MPH-epidemiology

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bbas

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How important is it to do research in undergrad for MPH/MS admissions?

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I don't think it's essential except maybe at the most competitive places. But, it certainly could be a nice hook if you're grades aren't as stellar as you think is necessary. Also, having a background in research can help you get more out of your courses *during* your master's. I had a good research mentor and experience during undergrad. When I later took the grad level epi and biostats classes, I think I had a leg up in understanding the material compared to those who were new to the material and had no practical frame of reference.
 
dante201 said:
I don't think it's essential except maybe at the most competitive places. But, it certainly could be a nice hook if you're grades aren't as stellar as you think is necessary. Also, having a background in research can help you get more out of your courses *during* your master's. I had a good research mentor and experience during undergrad. When I later took the grad level epi and biostats classes, I think I had a leg up in understanding the material compared to those who were new to the material and had no practical frame of reference.

Hey,
thanks for the reply. Did you actually do epi research in undergrad, or was it more natural science/bio type research? Since my university doesn't have anything related to public health, the only research that I would be able to do would be through the bio or chem departments. Would this type of research still be valuable, even if it's not directly related to public health/epi?
 
Yeah, I did epi. We didn't officially have public health or epi depts, but we had a epidemiologist on the faculty in the nutrition dept. She was good because she taught me basic statistics to run my analysis, and also taught me how to use SAS (which is very helpful). Also, she had access to lots of free data (NHANES, in my case).

But, yeah - basic research probably helps for the application / uniqueness factor, but might not be as helpful in the "prepping you for classes" area. Although - some options might be pretty close to public health (microbiology if you are interested in infectious disease epi, toxicology or organic chem if you like environmental health, human genetics, etc). Or even social science research if you want to learn some statistics.
 
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