Sometimes called “disease detectives,” epidemiologists investigate why and how diseases and injuries occur in different groups of people, or how to best prepare for and reduce the impact on human health from timely public health threats such as natural disasters or climate change.
Epidemiology is foundational to public health and can help shape policy decisions, as well as improve clinical and medical research and preventive care.
Epidemiologists seek to reduce risk by uncovering clues about what causes disease and injury so they can better detect, plan for and prevent them – here and across the globe.
In the MPH epidemiology program, you’ll learn how to use your skills in applied settings or get prepared for doctoral or further professional training.
With small classes and personalized attention, you’ll learn from and collaborate with our diverse and talented faculty who are epidemiological experts.
They study how a variety of factors affect human health, including climate change, complex chronic disease management, disease prevention and management, disaster preparedness, foodborne outbreaks, healthy aging, HIV, maternity care, and pollutants at work, at home and in the environment.
MPH: Epidemiology student
"I was looking for a Master of Public Health program with supportive faculty who have wide-reaching networks and diverse backgrounds. I recognized that at Oregon State, public health faculty and the program embodied these requirements."
The Oregon State MPH – Epidemiology program requires 60 credit hours of coursework (approximately the equivalent of 40 semester credits).
This includes 12 credits of integrated core coursework, 21 credits of option-specific coursework, 21 credits of elective coursework and a 6-credit internship.
The program does not require a thesis; rather, it culminates with an integrative learning experience (ILE). Each MPH option has its own distinct ILE, created by program faculty to assess students’ mastery of program competencies.
With Oregon State’s MPH program in epidemiology, you’ll learn how to use your skills in applied settings in health departments, non-governmental agencies or CDC or WHO field programs.
You’ll also be prepared for doctoral training in epidemiology or other professional training.
Jeff Bethel, Ph.D.
“Epidemiology is the basic science of public health.
“I think there will always be a market for those with quantitative and basic epidemiological skills – those who can look at a health problem and see how that problem is distributed in a population in terms of time and space, and then use public health tools to identify risk factors and causes to ultimately improve the population’s health.”
For questions about the application process and requirements, contact CPHHS graduate admissions.
To talk about curriculum and life as an MPH student, contact our MPH Administrative Director.
For academic or professional information specific to the Oregon State MPH epidemiology program, please contact Program Director Jeff Bethel, Ph.D.
In 2014, our college was accredited by the Council for Education in Public Health – the first in Oregon. This distinction provides our students with more resources, more opportunities to engage in research, and faculty experts who specialize in a variety of public health topics.