Chronic Disease Epidemiology Concentration (CDE)

There is a high demand for well-trained graduates in chronic disease epidemiology. The M.S. with a concentration in Chronic Disease Epidemiology is a one-year program that provides intensive training in epidemiology and research methods for medical and health care professionals, or others seeking the skills necessary to conduct epidemiological research in their professional practice.

Applicants should have a basic understanding of quantitative science and statistics. It is recommended that candidates have strong science backgrounds and demonstrated competency in statistical analysis and logical thinking. Applicants from rigorous programs in the biological or social sciences will be given preference. At a minimum, applicants should have one year of course work in statistics or the equivalent prior to enrolling in this program. Part-time enrollment is permitted.

Degree Requirements

The Chronic Disease Epidemiology concentration consists of required and elective course work and satisfactory completion of the capstone experience. A total of ten courses is required (excluding the Seminar, CDE 525/CDE 526). It is expected that this program will be completed during a single academic year when a student enrolls full-time. Students with an M.P.H. or relevant graduate degree may be eligible to substitute advanced courses for some of the required courses. Written permission of the DGS is required prior to enrolling in substitute courses.

The Graduate School requires an overall grade average of High Pass, including a grade of Honors in at least one full-term graduate course for students enrolled in a one-year program. In order to maintain the minimum average of High Pass, each grade of Pass on the student’s transcript must be balanced by one grade of Honors. Each grade of Fail must be balanced by two grades of Honors. If a student retakes a course in which the student has received a failing grade, only the newer grade will be considered in calculating this average. The initial grade of Fail, however, will remain on the student’s transcript. A grade awarded at the conclusion of a full-year course in which no grade is awarded at the end of the first term would be counted twice in calculating this average.


Required Courses

Or approved substitutions.

CDE 516Principles of Epidemiology II1
CDE 525Seminar in Chronic Disease Epidemiology 10
CDE 526Seminar in Chronic Disease Epidemiology 10
CDE 617Developing a Research Proposal 21
or CDE 600 Independent Study or Directed Readings
or EMD 625 How to Develop, Write, and Evaluate an NIH Proposal
EPH 508Foundations of Epidemiology and Public Health1
EPH 608Frontiers of Public Health 31

Three quantitative courses from the following (or approved substitutions):

BIS 536Measurement Error and Missing Data1
BIS 537Statistical Methods for Causal Inference1
BIS 575Introduction to Regulatory Affairs1
BIS 621Regression Models for Public Health1
BIS 630Applied Survival Analysis1
BIS 633Population and Public Health Informatics1
S&DS 530Data Exploration and Analysis 11
S&DS 563Multivariate Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences 11

Two elective courses in chronic disease epidemiology. Suggested electives are:

CDE 502Physiology for Public Health1
CDE 532Epidemiology of Cancer1
CDE 534Applied Analytic Methods in Epidemiology1
CDE 535Epidemiology of Heart Disease and Stroke1
CDE 545Health Disparities by Race and Social Class: Application to Chronic Disease Epidemiology1
CDE 551Global Noncommunicable Disease1
CDE 562Nutrition and Chronic Disease1
CDE 572Obesity Prevention and Lifestyle Interventions1
CDE 582Health Outcomes Research: Matching the Right Research Question to the Right Data1
CDE 588Perinatal Epidemiology1
CDE 597Genetic Concepts in Public Health1
CDE 650Introduction to Evidence-Based Medicine and Health Care1

Students must complete one additional elective, chosen in consultation with their adviser.


Upon receiving an M.S. in the Chronic Disease Epidemiology concentration of Public Health, the student will be able to:

  • Evaluate the scientific merit and feasibility of epidemiologic study designs
  • Review and evaluate epidemiologic reports and research articles
  • Analyze data and draw appropriate inferences from epidemiologic studies
  • Write an epidemiologic research proposal