Epidemiology focuses on patterns of disease, disability, and injury and applies that information to the control of health problems. Epidemiologic research provides the basis for significant public health decisions, such as those involving tobacco use or HIV/AIDS, well before individual disease mechanisms are understood.
The Master of Science (MS) degree is intended for students whose interests in epidemiology are academically oriented rather than directed toward professional practice. It is a natural entry point for students who are interested in pursuing a PhD degree or a career in research. Because of this orientation, the emphasis in the MS degree program is on building a strong foundation in a particular specialty field, along with the research methods important in that field. To reflect this research and academic orientation, the MS degree ordinarily requires the preparation of a thesis, though it is available under a non-thesis option at the discretion of the division of specialization.
Program of Study
The MS-Epidemiology curriculum consists of a minimum of 48 credits organized into three curricular domains:
1. Courses required for a specialization in epidemiology (31-38 credits)
2. Elective courses approved for the specialization (6-7 credits)
3. Thesis (3 credits)
For detailed additional information about specific requirements, students are directed to the College of Public Health (CPH) Graduate Student Handbook and to the Ohio State University Graduate School Handbook.
Strong undergraduate education in science and math is recommended. Admission decisions are made largely on GPA, GRE scores, recommendations, personal statements, and experience. Minimum GPA is generally 3.0 and minimum GRE (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing score) should be at the 50th percentile or higher. The personal statement is examined for writing ability, motivation for the degree, and for goodness of fit with the interests of the faculty. The stronger the application is with respect to these elements, the more likely the student will be admitted. Applicants applying to the doctoral program must have earned a master’s degree in epidemiology or a related field.
For information regarding application materials, test scores and codes, and decision timelines see our frequently asked questions page.