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Online Master of Public Health in

Happy families representing Epidemiology

The University of South Florida’s epidemiology degree programs are dedicated to teaching students the vital skills they need in order to become quality, experienced, and passionate epidemiologists. Students of the epidemiology discipline will focus on the distribution of risk factors, disease or other health related conditions. Epidemiology serves a central role in utilizing statistical analysis to determine the relationship between causal and protective factors with disease. The ultimate goal of these efforts is to identify and evaluate effective prevention and treatment measures for patients. The epidemiology online degree programs at USF were designed especially for students who are passionate about becoming an epidemiologist, but are unable to attend on-campus programs.


In order to meet the needs of students who desire an MPH in epidemiology but are unable to attend the on-campus program, USF is offering an Online MPH program in epidemiology . This program is ideal for students who live at a geographical distance from USF, are working full time, or need a flexible class schedule. The degree is offered through the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and provides the same level of quality education as in the traditional on–campus program. With 17 full-time faculty members, more than 190 degree and certificate students, a new online master’s degree, and two new graduate certificate programs, it is one of the College’s fastest-growing departments. We welcome students from Florida, other states, and other countries to attend our program. Special online tuition rates may apply for non-Florida residents.

Students can complete all degree requirements for a master of public health in epidemiology within 2 to 2-1/2 years. All classes are available on-line, many of which are asynchronous, and students can watch lectures and engage in classroom activities with greater time flexibility. Those in which students are expected to attend scheduled lectures and other events, are offered to students through a variety of online platforms.

Using multimedia, web-based technologies for instruction, the online epidemiology concentration incorporates the Internet, streaming media, web-based tutorials, and other digital learning resources. Students engage with peers and faculty through e-mail, web conferencing, discussion forums, and virtual chat features. Students will be assigned to a faculty advisor who will meet with them by phone, Skype, e-mail or other appropriate method at least every semester. One advantage of the online format is that students have the opportunity to engage with students from a wide variety of backgrounds and nationalities.

  • Program Requirements


    The MPH program in Public Health with a Concentration in Epidemiology Online is a professional degree, intended for individuals who wish to obtain a broad understanding of public health, with an emphasis on epidemiologic principles and methods. The knowledge and skills obtained through the program will enable graduates to characterize the health status of communities, critically evaluate research on determinants of health related events, formulate strategies to evaluate the impact of health related interventions and foster the application of epidemiologic methods for health promotion and disease prevention activities at the community level.

    Concentration Admission Information

    In addition to the Program Admission requirements, applicants must have the following:

    • Suggested or preferred undergraduate majors: Mathematics, statistics, computer sciences, natural sciences, biology, social sciences, nursing, medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacology, gerontology, allied health professions, environmental health, management information systems
    • Prerequisite undergraduate courses: College algebra, basic computer skills (e.g. operating system, internet, word processing, spread sheet), human structure and function, human health biology. Calculus is recommended
    • Work experience: Prior work experience is preferred, but not required
    • Other criteria: Academic background, goal statement, student's academic interests, references and availability of faculty and facility resources are also considered as part of the entrance evaluation

    Total Program requirements with this concentration – 44 hours minimum

    In addition to the 19 hours required for the Program (Core, Foundations, Special Project, and Comp Exam), this Concentration requires: 

    Concentration Course Requirements ‐15 credit hours

    • Electives ‐ 9 credit hours
    • Field Experience ‐ 1 credit hour minimum

    Prerequisites (Not included in total program hours) ‐ 6 hours

    • PHC 4101 3 Introduction to Public Health
    • HSC 4551 3 Survey of Human Diseases

    Concentration Requirements ‐ 15 hours

    • PHC 6051 3 Biostatistics II
    • PHC 6010 3 Epidemiology Methods I
    • PHC 6011 3 Epidemiology Methods II
    • PHC 6701 3 Computer Applications for Public Health Researchers
    • PHC 6053 3 Categorical Data Analysis

    Electives ‐ 9 hours

    For Emphasis Area Support Courses, students will select additional coursework from the following categories:

    • 1 Course in Infectious Disease Epidemiology
    • 1 Course in Chronic Disease Epidemiology
    • 1 Epidemiology or Biostatistics methods course (3 credits)

    Field Experience ‐1 hour minimum

    PHC 6945 1‐6 Supervised Field Experience (up to 12 credits)

    No experience, or less than two years using epidemiologic principles in a work setting: 3 credits minimum, 6 preferred.

    Two or more years' experience using epidemiologic principles in a work setting: 1 credit minimum

    For a downloadable version of this information please Click Here to view Program Requirements and scroll down to the EPO section.

  • Potential Epidemiology Career Paths

    Epidemiologists can work in a wide variety of areas. Some of the more common areas include: Perinatal epidemiology, reproductive health, cancer, cardiovascular disease, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, genetic epidemiology, injury and violence, infectious disease, mental health, and many more. The environments an epidemiologist can work in vary greatly depending on each individual. One example is working in a government agency, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the National Institute of health (NIH). In addition, some of the other most common of these work environments include:

    • Conducting research studies to identify disease risk factors
    • Participating in the design and analysis of clinical trials
    • Participating in design and analysis of clinical trials
    • Working as a member of state health departments
    • Working as a member of local health departments
    • Providing expert testimony in legal proceedings
    • Working in international non-profit organizations
    • Working in national non-profit organizations
    • Working as a member of a research team
    • Working in various academic positions
    • Working in a government agency
    • And so much more
  • What Type of Background Should an Epidemiology Student Have?

    Your undergraduate academic degree will ideally be in one of the sciences, math, or in a health related field. In general, students should have some background in college algebra. For students with a different background, there are courses that they can take to gain these competencies. Being able to communicate well, both orally and in writing, is an important skill. Epidemiology involves abstract thinking so a curiosity about how things fit together is also a great skill.

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