Epidemiology

Graduate Program

Epidemiology

OSHU-PSU School of Public Health graduate student working in a clinic

Epidemiology Masters Degree or Doctorate Overview

Our Epidemiology graduate programs equip you to advance the health of entire populations.

As a partnership between two high-level research universities with commitments to health-promoting social change, the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health (SPH) provides a uniquely comprehensive setting for pursuing training in one of our graduate degrees in Epidemiology. You will learn from and collaborate with epidemiologists, biostatisticians, policy professionals, behavioral/social scientists, and other nationally prominent experts in medicine and other clinical professions, environmental science, health administration, and other fields. Your Epidemiology degree will cover the full spectrum of design and analytic methods used to conduct epidemiologic studies in public health settings. You will gain first-hand experience in analyzing, interpreting, and reporting epidemiologic data to a variety of public health professionals.

Faculty in the OHSU-PSU SPH’s pioneering Epidemiology programs study exposures such as genetic and molecular factors; diet, physical activity, and sleep; worksite, school, and healthcare system characteristics; structural racism and other social determinants of health; environmental pollutants, community design, and social and economic policy. Our faculty study the prevention, management, and treatment of a wide range of health outcomes, including infectious disease, pregnancy outcomes, early childhood development, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, injury and violence, and dementia.

We offer an MPH in Epidemiology, a Ph.D. in Epidemiology, and a dual MD/MPH in Epidemiology. All three Epidemiology graduate programs reflect the unique strengths of the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, including:

  • Small, intimate graduate programs that foster strong relationships between faculty and students, and a sense of community among graduate students
  • A spirit of community engagement that encourages you to get involved and make an impact in real-world public health issues
  • Groundbreaking epidemiology research exploring obesity, infectious disease, perinatal outcomes, injury/violence, aging, racial segregation, quantitative methods, and factors related to the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
  • Robust partnerships and collaborations that connect you with neighborhood groups, nonprofits, government programs, healthcare systems, and other organizations that are actively involved in public health
  • Close collaboration with OHSU’s healthcare practitioners and scientific researchers, as well as with PSU’s faculty experts in urban affairs, social work, environmental science, community engagement, and other fields
  • A commitment to health equity and social justice
  • Access to an expansive inventory of data sets, due in part to our broad partnerships with state and county health departments

MPH in Epidemiology

The MPH in Epidemiology offers first-rate preparation for careers in government, the nonprofit sector, research institutes, health plans and other healthcare-related businesses, and academia. The OHSU-PSU SPH has a long history of high-achieving alumni. Employers seeking Epidemiology graduates regard us as a leading source of new talent and actively recruit our graduates.

In addition, the OHSU-PSU SPH’s unique institutional structure encourages you to synthesize perspectives across multiple disciplines. With access to the full resources of two universities, our MPH in Epidemiology equips you to design epidemiologic studies, apply appropriate statistical methods to the analysis of epidemiologic data, and interpret and report results in publications or other venues. You will be able to integrate expertise from basic science, clinical treatment, community health, biostatistics, public policy, and many other disciplines all at the core of public health.

Ph.D. in Epidemiology

The OHSU-PSU SPH’s Epidemiology Ph.D. program offers exceptional opportunities to engage in research and teaching activities necessary for leadership roles. Through the doctoral dissertation process, you will gain research competency by leading a body of independent epidemiologic research from initial design through submission for publication. Our current and recent Epidemiology Ph.D. candidates have pursued investigations related to economic policy, maternal and child health, obesity prevention and treatment, infectious disease modeling, hearing loss among military veterans, antibiotic stewardship, health impacts of insurance policies, and economic segregation, among other pressing and timely issues. To develop your skills as an educator, you will serve at least one term as a teaching assistant for a core Epidemiology course under the guidance of a faculty member.

Graduates of our Epidemiology Ph.D. program have an exemplary record of job placement. You will be highly qualified for university faculty positions and scientific leadership roles in government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private-sector health systems.

Dual MD/MPH in Epidemiology

In the five-year MD/MPH dual degree program, you will take foundational MPH coursework during the first two years of medical school. In the third year, you will focus full-time on the MPH in Epidemiology, with most of the year devoted to field experience, research, and community engagement. After completing the Epidemiology MPH, you will return to medical school with a broadened public health lens to complete the final two years of the MD program and plan for your career at the intersection of these two important fields.

By pairing the MPH in Epidemiology with an MD, you will be prepared to engage in population-based clinical practice, conduct epidemiological research as a medical practitioner, and take leadership roles in public-health policy, research, and advocacy.

Degree Details

Location Definitions:

On campus:
100% on campus
Online:
100% online
Flexible:
Combination of online and on campus
  • M
    Masters
    Locations
    On campus
    Total Credits
    60
    Start Term
    Fall
  • D
    Doctorate
    Locations
    On campus
    Total Credits
    108
    Start Term
    Fall

Epidemiology Masters Degree or Doctoral Program: Why OHSU-PSU?

The OHSU-PSU School of Public Health reflects the spirit of innovation that is at the core of our two universities and the city we call home. Renowned for its collaborative outlook and embrace of new ideas, Portland is a hive of civic engagement, entrepreneurial energy, and creative vitality -- and our two universities, located in the heart of downtown, are an important part of that mix. Both universities are known for pioneering research and the public-spirited pursuit of knowledge. We are proud that the collaborative OHSU-PSU School of Public Health is built on the strengths of both campuses and a product of that innovative energy.

We at the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health are training the next generation of public health leaders, while working with communities to find enduring solutions to difficult public health problems. We are committed to social justice, health equity, and global sustainability. And, we are a proving ground for new ideas that offer transformative potential. We invite you to join us in this mission.

What can I do with a Master's degree or Doctorate in Epidemiology?

The MPH in Epidemiology offers first-rate preparation for careers in government, the nonprofit sector, research institutes, health plans and other healthcare-related businesses, and academia.

Graduates of our Epidemiology Ph.D. program have an exemplary record of job placement. You will be highly qualified for university faculty positions and scientific leadership roles in government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private-sector health systems.

Graduates of the dual MD/MPH in Epidemiology return to medical school with a broadened public health lens to complete the final two years of the MD program and plan for your career at the intersection of these two important fields.

Core Competencies

Students graduating from this track will be able to:

  • Apply population-based concepts of epidemiology and risk determination to the assessment of health problems.
  • Apply evidence-based knowledge of health determinants to public health issues.
  • Apply and interpret a variety of statistical methods commonly used in medical and public health research.
  • Propose and test a research hypothesis.

 

  • Identify ethical principles problems that arise in public health policy decisions.
  • Apply knowledge of cultural dimensions in conducting research, including culturally sensitive recruitment of study participants, and develop strategies for interpretation of data in the larger cultural context.
  • Integrate and apply relevant literature in epidemiology to public health issues and policy.
  • Communicate public health principles and concepts through various strategies across multiple sectors of the community.

Accreditation

Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

The OHSU-PSU School of Public Health is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).