Master of Science in Population Health Research: Epidemiology

The Master of Science (MS) in Population Health Research: Epidemiology focuses on the development, spread, and control of disease. It is a crucial field in public health that is at the very core of the discovery and implementation of solutions to the world’s health challenges.

The MS program provides a fundamental grounding in both the theory and practice of epidemiology, and emphasizes the development and application of quantitative research skills to real-world research in public health. This includes the acquisition of skills in hypothesis formation; data collection and management; statistical computing; and interpretation of results.

MS in Epidemiology Program Structure

The epidemiology master’s degree program unpacks the risk factors of disease, including the thorough examination of genetic, reproductive, and aging factors.

The MS degree is structured to blend advanced knowledge with expertise in research methods, real-world experience, faculty-mentored research, and professional network building in Boston and beyond.

Through the Epidemiology degree program, students will be equipped with the following essential research skills:

  • Critically evaluate research reports and publications
  • Design data collection and management plans
  • Analyze and synthesize research findings to inform evidence-based policies or recommendations
  • Develop a scientific hypothesis and design a research study to test the hypothesis
  • Communicate research results in technical and non-technical terms to potential stakeholders

Boston University’s MS in Population Health Research degree program also offers specializations in Global Health, Climate and Health, and Translation and Implementation ScienceAdditionally, students can tailor a customized specialization to their professional goals with the support of a faculty member.

Faculty Spotlight

Martha M. Werler, DSc—Professor, Epidemiology
Dr. Werler is Professor and Chair of Epidemiology. She is a perinatal epidemiologist whose NIH- and CDC- supported research includes projects on maternal serum markers of infection and abdominal wall defects; gene-environment interactions and clubfoot; medications, folic acid intake, and inheritance in relation to spina bifida; and psycho-social and cognitive outcomes in children born with craniofacial birth defects. Read more.

Learn more about research at BUSPH.

Growth in the Epidemiology Industry

Boston University School of Public Health is at the forefront of innovative research in public health across the globe. Working side-by-side with leading faculty experts, Epidemiology students become savvy researchers working on the front lines of rapidly evolving global health issues.

Master’s in Epidemiology graduates are prepared to continue on to doctoral study or to confidently enter and make an impact in a booming field. Employment in the field of Epidemiology grew by 13% from 2013-2017, and jobs in the field are projected to grow by more than 11% 2017-2027 (statistics provided by Burning Glass Technologies). Epidemiology researchers are in high demand in academic settings, government agencies, hospitals, and private industries.

Explore the employment placements of Boston University School of Public Health graduates.

Flexible Options for Full- and Part-Time Study

Epidemiology students are able to complete the degree in either a full- or part-time format to meet their individual schedule. Online coursework is also available to further support achievement of academic and professional goals through a balanced work, education, and home schedule.

Full-time MS Schedule:

The MS degree in Population Health Research can be completed in 12 months through full-time study beginning during the summer term. All students (full and part time) will begin the program in July and must complete Essentials of Population Health Research and Accelerated Training in Research Theory and Design first. An example Epidemiology full-time schedule is below.


  • Essentials of Population Health Research (online)


  • Accelerated Training in Statistical Computing (two weeks, on campus, full time for all students)


  • Introduction to Epidemiology
  • Applications of Introductory Epidemiology
  • Data and Collection Methods for Epidemiology
  • Advanced Statistical Computing
  • Guided Epidemiology
  • Research Skills Seminar


  • Intermediate Epidemiology
  • Applications of Intermediate Epidemiology
  • Research Dissemination Seminar
  • Mentored Research Experience

Part-time Schedule:

Students can also complete the degree through part-time study of one to two courses per semester, finishing the program in an average of 24 months. All students (full and part time) will begin the program in July and must complete Essentials of Population Health Research and Accelerated Training in Research Theory and Design first. Contact the program director, Andrew C. Stokes, PhD, for more information on part-time scheduling.

MS in Population Health Research Admission Requirements

To be admitted into this MS program, students must hold a bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution or be on track to complete one prior to enrollment. Students are not required to submit GRE test scores as part of their application.

Learn more about the complete admission requirements and application deadlines for the MS in Population Health Research degree.

Become a Leading Epidemiology Researcher

Learn the skills to address disease and health challenges through the MS in Population Health Research: Epidemiology—request more information today

You can also contact our team in the Boston University School of Public Health Admissions Office at or 617-358-4095 to schedule a visit or learn more about admission eligibility, degree requirements, deadlines, and application information. We look forward to connecting with you.