Epidemiology at Cornell

Minor in Epidemiology

Director of Graduate Studies:

Patricia A. Cassano, Ph.D.
Division of Nutritional Sciences
209 Savage Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853


Epidemiology Minor: Information for Prospective and Current Graduate Students

For students interested in studying epidemiology at Cornell, the interdepartmental Minor Field of Epidemiology offers graduate students the opportunity to declare a minor in epidemiology within any major area of study (including Animal Science, Biometry, Environmental Toxicology, International Development, Nutrition, Sociology, Statistics, and Veterinary Medicine). Comprehensive course offerings in major disciplines related to epidemiology are available. Epidemiology is a graduate major area of concentration within the Field of Veterinary Medicine, and this major is administered through the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Epidemiology is the study of the distribution, determinants, and consequences of disease in populations. The goal of epidemiology is to elucidate and quantify the relation between potential risk factors or exposures and disease, in order to prevent the onset and/or the progression of illness. Those wishing to enter the minor should have at least a B.S. or M.S. degree (or the equivalent) in a discipline related to (or offering preparation for) the proposed graduate studies in epidemiology. Applicants should have a sound background in mathematics and the sciences, with additional preparation consistent with the requirements of their proposed major fields of interest.

Students should have taken coursework that deals with physiological or psychological behaviors of individuals. In the social sciences, suitable courses would be medical sociology or psychology. In the zoologic sciences, suitable courses would be physiology, pathology or nutrition. Other biologically- and socially-oriented courses or background experiences would be appropriate depending on the goals of training for each student.

Graduate students enrolled in the minor will conduct their research in the departments of their major advisors. Participating faculty are drawn from the Department of Biological Statistics and Computational Biology, the Division of Nutritional Sciences, the School of Operations Research and Industrial Engineering, and the Departments of Population Medicine & Diagnostic Sciences. Areas of research interest among the faculty can be found on each faculty webpage; interests are broad and include infectious disease epidemiology, nutritional epidemiology, genetic epidemiology, social epidemiology, veterinary epidemiology, and statistical aspects of epidemiology.

Faculty and Specialization

Visit the Cornell University Graduate School website