Online MPH in Epidemiology

Apply Public Health Data to Understand and Prevent Disease

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offered its first course in epidemiology in 1936. More than 85 years later, the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health continues to train aspiring public health professionals to design and implement evidence-based solutions that improve human health.

The global need for accurate data and appropriate statistical applications has never been more apparent. In the Applied Epidemiology concentration for the online Master of Public Health (MPH), you’ll learn to apply epidemiologic approaches so you can describe patterns of disease and eliminate public health issues that affect diverse populations.

Our Applied Epidemiology concentration uniquely focuses on applied practice in the office or field rather than on conducting research studies in an academic setting, leading to a more direct impact on communities and populations. MPH@UNC seeks candidates with solid analytical and quantitative skills to apply to the MPH in Epidemiology. See a complete list of application requirements.

Competencies for an MPH in Epidemiology

The online Applied Epidemiology concentration prepares you to meet the following Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) competency requirements:

Evaluate critically the relevant scientific literature, considering the perspectives of community stakeholders.

Understand surveillance systems and how they can be applied to a disease or condition of public health importance using evolving technologies.

Recommend epidemiologic study designs to identify public health problems, investigate etiologic and preventative relations and provide input for program evaluation.

Create or implement data collection tools and linkages, considering ethics and privacy, data management principles, data security, quality control and oversight.

Conduct and interpret analyses of epidemiologic data to address research questions, accounting for data quality, measurement error and bias, and including confounding. 

Communicate epidemiologic concepts and findings to a wide range of stakeholders, from lay to professional audiences.

Study the Data. Apply It Effectively. Start Today.

At the Gillings School, we’re on it. We know you are, too. Request information about the Applied Epidemiology concentration to take the next step.

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Epidemiology Curriculum

Designed to accommodate full- or part-time schedules, the MPH Applied Epidemiology curriculum emphasizes experiential learning, evidence-based solutions and interdisciplinary knowledge that students can apply right away.

  • MPH Core Courses (14 credits)
  • Epidemiology-Specific Courses (15 credits)
  • Elective Courses (9 credits)
  • Pre- and Post-Practicum Courses (1 credit)
  • Practicum Work Experience (200 hours)
  • Culminating Experience (3 credits)

After completing the Gillings MPH core courses, students will transition into concentration-specific courses. The following courses are required for the MPH Applied Epidemiology concentration:

  • EPID 710: Fundamentals of Epidemiology
  • EPID 716: Epidemiologic Data Analysis
  • EPID 750: Fundamentals of Public Health Surveillance
  • EPID 759: Methods in Field Epidemiology
  • EPID 795: Data in Public Health

The Gillings School: World-Renowned for Epidemiology

The Gillings School’s Department of Epidemiology is one of the world’s leading academic departments for epidemiological study. Experienced faculty provide classroom and real-world education that emphasizes the integration of substantive area knowledge with cutting-edge epidemiologic methods.

Our faculty, students and alumni conduct innovative, interdisciplinary research that applies to a variety of health problems across North Carolina and around the world — translating expertise into action.

As an Epidemiology student, you will explore a range of public health topics, such as COVID-19, cardiovascular disease, HIV, environmental exposures, the opioid epidemic, suicide rates, HPV vaccination and cancer treatment efficacy.

We’re Leading the Charge. Join Us.

Learn more about the online Applied Epidemiology concentration from the
UNC Gillings School, the No. 1 public school of public health in the United States.1

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Career Paths for Epidemiology Students

The practice of applied epidemiology is critically important — now more than ever before.

Unlike clinical medicine, which focuses primarily on individual health and well-being, epidemiology views health through a broader lens and examines trends across populations. Epidemiologists can identify public health threats and inform targets for interventions that reduce risk and improve health on a large scale.

Graduates from our MPH in Applied Epidemiology concentration are equipped to:

Define and prioritize public health practice and policy.

Respond quickly to outbreaks, including identifying harmful pathogens or factors contributing to disease.

Implement risk assessments and effective surveillance.

Guide interventions to improve population health.

Inform medicine and pharmacy (e.g., tracking toxicities, informing precision medicine based on genetics and gauging drug efficacy).

Evaluate programs and policies, such as HIV prevention education among adolescent girls or malaria prevention plans for infants.

Identify and study determinants of disease, including the biological, behavioral, social, cultural, economic and political factors that directly or indirectly influence health.

You’ll graduate from the MPH in Applied Epidemiology program ready to pursue jobs in a range of settings, including federal, state, territorial and local health agencies; global public health agencies; nonprofit and health care organizations; hospitals and health systems; and the pharmaceutical industry.

Bring the Power of Public Health to Your Community

Learn how the online Applied Epidemiology concentration prepares you with the analytical toolkit to influence practical change when and where it matters most.

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1 Best Public Health Schools (2022) U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved April 20, 2021  arrow_upwardReturn to footnote reference