Jul 21, 2024  
2019-2020 Academic Bulletin (Jan 2020) 
2019-2020 Academic Bulletin (Jan 2020) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Epidemiology, Biostatistics Concentration, MS

Program Description


The Master of Science in Epidemiology is a 36-credit hour degree program designed to provide the necessary methodological skills for students/ clinicians/healthcare professionals to be able to independently conduct research and acquire grants in a chosen field of study. As part of this program, students receive training in epidemiology, biostatistics, health research methods, health behavior, and health promotion. The program is offered to qualified applicants holding a bachelor’s, master’s, or professional degree in a variety of disciplines including physical, biological, and social sciences, health and medical sciences.


The program emphasizes training for current health professionals to develop and enhance their research design and data analysis skills. The program offers three distinct tracks: Clinical Investigation; Biostatistics; and Data Science. All core courses (biostatistics, epidemiology, and SAS) are offered online, while electives are offered either face-to-face or hybrid. The program offers up to three credit hours of professional development credit for those individuals meeting defined criteria. Students may opt for a nonthesis track in which students prepare a quantitatively-based research article, approved by the student’s committee, which must be suitable for submission and possible publication in a professional peer-reviewed journal. Students must present their thesis or research project and associated manuscript in an announced forum with the student’s committee.

Admission and Selection

The program is offered to qualified applicants holding a baccalaureate, master’s, or professional degree in a variety of disciplines, including physical, biological, and social sciences, health and medical sciences.

Minimum Admission Requirements

Admissions will be determined based on strength of academic credentials, maturity of interest, and fit with faculty interests.

Applicants should meet the following requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree with a grade-point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale from an accredited college or university;
  • Official academic transcripts (international applicants must arrange for an independent educational equivalency evaluation company to submit an evaluation of their transcripts to UT at their own expense; the evaluation report should include the grade-point average based on a 4.0 scale);
  • Letter of intent (200-word minimum) describing the applicant’s specific area of epidemiological interest;
  • Two letters of recommendation;
  • A minimum score of 1000/300 on the old/revised Graduate Record Examination. Physicians licensed in the United States (and, under certain circumstances, persons with terminal degrees, such as a Ph.D.) may petition for the GRE requirement to be waived;
  • TOEFL minimum score of 213 on the computer-based exam, or 79 on the Internet-based exam, for applicants whose first language is not English.

Technical Standards and Accommodations

The minimum abilities for eligibility to participate successfully in educational programs and activities by students enrolled in the College of Graduate Health Sciences are listed below. All persons who wish to enter one of the programs in the College should be aware of the minimum abilities required for success. Admission decisions for the College programs do not take disabilities into consideration; students may disclose their disabilities after admission to request accommodations to the UTHSC Office of Student Academic Support Services and Inclusion (SASSI) https://www.uthsc.edu/sassi/.

Minimum abilities are as follows:

  1. To make proper assessments and ethical judgments regarding research and professional decisions.
  2. To communicate effectively with colleagues and professional staff.
  3. To acquire necessary information developed through classroom instruction, laboratory experience, independent learning, and consultation.
  4. To search and evaluate articles in the scientific literature.
  5. To obtain, interpret, and accurately document research data.
  6. To complete computer-based assignments and use computers.
  7. To understand and carry out safety rules and precautions in the laboratory.
  8. To handle emergencies in the laboratory, including fire, exposure to dangerous agents, and explosions.

These abilities may be accomplished through direct student response, use of prosthetic devices, or personal assistance (e.g., readers, signers, and note takers). Purchase of prosthetic devices to aid the student in meeting these requirements is the responsibility of the student. On a case-by-case basis and upon written request of the student, the College may assist in providing attending services.

Curriculum Summary and (Typical) Sequence

Total: 10 credit hours

Total: 9-11 credit hours

Total: 9 credit hours

Spring 2

Total: 9 credit hours

Total for Degree*: 37-39 credit hours

*Minimum of 36 credit hours required to graduate

Electives may be chosen from the following list:

Promotion and Graduation

Students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average or greater throughout the program.

Admission to Candidacy

The student must apply for degree candidacy no later than the end of the second month in the term in which the thesis or project is to be presented to the college. Application may be made only after the student successfully completes the prerequisite courses and 18 semester credit hours of graduate course work. Admission to candidacy for the master’s degree requires (1) certification by the student’s Faculty Committee and the Program Chair that the student has successfully completed sufficient graduate courses and has demonstrated an ability to do graduate work of satisfactory character and (2) approval by the Dean of the student’s proposed program. The Dean will inform the Program Director of admission to candidacy. Upon admission to candidacy, all master’s students must be enrolled full-time, unless an exception is approved by the Dean.

Research, Electronic Thesis and Oral Defense

Requirements for the master’s degree include the successful completion of a suitable research problem, the student’s demonstration of scholarly attainment, and the potential to do independent research. This phase of the master’s program takes the form of a major research project reported in the form of a thesis or project. The subject of the research shall be determined by the student in consultation with Faculty Committee members and the Program Chair. The scientific content and style of the thesis are the responsibility of the student and student’s Faculty Committee. The thesis must be formatted and delivered according to the electronic thesis and dissertation policies outlined in these bylaws under “ET/D Program Policies”.

The final oral defense of the research shall be publicized to the University community and shall be conducted by the student’s Faculty Committee. When the defense is successfully completed, a Report of Final Examination is signed by all Faculty Committee members and forwarded to the Dean of the CGHS.

Additional information regarding this program is available at http://grad.uthsc.edu/Programs/index.php?page=Programs.