Master of Science in Epidemiology
Epidemiologic research involves the study of the distribution of disease and injury in human populations. The Masters of Science (MS) in Epidemiology degree at Temple University is designed specifically for students interested in an in-depth training and knowledge of the research techniques appropriate to conduct epidemiologic studies in a particular concentration of health.
Masters level epidemiologists may work in applied settings conducting disease surveillance and outbreak investigations, or in research settings developing and evaluating research hypotheses to understand the effects of biological, environmental, social and behavioral factors on human health. Since epidemiology is the principal science underlying disease prevention and control programs, this training is also a basic component for other degrees and programs in public health and preventive medicine.
The MS in Epidemiology degree is designed to provide training in the two main arms of Epidemiology:
Descriptive Epidemiology: surveillance and monitoring of outbreaks, including case identification, description of disease populations affected (prevalence), and rates of occurrence (incidence). The knowledge obtained from these descriptive studies may form the basis for disease prevention and control programs or lead to subsequent analytical, hypothesis-driven studies.
- Analytic Epidemiology: development and evaluation of research hypotheses concerning the effects of risk factors (genetic, behavioral, environmental, and health care) on human health. Analytic studies are the basis for our understanding of health risks and this knowledge may contribute to many research and prevention programs.
The MS in Epidemiology Program offers many graduate level courses in applied quantitative biostatistics and epidemiologic topics such as environmental epidemiology, infectious epidemiology, HIV/AIDS epidemiology, mental and health epidemiology, maternal and child epidemiology.
Upon successful completion of the MS in Epidemiology degree, students will be able to:
- Define and calculate disease frequency and measures of association between risk factors and disease.
- Describe major research study designs along with their advantages and disadvantages.
- Describe major sources of bias in epidemiologic research.
- Demonstrate competence in methods used in outbreak investigations, infectious disease and chronic disease epidemiology, community and clinical trials, evaluation of screening programs, and other preventive health services.
- Critically evaluate scientific literature.
- Generate a research hypothesis and design a study to address a research question of interest.
- Write a clear, comprehensive description of an epidemiologic investigation, including rationale/background, methods, results and interpretation of findings.
- Demonstrate proficiency with statistical software packages (i.e., SPSS, SAS) and conduct appropriate data analysis to answer the research hypothesis of interest.
- Discern ethical and policy issues in the collection, analysis, and application of epidemiological research.
The program may be completed on a full time or part time schedule and is designed to accommodate working professionals.