Epidemiologists track disease rates and keep the public informed of health risks. You can thank them for tabulating that heart disease accounted for 7.4 million world deaths in 2012, and you can use that information to effect change. The top colleges for epidemiology offer the best faculties, facilities, services for students and research in this significant discipline. They will train you to collect health data, disseminate it to populations that need it and advance your career.

East Region

Students walking in front of a building on the Harvard University campus
Students walking in front of a building on the Harvard University campus

Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, offers various master’s, doctoral and even medical degrees in 12 disciplines of epidemiology. The National Research Council gave the program its top ranking in 2010 for its research, reputation among scholars and features faculties say are important. Among the 12 disciplines are cancer epidemiology, cardiovascular epidemiology and environmental and occupational epidemiology. The epidemiology program at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore is part of the best public health program in the country, according to "U.S. News & World Report." The department offers three master’s degree programs, a joint bachelor's/master's program and three doctorates.

Midwest Region

A building on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor
A building on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor

The National Research Council ranked the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor’s epidemiology programs among the top 10 in the nation in student services, scholarly reputation and diversity. Michigan offers a variety of post-graduate degrees in general epidemiology, hospital and molecular epidemiology, international health and occupational and environmental epidemiology. The University of Minnesota’s epidemiology program is part of one of the top 10 public health programs in the nation. The program offers a master’s in public health and a Ph.D. degree. In 2014, department director Pamela Schreiner focused her research on cardiovascular disease and prevention and alternative medicine.

South Region

Emory University Hospital
Emory University Hospital

The Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is part of the second-best public health program in the nation, behind only Johns Hopkins, according to "U.S. News & World Report." The school offers a master's degree in public health, a master's degree in science and Ph.D. degrees, with strengths in researching cancer epidemiology, cardiovascular epidemiology, environmental/occupational epidemiology, genetic epidemiology and social epidemiology. The Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University offers various master’s and doctoral degrees in epidemiology and global epidemiology. The school is in Atlanta, the same city as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters. When two Americans contracted the Ebola virus in August 2014, they came to an Emory University hospital for treatment.

West Region

University students working in a lab
University students working in a lab

With a variety of master’s, doctoral and certificate programs, the University of Washington in Seattle’s epidemiology program ranked in the top three in the U.S. in research and scholarly reputation, according to a 2012 study by the National Research Council. Students can take advantage of the school’s Center for AIDS and STD Research, Center for Clinical and Epidemiological Research and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona in Tucson ranked best in the nation for student services, according to a 2010 National Research Council study. The school offers master’s and doctoral degrees, and its students have conducted field work at a Super Bowl, Major League Baseball all-star game and Fiesta Bowl.