Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past two years, your life has been impacted by COVID-19 in some way. Social distancing, masks, vaccine passports, and other health measures have become a part of daily life.

As an epidemiologist, you will study the relationship between infectious diseases and human populations. You will help inform public health policy on how to deal with existing crises and avoid future ones. If this sounds like your thing, studying public health or epidemiology at one of these seven universities certainly won’t hurt.

Due to the complexity of the subject, degrees in this field are generally only offered at the graduate and doctoral levels. In this article, we will be looking at the best epidemiology schools around the world!

Top Epidemiology Schools in the World

1. Harvard University

Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health is widely recognized as the best place in the world to train as an epidemiologist. Faculty and students regularly conduct groundbreaking research on topics ranging from the relationship between the Epstein-Barr virus and multiple sclerosis to the health benefits of yoga. Experts in various fields of epidemiology are also regularly invited to talk at Harvard University.

One of Harvard’s main strengths is the sheer number of options available. Their Master of Public Health allows you to choose to study for a general degree or specialize in either epidemiology or health care management. At the doctorate level, you can study for a Doctor in Public Health Degree.

If the research side of epidemiology interests you more, there are master’s and PhD programs in a wide range of fields to choose from.

See Also: The Best Public Health Schools in the World

2. Stanford University

Stanford University‘s Department of Epidemiology & Population Health is one of the top epidemiology schools in the world. It specializes in a multidisciplinary approach to solving health problems, regularly borrowing from fields like law, environmental science, and business.

Like Harvard, Stanford offers its students a wide range of programs to suit their interests. You can choose to major in Epidemiology and Clinical Research at both the graduate and Ph.D. levels. If your interests like more with public policy, you can select from programs like Community Health and Prevention Research or Health Policy, among others.

At Stanford, you will have access to a wealth of knowledge, not just from the School of Medicine, but from the entire university.

3. University of Oxford

It’s fitting that the university that helped develop the Oxford, AstraZeneca vaccine is a global leader in epidemiology. Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Population Health is a top school for epidemiology across the globe that offers master’s and doctorate degrees that lie at the intersection between medicine and public health.

One of Oxford’s more unique degrees is its Master of Science in Clinical Trials. This program is for those who want to be at the forefront of developing and testing new treatment methods. It is conducted entirely through distance learning, which is perfect if you already have a healthcare career and live somewhere other than Oxford.

Check Out: The University of Oxford Admission Process and Tips

4. Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health is an excellent university for epidemiology in the world. Throughout the pandemic, it has been a thought leader on epidemiological issues like vaccination and viral spread.

Johns Hopkins recognizes that epidemiology is a complex field that integrates many areas of knowledge. For this reason, the university offers a dual degree program in which students can specialize in two subjects. You can also do one program in the School of Public Health and another in a completely different field.

An undergraduate student in a different Johns Hopkins school can even combine their bachelor’s degree with a public health master’s.

5. University College London

University College London’s Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care is a leading school for epidemiology in the world that combines a well-crafted curriculum with a world-class research environment to prepare students to face the biggest problems in public health. Over the years, the university has fostered many industry connections, allowing students to work on real issues.

What sets UCL’s epidemiology program apart is that it offers an undergraduate program. While epidemiology or public health is normally studied at the graduate level, the university’s Bachelor of Science in Population Health Sciences gives you a solid foundation in the field and helps you decide whether it’s right for you in the first place. Graduates often go on to pursue further studies at UCL or elsewhere.

At the graduate level, students can either study public health or population health. The latter is distinct in that it takes a longer-term approach.

6. University of Michigan

The University of Michigan’s Epidemiology Department falls under its School of Public Health. Students here can take courses at both the graduate and Ph.D. levels. It Master of Public Health program is extremely versatile: you can choose from four different epidemiology specializations, namely General Epidemiology, Hospital and Molecular Epidemiology, Global Health Epidemiology, and Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology.

If you like crunching numbers, you may want to consider the university’s Master of Science in Computational Epidemiology and Systems Modeling. Here, you’ll learn how to create statistical models and simulations for things like virus spread. These will be used to shape public policy.

7. University of Washington

Besides offering degrees in public health, the University of Washington’s Public Health Department gives students the chance to study for two programs concurrently. For example, you can do a Master of Science/Master of Public Health together with a Doctor of Medicine if you’re interested in working with patients. If you’d prefer to be on the administrative side of things, you can study for a Master of Science/Master of Public Health and a Master of Public Administration at the same time.

As a student at the University of Washington, you’ll immediately get plenty of hands-on experience. You can sign up for the Student Epidemic Action Leaders (SEAL) Team, where you’ll be given real tasks by local health departments. Your job will include investigating outbreaks and helping draft public health policy.

The University of Washington is one of the best epidemiology schools in the world which is perfect if you’re looking for a truly immersive experience.

Check Also: The Best Countries to Study Epidemiology


In conclusion, these are some of the best universities in the world to study epidemiology. This is by no means a comprehensive list as there are many great universities worldwide. Choosing one over another is contingent upon your budget, your ideal location, and the program offered at your institution of choice. To narrow down your choices, check out our list of the 5 Best Countries to Study Epidemiology.

I hope that this article on Best Epidemiology Schools in the World was helpful. If you are interested in learning more, check out the Available Programs for International Students

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