Epidemiology is the basic science of public health. For centuries, scientists have used epidemiological methods to understand the distribution and determinants of disease. Epidemiology studies were the basis for understanding the adverse health effects of smoking, the methods of transmission of AIDS, and the relationship between high levels of cholesterol and heart disease. Recently, epidemiology has faced new challenges, including emerging infections, toxic environmental hazards, and global health disparities. New theories, methods, and software now equip epidemiologists to investigate these developing issues, understand emerging public health risks, and ensure the effectiveness of public health interventions.

The Master of Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology provides training in the principles and methodology of epidemiological research and practice. Students in this program explore the theories and methodologies underlying the science and learn how to design, conduct, analyze, and interpret research studies. Students will gain practical skills that can be applied immediately in a variety of career pathways as well as the breadth and depth of knowledge that will provide a foundation for understanding the goals of epidemiological research. Students may enhance their learning and gain additional experience by participating in departmental research. Graduates are prepared for further study or for careers in research and management in academia, government, or the private sector.


In addition to the program competencies that all MPH graduates master, upon completing the requirements for the MPH in Epidemiology, graduates are able to:

  • design valid epidemiological studies
  • use statistical software to analyze and interpret health-related data
  • critically evaluate published research with regard to internal and external validity as well as public health importance

For detailed course listings, visit the Epidemiology Concentrator’s Guide or the BU online bulletin.