Public health involves preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health through organized efforts. Epidemiology, the study of health-event patterns in a population or society, is one of the six main areas of public health and is the foundation for preventative medicine and public health research. It contributes to public health practice and policy, as well as research in other health related fields, such as medicine and pharmacy. Epidemiologists utilize other scientific disciplines such as biology, biostatistics, and social science in their research.
The Master of Public Health in Epidemiology is usually a two-year program that entails learning the core areas of public health, such as biostatistics, health behavior, environmental health, and health management. Generally, there are no prerequisites for this program; however, having quantitative, mathematical, and scientific skills can prove helpful in a student’s studies. Upon completion of a degree, students can pursue career opportunities for a variety of different types of employers, including clinics, research laboratories, government organizations, and consulting firms. The practice of epidemiology can be applied on different scales, from small local public health agencies, to large international entities such as the World Health Organization.