Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology (MSCE)
The Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology (MSCE) program is housed in the Clinical Epidemiology Unit (CEU) of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB). The CEU has been actively involved in clinically-oriented epidemiologic teaching and research since 1978. The MSCE degree has been awarded by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine since 1985. More than 150 faculty members contribute to the MSCE degree program.
The primary objectives of the MSCE are to produce a cadre of skilled investigators trained to conduct formal epidemiologic studies and prepare them for academic research careers, and to develop national leaders in academic medical and health services research. These objectives are met through the program's dedicated faculty mentorship; the design of the curriculum; hands-on experience with study protocol and thesis development; and extracurricular activities such as departmental seminars.
Through the MSCE program, students interact with an extensive network of clinical researchers within the CCEB, at Penn, and far beyond. As one of the top programs in clinical research training internationally, the MSCE is an excellent credential for anyone desiring a career leading clinical research. The general epidemiology training program provides the most flexibility and is designed for students with interests in a broad range of training experiences. This program provides in-depth knowledge of the research techniques appropriate to epidemiologic research.
The MSCE program is designed to be completed in two to three years of full-time study. Generally, the first year students devote their time to the "core courses" and the writing of their thesis protocol. In the second year of study, students complete electives and conduct their thesis projects. It generally takes a student one year or more to complete and write the thesis. By graduation, students will have obtained the following skills:
- knowledge of elements of research design, including randomized clinical trials, cohort and case-control studies, surveys and quasi-experiments
- detailed and in depth facility with one of the designs listed above, the one which will be used in the research protocol
- knowledge of the concepts of health measurement as applied to epidemiologic research
- ability to critically appraise the medical literature
- in-depth familiarity with the principles of biostatistics, especially as they apply to epidemiologic and health services research
- ability to use and interpret a variety of statistical programs for analyzing a data set
- ability to design, implement and analyze a research project