Epidemiology

Major: Epidemiology
Degree Awarded: Master of Science (MS); Master of Public Health (MPH); Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 58.0 (MS); 64.0 (MPH); 69.0 (PhD)
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 26.1309
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code:
19-1041

About the Programs

The MS in Epidemiology

The goal of the MS in Epidemiology program is to produce graduates who have a solid understanding of epidemiologic principles and methods, and the demonstrated ability and capacity to apply that understanding and skill.

The curriculum and project requirements are designed to provide, and then to demonstrate, the ability to effectively engage in research. This includes the development of appropriate research questions and aims, the design and conduct of epidemiologic studies, and the appropriate analysis, interpretation and presentation of research data. Upon graduation, MS students will have attained competencies in two areas: general epidemiology knowledge and skills, and epidemiologic research methods.

The MPH in Epidemiology

The Master of Public Health program is intended for individuals interested in careers as community educators; population health planners; policy analysts, evaluators, researchers; and managers of health service delivery organizations and systems, managed-care programs, and other population-based organizations. It provides practical skills and experience, with a unique focus on relevant community issues, challenges, and priorities.

The 64.0 quarter-credit program is interdisciplinary and requires students to complete a comprehensive, community-based master’s project. The program prepares students to enter an array of fields related to public health or a range of doctoral programs.

Program Highlights

The first year of the program covers the five core disciplines offered within the context of culture and community. These include:

  • Environmental and occupational health;
  • Health care systems organization, management, and policy;
  • Social and behavioral sciences for population health;
  • Epidemiology; and
  • Biostatistics.

Throughout the program, group case discussion sessions, case-related activities and didactic sessions are integrated into the experience. These include:

  • Skill development labs and workshops (year two)
  • Population Health Spotlight (for all faculty, students, and community partners) provide access to scholars and their cutting-edge research and initiatives in public health

The PhD in Epidemiology

The PhD in Epidemiology program prepares students to approach problems with the critical analytic skills necessary for the generation of substantial and significant epidemiologic questions, and to utilize the most rigorous and parsimonious research strategies to answer such questions. Additionally, integral values of the Department and School will infuse students with the commitment to pursue important and innovative topics of inquiry even when faced with methodological challenges, and to undertake studies that generate knowledge applicable to diverse social, ethnic, and geographically defined populations.

Graduates will develop the skill and expertise necessary to initiate and direct the scientifically rigorous research necessary to generate the knowledge upon which to base public health and medical care policies and procedures designed to foster the maintenance and improvement of the health and well being of populations.

For additional information about these programs, visit the Dornsife School of Public Health web site.

Admission Requirements (MS)

Master of Science Program

Applicants to the MS in Epidemiology program must meet the following requirements:

  • A baccalaureate degree
  • Two semesters of calculus in college
  • Two courses of biology (i.e. microbiology, physiology, genetics, etc.) in college
  • The application package will include: undergraduate and graduate transcripts, three letters of recommendation from faculty or professionals who can evaluate the applicant’s promise as a graduate student, GRE or MCAT scores, and a written statement of career and educational goals.
  • Competitive applicants will possess a undergraduate GPA of 3.30 or higher and GRE or MCAT scores above the 60th percentile.

Admission Requirements (MPH)

The School of Public Health seeks students with intellectual and interpersonal competencies as well as those with potential for leadership. The school has set a high priority on establishing a student body that is representative of the nation's population. We strive to recruit and to admit applicants from underrepresented minority groups who can contribute to the richness of our student population and to that of the nation's public health professionals.

Admissions Process

  • The Admissions Committee carefully reviews applications and gives personal essays and letters of recommendation particular attention.
  • The selection process weighs prior academic and personal accomplishments, emphasizing demonstrated leadership.
  • Diversity of background and outside interests, depth of self-appraisal, commitment to public heath, and working with individuals are highly valued.
  • Prior work experience in a field related to public health is highly recommended.

Applicants should have:

  • Satisfactorily completed an undergraduate bachelor degree program in an accredited US college or university, or its equivalent in another country
  • A course in Statistics is highly recommended
  • Six undergraduate or graduate credits in the social or behavioral sciences and three in the biological sciences are preferred, but not required
  • Satisfactory results from one of the following taken within the past five years (the GRE or GMAT is preferred):
    • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
    • Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)
    • Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
    • Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for applicants whose first language is not English

Please note: Drexel University's School code for submitting GRE scores is 2194.

The Application Process also requires:

  • Completion of the Schools of Public Health Common Application.
  • A personal essay describing what you perceive to be pressing public health issues, why a career in the field appeals to you, and how it will use your strengths and commitment
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume or CV

Applicants to the joint MD/MPH program must be accepted to both the Drexel College of Medicine and the Dornsife School of Public Health.

