About the epidemiology major

Epidemiology, the science of public and population health, is a field of disease detectives who conduct studies to better understand the health status of populations. A STEM-heavy field, epidemiology addresses the occurrence of disease in communities—who, what, when, and where—and determines how and why disease occurs. The findings are used to control and prevent disease and protect and improve the public’s health. Epidemiologists study health phenomena, such as infectious diseases, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, maternal and child health, substance abuse, and injuries.

Skills and abilities this major develops: scientific methods, critical thinking, applied data analysis, cultural competencies, ethical decision making, ability to analyze and evaluate, and knowledge of local and global health systems.

Engaged learning experiences

Regardless of your major or future career, engaged learning is vital to your present and future. It makes you more marketable for jobs and professional schools upon graduation, it enables you to build deeper connections with faculty and staff in your field of study, and it makes your learning personal by connecting your interests and values with the curriculum from your classes. Check out the three ideas below for places to get started, or learn more at IU Indianapolis’s Institute for Engaged Learning website.

Quick facts

Sample coursework

  • Chasing disease: field epidemiology
  • Buzzed and stoned
  • Environmental epidemiology
  • Global public health
  • The lurking pandemic: chronic disease epidemiology
  • Perinatal epidemiology
  • Public health informatics

Possible careers

  • Chronic disease epidemiologist
  • Data analyst
  • Field epidemiologist
  • Infectious disease epidemiologist
  • Physician assistant*
  • Program manager
  • Public health investigator

*This career requires additional training or education.

Where could I work?

  • Colleges and universities
  • Federal agencies
  • Hospitals and health care systems
  • Pharmaceutical industry*
  • State and local health departments

*This career requires additional training or education.

Health and Life Sciences Cluster

This major belongs to the Health and Life Sciences (HLS) cluster.

Learn about the HLS cluster

Learn about other clusters

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