Prospective Student FAQ
What degrees do we offer?
- A two-year, part-time MPH in Epidemiology with online and On Campus
- Three types of Master of Science degrees: An 80 Credit Master’s in Epidemiology, a 42.5 Credit Academic Year Master’s in Epidemiology and a 42.5 Credit Summer Only Master’s Degree in Clinical Epidemiology
- One type of PhD in Population Health Sciences with a field of study in Epidemiology
The Chan School offers multiple options to obtain Masters level training in quantitative methods for epidemiologic and other clinical research through a Master of Science in Epidemiology or Masters in Public Health.
Programs are tailored for those with varying levels of experience and different scheduling requirements. We have traditional academic year (September through May) programs, as well as summer-only and blended online/on-campus programs.
Selecting a program that fits your needs and aligns with your current experience in Public Health and related fields is the first step in the application process. We hope that our Degree Flow Charts, one for those with a prior advanced degree, and one for those without a prior advanced degree, will help you select the best program for your needs. Once you have selected one or more that meets your needs, we encourage you to reach out to the appropriate staff member as indicated on the flow charts if you have additional questions.
What are the admissions requirements?
- For applicants that are applying into the PhD in Population Health Sciences check out this checklist.
- For applicants that are applying into any of the Master of Science in Epidemiology or the Master in Public Health in Epidemiology check out this checklist.
- For the 2022-2023 admissions cycle, GRE scores will continue to be optional for applicants. GRE scores are recommended for applicants who do not have evidence of quantitative skills in their application (Courses, research experience, quantitative skills mentioned in letters of recommendation).
Is a Master's Degree required in order to be eligible to apply for the doctoral program?
No, but for some areas of specialization it might be preferred.
Is there a minimum GPA requirement?
Is there a minimum GRE requirement?
No, however most successful applicants score above the 70th percentile on the quantitative section of the GRE
When is the application deadline?
- December 1st, each year for PhD applicants
- December 1st, each year all other applicants
Is there an interview requirement?
Not for the masters programs, but there are phone and Skype interviews for top ranked PhD applicants.
What funding is available for doctoral candidates?
Students matriculating into the PhD in Population Health Sciences receive full funding (tuition, stipend, and health insurance) for four years with the option to apply for 5th year funding in exchange for additional Teaching or Research responsibilities. The funding can come from a variety of sources with stipulations and other requirements. Admitted students will be given additional information about their funding in early spring.
What funding is available for master's degree candidates?
Harvard Chan School tuition scholarship opportunities and Department of Epidemiology tuition reward opportunities which all masters students are considered for.
What types of research opportunities are available?
Many research opportunities can be found at the Harvard Chan School, affiliated hospitals and research institutes. It is wise to discuss these research opportunities with your academic advisor.
Are dual degree programs available through this department?
Yes, there is an MD/PhD program available (Doctor of Medicine & Doctor of Philosophy in Population Health Sciences dual degree); Applicants should apply through Harvard Medical School (HMS)
How long does it take to graduate from a degree program (assuming full-time enrollment)?
- Academic Year 42.5 credit master’s program = 1 Academic Year, approximately 9 months
- Summer Only 42.5 credit master’s program = 2 summers of coursework, then additional thesis work until completion which taxes approximately 9 months
- 80 credit master’s program = 2 academic years
- Doctor of Philosophy program = 4-5 academic years
What are the course requirements?
All course requirements can be found in the student handbook
Can I transfer credits from another institution?
No, you may not transfer credits from a previous degree or institution, however, you may waive a required course in your current academic program if you provide proof that you have completed and passed a similar course with similar requirements in a previous program.
Once enrolled in an academic program within the department, is it possible to switch an area of research/concentration?
Am I responsible for finding my own academic advisor within the department?
No, an academic advisor will be chosen for you during the process of admission based on your research interests.
Is it possible to switch my academic advisor?
Yes, you may change who you academic advisor is in the program, especially if you decide to change your research area of concentration.
What kind of careers do students typically pursue after graduation?
Alumni of our programs typically find jobs in the fields of industry, education, government, non-profit organizations, academia/research and consulting
For more frequently asked questions regarding admissions or financial support, please visit these Harvard Chan School web pages: