About the Major

Epidemiology, the science of public and population health, is a field of disease detectives who conduct studies to better understand the health status of populations. A STEM-heavy field, epidemiology describes the occurrence of disease in communities—who, what, when, and where—and determines how and why disease occurs. The findings are used to control and prevent disease and protect and improve the public’s health. Epidemiologists study health phenomena such as infectious diseases, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, maternal and child health, substance abuse, and injuries.

Skills and abilities this major develops include: scientific methods, critical thinking, applied data analysis, cultural competencies, ethical decision making, ability to analyze and evaluate, and knowledge of local and global health systems.

Quick Facts

Sample Coursework

  • Chasing disease: field epidemiology
  • Buzzed and stoned
  • Environmental epidemiology
  • Global public health
  • Perinatal epidemiology
  • Public health informatics
  • The lurking pandemic: chronic disease epidemiology

Possible Careers

  • Chronic disease epidemiologist
  • Public health investigator
  • Infectious disease epidemiologist
  • Field epidemiologist
  • Data analyst
  • Program manager
  • Physician assistant*

*With additional training/education.

Where Could I Work?

  • State and local health departments
  • Federal agencies
  • Hospitals and health care systems
  • Colleges and universities
  • Pharmaceutical industry*

*Career option may require additional training/education.

Health and Life Sciences Cluster

This major belongs to the Health and Life Sciences (HLS) cluster.

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