Admission Requirements (PhD)

Applicants to the PhD program in Epidemiology must meet the following requirements:

  • MPH degree or master’s degree in epidemiology or a related field.
  • Potential for high level of performance in the PhD program and subsequent contributions to the field of epidemiology.

The application package will include:

  • undergraduate and graduate transcripts,
  • three letters of recommendation from faculty or professionals who can evaluate the applicant’s promise as a graduate student,
  • official Graduate Record Examination scores (no other standardized test accepted for this program),
  • a written statement of career and educational goals, professional experience, and area of research interest.

An in-person or telephone/on-line interview is required of all finalists.

All entering students are expected to have already completed introductory and intermediate level epidemiology and biostatistics courses (equivalents of PBHL 520 and PBHL 530) as part of their Master’s program or must enroll in these courses, or their equivalents, as additional requirements.

Forms, details about requirements, and information about application deadlines are all available on the Dornsife School of Public Health website.

Degree Requirements: MS in Epidemiology

Required Courses
Public Health
PBHL 516Introduction to Public Health2.0
Epidemiology
PBHL 530Principles of Epidemiology4.0
PBHL 630Intermediate Epidemiology3.0
PBHL 632Applied Survey Research in Epidemiology3.0
PBHL 633Epidemiology of Cancer3.0
PBHL 636Infectious Disease Epidemiology3.0
PBHL 691Pathophysiology Basis of Epidemiologic Research3.0
Biostatistics
PBHL 520Principles of Biostatistics4.0
PBHL 620Intermediate Biostatistics I3.0
PBHL 623Introduction to Statistical Computing3.0
PBHL 625Longitudinal Data Analysis3.0
PBHL 628Survival Data Analysis3.0
Master's Project Courses
PBHL 685Data Analysis Project6.0
PBHL 835Proposal Writing Seminar3.0
Electives9.0
Students must select 9.0 credits total. Some potential electives include the following:
Design & Analysis of Clinical Trials
Epidemiology for Public Health Practice
Social Epidemiology and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Perinatal Epidemiology
Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology & Prevention
Total Credits55.0

 Sample Plan of Study

First Year
FallCredits
PBHL 516Introduction to Public Health2.0
PBHL 520Principles of Biostatistics4.0
PBHL 530Principles of Epidemiology4.0
 Term Credits10.0
Winter
PBHL 620Intermediate Biostatistics I3.0
PBHL 630Intermediate Epidemiology3.0
PBHL 632Applied Survey Research in Epidemiology3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Spring
PBHL 623Introduction to Statistical Computing3.0
PBHL 636Infectious Disease Epidemiology3.0
PBHL 691Pathophysiology Basis of Epidemiologic Research3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Second Year
Fall
PBHL 628Survival Data Analysis3.0
PBHL 633Epidemiology of Cancer3.0
PBHL 835Proposal Writing Seminar3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Winter
PBHL 5033.0
PBHL 625Longitudinal Data Analysis3.0
MS in Epidemiology elective*3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Spring
PBHL 685Data Analysis Project6.0
Two MS in Epidemiology electives*6.0
 Term Credits12.0
Total Credit: 58.0

*

Students must take 6.0 credits of electives in the second year. View the degree requirements for a list of potential electives, or check with the Department. Two electives may be taken in either fall, winter, or spring. This sample plan of study illustrates both electives being taken in the spring term.



 

Degree Requirements: MPH in Epidemiology

The MPH full-time educational program is structured on a quarter-term basis, with a total of 64.0 credit hours required. This is generally taken as a two-year program; all coursework must be completed within five years of the date of matriculation for the full-time program.

The second-year curriculum is composed of four required courses, three elective courses, and the Community-Based Master’s Project (CBMP), the culminating experience required of full-time Drexel MPH students.

Students spend approximately 12 hours each week working on a community-oriented, health-related project, often working as an integral part of a community-based organization. This can be in the areas of government, healthcare and social services, among others. In preparation for developing their final paper, students are required to identify an issue or problem of significance to the target community or agency, synthesize the literature, develop an approach or methodology to address the issue and either implement and test the validity of a proposed approach or set out a detailed prescription for addressing the problem. Students may also work with faculty in specific research areas.

