MPH vs MS in Epidemiology

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.


New Member
May 28, 2020
Reaction score

Members don't see this ad.
Hello all,

I'm a nurse practitioner applying to Epi programs. Plan is to complete either MS or MPH in Epi, and maybe in the future PhD in Epi. I want to do clinical research in the future in the area of chronic disease Epi. I'm currently a professor in a major nursing department wanting to eventually work toward tenure, but the PhD in nursing seems weak relative to Epi. All of my research interests are within clinical Epi. I do have the DNP degree, but obviously that means little to my future in Epidemiology. So, aside from the obvious recommendation to go straight for PhD, I would like so advice on MS vs MPH epi. I am limited on programs to online currently given both being a faculty member/practicing NP, and having a child on the way. Here are my options I have narrowed it down to:

-MS in clinical epi from a lower tier university from what I can figure out based on other's opinions
-MPH in Epi from higher rated school of public health, seems maybe on the bubble of 75 percentile of accredited schools

I understand MS would probably fit my career goals more, but considering the only one I have found is around the 25 percentile on ratings, would the higher rated MPH be better for future PhD applications?

If I am over thinking this, please let me know. Since I come from a nursing background I may have a skewed perspective of what I should be valuing. Nursing tends to be persnickety in the value of prestige of degree.


Full Member
2+ Year Member
Sep 15, 2019
Reaction score
I have an MPH and had several classmates debating between the MS in epi vs MPH. The one that wanted to go onto a PhD in epi did the MPH. The others did the MS in epi. These decisions were made after speaking with multiple professors- PhD advisors and research faculty. From what they said the MPH will give a more rounded foundation if you plan to do a PhD in epi. However the MS in epi will be better to get straight into research after you graduate.

I would recommend to go with the MPH in epi if you want to do the PhD. Also connections are so important with finding a decent PhD project so you might have better connections/larger reach at the higher rated school.