MPH epidemiology online programs allow students to complete up to 80 percent of their didactic coursework at their location of choice. The remaining 20 percent of the program includes one on-campus course per year. University programs permit online epidemiology master’s students up to four years to complete their degree; however, most students finish their degree in 26 months. Graduation requirements can vary by program from 45 to 60 credits.
MPH/epidemiology coursework focuses on research strategies, biostatistics, public health policy and management, infectious disease, and public health data analysis. Students also complete an on-site internship with a public health organization. Online courses are offered in two required modalities: asynchronous and synchronous. The asynchronous component allows students to complete their degree at their own pace while synchronous online courses must be attended on schedule to provide live lectures and class sections with their peers. The online courses use multimedia, virtual chat, discussion threads, instructional podcasts, Skype, and email. Students may work with a faculty adviser via chat or by phone.
Curriculum in MPH Epidemiology Online Programs
Curriculum requirements for the epidemiology program include satisfactory completion of a supervised internship lasting for one or two semesters. Coursework focuses on survey design, causal analysis, statistical methods, medical informatics, biomedical research, regression, and healthcare systems. Programs may also require the completion of a research project and scholarly paper or a comprehensive exam. Here is a sampling of typical courses offered in a master’s in epidemiology online program:
- Principles and Methodology
- Epidemiology of Communicable Disease
- Public Health Policy and Management
- Community Outreach and Education
- Epidemiologic Method
- Outbreak Investigations
- Biostatistics for Research
- Intro to Multivariate Stats
- SAS Data Management
- Epidemiology of HIV/STDs
- Field Epidemiology
- Epidemiologic Surveillance
- Health Budgeting & Financial Management
- Computer Analysis in Public Health
- Participatory Action Research
- Environmental and Occupational Health
- Sociocultural & Behavioral Aspects of Public Health
- Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology
Accreditation for MPH Epidemiology Online Programs
It is important to check for Accreditation before students apply for Masters in Epidemiology Online degrees. Online university programs with an epidemiology specialization must be accredited by The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). Some employers, particularly the U.S. Public Health Service and state and local agencies – hire only graduates of CEPH-accredited MPH programs. As long as the program that students applying to, is accredited by CEPH, students can be confident about the value of the degree.
Admission requirements for MPH Epidemiology Online Programs
According to the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), there are 60,000 students attending the nation’s MPH degree programs. Most online institutions use the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS). It allows prospective students to apply to multiple universities at the same time. Approximately 13,000 students were accepted into programs via SOPHAS in 2017.
The first step is to register for a SOPHAS account. The initial university application by SOPHAS costs $135 and $50 per additional school. Here is the SOPHAS suggested schedule for applying to schools offering an epidemiology degree online:
- Begin the SOPHAS application at least three months prior to the school’s deadline
- Request for official college transcripts be sent to SOPHAS at least eight weeks prior to the school’s deadline
- Submit transcripts, graduate test scores, entry essays, and letters of recommendation to SOPHAS at least four weeks prior to school deadlines
- Complete and submit your online SOPHAS application at least three weeks prior to deadlines.
Important Note: The fees paid for the SOPHAS application are for the submission of your application materials. Students should contact each prospective program to find out if there are additional fees. Some offer tuition waivers based on need.
Individual universities establish their own requirements for accepting students into the program. These may include two or three letters of recommendation, the submission of an essay on your education and career goals. They usually favor an undergraduate degree in the fields of mathematics, health, or sciences, with a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Prerequisites may include college undergraduate credits in anatomy, algebra, physiology, microbiology, and biology. Students who do not meet the prerequisites can complete them in summer session preceding or during their first graduate semester. Check with your prospective programs. Some master’s in epidemiology online schools require no prerequisites beyond completion of a baccalaureate degree and submission of transcripts and test scores.
Timeline for graduation in Masters in Epidemiology Online
Timelines for graduation depends on many factors like part time/full time, the format of the program, university, bow many credits per semesters, etc. But like most online masters programs, Masters in Epidemiology Online programs take about 2-3 years by most students.