Foundation Courses25.0
Introduction to Public Health
Principles of Biostatistics
Principles of Epidemiology
Prevention Principles and Practices
Management, Leadership, Assurance and Health Services
Environmental Health
Public Policy and Advocacy
Required Community-Based Master's Project Courses6.0
An additional 3-credits (9-credits in total) could be earned by means of a more intensive/extensive culminating learning experience, if approved by the faculty advisor and Department Chairperson. The number of credits to be earned will depend on the scope and breadth of effort undertaken by the student to complete this academic requirement. Increasing the number of credits taken to satisfy the master's project requirement will require students to reduce the number of elective credits taken.
Community Based Master's Project I
Community Based Master's Project II
Community Based Master's Project III
Required Courses15.0
Intermediate Biostatistics I
Introduction to Statistical Computing
Intermediate Epidemiology
Applied Survey Research in Epidemiology
Epidemiology for Public Health Practice
Electives18.0
These courses may be within the Dornsife School of Public Health, or from other academic units within the University. Students must meet with their Academic Advisor in selecting their electives. It is the responsibility of the student to determine course restrictions and the registration process for campus electives taken at the Main Campus. The following is a sample of some of the Dornsife School of Public Health electives offered by department:
Biostatistics Electives
Intermediate Biostatistics II
Statistical Inference I
Survival Data Analysis
Design & Analysis of Clinical Trials
Applied Multivariate Analysis
Data Management
Advanced Clinical Trials & Experiment Design
Statistical Inference II
Advanced Statistical Computing
Pathophysiology Basis of Epidemiologic Research
Public Health Obesity Prevention Research
Applied Bayesian Analysis
Nonparametric and Semiparametric Models
Biostatistical Computing with Stata
Community Health and Prevention Electives
*800 Level courses may require professor's permission
Research with Rare, Stigmatized and Hidden Populations
LGBT Health Disparities
Intersectional Perspectives
Drug Use and Public Health
Theory & Practice of Community Health & Prevention I
Theory & Practice of Community Health and Prevention II
Research Methods for Community Health and Prevention
Qualitative Research in Community Health
Community Program Evaluation
Practicum in Community Health and Prevention
Community Based Participatory Research
Faith, Religion, Spirituality, and Health
Public Health Ethics
Advanced Topics in Qualitative Analysis
Environmental and Occupational Health Electives
Overview of Issues in Global Health
Healthy Housing & Built Environment
Exposure Assessment
Environmental Health in Vulnerable Populations
Public Health and Disaster Preparedness
Occupational and Environmental Cancers
Injury Prevention and Control
Safety in Healthcare
Epidemiology Electives
Autism as a Public Health Challenge
Epidemiology of Cancer
Social Epidemiology and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Perinatal Epidemiology
Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology & Prevention
Making Sense of Data
Pharmacoepidemiology
Pathophysiology Basis of Epidemiologic Research
Public Health Obesity Prevention Research
Health Management and Policy Electives
*800 level courses may require professor's permission
Public Health Advocacy and Activism
Vaccines and Public Health Policy
Active Issues in Public Health
Public Health Funding & Program Development
Seminar in Fire Arms and Public Health
Coordinating a Population's Care
Perspectives on Gender, Race, Ethnicity, and Social Class
Public Health Surveillance: Aligning Data and Policy Use
Health Disparities: Systemic, Structural, Environmental & Economic
Historical and Contemporary Developments in Social Justice
Public Health Leadership
Health and Human Rights
Health Systems Policy Analysis
Health Economics I
Health Economics II
The Politics of Food & Gender
Violence, Trauma and Adversity in Public Health
Grant Writing for the Arts and Humanities
Total Credits64.0

Degree Requirements: PhD in Epidemiology

Completion of the PhD in Epidemiology requires: (1) a minimum of 69.0 quarter credit hours of course work beyond the master's degree; (2) a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.3; (3) passing the doctoral comprehensive examination; (4) passing the candidacy oral examination; (5) completing a dissertation of publishable quality; and (6) passing the final defense.

A student in the PhD degree program shall have seven calendar years from the date of initial registration to complete and successfully defend a dissertation.

Electives

All students must complete two epidemiology area electives and two biostatistics area electives. 

School of Public Health Core Courses
PBHL 620Intermediate Biostatistics I3.0
PBHL 630Intermediate Epidemiology3.0
Select one of the following courses:3.0
Health and Human Rights
Public Health Ethics
Departmental Required Courses
PBHL 621Intermediate Biostatistics II3.0
PBHL 623Introduction to Statistical Computing3.0
PBHL 632Applied Survey Research in Epidemiology3.0
PBHL 691Pathophysiology Basis of Epidemiologic Research3.0
PBHL 826Causal Inference in Epidemiology3.0
PBHL 830Advanced Epidemiology4.0
PBHL 833Epidemiology PhD Seminar3.0
PBHL 834Methodological Challenges3.0
PBHL 835Proposal Writing Seminar3.0
Dissertation 11.0
Thesis Research: Dissertation Guidance and Epidemiology *
A minimum of two Epidemiology Area electives: 6.0
Epidemiology of Cancer
Social Epidemiology and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Perinatal Epidemiology
Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology & Prevention
Exposure Assessment
Pharmacoepidemiology
A minimum of two Biostatistics Area electives: 6.0
Longitudinal Data Analysis
Survival Data Analysis
Advanced Statistical Computing
Generalized Linear Model
Linear Statistical Models
Selective or Elective9.0
Total Credits69.0

 See the PhD Program Guide for additional information.

