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MPH in Epidemiology

Offering Department: 
Program Description: 

The Department of Epidemiology is home to a number of exciting projects, including the UCLA/Fogarty International HIV/AIDS Training Program, the NCI-Cancer Training Program, and the Burroughs-Wellcome Fund Inter-school Training Program in Metabolic Diseases. The Department has active research programs in cancer, molecular/genetic, environmental and occupational epidemiology, neurodegeneration and aging-related diseases, diabetes, infectious diseases and research methodology. 

Epidemiologists study the variation of disease in relation to age, sex, race, occupational and social characteristics, place of residence, susceptibility, exposure to specific agents or other pertinent characteristics. The MPH in Epidemiology is a professional degree in the field of public health, where students obtain the broad training in public health and in epidemiology they need to contribute to improving population health upon graduation. This degree includes courses in environmental health, behavioral sciences, biostatistics, and health services. 

Program Requirements

The degree consists of 68 quarter-credit units.

1. Course Requirements in Epidemiology 

  • Biostat 100B: Introduction to Biostatistics (or approved higher level course)
  • Epidem 200A: Epidemiologic Methods I
  • Epidem 200B: Epidemiologic Methods II
  • Epidem 220: Principles in Infectious Disease Epidemiology
  • Epidem 400: Field Studies in Epidemiology
  • Epidemiology 410: Management of Epidemiologic Data
  • Epidemiology 413: Methods of Scientific Communication
  • Epidem XXX: Chronic disease epidemiology course
  • Epidem XXX: Data management course

2. Core Course Requirements in Public Health (22 units)

  • Public Health 200A: Foundations in Public Health
  • Public Health 200B: Foundations in Public Health

In addition, the student then chooses electives in Epidemiology selected from the following areas. Elective units are based on the number of units remaining to reach 68 units after units for required coursework is set. Eight of these units can be taken outside of the Epidemiology department with approval. Epidemiology electives are selected from the following areas: 

  • Bioterrorism: Epidem C275
  • Cancer Epidemiology: Epidem 242, 243, 244, 245
  • Cardiovascular Epidemiology: Epidem 240
  • Data Management and Analysis: Epidem M403, 404,407A,407B
  • Environmental Epidemiology: Epidem 260
  • Genetic Epidemiology: Epidem 249
  • Global Epidemiology: Epidem 273, 420
  • Infectious Disease: Epidem 227, 228, 230, 231, 232
  • Lifecourse Epidemiology: Epidem 247
  • Methods, Quantitative: Epidem M204, M211, 212, 215
  • Methods, Other: Epidem M216, M218, 413
  • Nutritional Epidemiology: Epidem M254
  • Occupational Epidemiology: Epidem M261, 265
  • Reproductive Epidemiology: Epidem 267
  • Social and Behavioral Epidemiology: Epidem 217,246, 268, 270, M272, 412


Comprehensive Examination

A written comprehensive examination covering the above course material is required. The exam is offered twice a year.  Students may take the MPH comprehensive examination while enrolled in Epidemiology 200B contingent upon successful completion of Epidemiology 200A.

Written Report

All MPH degree enrolled students must submit a report demonstrating competence in epidemiologic methodology. The MPH report should demonstrate (1) understanding of an epidemiologic topic and (2) analytic competence of candidates in either infectious or general epidemiology. Students select one option as listed below:

Analyze and write up existing data:

The student can define a research problem and, using existing data, carry out the necessary data analysis to answer or illuminate the problem. The report based on a project of this type should follow usual research paper format.

Carry out an original research project:

The student can define a research problem and design and carry out the research necessary to answer or illuminate the problem posed. This can be a laboratory or other type of study (e.g., medical records, vital records, interview, etc.). The report based on a project of this type should follow the usual research paper format.

Literature review of a disease (health problem) and development of a proposal for relevant epidemiologic study:

This should consist of an in-depth analysis of existing literature leading to the development of a research proposal. The proposal should include objectives, rationale, methods (clearly and explicitly developed) and an appropriate discussion of projected analyses. The project should also be feasible, particularly with respect to human subjects review.

Some internships may give students a chance to develop an MPH report in one of the above formats.

Typical Course Sequencing

Incoming Epidemiology majors must take Public Health 200A in the fall quarter for which they are enrolled. First year students will then take Public Health 200B and Biostatistics 100B in the following winter quarter. All entering students must take a data management course by the winter quarter of their first year. They should plan on completing their first year by taking Epidemiology 410 and electives of their choice within epidemiology. Epidemiology 200A/B, 220, 400 and 413 are taken in the second year.

Time To Degree

The MPH degree is normally obtained after 2 years of full-time study (six academic quarters).


Applicants are only admitted in the Fall.  Applicants who wish to be considered for all financial aid considerations should have their applications, letters, transcripts and official GRE scores here at the School of Public Health by December 1 of the year preceding the desired entrance year.

The application process has three steps. You must:

  1. Submit an on-line application and pay the application fee at SOPHAS,
  2. Submit an online application and pay the application fee at UCLA Graduate Admissions, and
  3. Mail required academic documents and test scores to SOPHAS and to UCLA's School of Public Health.

For complete application instructions and the list of required materials, review the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Admission Application Check List and Submission Instructions.

All applicants must meet the University’s minimum requirements. However, as we receive many more qualified applicants for the program than there are available spaces, meeting the minimum requirements for admission does not ensure admission to the program. 

Tuition and Fees

For the most up to date fees and more information on fee breakdown, visit the registrar's office.

Please see FSPH Financial Opportunities page for information on awards, scholarships, training opportunities, employment, summer internship funding, and need-based aid. Please note that opportunities listed under 'Summer Internship Funding' are only applicable to MPH students.


An epidemiologist may work in a wide variety of settings, including international health agencies, state and local health departments, federal government agencies and health programs, health maintenance organizations, colleges and universities, and numerous research institutions, both privately and publicly sponsored.

Faculty in this Department

For a list of faculty in this department, please click here.

To search all School of Public Health faculty members by name, department or area of expertise, click here.

Helpful Links


Who to Contact for More Information

For more information, contact Joy Miller at or 310.206.3901.


*This information is intended as an overview, and should be used as a guide only. Requirements, course offerings and other elements may change, and this overview may not list all details of the program. For the most up-to-date information, please consult the registrar’s office.

PDF icon Epidemiology Student Handbook 2019-20343.92 KB

* Admission requirements listed are departmental requirements, and are in addition to the University's minimum requirements. Many programs receive more applicants than can be admitted, so meeting the minimum requirements for admission does not ensure admission. Every effort is made to ensure minimum admissions requirements are up to date - for the most up-to-date information on the University's minimum requirements, please visit the UCLA Graduate Division.

** Fees are subject to change and should be used as a guide only. For the most up to date fees and more information on fee breakdown, visit the registrar's office.