Frequently Asked Questions: Master of Science in Epidemiology

Program Questions


Application Questions


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What is epidemiology?

Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events (including disease), and the application of this study to the control of diseases and other health problems (World Health Organization).

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What subfields of epidemiology are there?

Department of Epidemiology faculty are experts in behavioral, cancer, cardiovascular, chronic disease, clinical, environmental, infectious disease, injury, maternal and child health, molecular, nutritional, psychiatric, spatial, social, and substance abuse epidemiology; big data science; biomedical modelling; community engagement; global health; minority health and health disparities; precision medicine; and translational science. No matter where your interests lie, there is cutting-edge work happening in the Department of Epidemiology.

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Are there jobs in epidemiology?

Yes! The job outlook in epidemiology is excellent. Potential career paths for a master’s-level epidemiologist include:

  • Local/state epidemiologist
  • Research epidemiologist
  • Pharmacoepidemiologist
  • Clinical laboratory scientist
  • Academic

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I’m interested in epidemiology, but I’m not sure if an MSE is the right path for me.

The Master of Science in Epidemiology is an academic research degree. The College of Public Health and Health Professions offers a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology, which is a professional degree focused on public health practice instead of research.

If you are already in the medical, mental health, or public health workforce, or you would like to move in that direction, but cannot interrupt your position to gain additional expertise and skills, consider our Certificate in Psychiatric Epidemiology. This 15-credit, fully online program is the only certificate program of its type in the world, and prepares professionals to address the critical mental health challenges of our time from an epidemiological perspective.

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What is included in the MSE program curriculum?

View the full MSE program curriculum here and our upcoming course offerings here.

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How many credits are required for the MSE program?

The MSE program requires 36 credits, broken down into the following categories:

Epidemiology Core Courses 15 credits
Biostatistics Courses 8 credits
Elective Courses 5 credits
Professional Development 4 credits
Thesis Research 4 credits

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How many credits can I transfer into the MSE program from another institution?

Up to 9 credits from a previous graduate-level degree may be transferred to the MSE program.

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What is unique about the Department of Epidemiology?

The mission of the Department of Epidemiology is to improve health globally through education, training, research, and service. We were established in 2011, and we are thus a young and rapidly growing department. Faculty in epidemiology are committed to multi-disciplinary research, are leaders in their respective fields, and are committed to teaching and advising. Each has a strong research portfolio with access to diverse populations and data sets. Our faculty publish prolifically and have numerous grants and contracts from local, state, and national agencies.

The Department of Epidemiology is jointly housed in the College of Public Health and Health Professions and the College of Medicine, two of the six colleges of the university’s Health Science Center. The Department of Epidemiology thus benefits from rich collaboration across the Health Science Center, which also encompasses the Colleges of Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Veterinary Medicine; seven major research institutes, including the Emerging Pathogens Institute, the Institute on Aging, the Institute for Child Health Policy, the McKnight Brain Institute, the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, the UF Genetics Institute, and the UF Health Cancer Center; and more than 100 specialized centers, including the Southern HIV and Alcohol Research Consortium (SHARC) Center for Translational HIV Research, which is housed in the Department of Epidemiology.

The department is committed to reducing health disparities through HealthStreet, a community engagement program at the University of Florida that aims to improve the health of the Gainesville community by bridging gaps in healthcare and health research. HealthStreet’s Community Health Workers assess health concerns, conditions and research perceptions of community members. They also provide referrals to community members for medical and social services, as well as opportunities to participate in health research, relevant to their health concerns and health conditions. Research and volunteer opportunities abound at HealthStreet.

Faculty in epidemiology have spearheaded a number of landmark studies, including the Haiti Health Study, the Florida component of the national NIH- and CDC-funded Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, and the Medication Use, Safety, and Evidence (MUSE) Study.

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How does the University of Florida compare to other universities?

The University of Florida is a major public, comprehensive, land-, sea-, and space-grant university. It is Florida’s oldest and most comprehensive institution of higher learning. With an enrollment of over 52,000 students, the University of Florida is one of the five largest universities in the United States. More than 7,000 international students from over 120 countries attend the University of Florida.

The University of Florida ranks 8th among the top U.S. public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. The University ranks among the nation’s 51 leading research universities as categorized by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, and it holds membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities, thus being ranked among the top 60 US research institutions.

