Master of Science

MS in Global Infectious Disease candidates will receive a unique combination of training that brings together science, health, technology, modeling, social sciences, economics, and governance to support their careers.  Each student will learn about the multitude of 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. Upon application to the program, students will choose a concentration in Data Modeling or Science Policy depending upon their background and interests.

April 1, 2021

Final MS application deadline

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

Individuals dedicated to finding solutions to how the world approaches infectious diseases, from policy to drug delivery are perfect candidates. This program will prepare successful students 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. While internships are not required, 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 Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency at HHS, 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.

Due to the pressures of COVID-19, GLID is not requiring the GRE for students applying to matriculate in fall 2021.

Requirements

Applicants should have a background in basic science: admission requirements include one semester each of undergraduate biology (not botany) and chemistry, and one semester of calculus or statistics.

MS students will apply directly to one of the two following concentrations with additional requirements, described below.

Modeling Concentration: Students applying to the modeling track will be required to have at least two semesters of math or advanced statistics, as well as some experience in computer programming.

Policy Concentration: Students in the policy track will need introductory economics and political science. 

Strong applicants missing a pre-requisite may be admitted with the requirement to take the pre-requisite course at Georgetown in the first semester of the program.

The Global Infectious Disease PhD Program has equivalent basic admissions requirements as MS Students. There will be a strong preference for applicants that hold an advanced degree or significant experience in the field. PhD candidates should be able to demonstrate a clear study path or intellectual journey towards their PhD area of interest and demonstrate a history of success, for instance through relevant employment positions or publications. Applicants should have a background in basic science: admission requirements include one semester each of undergraduate biology, chemistry, and calculus or statistics. Students should have significant course experience in math and advanced statistics, as well as experience in computer programming. Students also will need coursework in economics and political science. Before acceptance, all strong applicant candidates will be required to have an interview with two or three members of the Admissions Committee. This can be completed either on site or via video-teleconference.

Photo of students discussing coursework at a table

Concentration Descriptions

Policy Concentration

Combatting infectious diseases requires a multi-prong approach that includes implementation of effective policies. The policy concentration emphasizes the importance of identifying and developing policy 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.

Data Modeling Concentration

The data modeling concentration focuses on epidemiology and applied data analytics to predict outbreaks and disease spread, and to model the effects of different responses to disease outbreaks. This concentration has a heavier emphasis on understanding the science behind disease threats and how to address them. 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, and be able to assess how the design of human studies impacts the types of bio-statistical tests and models employed and their interpretation. 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.

Course Schedule

All students are required to successfully complete 30 credits for the Master of Science in Global Infectious Disease. Among these, 18 credits are core courses taken by all students regardless of concentration (Policy or Data Modeling). In addition, each concentration has its own required courses that will deepen students’ understanding of their chosen concentration. For Policy students, these courses comprise 8 additional required credits, amounting to a total of 26 required credits and leaving 4 credits to electives of their choice. For Data Modeling students, the core requirements total 30 credits, meeting the required credit allotment. Students wishing to add electives beyond the 30 credit requirement can do so at an additional per-credit fee.

Required Courses for all M.S. in Global Infectious Disease students (18 credits)

CourseSemesterCredits
GLID 501: Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Infectious DiseaseFall I & Spring I6
GLID 562: Infection & ImmunityFall I3
EPID 501: Epidemiology IFall I or Fall II3
EPID 503: Biostatistics IFall I or Fall II3
Research EthicsSpring I1
GLID 801: GLID CapstoneFall II2

Required courses for the Policy Concentration (9 credits)

CourseSemesterCredits
STIA 394: Global Health Security & DiplomacyFall I3
GLOH 517: Health Economics & Financing Fall I3
GLID 511: Policy AnalysisSpring I3

Required Courses for the Data Modeling Concentration (12 credits)

CourseSemesterCredits
MATH 510: Mathematical and Statistical ComputingSpring I3
BIOL 422: Modeling: Biological PopulationsSpring I3
GLID 521: Informatics of Biological SystemsFall II3
GLID 525: Quantitative Evidence in Infectious Disease ResearchFall II3

Recommended Electives

Most Policy concentration students will have room for one elective (27 required credits); Data Modeling students are not likely to have room (30 required credits). The following potential list of electives would apply to students who have been waived from certain classes, transferred in credits, or are willing to take more than 30 credits.

CourseCredits
MICB 515: Biohazardous Threat Agents3
MICB 524: Emerging Infectious Disease2
MICB 619: Virology3
STIA 421: Global Health Foundations3
EPID 509: Infectious Disease Epidemiology 1.5
MICB 702: Regulatory Science & Public Health2
Research/Internship (requires faculty approval).5

Degree Requirements

Completion of the Master of Science in Global Infectious Disease degree requires 30 credits of coursework over 18 months. Completion of a 2-credit capstone project in the final semester of the program serves as a comprehensive examination for the program.

Still unsure?

Georgetown University offers potential students an array of options related to infectious disease, health security, and global health career paths. Learn more about all of Georgetown’s global health-related degree programs on the Global Health Initiative web page. The Global Infectious Disease curriculum is ideal for individuals who are dedicated to finding 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. This program will prepare successful students 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. While internships are not required, 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.

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