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Degree Programs

The Department of Epidemiology offers one doctoral level program, two master's level programs, and one joint bachelor's/master's program. All Epidemiology degree programs require on-site attendance for the majority of the program.

Doctor of Philosophy

The doctoral program in epidemiology targets students with specific career goals in public health research, teaching, and/or leadership.  It begins in late August/early September. This degree is designed for students with at least two years of relevant work experience or relevant professional skills, and requires at least two years of coursework, followed by an average of two years of research towards a doctoral dissertation.  Students must complete a written comprehensive exam, a practice oral exam, preliminary exam, two presentations, and a final dissertation including a presentation seminar and defense exam.

PhD students focus on the creation of new and innovative knowledge through their research. Training is offered through a core methodologic sequence with the addition of more focused courses in specialized areas. Students are expected to tailor their curricula, working with their advisers to create a comprehensive plan of study and research. PhD theses must be based on original research, worthy of publication, and approved by the Department and a committee of thesis (dissertation) readers. PhD students must also be engaged in primary data collection as a component of their dissertation research or embedded in other research during their training here.

Students work closely with their advisers and Thesis Advisory Committee to develop their research questions and design their projects to address those questions and to conduct the dissertation research.

The application deadline for the PhD program in epidemiology is December 1.

Master of Health Science and Master of Science

Master of Health Science (MHS) and Master of Science (ScM) degree programs begin in late August/early September, with the first year devoted to coursework followed by research and thesis, usually requiring an additional year in residence. Both programs require that students complete at least 64 credits of coursework with a cumulative 2.75 GPA (B or higher average), successfully pass the written comprehensive exams, and produce a publishable quality manuscript of their own work.  Students work closely with their advisers to develop their research question and design their projects.

The MHS and ScM degrees are the same in regard to the required coursework, but they differ in entrance and some thesis requirements.

The MHS degree is designed for students interested in gaining knowledge and training in Epidemiology who may not have had significant prior work experience in the field. MHS candidates may apply directly from undergraduate programs as long as they have had some scientific, biologic, research, or laboratory experience and have met the prerequisite courses. MHS students may fulfill the thesis requirement by completing a systematic literature review, performing secondary data analysis, or completing a program or project proposal.

The ScM is designed for students who have completed the prerequisite courses and have had at least one year of work experience in epidemiology or another scientific field.  Successful applicants have published manuscripts and/or have conducted lab or field research. The ScM requires degree candidates to complete an original research project with depth and understanding of epidemiology and the topic area. ScM students submit their publishable quality thesis for approval to the University Graduate Board.

The application deadline for the MHS and ScM programs in Epidemiology is March 1.

MHS/ScM Timeline

Bachelors and Masters Combined Program

The BA/MHS degree is designed for undergraduate students at Johns Hopkins University who are majoring in Public Health Studies and who are already interested in pursuing an advanced degree through the combined degree program at JHSPH. The Bachelor of Arts (BA) and the Master of Health Science (MHS) combined degree program prepares students for further graduate work or prominent careers in research and science. The benefit of the BA/MHS is that it allows Johns Hopkins University undergraduates (only) to take JHSPH courses during their undergraduate program and apply up to 16 credits accumulated as undergraduates in the MHS program. Students who complete the BA at JHU, become MHS candidates and follow the MHS program, with a compressed version of the master’s degree encouraged.

All applicants are encouraged to complete multiple biology and other science/math courses prior to entering the program.

All students interested in the BA/MHS program in Epidemiology should apply during the summer between their junior and senior year. The application deadline is July 1.

BA/MHS Timeline