Frequently Asked Questions: Master of Science in Epidemiology
- What is epidemiology?
- What subfields of epidemiology are there?
- Are there jobs in epidemiology?
- I’m interested in epidemiology, but I’m not sure if an MSE is the right path for me.
- What is included in the MSE program curriculum?
- How many credits are required for the MSE program?
- How many credits can I transfer into the MSE program from another institution?
- What is unique about the Department of Epidemiology?
- How does the University of Florida compare to other universities?
- What will the MSE cost me?
- What financial assistance is available for MSE students?
- What are the criteria for admission into the MSE program?
- When should I apply?
- What are the application procedures?
- May I come visit the department?
- Is SOPHAS required?
- Where should I send my application materials to the Department?
- Can I send my application materials in separate mails?
- Where should I send my official transcripts and test scores?
- I have already sent my official transcripts and test scores to SOPHAS; do I need to send them again to the University of Florida?
- I have already requested my three recommendation letters through SOPHAS; do I need to request them again through the Graduate School application and/or have my recommenders send their letters directly to the Department?
- I have already uploaded my statement of purpose, CV, unofficial transcripts, and unofficial test scores to SOPHAS; do I need to upload them again to the Graduate School application and/or send them directly to the Department?
- Do I need to submit GRE scores?
- Do I need to submit TOEFL/IELTS/MELAB scores?
- I am an international applicant; where can I go to find visa and other pertinent information?
- I am currently enrolled at UF as a graduate student; does the application process differ for me?
- How can I be sure that my application is complete?
- How long does it take to process my application?
- What is the review process for MSE applications?
- What are the criteria being used to evaluate my application?
- When should I expect to hear about my admissions decision?
- If my application is rejected, can I apply for the program next year?
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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).
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.
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
- Clinical laboratory scientist
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.
What is included in the MSE program curriculum?View the full MSE program curriculum here and our upcoming course offerings here.
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|
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.
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.
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 9th 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.
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.
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.
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.
- Center for European Studies
- Center for Latin American Studies
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to schedule a visit to the department.
Is SOPHAS required?SOPHAS is not required. Applicants must apply to and be accepted by both the UF Graduate School and the Department of Epidemiology. The departmental application can be submitted either through SOPHAS, or directly to the department via email or regular mail. Some applicants prefer to submit through SOPHAS for convenience, while others prefer to submit directly to the department so that they do not need to pay the SOPHAS application fee. Either way is acceptable.
If you choose to submit through SOPHAS, please make sure you have submitted all documents required in the departmental application.
Where should I send my application materials to the department?Email your materials to email@example.com, or mail to:
|For courier (such as FedEx, UPS, or DHL) delivery:
|For US Postal Service delivery:
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.
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
|For US Postal Service delivery:
University of Florida
Transcripts can also be sent electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
I have already sent my official transcripts and test scores to SOPHAS; do I need to send them again to the University of Florida?Yes. The University of Florida requires that official transcripts from each previous institution attended, official GRE scores, and official TOEFL/IELTS/MELAB scores (for international students) be sent directly to the Office of Admissions, regardless of whether you have already sent these documents to SOPHAS.
Please reference our instructions for sending official documents to the Office of Admissions.
I have already requested my three recommendation letters through SOPHAS; do I need to request them again through the Graduate School application and/or have my recommenders send their letters directly to the department?No. The department is able to download your recommendation letters from SOPHAS. There is no need to request duplicate recommendation letters through the Graduate School application, nor to ask your recommenders to send a duplicate letter directly to the department.
I have already uploaded my statement of purpose, CV, unofficial transcripts, and unofficial test scores to SOPHAS; do I need to upload them again to the Graduate School application and/or send them directly to the department?No. The department is able to download your statement of purpose, CV, unofficial transcripts, and unofficial test scores from SOPHAS. There is no need to re-upload these documents to the Graduate School application, nor to send duplicate copies directly to the department.
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.
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.