Three institutions — the University of Minnesota, the Ohio State University, and the University of Florida — offer more academic programs on a single campus than any of the other approximately 3,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. The University of Florida has 19 colleges and schools and over 60 interdisciplinary research and education centers, bureaus, and institutes. The Graduate School coordinates programs in approximately 90 academic departments leading to over 100 master’s degrees and 60 doctoral degrees.

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What will the MSE cost me?


Students are responsible for paying tuition and fees each semester. You can view a breakdown of estimated tuition and fees in the most recent academic year here. Tuition and fees are subject to change each academic year.

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What financial assistance is available for MSE students?

The Department of Epidemiology does not have any scholarships or fellowships available to master’s-level students. We encourage all applicants to apply for external sources of funding. Several sources of funding available to our applicants and students are listed below; this is not an exhaustive list, and we encourage applicants to seek out additional scholarships on their own.

If you are a resident of a southeastern state, you may be eligible for in-state tuition through the Academic Common Market.

UF Office for Student Financial Affairs

UF Scholarship Search Engine

Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships
These fellowships are awarded to graduate and undergraduate students to study a less-commonly-taught European or Latin American language and to take European or Latin American area studies courses.

Latin American-Caribbean (LAC) Scholarship
As part of Florida State Statutes, full-time graduate students from one of 23 countries in Central and South America are eligible for a non-resident tuition waiver, if they receive a federal or state scholarship of $500 or more per semester.

Hispanic Scholarship Fund
The HSF Scholarship is designed to assist students of Hispanic heritage obtain a college degree. Awards are based on merit; amounts range from $500 to $5,000, based on relative need, among the Scholars selected.

American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC) Scholars Graduate Opportunities
AIGC provides financial support for American Indians and Alaska Natives seeking higher education, and supports them in attaining undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. AIGC partners with Tribes, the federal government, foundations, corporations, and individuals to ensure the growth and sustainability of scholarships.

Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans
The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans program honors the contributions of immigrants and children of immigrants to the United States. Each year, we invest in the graduate education of 30 New Americans — immigrants and children of immigrants — who are poised to make significant contributions to US society, culture or their academic field. Each Fellow receives up to $90,000 in financial support over two years, and they join a lifelong community of New American Fellows.

Employment Opportunities for International Students

Grants
International students are eligible for some grants, and grant search materials can be found at the UF Libraries Grants and Fellowships: Funding Opportunities. A yearly workshop is available for finding grants for international students. Also see the Libraries’ list of databases, such as IRIS and Community of Science (COS), to aid your funding search. The Grad School also provides funding for students near the completion of their dissertations.

The UF Office of Research maintains a number of funding opportunity resources for all members of the UF community, including a list of funding opportunities specifically for graduate students.

Careers at UF

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What are the criteria for admission into the MSE program?

The following criteria must be met to be considered for admission to the MS in Epidemiology program:

  • Bachelor’s or equivalent degree from an accredited college or university
  • Upper-division undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale. The University of Florida defines upper-division as all coursework taken after the term during which you earned 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours.
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Verbal + Quantitative score of at least 300
    • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Verbal score of at least 150
    • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Analytical Writing score of at least 3.0 (strongly preferred: at least 3.5)
  • If an international student, one of the following English proficiency exams:
    • TOEFL iBT score of at least 80 (strongly preferred: at least 90)
    • TOEFL pBT score of at least 550
    • IELTS score of at least 6
    • MELAB score of at least 77
    • Please note: The TOEFL ITP is not accepted for admissions purposes.

Please note that quantitative performance above these thresholds does not guarantee admission. The Department of Epidemiology reviews an individual’s overall application package in determining whether to offer admission.

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When should I apply?

The deadline for fall admission to the MSE program is December 1st, with notifications made by April 1st. All application materials must be received by the December 1st deadline. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Please reference our recommended application planning timeline.

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What are the application procedures?

Applicants must apply to and be accepted by both the UF Graduate School and the Department of Epidemiology. View a detailed breakdown of our MSE application procedures here, and read about the Graduate School’s application procedures here.

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May I come visit the department?

Absolutely! We encourage all applicants to come visit the department to meet their potential mentors and ask any questions they may have about the application process. Send an email to abihummel@ufl.edu if you would like to schedule a visit to the department.

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Is SOPHAS required?

The Department of Epidemiology does not use SOPHAS.
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Where should I send my application materials to the department?

