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Master of Science - Chronic Disease Epidemiology Concentration

Much of clinical and translational research today depends on knowledge of epidemiology and biostatistics including study design, population sampling, identifying and reducing sources of bias, advanced biostatistical methods (regression analyses, survival analyses, risk prediction/prognostication) along with other methods widely used in clinical research (systematic literature reviews, meta-analyses, clinical trials, genetic epidemiology). The MS program provides intensive training in epidemiology and research methods for scientists and health care professionals who seek to conduct epidemiology/clinical epidemiology research. The main difference between the MS in Chronic Disease Epidemiology and the MPH in Chronic Disease Epidemiology is that the MPH is a two-year degree that provides broad training in public health (including biostatistics, health policy, environmental health sciences, and social and behavioral sciences), whereas the MS is a one-year degree that provides specialized training in epidemiology, more advanced biostatistics, and research methods.

The MS program is particularly well-suited for clinical fellows or junior faculty, who often fund their program through a K award. While this program is designed for individuals with a doctoral-level degree in a field related to health (e.g., MD, DVM, DDS, or PhD in the biological, behavioral, or social sciences), exceptional applicants without a prior doctorate but with a strong background in a biological or social science are also eligible to apply. Applicants should have one year of coursework in statistics or the equivalent prior to enrolling in this program; this requirement may be met through a Yale School of Public Health intensive biostatistics course taken during the summer before enrollment. This degree can be completed in one year of intensive full-time study, or for working professionals, a more flexible timeline can be arranged.

Like the PhD, the MS in Public Health is offered through the department’s affiliation with the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. 

  • Applicants must submit GRE General Test score (less than 5 years old) to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (institution code 3987; no department code is required). 
  • Only applicants to the MS in Chronic Disease Epidemiology may submit MCAT scores in lieu of the GRE.
  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of all applicants whose native language is not English. This requirement is waived only for applicants who will have received a baccalaureate degree, or its foreign equivalent, prior to matriculation at Yale, from a university or college where English is the primary language of instruction. TOEFL scores should also be sent to institution code 3987. 

Information regarding funding opportunities, financial aid, tuition and living costs, as well as student loans, can be found at



For more information and to apply to the MS program, visit the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences website. Please choose "Public Health" as the program. Then select Chronic Disease Epidemiology as the concentration. Do not try to use SOPHAS. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Degree Requirements MS in Chronic Disease Epidemiology (2019-20 Matriculation)

(Download the PDF Version of the degree requirements)

Course Title Units Term Offered Notes
EPH 508 Foundations of Epidemiology for Public Health 1 Fall  
CDE 516 Principles of Epidemiology II 1 Spring  
CDE 617 Developing a Research Proposal (Capstone Course) *
 {or CDE 600, Independent Study}
1 Spring  
EPH 608 Frontiers of Public Health ** 1 Fall and Spring One term only is required
CDE 525 and CDE 526 Seminar in Chronic Disease Epidemiology 0 Fall/Spring Must take both terms
EPH 600 Research Ethics and Responsibilities 0 Fall  

MS Required Quantitative Courses (3 course units)

Course Title Units Term Offered Notes
Three of the following:
BIS 621 Regression Models for Public Health 1 Fall  
BIS 625 Categorical Data Analysis 1 Spring  
BIS 628 Longitudinal and Multilevel Data Analysis 1 Spring  
BIS 630 Applied Survival Analysis 1 Spring  
BIS 639 Descriptive Analysis of Public Health Data 1 Spring Not offered in 19-20
F&ES 611 Introduction to Environmental Data Science 1 Fall  
S&DS 563 Multivariate Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences 1 Spring  

MS Required Chronic Disease Epidemiology Courses (2 course units)

Course Title Units Term Offered Notes
Two of the following:
CDE 502 Physiology for Public Health 1 Fall  
CDE 532 Epidemiology of Cancer 1 Spring  
CDE 534 Applied Analytic Methods in Epidemiology 1 Spring  
CDE 535 Epidemiology of Heart Disease and Stroke 1 Spring  
CDE 543 Global Aspects of Food and Nutrition 1 Fall  
CDE 545 Health Disparities by Race and Social Class: Application to Chronic Disease Epidemiology 1 Spring  
CDE 551 Global Noncommunicable Disease 1 Spring  
CDE 562 Nutrition and Chronic Diseases 1 Spring  
CDE 572 Obesity, Prevention and Lifestyle Interventions 1 Fall  
CDE 597 Genetic Concepts of Public Health 1 Fall  
CDE 650 Introduction to Evidence-based Medicine and Health Care 1 Fall  

Elective Course (1 course unit)

Course Title Units Term Offered Notes

*In this capstone, the student is required to develop a grant application that is deemed reasonably competitive by the instructor.  An alternative to this capstone is an individualized tutorial (CDE 600) in which the student completes a manuscript that is suitable for submission for publication in a relevant journal.

**Students entering the program with an MPH or relevant graduate degree may be exempt from this requirement.


Updated: 7/3/19


Upon receiving an M.S. degree Public Health with a concentration in Chronic Disease Epidemiology, the student will be able to:

  • Explain and apply the terminology and definitions of epidemiology.
  • Evaluate the scientific merit and feasibility of epidemiologic study designs.
  • Describe the epidemiology of common chronic diseases.
  • Synthesize information from a variety of epidemiologic and related studies.
  • Design epidemiologic studies at an intermediate level.
  • Analyze data and draw appropriate inferences from epidemiologic studies at an intermediate to advanced level, using a variety of analytical tools including multivariate logistic regression, Poisson regression, linear regression, and survival analysis.
  • Write an NIH-type epidemiologic research proposal.
  • Identify, interpret, and use routinely collected data on disease occurrence.
  • Review, critique and evaluate epidemiologic reports and research articles at an intermediate level.

Career Paths

Many of the students that matriculate into the MS Chronic Disease Epidemiology track have a MD or PhD degree and choose this program to gain knowledge in epidemiology. Generally they choose to do so to enhance their research and have obtained funds to pursue such a degree. Most of these students are current Yale employees and work full-time while attending school on a part-time basis. 

Other graduates from the MS Chronic Disease Epidemiology track have pursued medical school or a PhD. See more on employment sectors on our Office of Career Management website


Students in the MS program file their applications and financial aid materials through the Graduate School.

MS students are allowed to serve as Teaching Fellows or Research Assistants. Teaching Fellowships are generally available to MS students in Public Health in the second year after they have taken classes and become familiar with the Public Health coursework. However, it is possible to obtain a Teaching Fellowship in a department outside of Public Health. Many first year MS students have found Teaching Fellowships in language departments or the Math department.

Research Assistant positions are also available on a part time basis. Faculty in Biostatistics are generally familiar with various research projects that are in need of a research assistant. We suggest you begin your search for a research assistant position by asking your faculty advisor for suggestions. There are also many positions posted on the Student Employment website.