M.P.H. Program

General Epidemiology

The major components of the M.P.H. degree in the General Epidemiology (G.E.) track include: the design of studies, the collection and analysis of data, and the interpretation of empirical findings. The G.E. track emphasizes training in basic principles and methods of epidemiology and biostatistics and their application to the study of health and disease in human populations.  Students in the G.E. track have many opportunities to learn about diverse specialized sub-disciplines of epidemiology through classes, projects and a summer internship. Faculty research projects and internships cover topics including cancer, social determinants of health, infectious diseases (e.g., tuberculosis, influenza, waterborne infectious disease), chronic diseases (e.g., stroke, cardiovascular disease, metabolic diseases), reproductive health (birth outcomes, mid-life health among women), climate change and health, the microbiome, and health among diverse populations, including Native Americans and Arab Americans.

The M.P.H. in G.E. is earned in either 60- or 42-credit hours, depending on previous training and degrees.  The 42-credit program is intended for students already holding a doctoral degree (M.D., D.D.S., D.V.M., Ph.D.).  Both programs provide students with the knowledge and skills required to practice epidemiology in diverse settings and positions of employment.  Applicants to the program hold bachelor's degrees in fields including, but not limited to: biology, pre-med or pre-dental studies, nursing, zoology, microbiology, mathematics, psychology, sociology, and anthropology.

The 60-credit program typically requires four terms (two years) of study, while 42-credits can be completed in three terms (one or 1.5 years).

Hospital & Molecular Epidemiology

The Hospital and Molecular Epidemiology (H.M.E.) track emphasizes integrating laboratory methods with the principles and methods of epidemiology and biostatistics as applied to human health. Coursework includes epidemiology, biostatistics, and lecture and structured laboratory courses covering microbiology and molecular biology. The M.P.H. in H.M.E. is given in 42-hour and 60-hour sequences. Both programs are intended to train students in the diverse skills required in the practice of hospital and molecular epidemiology. Many of our applicants hold a bachelor's degree with a major in biology or a related area such as premedical or predental studies, nursing, zoology, or microbiology. For students with doctoral degrees (M.D., D.D.S., D.V.M., Ph.D.) requirements can be met in a minimum of three terms (42 credit hours), though some with unusual training backgrounds may need longer programs. The 42-credit-hour program emphasizes laboratory based research skills in the fields of bacteriology and virology. The 60-credit-hour program is typically finished after four terms. Students in the 60-credit-hour program are required to gain experience in the field and/or laboratory in a relevant area of study.

Global Health Epidemiology

The M.P.H. in Global Health Epidemiology (G.H.E.) aims to provide its graduates with the technical skills to work as epidemiologists in any setting, domestic or international. As with the other M.P.H. tracks in Epidemiology, the minimum 60 credits of coursework is typically finished after four terms (two years). The G.H.E. track is highly interdisciplinary, providing theory, methods and practice training in the health and applied social sciences. Epidemiology faculty have ongoing research collaborations in countries throughout the world, including Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Israel, Malawi, and Mexico. Topics related to these collaborations include cancers, chronic diseases, drug-resistance, nutritional determinants of maternal/child health, reproductive health, social determinants of health, urban health, vaccine surveillance, and water-borne and vector-borne diseases. Internship opportunities are available there also available in many other countries around the world.

Applicants to the program typically hold a bachelor's degree with a major in biology, microbiology or zoology, or in a related area such as pre-medical, pre-dental or nursing studies. Students who majored in mathematics, chemistry or one of the social sciences will also be considered.  Due to its contemporary importance, the G.H.E. track is very competitive, and enrollment is limited.  Applicants should also consider indicating interest in one of the other M.P.H. tracks as a second choice.

Occupational & Environmental Epidemiology

The Occupational & Environmental Epidemiology (O.E.E.) track provides M.P.H. students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences that will allow them to investigate the human health impacts of exposures to chemical pollutants and non-chemical stressors in people's homes, workplaces, and communities. Our researchers examine exposures including air pollution, metals, pesticides, extreme heat and cold, phthalates and plasticizers, asbestos, noise and more. Health outcomes investigated range from asthma, autism, and birth outcomes in children to cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease, dementia, and mortality in older adults. Our faculty characterize exposures, explore associations between exposure and health, investigate gene-environment interactions and epigenetics, develop novel statistical methods to study multi-pollutant mixtures, and test the effectiveness of public health interventions.

O.E.E. is a collaborative program between the Epidemiology and Environmental Health Sciences departments. While all M.P.H. students in the O.E.E track are expected to have an interest in epidemiology and exposures in the environment or workplace, those who would like an emphasis on epidemiological methods may prefer to select Epidemiology as their home department while those who would like more extensive training in exposure science to support epidemiology may consider applying through the Environmental Health Sciences. The MPH degree  in O.E.E. is earned in a 60-hour sequence of courses that are typically finished after four terms (two years).

Graduation Requirements

Graduation requirements for all M.P.H. programs can be viewed by visiting the M.P.H. Graduation Requirements page


Visit the Admissions & Aid section of the U-M SPH site for details on the application process and financial aid options. Additional information for international applicants can be found here. Funding for support of a limited number of students and postdoctoral fellows is available through a mixture of training grants, research grants, and graduate student research assistantships.

For more information, contact individual associated faculty in your interest area or either of the program leaders (Carl Marrs or Nancy Francis).

Epidemiology at the University of Michigan: What is the Master of Public Health?

University of Michigan Epidemiology M.P.H.WATCH THE VIDEO