Master of Science in Public Health (MS)

Courses of study leading to the master of science (MS) degree are designed primarily to provide students with a research-oriented education in a specialty area within the broad field of public health. 

The Office of Public Health Studies currently offers the MS degree specializing in epidemiology. A brief overview of the MS degree requirements is provided below. For detailed information, please refer to the OPHS Student Handbook.

Credit Hour Requirements
The MS (Thesis) program for the epidemiology specialization requires a minimum of 32 credit hours. A minimum of 12 credits must be earned in courses numbered 600-798 (excluding 699 and Thesis 700), including at least one graduate seminar in public health or a related field. MS students must also complete between six to 12 credits of PH 700 (thesis research).

Admission to Candidacy
The MS student meets with his/her faculty advisor before the end of the first semester to determine the specific requirements to be met prior to graduation. The choice of topic for the student’s thesis and potential committee members should be discussed. The Graduate Division’s Master’s Plan A Pre-Candidacy Progress Form 1 and the OPHS Form 14 MS Program Plan are also completed at this time.  

Formation of Thesis Committee
Once admitted to candidacy, the MS student is responsible for forming a thesis committee to provide guidance and supervision for his/her thesis. The committee is comprised of at lest three graduate faculty members, one of whom will serve as chair.

Approval of Thesis Proposal
In consultation with his/her committee, the student will draft a thesis proposal which should include the following: (1) a brief overview of the thesis, stating the topic, the research problem or questions to be addressed, and the proposed research method; (2) a detailed chapter outline; (3) a literature review; and (4) a timetable for thesis completion. Once the student’s committee approves the thesis proposal, he or she may be advanced to candidacy by competing the Master’s Plan A Advance to Candidacy Form 2.

Thesis Completion
Under the guidance of his/her thesis committee, the student follows the timetable for completion of the thesis submitted with his/her proposal. As scheduled, drafts of thesis chapters should be presented to the committee chair for review and critique. The chair will advise the student when the final draft of the thesis is complete and ready for review by all thesis committee members. Copies of the final draft must be submitted to committee members at least two weeks prior to the final oral examination date.

Thesis Defense/Final Oral Examination
Upon approval from his/her committee chair, the student may schedule the thesis defense/final oral examination. The thesis defense must be at least one hour in length and is open to all faculty, students and the general public. The student’s committee indicates their approval or disapproval of the content of the thesis and the student’s ability to defend it by signing and submitting the Master’s Plan A Thesis Evaluation Form 3.

Thesis Submission
ProQuest ETD is the service that the Graduate Division uses for the electronic submission of the thesis. Students are strongly encouraged to submit their final manuscript to ProQuest at least 4 weeks prior to the end of the semester. The Master’s Plan A Thesis Submission Form 4 is completed after the final manuscript has been uploaded on ProQuest ETD. NOTE: All theses will be made available to the public online through ScholarSpace.