Epidemiologists are medical scientists who investigate and describe factors that influence the development of disease, disability, and other health outcomes. They formulate means for prevention and control. Epidemiologists focus either on research or on clinical situations.



Research epidemiologists conduct studies to determine how to wipe out or control infectious diseases. They often focus on basic research as well, determining the incidence of a particular disease in a particular part of the world, for example. They may study many different diseases, such as tuberculosis, influenza, or cholera, often focusing on epidemics. Research epidemiologists work at colleges and universities, schools of public health, medical schools, and research and development services firms.

Clinical epidemiologists work mainly as consultants in hospitals, informing medical staff of infectious outbreaks and providing ways to control the spread of infection. In addition, clinical epidemiologists are usually the ones who develop a hospital's standards and guidelines for the treatment and control of infectious diseases.


Educational Requirements

Epidemiologists need at least a master’s degree from an accredited postsecondary institution. Most have a master’s degree in public health, with an emphasis in epidemiology or a related field. Advanced epidemiologists—including those in colleges and universities—have a Ph.D. in their chosen field. Find a graduate level accredited program here.

Coursework in epidemiology includes public health, biology, and biostatistics. Classes emphasize statistical methods, causal analysis, and survey design. Advanced courses emphasize multiple regression, medical informatics, review of previous biomedical research, and practical applications of data.


Median Salary 2012



Want to know more?

US News-Epidemiologist


American Statistical Association-Epidemiology

Bureau of Labor Statistics-Epidemiology

Explore Health Careers-Epidemiology


Get Connected

Belonging to professional organizations & LinkedIn groups can provide you with networking, informational interviewing, & job shadowing opportunities, as well as assist you with finding internships and jobs.

Epidemiology & Healthcare Epidemiology LinkedIn Group

Epidemiology & Biostatistics LinkedIn Group

International Society for Environmental Epidemiology

International Epidemiological Association

List of Professional Organizations

The Career Connector for Purdue College of Science Students & Alumni


Get Experience

Research & Internship Listings


Find a Job

Job Search Sites Related to Your Major


Information retrieved from http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/19-1041.00, ScienceBuddies


Purdue University College of Science, 150 N. University St, West Lafayette, IN 47907 • Phone: (765) 494-1729, Fax: (765) 494-1736

Student Advising Office: (765) 494-1771, Fax: (765) 496-3015 • Science IT, (765) 494-4488

© 2015 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact the College of Science Webmaster.