Learn more about the Master of Science in Epidemiology.

About the Program

The conduct of epidemiological research involves the study of the distribution of disease and/or injury in human populations. The MS in Epidemiology degree is designed specifically for students interested in in-depth training and knowledge of the research techniques appropriate to conducting epidemiological studies in a particular concentration of health research. Master's-level epidemiologists work in applied settings conducting disease surveillance and outbreak investigations or in research settings developing and evaluating research hypotheses generated to understand the effects of behavioral, biological, environmental and social 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 degree and training programs in public health and preventative medicine.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 4 years

Campus Location: Main

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: The program is designed to accommodate both full- and part-time students. Full-time students can earn their degree within 2 years, while part-time students typically complete the degree in 3 years.

Interdisciplinary Study: Students are encouraged to develop programs of study that are interdisciplinary in nature, involving coursework across departments, schools and colleges. Research in affiliated units is encouraged.

Affiliation(s): Locally, the program has long-standing research affiliations with The Food Trust, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Health Federation of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC), School District of Philadelphia, Temple University Health System, and numerous other community health agencies. These partnerships allow us to offer students a wide range of fieldwork opportunities to translate skills learned in the classroom to actual practice in the community.

Study Abroad: Temple University has campuses in Tokyo, London and Rome where independent research can be pursued under advisement.

Accreditation: The program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

Areas of Specialization: Areas of specialization can be dictated through the area of concentration pursued by the student in their thesis research.

Job Prospects: Graduates of the MS in Epidemiology program are prepared to be researchers in colleges and universities or to hold research-related positions in a wide range of organizations. Graduates are employed in health systems, hospitals and clinics, public health departments, and public health and other healthcare and human service agencies. Some graduates are employed by schools at the local, state and federal levels. Graduates also work in pharmaceutical companies, nonprofit and for-profit corporations, foundations and consulting firms.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Students are permitted to take up to 9 credits of coursework before matriculation. If a student is accepted into the program, those courses may be applied toward the degree requirements. Course selection should be made in consultation with an advisor, and students should be aware that completion of coursework does not ensure admission into the program.

Financing Opportunities: Limited Teaching and Research Assistantships are available in the College of Public Health. The Graduate School website details the types of graduate student support. Assistantships are awarded on a term or annual basis. Students whose Fall applications are complete prior to or at the application deadline are reviewed for eligibility for Teaching Assistant (TA) positions. TAs can work 5 to 20 hours per week in any combination of teaching assignments made by the department and must meet the English Language Proficiency standards set by the University and the College. Students who hold Teaching or Research Assistantships are not permitted to hold other employment without the written prior approval of their advisor, the Director of Graduate Programs, and the Graduate School. To be considered for a Teaching or Research Assistantship, complete an application form that is sent to students upon admission to the MPH program. The completed application must be returned to to be considered.

The College of Public Health has a limited number of scholarship opportunities available for MPH students, as shown at Students may also be eligible for financial support through the Office of Student Financial Services.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: March 1

All applicants to the MS in Epidemiology program must apply via the Centralized Application Service for Public Health (SOPHAS). The system can be accessed at

Applicants should check their application status on the SOPHAS portal often and inquire directly of SOPHAS about receipt of materials. For other questions, please contact the CPH Office of Admissions at or 215- 204-5200.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation, which are completed electronically through the SOPHAS system, should be obtained from college/university faculty members familiar with the applicant's academic competence and, if appropriate, research supervisors or mentors.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration: Proficiency in statistical programming and a minimum of 6 credits of undergraduate quantitative and/or analytical methods (statistics, research design, etc.) are required.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: All applicants must present credentials that are the equivalent of an accredited baccalaureate degree. The minimum acceptable undergraduate GPA is 3.0.

A WES evaluation is required for applicants who completed their bachelor's degree outside of the United States. This can be requested at and submitted through SOPHAS.

Statement of Goals: Write a well-considered 500- to 1,000-word statement of purpose that articulates your interests in public health and our program in particular. Craft your statement to specifically address the following questions:

  • Why are you pursuing this master’s degree program, and what are your particular areas of interest in public health?

  • How does the MS in Epidemiology best fit your public health interests?

  • What are your career goals, and how will this degree help you to achieve those goals? What are your plans in the first few years after graduation?

