Master of Public Health in Epidemiology and Biostatistics Share This OHSU Content

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MPH Program Summary

The Epidemiology and Biostatistics Track is part of an inter-institutional program, the Oregon MPH Program, with a common core at OHSU, Oregon State University, and Portland State University. The epidemiology and biostatistics track provides an opportunity for training of health professionals in the population perspective toward health care and disease prevention. Courses in the track emphasize the use of quantitative methodology for analyzing and addressing health problems to support basic and applied research in public health and health care.

The core curriculum offered to all students in the MPH program is intended to provide an understanding of the statistical, epidemiological, political, behavioral, environmental science, and organizational basis of public health and of the health care system in general.

The epidemiology and biostatistics concentration focuses on providing students with epidemiological and statistical reasoning skills and competency in studying the distribution and dynamics of disease in populations, in evaluating health care programs, and in conducting clinical, behavioral, and health services research.
The Council on Education in Public Health accredits the Oregon MPH program.

The MPH program requires the completion of 60 credits and can usually be completed by full-time students in two years. 

Required Courses:

PHPM 503 Thesis (1 to 12 credits)
PHPM 504 Internship (3 to 6 credits)
PHPM 512 Epidemiology I  (4 cr)
PHPM 513 Epidemiology II (4 cr)
PHPM 514 Epidemiology III (4 cr)
PHPM 517 Principles of Health Behavior (3 cr)
PHPM 518 Concepts of Environmental Health (3 cr)
PHPM 519 Health Systems Org (3 cr)
PHPM 520 Ethics and Epidemiology (2 cr)
PHPM 525 Biostatistics I (4 cr)
PHPM 526 Biostatistics II (4 cr)
PHPM 527 Biostatistics III (4 cr)
PHPM 566 Current Issues in Public Health (2 cr)

additional electives to total 60 credits

A sample schedule can be found in the MPH Handbook.


The Oregon MPH program has been recognized three times by US News and World Report. It was ranked 2nd in the nation in the area of community health programs in 2007 and 2003 and was ranked 8th in 2000 among graduate programs in community health.

The Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine awarded its Outstanding Educational Program of the Year Award in 2004 to the OHSU Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. 

Career Opportunities for Graduates

For graduates of the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Track who do not also have an additional degree in medicine, veterinary medicine, or other doctoral degree, there are several areas where they may find work:
  • The majority of graduates obtain positions in a health agency in a section that matches a particular interest of theirs. The health agency could be county, state, or federal government. Some graduates, for example, pursue extra training or a position at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), either investigating disease problems in different states or providing epidemiologic input to specific disease control programs run by the CDC. Other graduates may work in other aspects of disease control in a state or county health department, or even in foreign countries. Additional locations might include other federal agencies like the Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and other agencies that must base policy decisions on scientific evaluation of human data.
  • A second area of occupation is in research. The Epidemiology and Biostatistics Track provides an extremely good basis for conceptualizing and carrying out epidemiologic research, or clinical research with epidemiologic study designs. Graduates may work on a project at an institution like the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research or a number of research projects carried out at OHSU.
  • A third general area is in the evaluation or assessment of health care delivery and the quality of care provided. The skills gained in this program enable graduates to work in a health care delivery or reimbursement organization that is interested in testing different methods of improving care and evaluating different methods of care delivery. Such a person might work at Regence Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Providence Health System, a hospital quality improvement project, or any other agency associated with the provision of care.
  • Also, there is a need for people in the drug and medical equipment industry to help conduct safety and efficacy tests of the products to be marketed, and to conduct the surveillance of possible problems after marketing.
  • Lastly, a number of graduates of this program have become interested in additional education either in medicine, epidemiology at the PhD level, or other graduate programs.