters of biological sciences and mathematics through algebra. Coursework in statistics is highly recommended.

Applicants must have taken the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test, the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), or the Dental Admission Test (DAT), scoring above the 50th percentile, within four years before applying to the epidemiology program. The department prefers recent test scores, particularly for applicants who completed educational programs and/or courses after taking one of these tests.

Applicants whose first language is not English must submit official test scores to verify English proficiency. Applicants can verify English proficiency by submitting official test scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

All applicants and students are required to have strong written and oral communication skills.

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College on the Graduate College website.

Application deadlines for fall admission are June 1 for U.S. citizens, April 15 for international applicants.

A limited number of graduate research assistantships are available for advanced students; for information, consult the department. For information on financing education through jobs, grants, and loans, contact the University's Office of Student Financial Aid.

Opportunities for funded predoctoral fellowships are available. Funded positions sponsored by federal agencies are available only to U.S. citizens.

The program prepares graduate students for professional careers in which specialized knowledge of epidemiological methods and analytic techniques are essential. Graduates find employment in local, state, and federal health agencies; academic institutions; and private enterprise, such as hospitals, pharmaceutical and device companies, insurance companies, and foundations.