*

Number of credits taken each quarter is variable depending on stage of the project and other credit load. May be taken for additional credits if necessary.


Sample Plan of Study (MS)

First Year
FallCredits
PBHL 516Introduction to Public Health2.0
PBHL 520Principles of Biostatistics4.0
PBHL 530Principles of Epidemiology4.0
 Term Credits10.0
Winter
PBHL 620Intermediate Biostatistics I3.0
PBHL 630Intermediate Epidemiology3.0
PBHL 632Applied Survey Research in Epidemiology3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Spring
PBHL 623Introduction to Statistical Computing3.0
PBHL 636Infectious Disease Epidemiology3.0
PBHL 691Pathophysiology Basis of Epidemiologic Research3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Second Year
Fall
PBHL 628Survival Data Analysis3.0
PBHL 633Epidemiology of Cancer3.0
PBHL 835Proposal Writing Seminar3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Winter
PBHL 5033.0
PBHL 625Longitudinal Data Analysis3.0
MS in Epidemiology elective*3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Spring
PBHL 685Data Analysis Project6.0
Two MS in Epidemiology electives*6.0
 Term Credits12.0
Total Credit: 58.0

*

Students must take 6.0 credits of electives in the second year. View the degree requirements for a list of potential electives, or check with the Department. Two electives may be taken in either fall, winter, or spring. This sample plan of study illustrates both electives being taken in the spring term.


Sample Plan of Study (MPH)

First Year
Fall
PBHL 516Introduction to Public Health3.0
PBHL 520Principles of Biostatistics4.0
PBHL 540Prevention Principles and Practices4.0
 Term Credits11.0
Winter
PBHL 530Principles of Epidemiology4.0
PBHL 640Environmental Health4.0
PBHL 650Public Policy and Advocacy3.0
 Term Credits11.0
Spring
PBHL 600Management, Leadership, Assurance and Health Services3.0
PBHL 623Introduction to Statistical Computing3.0
Elective Course3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Second Year
There is a floating elective that can be taken in any term during the second year of the MPH program in addition to the courses listed below.3.0
 Term Credits3.0
Fall
PBHL 620Intermediate Biostatistics I3.0
PBHL 630Intermediate Epidemiology3.0
Elective Course3.0
PBHL 680Community Based Master's Project I2.0
 Term Credits11.0
Winter
PBHL 632Applied Survey Research in Epidemiology3.0
Elective Course3.0
Elective Course3.0
PBHL 681Community Based Master's Project II2.0
 Term Credits11.0
Spring
PBHL 634Epidemiology for Public Health Practice3.0
Elective Course3.0
PBHL 682Community Based Master's Project III2.0
 Term Credits8.0
Total Credit: 64.0

Sample Plan of Study (PhD)

First Year
FallCredits
PBHL 620Intermediate Biostatistics I3.0
PBHL 623Introduction to Statistical Computing3.0
PBHL 630Intermediate Epidemiology3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Winter
PBHL 621Intermediate Biostatistics II3.0
PBHL 632Applied Survey Research in Epidemiology3.0
PBHL 830Advanced Epidemiology4.0
 Term Credits10.0
Spring
PBHL 834Methodological Challenges3.0
Selectives or Electives6.0
 Term Credits9.0
Second Year
Fall
PBHL 826Causal Inference in Epidemiology3.0
PBHL 835Proposal Writing Seminar3.0
Selective or Elective3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Winter
PBHL 691Pathophysiology Basis of Epidemiologic Research3.0
PBHL 833Epidemiology PhD Seminar3.0
Selective or Elective3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Spring
PBHL 824Public Health Ethics3.0
Selectives or Electives6.0
 Term Credits9.0
Third Year
Fall
PBHL 999Thesis Research: Dissertation Guidance and Epidemiology3.0
Selective or Elective3.0
 Term Credits6.0
Winter
PBHL 999Thesis Research: Dissertation Guidance and Epidemiology4.0
 Term Credits4.0
Spring
PBHL 999Thesis Research: Dissertation Guidance and Epidemiology4.0
 Term Credits4.0
Total Credit: 69.0

Joint Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health Degree (MD/MPH)

Students wishing to complete a course of study earning the joint MD/MPH degree can complete such a program in 5 years. They must apply for the joint program and be accepted by both the Drexel University College of Medicine and the Dornsife School of Public Health.

Students in this program have enriched public health content in their first two years of medical school and spend their third year of study full time in the Dornsife School of Public Health. Students are able to enter clinical rotations and residency selection having obtained the MPH degree.

For additional information about this program, contact:
Stephanie Johnson
snj22@drexel.edu
267.359.6065

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