MPH Columbia MS Epidemiology Online vs Harvard MPH-Epi Online

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leggo my echo

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Hi everyone, hoping anyone can help me decide on which program to apply for.

I am a cardiology resident, hoping to be in academia in the future focusing on clinical research. I was looking into Masters's programs that are online, specifically with the goals of learning research methods/statistical skills, while also obtaining a Master's degree to boost my chances of being hired in the future.

I narrowed it down to two programs, Harvard MPH-Epi which is well known of course, and Columbia MS in Epi Online. The costs end up being very similar despite the credit differences.

Harvard MPH-Epi (Online, 2 year, 45 credits)
Pros
: Well-established, many people, especially MDs have completed the program. name value, MPH is possibly more recognizable in medicine than MS in Epi (not sure about this actually). Has 1 month of mandatory on-site classes, which is actually nice, getting to meet your cohort and networking.
Cons: Requires public health core courses, which are not relevant to my future practice and I frankly do not want to take them.

Columbia MS-Epi (Online, 20 months, 30 credits)
Pros
: No public health courses, focused on Epi and statistics which are more relevant. The curriculum is not bloated with irrelevant courses (to my career). Still has good name value. 20 months as opposed to 2 years.
Cons: Almost no reviews/information I can find from anyone who completed this, so I do not know the quality/track record fo the program. Unclear if I can even take electives in this program. No face time, so essentially minimal networking.

Thanks in advance

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Hi everyone, hoping anyone can help me decide on which program to apply for.

I am a cardiology resident, hoping to be in academia in the future focusing on clinical research. I was looking into Masters's programs that are online, specifically with the goals of learning research methods/statistical skills, while also obtaining a Master's degree to boost my chances of being hired in the future.

I narrowed it down to two programs, Harvard MPH-Epi which is well known of course, and Columbia MS in Epi Online. The costs end up being very similar despite the credit differences.

Harvard MPH-Epi (Online, 2 year, 45 credits)
Pros
: Well-established, many people, especially MDs have completed the program. name value, MPH is possibly more recognizable in medicine than MS in Epi (not sure about this actually). Has 1 month of mandatory on-site classes, which is actually nice, getting to meet your cohort and networking.
Cons: Requires public health core courses, which are not relevant to my future practice and I frankly do not want to take them.

Columbia MS-Epi (Online, 20 months, 30 credits)
Pros
: No public health courses, focused on Epi and statistics which are more relevant. The curriculum is not bloated with irrelevant courses (to my career). Still has good name value. 20 months as opposed to 2 years.
Cons: Almost no reviews/information I can find from anyone who completed this, so I do not know the quality/track record fo the program. Unclear if I can even take electives in this program. No face time, so essentially minimal networking.

Thanks in advance
Hey, I was in a very similar position to you and looked into both as well as the Harvard MPH summer CLE.

I ended up going with the Harvard MPH (summer focused) because it had a long track record, it had a lot more grads who have been big names in clin epi (e.g. D. Bhatt). The Harvard MPH online Epi is very similar and also very good, just depends on how much in person time you get, you also get priority for online courses in the online Epi which can be reassuring. There is definitely a huge amount of networking, although I find the summer focused probably has a bit more because class sizes are larger and its 90%+ physicians and a lot of fellows from the area. The summer focused can be done online the only thing time commitment you need to make is the 6 weeks each year for 2 years (you can finish in 2 rather than 3).

I find HSPH has a pretty strong focus on stats, and our classes are mainly taught by profs who've published big trials or worked on big data. I do honestly think if you end up concentrating in CLE, Epi or QM, you are basically doing an SM in Epi its the exact same except you do a few public health courses which are honestly very little commitment. The MPH has more credits so it is actually more coursework, but it really isn't much, maybe 3-4 hrs a week for a semester total. I wouldn't worry about the public health courses, they literally just give you an overview

Regarding Columbia, the website was sparse, it seemed oriented towards executives and when I emailed Columbia twice they never replied, with Harvard they were responsive and answered all my questions.

The 20 months vs 2 years thing is really negligible imo, and if you do the summer focused you can graduate in as little as 13 months if you choose to take overload yourself.

To me, its not even close, the Harvard program runs like butter, and from the website and what i've seen, the Columbia MS-Epi seems a bit like an afterthought, I've seen maybe one person do that program and easily 30+ people outside the course itself who've done a Harvard SM or MPH in Epi of various career backgrounds.
 
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