Public Health Microbiology and Emerging Infectious Diseases

Milken Institute School of Public Health

School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Master of Science (M.S.)
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus

Program Overview

Our program is designed to meet a national demand, which has reached critical proportions, for a trained workforce in biodefense and emerging infections. It also addresses an international demand for training in diseases that affect developing countries.

Our program combines the strengths of two departments at The George Washington University Medical Center: the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the Milken Institute School of Public Health and the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Tropical Medicine within the School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Masters Degree

Graduates of the M.S. program have an in-depth understanding of the major laboratory, clinical and public health aspects of humankind’s microbial pathogens. They acquire epidemiologic skills relevant to the prevention and control of problems arising from infectious diseases and modern biotechnologies.

Areas of emphasis include the design and analysis of epidemiologic data; emerging infections; tropical diseases; Class A, B, C biological agents linked to bioterrorism; and applications of genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics.

With courses scheduled in the late afternoons and early evenings, our programs allow students to attain valuable career experience while they earn their degrees.

Graduates are prepared for careers in academic and industrial research laboratories, international health agencies, nongovernmental organizations and private consulting groups. In addition, they may work in federal, state and local public health agencies or state and local public health laboratories where their technical expertise and population-based perspective will be extremely useful.


Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:

Fall – March15 (Applications must be complete by December 15 for priority scholarship consideration.)

Spring - October 1

Summer – December 15

Individuals interested in applying to this program should submit their application and supporting documents through SOPHAS, a general online application for schools of public health. A graduated fee is charged for this application, depending on the number of accredited schools to which you apply.

Standardized test scores:

GRE general test (institutional code 5268).  Applicants may also submit the LSAT, MCAT, or GMAT instead of the GRE. Applicants who already have a conferred graduate degree (i.e. J.D., M.A., M.S., J.D.) are exempt.

Recommendations required:

Two (2) recommendations

Prior academic records:

Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Transcripts must be forwarded to SOPHAS in their original sealed envelopes directly from the institution.

Official transcripts from institutions outside the United States must be accompanied by an official transcript evaluation from an accredited independent evaluating agency. Please be sure you request a detailed evaluation that includes all course titles, credit hours, grade-point average (GPA), United States degree equivalency, and date of degree conferral. Please see the list of acceptable foreign credential evaluation services.

Statement of purpose:

In an essay of approximately 1500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in your chosen field. Include your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans. Also discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned in the application. 

The Committee reviews your Statement of Purpose to determine your motivation for pursuing a career in public health and health services.

International applicants only:

Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 GW, and English language requirements. The Milken Institute School of Public Health provides additional information for international applicants

PLEASE NOTE that all programs in the Milken Institute School of Public Health require the following minimum English language test scores for admission:

  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 7.0 with no individual band score below 6.0.
  • TOEFL: 600 on paper-based or 100 on Internet-based.
  • PTE Academic: 68.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:

Office of Admissions
2nd Floor
Milken Institute School of Public Health
950 New Hampshire Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20052

Contact for questions:
[email protected] ~ 202.994.2160 (phone)
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday