Public Health, MPH (Epidemiology)

Master of Public Health Degree with a Concentration in Epidemiology

University of Nebraska Medical Center

  • Fully Online
  • 42
  • $597.00
  • $597.00

Program Overview

The online Master of Public Health (MPH) with a concentration in Epidemiology degree program is designed for students and working professionals looking to broaden their training in epidemiology and related fields. 

The Public Health, MPH (Epidemiology) program provides basic epidemiological skills and knowledge to prepare students for careers in public health. This area of study provides the tools needed to conceptualize a public health problem, design an epidemiological study, collect and analyze data and interpret and report the results of a study. The coursework and applications focus on the determinants, distribution, dynamics and etiology of disease in populations and include proposal and report writing, the promotion of good health practices, the prevention of disease and the evaluation of public health policy and programs.

The online Epidemiology concentration focuses on five main areas:

  • Problem Conceptualization. Students conceptualize epidemiologic research questions and hypotheses, apply principles of causal inference to epidemiologic data and review and critique published epidemiologic studies.
  • Surveillance. Students develop skills to identify key sources of surveillance data, compute epidemiologic measures using surveillance data and use surveillance data to answer epidemiologic questions
  • Study Design. Students learn how to choose a study design appropriate for particular epidemiologic questions and design an appropriate, scientifically sound study.
  • Data Analysis and Interpretation. Students develop skills to identify and interpret key study results, select appropriate statistical methods for analysis of epidemiologic data, identify potential sources and effects of bias and apply methods to minimize sources of bias in study results.
  • Dissemination of Study Findings. Students learn to communicate epidemiologic information to lay and professional audiences.

The Master’s in Public Health cultivates leaders who are creative, critical thinkers, with the knowledge and skills to address evolving public health challenges. This online master's degree program focuses on being practice-centered, evidence-based, equity-focused, diverse and collaborative.

Career Outlook: Epidemiologists are employed in federal, state and local governmental agencies, such as health departments and the Centers for Disease Prevention Control. They also find employment at colleges and universities, hospitals and pharmaceutical and medical research. Epidemiologists can focus on a specific field, such as Infectious Disease, Chronic Diseases (e.g., cancer, cardiovascular diseases) and Maternal and Child Health. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for Epidemiologists is projected to grow 29.6% in the U.S. by 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Potential career paths include:

  • WHO, CDC; state, county and territorial health departments: Conduct applied/field epidemiological activities such as disease surveillance and outbreak investigations
  • Health care systems: Conduct disease surveillance, infection control and quality assurance activities
  • Academic institutions: Conduct education and research activities in a variety of epidemiology topics

Concentrations: Students have the option to declare a concentration when applying for admission to the Master of Public Health program, or when establishing a plan of study. The concentration is reported on the student’s transcript.

Areas of concentration in the Master of Public Health program:

  • Maternal and Child Health (42)
  • Health Services Administration & Policy (42)
  • Health Promotion (42)
  • Epidemiology (42)
  • Environmental and Occupational Health (42)
  • Emergency Preparedness (42)
  • Biostatistics (42)

Admissions and Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A Bachelor's degree

    The student must have received the equivalent of a grade of B or better in a one college-level math course.

  2. Taken the TOEFL

    (Only required if English is not your native language)

  3. A written personal statement

    The personal statement should be single-spaced, one page in length and describe the applicant’s: interest in and potential for contributing to the field of public health, career objectives and a self-assessment of personal skills and general preparation for succeeding in a public health graduate program.

  4. 3 letters of recommendation

    Applicants must submit 3 letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to academic, practice and/or research abilities. Ideally, recommenders are recent professors, researchers or employers. Recent graduates (last 1-3) years should include faculty references among their 3 references. Employer and supervisor letters or recommendation are appropriate for those who may have graduated or have been employed in the workforce for several years, or for those who are a member of the armed services.

  5. Official transcripts from all previous schools

  6. International Transcripts. All non-US transcripts must be evaluated by the World Education Service (WES) using their ICAP Course-by-course evaluation service.

  7. Resume or CV that includes employment history, professional experience/skills and volunteer/service experience.

  8. Note: The GRE requirement for the MPH program Fall 2021 application has been waived. However, applicants with a GPA below 3.0 are strongly encourage to submit GRE test scores if available.

NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states

To apply to this program:

  • Complete the online application. Use "School Designation" section in online application to select program and area of concentration you wish to apply  
  • Submit application fee

