Epidemiology/ Biostatistics Concentration

The Epidemiology and Biostatistics concentration exposes students to a wide range of quantitative data analysis methods and skills. They become equipped to understand and participate in the design, analysis, and interpretation of public health studies, and in effectively translating public health evidence into policy and practice.

This concentration offers training for careers focusing on collection and analysis of a wide range of health-related data. Students develop skills using multiple software tools to analyze public health data, including SAS, SPSS, Stata and/or R. In addition, the increasing availability of digital data resulting from innovations in medical and biological informatics will provide a wealth of new opportunities for students graduating with this concentration.

Students will be competitive for public health careers in many sectors focused on improving population health. Graduates seek positions in health departments, research institutes, corporations, HMOs and as federal contactors.

Concentration Requirements: 15 Credits

  • Applied Linear Modeling
  • Epidemiology Methods
  • Advanced Data Analysis
  • One elective course*
  • MPH practicum (epidemiology/biostatistics-focused)

*Select from a list of pre-approved courses related to epidemiology or biostatistics

Epidemiology/Biostatistics-focused electives include

  • Translation of Epidemiology to Policy
  • Global Burden of Disease: Methods and Applications
  • Epidemiology of Mental and Substance Use Disorders
  • Survival Analysis
  • Structural Equation Modeling
  • Health & Place: Spatial Thinking & Applied Methods
  • Applied Machine Learning Using Health Data

In addition, students are strongly encouraged to choose an epidemiology/biostatistics-related Skill Lab on a topic such as data management or statistical software training.


The MPH program requires 360 hours of practicum. Sample Epidemiology/Biostatistics practicum sites include:

  • Washington University School of Medicine
  • BJC
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Cancer Epidemiology Education in Special Populations (CEESP) Program – City University of New York
Kim Johnson

Concentration Chair

Professor Kim Johnson is a cancer epidemiologist with over a decade of experience conducting cancer research. Her experience includes designing and managing projects, collecting and organizing data, conducting analyses using a number of different statistical tools, supervising staff, and mentoring students/trainees across levels (undergraduate, masters-level, PhD, MD and residents) from project conception to completion. She has spent much of her research career focused on the etiology of pediatric cancer in both the general and high-risk (Neurofibromatosis Type 1) populations. She has more recently become engaged in research relating to disparities in access to care among children and young adults diagnosed with cancer. She also collaborates with Washington University genomics researchers on the discovery of genomic risk factors for cancer in both adults and children.


Featured Graduate

“I went into the MPH program at the Brown School knowing I wanted to pursue a career in epidemiology. I completed a practicum at the St. Louis County Department of Health, where I had the opportunity to conduct epidemiological surveillance for the entire county and co-authored a research paper for publication. It was great to do meaningful work that opened the door to exciting career opportunities after graduation.”

—Michelle Simkins, MPH ’14, Epidemiologist/Analyst, BJC Healthcare