Standardized Test Scores:
GRE: Required. While the program takes a portfolio approach to admissions, standardized tests provide important insight into quantitative and verbal abilities. Scores above the 75th percentile on both the verbal and quantitative sections of the test are desired. Official GRE scores should be sent to SOPHAS using code 0151.

Standardized tests considered in lieu of the GRE include DAT, GMAT, MCAT, OAT and PCAT.

Applicants who earned their baccalaureate degree from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English, with the exception of those who subsequently earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution, must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:

  • TOEFL iBT: 79 (send officially to SOPHAS using the SOPHAS-specific TOEFL code 5688)
  • IELTS Academic: 6.5
  • PTE Academic: 53
  • Duolingo: 110

Resume: Current resume or CV required.

Interview: An interview may be required.

Laptop: All incoming students in the College of Public Health are required to have a laptop. Academic programs in the college are technology intensive. They incorporate statistical and database analyses; utilize specialized tools for athletic training, kinesiology and physical therapy; stream audio and video for communication sciences; facilitate online interactive counseling for social work; and foster clinical experiences and online assessments. The laptop requirement enables the College of Public Health to improve opportunities for active learning and provide greater access to specialized software and required tools in and out of the classroom, better preparing students for the workforce. Learn more about device specifications and suggested vendors. Students can use excess financial aid (i.e., funds that are reimbursed after all tuition and fees are paid) to meet student needs, including the purchase of a laptop. Scholarships may also provide funding.

Transfer Credit: Graduate credits from an accredited institution are considered for transfer into the MS in Epidemiology degree program. Such courses are reviewed by the MS Graduate Program Director to determine whether they are equivalent to coursework offered at Temple and fulfill any degree requirements. The grade must be a "B" or better in order to transfer and have been earned within five years of applying to the program. The maximum number of credits that may be transferred into the MS program is 6.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 36

Required Courses:

Core Courses
ENVH 5004Environmental Health1.5
EPBI 5002Biostatistics3
EPBI 5005Applied Analysis of Health1.5
EPBI 5201Epidemiological Research Methods I3
EPBI 8012Multivariable Biostatistics3
EPBI 8202Epidemiological Research Methods II3
HRPR 5001Current and Emerging Issues in Public Health and Health Professions 10
Advanced Quantitative Methods Courses
Select two from the following:6
Spatial Analysis in Public Health
Structural Equation Modeling
Multilev Mod in Int Res
Behavioral Measurement
Systematic Reviews
Intermediate Concepts and Methods in Health Research
Applied Concepts and Methods in Health Research
Fundamentals of Geographical Information Systems
Census Analysis with Geographical Information Systems
GIS for Health Data Analysis
Cognate Epidemiology Electives
Select three from the following: 29
Environmental Epidemiology
Mental Health Epidemiology
Seminar in Current Issues in Public Health 3
Social Epidemiology
Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Chronic Disease Epidemiology
Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology
Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS
Cancer Epidemiology
Clinical Research Methods in Public Health
Behavioral Epidemiology
Concepts and Methods in Epidemiologic Research
Research Course
EPBI 9996Masters Res in Pub Hlth (2 terms)6
Total Credit Hours36

This common College Core course is required of all incoming graduate students in the College of Public Health. It is available completely online and designed such that students can complete the modules at their own pace over the course of their degree program.


With approval, students may select alternate electives.


EPBI 5500 requires prior approval.

Minimum Grade to be Earned for All Required Courses: B-

Culminating Event:
The master's thesis documents the student's independent research and demonstrates mastery of their primary area of interest. Thesis research is conducted under the direct supervision of an academic advisor. The specific topic for research should be of current interest in the professional community. After a research topic is selected, the student performs preliminary background research. A thesis proposal is then submitted describing the plan for further steps toward completion of the proposed research. The student may continue the research only after the proposal is approved by the committee. Presentation of methods and study results is performed upon completion of the thesis.


Program Web Address:

Department Information:

Dept. of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Ritter Hall Annex, 9th Floor (004-09)

1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6005


Submission Address for Application Materials:

Department Contacts:


CPH Office of Admissions


Graduate Program Director:

Aimee J. Palumbo, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor



Resa M. Jones, MPH, PhD

Associate Professor