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MS/PhD in Epidemiology Admissions Criteria

Quick Overview

  • Bachelor's degree required for MS applicants
  • Master's degree in Epidemiology or similar field required for PhD applicants
  • GPA of 3.2 or higher
  • GRE scores are required for Fall 2024 PhD Epidemiology applicants; highly suggested for MS/PhD Epidemiology applicants
  • At least one year of biological sciences
  • At least one year of college level mathematics (algebra and above)
  • Calculus and statistics are highly recommended, although not required
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume or CV
  • Statement of Purpose and Objectives
  • Research Statement
  • Mission and values statement
  • Resilience statement (optional)
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores are required for international applicants

More Information

Academic Background

MS applicants must hold a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Doctoral applicants must have a Masters degree in epidemiology (or a related field) or have a health-related professional doctorate.

A minimum grade point average of 3.2 is required for a competitive applicant. GPA is calculated based on the last 60 undergraduate units, or if the applicant has 12 or more graduate units, the GPA will be based on graduate units.

A competitive applicant to the Epidemiology Program will generally have a strong biological and quantitative background, including:

  • At least one year of biological sciences
  • At least one year of college level mathematics (algebra and above)
  • Calculus and statistics are highly recommended, although not required

Applicants should send official transcripts from any college or university attended to SOPHAS (PO Box 9111; Watertown, MA 02471).

GRE Scores are required for Fall 2024 admissions

Combined verbal and quantitative score of 310 is considered competitive. The analytical writing portion of the GRE is required when submitting scores. GRE scores may be reported directly to the University of Arizona College of Public Health/SOPHAS, which is code #4253. For more information about the GRE, visit the GRE website.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must provide a minimum of three letters of recommendation from academic advisors, professors, supervisors, mentors or anyone else familiar with their academic and/or professional ability. Letters are submitted to SOPHAS electronically.

Resume or CV

Applicants are asked to submit a resume or CV outlining their academic and professional experience and achievements.

Statement of Purpose and Objectives

The statement of purpose (maximum of 1500 words) should include:

  • Why you are interested in epidemiology
  • Specific areas of interest in epidemiology
  • Reason for selection of this program
  • Experience/expertise with epidemiology related topics
  • Future goals and objectives

Please note that some schools of public health use software to detect plagiarism in statements of purpose. It is important to ensure that an applicant’s statement is written in their own words and, when appropriate, that quotations and citations/references are used for a direct quote.

Research Statement

PhD applicants must provide a statement of research/practice interest (maximum of 500 words / 2500 characters). Please describe the specific content area in which you propose to focus your doctoral work; why this area is of interest to you; and identify faculty members at the College of Public Health whose research interests align with yours and with whom you would like to work.  You do not need to include hypotheses, measures, or data analysis methods, etc.

Faculty Advisor

One of the most important pieces of an application to a doctoral program at the College of Public Health is finding a faculty advisor whose research interests and areas of expertise align with your interests.  Through the admissions process, the College of Public Health seeks to ensure that we have sufficient faculty with relevant research experience to effectively mentor you through your doctoral program and your dissertation.

Please research the faculty in this program and outline which faculty members you hope to work with in your Research Statement (see above).  Given that faculty commitments change from year to year, we strongly recommend that you list at least two faculty with whom you would like to work.  Although you are welcome to contact specific faculty to discuss our program and your goals, it is not necessary for you to communicate with faculty before or during the application process.

Mission and Values Statement

In 250 words or less (1,250 characters), please describe how you would embrace and support the Mission and the Values of the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

  • Our Mission:  The Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health is dedicated to promoting the health of individuals and communities in the southwest and globally with an emphasis on achieving health equity through excellence in education, research, and service.
  • Our Values:  The Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health acts with respect and integrity to continuously advance health and well-being for all through knowledge, collaboration, empowerment, advocacy and sustainability. Our core values are: Fairness, Trust, Equity, Social Justice, Excellence, Innovation, Commitment, Collegiality, Diversity, Open Communication, Participation, Consensus, and Enhancement.

Resilience Statement (Optional)

If you have not addressed this elsewhere in your application, please describe any obstacles you have had to overcome or failures you have experienced; how you showed resilience; and what you learned from the experience. 250 words or less (1250 characters).


All international applicants are required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score. A TOEFL iBT score of 90 or higher is required. Please see more information, including when the TOEFL/IELTS requirement is waived, for international applicants.

Other Factors

Experience in a health related field, voluntary or paid, strengthens all applications.

Further Information

For more information about the Epidemiology Program, please visit the MS Epidemiology page or the PhD Epidemiology page. If you have additional questions, please contact our Director of Admissions, at or (520) 626-3201.

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