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MS 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. The Global Bio Lab, with its capacity to respond to the world’s deadliest biological threats, also offers cutting-edge training.

Epidemiology focuses on the health problems in population groups. The scope of this exciting field ranges from the study of the causes of disease to the control of prevention of disease and the distribution of health resources. 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 relevant factors. The MS in Epidemiology is perfect for students intending to pursue a research career, as the MS is a research-oriented degree within the general field of epidemiology. It includes coursework in areas such as epidemiologic methods, biostatistics, data management, chronic diseases epidemiology, and global and infectious diseases epidemiology. In addition to coursework, the program includes either the preparation of a thesis, or a comprehensive examination and MS report. 

Program Requirements

The MS in Epidemiology requires 38 units of required core courses and 18 units of elective courses.

Departmental Course Requirements:

  • Biostat 100A: Introduction to Biostatistics (or approved higher level course)
  • Biostat 100B: Introduction to Biostatistics (or approved higher level course)
  • Epidem 200A: Epidemiology Methods I
  • Epidem 200B: Epidemiologic Methods II
  • Epidem 200C: Epidemiologic Methods III
  • Epidem 220: Principles in Infectious Disease Epidemiology
  • Epidem XXX: Seminar in Epidemiology
  • Epidem XXX: Data management course
  • XXXXX: Approved multi-regression statistics course

In addition, the student must complete at least 18 units of electives in Epidemiology selected from the following areas:


  • Quantitative Methods: Epidem 203, M204, M212
  • Other Methods: Epidem M216, M218, M403, 410, 413

Global and Infectious Diseases Epidemiology

  • Infectious and Tropical Disease: Epidem 220, 227, 228, 229, 230, 231, 232, 233,
  • Global Epidemiology: Epidem 266, 273, 420
  • Problems of Developing Countries: Epidem 266, 273, 420
  • Other: Epidem M225

Chronic Diseases Epidemiology

  • Cancer Epidemiology: Epidem 242, 243, 244, 245
  • Nutritional Epidemiology: Epidem M254, 257, M258
  • Genetic Epidemiology: Epidem 249
  • Cardiovascular Aging Epidemiology: Epidem 240, 246
  • Occupational/ Environmental Epidemiology: Epidem 260, 265
  • Injuries: Epidem M252
  • Other: Epidem 274

Social and Behavioral Epidemiology

  • Epidem 268, 270, M272, 412

Thesis or Comprehensive Examination

Students complete either a thesis or a comprehensive examination and MS report before graduation.

Thesis, Plan I:

If the thesis option is approved, a thesis committee of three member faculty is appointed by the Dean of the Graduate Division on recommendation of the Department. The Chair of the committee and at least one other member must hold academic appointments in the Department of Epidemiology. The committee approves the thesis prospectus before the student files for advancement to candidacy. The thesis must be acceptable to the thesis committee.

Comprehensive Examination, Plan II:

If the comprehensive examination option is chosen, a guidance committee of three Department of Epidemiology faculty is appointed. A comprehensive examination on the major area of study must be passed. If failed, the examination may be repeated once. In addition, the student must complete a research report which is approved by the guidance committee.

Typical Course Sequencing

Students in the MS program should take Epidemiology 200A and Biostatistics 100A in their first quarter, Epidemiology 200B and Biostatistics 100B in their second quarter, and Epidemiology 200C in their third quarter. They may also take additional courses in each of those quarters or substitute Biostatistics 100A-B with appropriate higher level courses.

Students who plan to take their epidemiology first year core courses (Epi 200A, Epi 200B and Epi 200C) in a different sequence must have approval from their advisors.

Time To Degree

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


Admissions Process

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 or questions, 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.

* 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.