Epidemiology Graduate Degree Program

Email: pophealth@mailplus.wisc.edu

Website: Epidemiology Graduate Degree Program's website

Phone: (608) 265-8108

744 WARF Building
610 Walnut Street
Madison, WI 53726


The Graduate Program in Epidemiology prepares students to investigate what factors are related to good and bad health in different populations, and the outcomes of people with given health conditions. This involves learning how specific health conditions and diseases develop, spread, can be prevented, and are treated, as well as how to assess health and its relationships to risk factors. The research uses existing big data, as well as data collected by researchers themselves. Epidemiologic methods build on biology, social sciences, genetics, and statistics. UW–Madison Epidemiology faculty work on general health assessment, obesity, exercise, nutrition, genetics, heart disease, respiratory problems, cancer, diabetes, infectious disease, aging, disability, sleep disorders, maternal and child health, and environmental health.


Students admitted to our degree programs are automatically considered for any available scholarships, traineeships, or graduate assistant positions in the department. The most common forms of funding support for our students are assistantships, traineeships, and fellowships.


Applications are welcome from students with diverse academic backgrounds. Students with strong quantitative skills and academic preparation in the biological sciences are strongly encouraged to apply. New students are admitted to start in the fall semester of each school year. Applications are due by December 1 of each year. Late applications are not accepted.

Minimum requirements are:

  • Applicants must have an undergraduate degree with a grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), although successful applicants generally have GPAs above 3.0.
  • GRE scores are required for admission. The scores must be no more than five years old at the time of application. For applicants who have completed a doctoral degree, GRE scores are preferred but the program will accept scores for the entrance exam required for the doctoral degree (e.g., MCAT, LSAT). Students should contact the graduate program coordinator to find out if their scores are competitive.
  • Transcripts must show evidence of advanced quantitative preparation, including at least one semester of calculus, as well as a two-semester course in college-level biology.
  • A personal statement and three letters of recommendation are required.
  • Applicants must also meet the Graduate School admission requirements.
  • Upon entry to the graduate program, students are matched with a faculty advisor. Faculty advisors helps students hone their interests, assists with identifying research projects, provide support for career development, and link students to the greater campus community. Students have the benefit of regular dialogues with faculty members. Seminars and integrated discussion groups allow for increased interaction with core faculty and community lecturers. Finally, the work of students is valued as evidenced by their entries in the annual department poster session, participation in public health symposia, authorship of publications, and involvement in community/research projects.