The first step to becoming an epidemiologist is to earn a bachelor's degree in a science-intensive field, like biology, chemistry, biostatistics, or physiology.
Students should aim to maintain a high GPA (3.5+) to remain competitive for admission into graduate or medical schools.
The preparation timeline below provides an example public health curriculum:
|Grade Level||Example Courses|
With a master's degree or higher being the entry-level qualifications for most epidemiologists, students must prepare themselves for the Graduate Requisite Examination (GRE), a 3 hour and 45 minute, standardized, multiple choice exam covering analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning.
The GRE is broken down into six main sections:
|1 Analytical Writing Section||
|2 Quantitative Reasoning Sections||
|2 Verbal Reasoning Sections||
|1 Unscored Section||
This is a strongly interdisciplinary field, which means that students have to possess quantitative skills, such as biostatistics and computer applications, as well as demonstrate skills which pertain to promoting health awareness, disease prevention and educating the general masses.
An ideal epidemiologist is also required to evaluate the quality of health care. To become an epidemiologist, students must be a part of an accredit program for epidemiology. A list of such programs can be found in the website of the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).