Master’s Program

The MS in Global Infectious Disease (GLID) is an in-person course of study that provides a unique combination of training that brings together science, health, technology, modeling, social sciences, economics, and governance to support their careers. Our students learn about the many ways to approach global infectious disease problems, such as through life science research, mathematical modeling of outbreaks, epidemiology of pandemics, and diplomacy to advance health outcomes. Faculty come from diverse backgrounds in the sciences, medicine, health, and policy. Courses are scheduled during both day and evening hours, depending on the semester. Most students attend full-time (three semesters), but applicants interested in part-time options are encouraged to apply.

January 15, 2023

Priority MS application deadline for merit aid; application fee waived

April 1, 2023

Final MS application deadline

Who Should Apply for the Master of Science in Global Infectious Disease?

Are you dedicated to interdisciplinary infectious disease solutions? Our program is dedicated to providing students with a broad-based understanding of infectious disease. This program will prepare you to join a growing workforce and find employment in federal, state, or local health departments, emergency management departments, pharmaceutical companies, advocacy organizations, or global health implementers, among others. Because infectious disease challenges are multifactorial, some of the best job applicants will demonstrate a breadth of knowledge about infectious diseases and an ability to problem solve across domains. Individuals dedicated to finding solutions to how the world approaches infectious diseases, from policy development to last-mile drug delivery, are perfect candidates.

Would you like to enhance your scientific knowledge of infectious disease by learning more about modeling or policy? Upon application to the program, students will choose a concentration in Science Policy or Modeling & Informatics depending upon their background and interests. These concentrations provide for four courses (12 credits) of study in the chosen area, allowing students to improve their understanding of these areas and their facility with policy or data discourse. Students who wish to pursue advanced study in these areas to really hone their expertise may wish to apply to the GLID PhD program.

Are you wondering how the GLID MS is different from MPH programs? An MS is a science and research degree, while an MPH is a practitioner’s degree. The GLID MS provides a foundation for all students in the science of infectious disease, plus additional advancement of skills and knowledge in policy or modeling/informatics depending on concentration. It is targeted to infectious disease while also being interdisciplinary. Although graduates may choose to become public health practitioners (like those with MPHs), the degree opens up options in research, analysis, advocacy, and other areas in need of infectious disease specialists. The degree will support a research career or additional graduate research in the discipline; it will also support students who enter non-research jobs but who will benefit from the scientific background and analytical thinking skills that the degree provides. Some MPH programs offer policy tracks, but the GLID MS policy focus on infectious disease is unique. M&I students will not find an analog in most MPH programs.

Are you a Georgetown undergraduate interested in an accelerated Bachelors / Masters degree program? Learn more about the combined BA/MS or BS/MS accelerated degree in Global Infectious Disease for Georgetown University undergraduates.

Are you interested in internships? Internships are not required, but students may wish to pursue an internship during their course of study. Georgetown’s location in the nation’s capital offers many opportunities. Georgetown faculty can help connect students with organizations such as the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority at HHS, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, Talus Analytics, New York City Health and Hospitals Special Pathogens Unit, USAID Emerging Pandemic Threats program, and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Admissions Requirements

All applicants should have a background in basic science: admission requirements include one semester of undergraduate biology (not botany) and one semester of statistics. MS students will apply directly to one of the two following concentrations, which each have additional pre-requisites:

  • Modeling & Informatics: Students applying to the M&I concentration are required to have at least two semesters of math or advanced statistics, as well as some experience in computer programming.
  • Science Policy: Students applying to the policy concentration need introductory economics and political science

We strongly encourage students to apply to the program at the point at which they have already taken, or are in the process of taking, the pre-requisites. Applicants must take the pre-requisites prior to matriculation and pass them with a B or better in order to matriculate.

Tuition, Fees, and Financial Support

The cost of attendance for MS students is based on a per-credit tuition rate, and is thus dependent on the number of credit hours for which a student is enrolled in each semester. Most full-time students will enroll in about 10 credits per semester. Fees include a Graduate Student Activity fee and, if registered for eight or more credit hours, a Georgetown University student health insurance charge. Please see the Graduate Programs Cost of Attendance Pages under the “Arts & Sciences” tab for detailed tuition and fees information.

