Coterminal MS Program

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to see if my interests align with the program?
Review the details of our curriculum and summary description of our faculty.  You should also do web searches to find the faculty websites, and check out their most recent publications on PubMed.

What is the difference between Stanford's program and an MPH?
Our program is focused on methods and analysis, drawing heavily on quantitative and computational approaches. Most MPH programs have more population-focused coursework on disease prevention, nutrition, maternal-child health, etc., and less on methods and research.  For students in the academic program, we emphasize clinical research done by physician scientists, something that is not taught in most public health programs.  Students who graduate from our program should be prepared to move towards research careers whereas students in MPH programs may be better prepared for entry level jobs in public health departments.

How long does it take to get a degree?
The coterm MS can be completed in four quarters.  It is recommended, however, that students spread their courses over two years—the senior and coterm years.

What comes after graduation for Stanford MS in Epidemiology graduates?
Our MD academic graduates have an extraordinarily high rate of success in attaining NIH grants and academic appointments at Stanford and elsewhere.  Our non-MD and coterm graduates are newer so we have yet to establish a track record.  However, our graduates are expected to pursue PhD or MD degrees or go to work in pharma, biotech, NGOs or public health departments.

Is my application good enough?
The Epidemiology admissions committee considers many factors, including grades, letters of recommendation, the personal statement, prior research experience, life circumstances, and fit with our program. The decision is based on a composite of these elements in the context of all the applications we receive each cycle.

Can I visit and meet with faculty before applying? Can I request an interview?
We invite those who are near Stanford and who are interested in our program to attend our weekly seminar (Tuesday, 1:30 to 3:00, in CCSR 4205 during the regular academic year).  There, you will have the opportunity to meet both students and faculty and see the type of work being conducted.

Do I need any particular undergraduate major in order to apply?
No. Our students have diverse backgrounds, with undergraduate training in many areas.  Grounding in biology and in math, however, is strongly advised.

How much does it cost to get the MS?
Tuition and other fees for the MS program are set by Stanford University. The most up-to-date listing is on the Stanford Registrar's website.

Do you provide funding for international students?
International students are strongly advised to apply for external support. These generally take some time to arrange, so plan ahead. The Fulbright program funds international scholars. The Fogarty International Center maintains a Directory of Funding Opportunities. The Institute of International Education has a search engine which will help you locate programs which fund international study. We have very occasionally had self-funded international MS students. You need to show funds equivalent to one year of tuition and board to meet the visa requirements.