Courses You’ll Take

Core Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
CPH 628Epidemiologic Methods3
This course is primarily designed for graduate students and health professionals interested in learning in-depth epidemiologic concepts and methods. Methods covered in this course include approaches to minimize random and systematic error, advanced screening methods, systematic reviews and meta-analyses, nested case-control and case-cohort studies, matched case-control and cohort studies, clinical trials, longitudinal epidemiologic studies, and analyses of national surveys with multistage complex sampling. Students will practice their skills using SAS and RevMan on simulated and actual research data. Prerequisite: CPH 506; CPH 504; CPH 651 Strongly recommended.
CPH 514Planning and Evaluation3
This course is designed to prepare graduate students, professional students or fellows to apply multi-level evidence-based policy and program approaches to improve public health. The course will guide students through planning and evaluating the impact of public health strategies based on the reach, effectiveness, scalability, implementation quality, and sustainability of these approaches in complicated and complex systems.
CPH 500Foundations of Public Health3
This is an introductory survey course, which will ensure that all public health students, within their first full year of study, are exposed to the fundamental concepts and theories that provide the basis for the body of knowledge in the field of public health. This course will prepare students to work in public health with a sound theoretical, conceptual, and historical basis for their work.
CPH 539Public Health: Leadership & Advocacy3
This course incorporates public health leadership theory and practices, which are grounded in biomedical and social science and sanctioned by public law. Politics of communities and organizations is also included. Advocacy is emphasized as a key tool to secure funding and to help assure that local, state, and federal policy makers will adopt, implement, and maintain important public health regulations, policies and programs.
CPH 746Epidemiology in Public Health Practice3
This course provides students the opportunity to explore public health problems and issues - such as infectious diseases, chronic diseases and preparedness - through the lens of epidemiology. By applying the concepts learned throughout their program coursework to current public health problems and issues, students will understand the practice of epidemiology as it relates to real life and informs public health programs and policies. This course is intended primarily for doctoral students in epidemiology and public health to apply their training to public health practice and research.
CPH 650Biostatistics II3
This course is designed to prepare the student to understand and apply advanced biostatistical methods needed in the design and analysis of biomedical and public health investigations. The major topics to be covered include multiple linear regression, analysis of covariance, logistic regression, survival analysis, and repeated measures analysis. Prerequisite: BIOS 806/CPH 506 or an equivalent course.
CPH 529Capstone Experience3
The purpose of this course is to complete the capstone project. The capstone addresses a topic of public health significance and is evidence that the student can integrate skills and competencies from across the curriculum to conduct public health research and/or practice. Prior to registering for the course, students must identify a Capstone Chair from their department and form a committee to select foundational and concentration competencies to design a capstone experience appropriate to their educational and professional goals. Prerequisite: Completion of at least 36 credit hours that includes all required MPH core and concentration courses; formed capstone committee; proposal approved by capstone committee.
CPH 651Introduction to SAS Programming3
This course is an introduction to programming for statistical and epidemiologic analysis using the SAS Software System. Students will learn to access data from a variety of sources (e.g., the web, Excel, SPSS, data entry) and create SAS datasets. Data management and data processing skills, including concatenation, merging and sub-setting data, as well as data restructuring and new variable construction using arrays and SAS functions will be taught. Descriptive analysis and graphical presentation will be covered. Concepts and programming skills needed for the analysis of case-control studies, cohort studies, surveys, and experimental trials will be stressed. Simple procedures for data verification, data encryption, and quality control of data will be discussed. Accessing data and summary statistics on the web will be explored. Through in-class exercises and homework assignments, students will apply basic informatics techniques to vital statistics and public health databases to describe public health characteristics and to evaluate public health programs or policies. Laboratory exercises, homework assignments, and a final project will be used to reinforce the topics covered in class. The course is intended for graduate students and health professionals interested in learning SAS programming and accessing and analyzing public use datasets from the web. Prerequisite: BIOS 806/CPH 506 or an equivalent introductory statistics course.
CPH 528Applied Practice Experience 3
The purpose of this course is to provide all students with an applied, scholarly and mutually beneficial experience in a public health practice setting. This experience augments academic course work meets community needs and provides students with an opportunity to integrate and apply at least five foundational public health competencies. Students are expected to demonstrate mastery of public health principles, values and practice. All partner organizations must be approved by the Office of Public Health Practice. Applied practice experiences may involve governmental, non-governmental, non-profit, industrial and for-profit settings or appropriate university-affiliated settings. To be appropriate for applied practice experience activities, university-affiliated settings must be primarily focused on community engagement, typically with external partners. University health promotion or wellness centers may also be appropriate.
CPH 506Biostatistics I 3
This course is designed to prepare the graduate student to understand and apply biostatistical methods needed in the design and analysis of biomedical and public health investigations. The major topics to be covered include types of data, descriptive statistics and plots, theoretical distributions, probability, estimation, hypothesis testing, and one-way analysis of variance. A brief introduction to correlation and univariate linear regression will also be given. The course is intended for graduate students and health professionals interested in the design and analysis of biomedical or public health studies; not intended for Ph.D. students enrolled in the Biostatistics Graduate Program.
CPH 621Applied Epidemiology3
This course is designed to provide advanced-level graduate students with epidemiologic data analysis, interpretation and presentation skills. The course presents advanced principles and methods of Epidemiology through the use of simulated and actual research data. The course is suitable for both advanced-level master's students and doctoral students in epidemiology and related fields. The primary goal is to provide working knowledge of the fundamentals of epidemiology to graduate students who wish to further their careers in public health research. Prerequisite: CPH 628 / EPI 845.

Elective Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
General Epidemiology Courses3
CPH 620 Chronic Disease Epidemiology | CPH 753 Cancer Epidemiology
Infectious Disease Epidemiology Courses (ID)3
CPH 623 Infectious Disease Epidemiology: Theory and Methods | Epidemiological Methods in Infectious Disease Outbreak Investigation

Tuition & Fees

Nebraska Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours


Out of State Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours

About Faculty

University of Nebraska online courses are taught by expert faculty who embody the qualities resulting from research experience and professional/field experience. Students learn from faculty with a variety of backgrounds, many of whom are published researchers in their fields. NU faculty who teach online do so in a way that optimizes learning within the online modality and because technology enables students to access education they may otherwise may not be able to pursue.

Application Deadlines
  • Fall SemesterJun 01
  • Spring SemesterOct 01
Council on Education for Public Health