Email your materials to abihummel@ufl.edu, or mail to:

For courier (such as FedEx, UPS, or DHL) delivery:

Abigail Hummel
Department of Epidemiology
University of Florida
2004 Mowry Road
Room 4236
Gainesville, FL
32610-3010

For US Postal Service delivery:

Abigail Hummel
Department of Epidemiology
University of Florida
2004 Mowry Road
PO Box 100231
Gainesville, FL
32610-3010

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Can I send my application materials in separate mails?

Whether you are mailing or emailing your documents, please be sure to submit them all at once and do not send items in one at a time if at all possible.

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Where should I send my official transcripts and test scores?

Official transcripts, IELTS, and MELAB scores should be sent to the following address:

For courier (such as FedEx, UPS, or DHL) delivery:

University of Florida
Office of Admissions
201 Criser Hall
Gainesville, FL
32611-4000

For US Postal Service delivery:

University of Florida
Office of Admissions
201 Criser Hall
PO Box 114000
Gainesville, FL
32611-4000

Transcripts can also be sent electronically to te@admissions.ufl.edu. The University of Florida accepts electronic transcripts from Parchment, National Student Clearinghouse, and eScrip.

Official GRE and TOEFL scores should be sent to the University of Florida, code 5812.

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Do I need to submit GRE scores?

The GRE is a requirement for admission into our MSE program. The GRE may be waived for applicants with previous graduate or professional degrees at the discretion of the admissions committee and approval of the UF Graduate School. Applicants with an MD or a PhD in a health-related discipline from a university in the United States do not have to take the GRE. A foreign MBBS will not exempt applicants from the GRE. UF will not accept the MCAT or other graduate exams as a replacement for the GRE.

If you choose to apply without submitting GRE scores, please submit a brief statement explaining why you wish your application to be considered without GRE scores.

Please reference our minimum GRE score requirements.

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Do I need to submit TOEFL/IELTS/MELAB scores?

UF requires proficiency in spoken and written English. International students are exempt from the English proficiency exam requirement if enrolled for one academic year in a degree-seeking program at a regionally accredited college or university in a country where English is the official language prior to your anticipated term of enrollment at UF, or if you are from one of the following countries.

Florida law requires all international students who are going to be graduate teaching assistants – even if exempted from the English proficiency exam requirement – to prove adequate command of the English language. The Graduate School or the Department of Epidemiology may require an Academic Spoken English (ASE) course of any student whose English competency is not considered adequate. More information about the ASE courses offered at the University of Florida can be found here.

Please reference our minimum English proficiency exam score requirements.

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I am an international applicant; where can I go to find visa and other pertinent information?

After official notice of admission to the university, contact the UF International Center to begin your I-20 process. Do not leave your country before obtaining a student visa and do not come to the United States with a B (tourist) visa.

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I am currently enrolled at UF as a graduate student; does the application process differ for me?

Yes. Currently enrolled UF graduate students do not need to reapply to the UF Graduate School. Simply email your application documents to abihummel@ufl.edu.

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How can I be sure that my application is complete?

You will be notified by the Academic Program Assistant when you begin submitting your application materials. You will be sent a confirmation email indicating receipt of the application and indicating any missing documents. You will also receive a confirmation email when your package is completed.

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How long does it take to process my application?

It takes some time to process your application and to make sure that all required documents have been submitted to the appropriate places. It is recommended that you start your application as early as possible, and make sure that you leave enough time to have all paperwork submitted from your institutions. Incomplete applications will not be considered, so be sure to have all documents in by the December 1st deadline.

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What is the review process for MSE applications?

The Department of Epidemiology has an Admissions Committee made up of core faculty members. This committee reviews and ranks all applications based on our departmental criteria and offers admission to the top-ranked candidates.

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What are the criteria being used to evaluate my application?

The Department of Epidemiology Admissions Committee looks at all submitted application documents when making an admissions decision. While you will be held to the Graduate School’s minimum requirements for GPA and test scores, you will also be evaluated on the basis of recommendations, relevance to our mission, faculty interest, and credentials.

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When should I expect to hear about my admissions decision?

All notifications to applicants will be made by April 1st.

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If my application is rejected, can I apply for the program next year?

If admission is formally denied to you, then you may wait and re-apply for the next admissions cycle. Please be advised that you will have to re-apply to the Graduate School as well, and pay another application fee.

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