Graduate students may work up to 20 hours per week. On-campus opportunities can be found in the Student Employment Office database (available for matriculated students only).

The GLID Program and Graduate School aims to provide some merit aid to all qualifying students. The Graduate School’s Financial Resources page has helpful resources about merit aid, financial aid, and external awards, and we encourage applicants to review these. Students applying for scholarships external to Georgetown should ideally speak with us a year in advance of admittance to ensure alignment with the deadlines for many external scholarships. Unlike undergraduate admissions, where most applicants apply for admission first and then apply for aid, applications for national scholarships often have their deadlines at the same time or prior to admissions dates.

Concentration Descriptions

Completion of the Master of Science in Global Infectious Disease degree requires 30 credits of coursework over 18 months. Master’s students choose one of two concentrations: Modeling & Informatics or Science Policy.

The M&I concentration focuses on building knowledge and skills in epidemiology and applied data analytics. Modeling can be used to predict outbreaks and disease spread and to model the effects of different responses to disease outbreaks. The MS in GLID with a concentration in M&I has more of a focus on infectious disease science than other programs. This concentration emphasizes quantitative science behind infectious disease threats and how they might be assessed and addressed using data modeling and other quantitative methods. Upon completion of the degree, students will be able to describe and analyze patterns of disease in human populations, and identify the determinants and public health impact of infectious disease. They will also understand mechanisms and interaction of factors involved in disease transmission and methods for disease prevention and control. Students will assess how study design elements impact the choice of statistical test, whether and how test assumptions are met, and how to interpret results of tests and models; and will also learn about the use of big data sources in either public health or clinical settings. The concentration strives to produce graduates who are smart consumers of modeling data and effective collaborators with professional modelers. Rather than setting up students for modeling jobs per se, this concentration affords graduates a better understanding of how to interpret and make use of findings from infectious disease models, which is becoming an important function for many governmental and private organizations involved in infectious disease preparedness and response.

Combating infectious diseases requires a multi-prong approach that includes implementation of effective policies. The policy concentration emphasizes the development of knowledge and skills to understand, identify, and develop policies and related tools to deal with the infectious disease threat. Coursework will develop skills for policy analysis through a variety of methods and topics, such as review of domestic and international decision-making bodies, political theory, critical tools for analyses, case studies of policy-level interventions, and related areas like diplomacy, economics, and financing. Upon completion of the degree, students will be able to utilize key methodologies for policy analysis, develop policy options, and assess evidence for utility in supporting policy decisions. They will also recognize and address ethical issues in all areas of global infectious disease, including conduct of research, population interventions, and policy decisions. This concentration will support graduates’ advancement to jobs that require, or would benefit from, employees who are literate in the role of policy in infectious disease preparedness and response, and who can analyze and develop valuable policy approaches.

Photo of students discussing coursework at a table

Curriculum, Course Descriptions, and Degree Requirements

A listing of all classes required for the GLID Master’s of Science degree and possible electives can be found on the Master’s Program Curriculum page.

Where will you go in global infectious disease?

The Global Infectious Disease curriculum is ideal for intellectually curious individuals dedicated to interdisciplinary approaches to global infectious disease problems. It offers both fundamental and advanced teaching on topics that include microbiology, epidemiology, data science, and domestic and global policy and governance. It can prepare you to join a growing workforce and find employment in federal, state or local health departments, emergency management departments, pharmaceutical companies, advocacy organizations, or global health implementers. Some students may wish to pursue an internship during their course of study. Georgetown faculty can help connect students with contacts at organizations such as the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency at the Department of Health and Human Services, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, Talus Analytics, New York City Health and Hospitals Special Pathogens Unit, USAID Emerging Pandemic Threats program, and the National Academies of Science. Check out the webinar below to learn more.

Georgetown University offers its students an array of options related to infectious disease, health security, and global health career paths. Learn more about many of Georgetown’s global health-related degree programs on the Global Health Initiative web page.

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