Certificate in Field Epidemiology (FEPI)

Epidemiology, Public Health Leadership Program

This is a 12-credit hour program of graduate study that addresses: core functions of outbreak investigation; surveillance systems and methods; infectious disease epidemiology; and field epidemiology methods. All courses are taught completely online. No travel to the UNC-Chapel Hill campus is required. Online certificates are available to any interested student NOT currently enrolled at UNC-Chapel Hill. After viewing the GPS overview, see our Certificate in Field Epidemiology partner page for additional information.


Note: Summer 2023 Application will open 08/03/2022 and close on 04/07/2023.

General Information

Minimum Credit Hours


Expected Duration

1 yr

Learning Environment


Application Cycle

Spring See application details page for more info.

Application Deadline 1

April 7, 2023 See application details page for more info.

Applicant Information

Who Should Apply

Students with high math competency and excellent writing skills. This program should be considered essential for public health preparedness staff, nurses, communicable disease investigators, epidemiologists, environmental health specialists, health educators.

Enrolled Student Demographics

  • Total Enrollment 1620
  • Female 72%, Male 28%
  • Underrepresented Minority Students 16.3%
  • International 11%

Program Costs & Funding

Admissions Information

Prior Degree Required

Bachelor's degree or international equivalent

Standardized Test(s) Accepted

None required

Standardized Test Scores

School-wide: On average, incoming students had 77th percentile verbal and 66th percentile quantitative. Standardized test scores are one of many factors we consider in making admissions decisions. If you have concerns about your scores, please talk with us.

Undergrad G.P.A.

School-wide: Incoming students had a mean undergraduate GPA of 3.6

Letters of Recommendation Required

Not required

Faculty-Student Match Required

Not required

Interviews Required

Not required

Work Experience Required

Yes 3 yrs education and/or experience in a health or social science related field (includes volunteer experience) is recommended.

Visit Opportunities

Learn about opportunities to come to UNC Gillings to meet faculty, staff, and current students. If you are unable to come to campus – don’t worry – our representatives attend a variety of recruitment events around the United States as well as host virtual fairs and webinars.

During the Program

Required Courses

For a detailed description of all the requirements for this degree program please click here for the Student Handbook.

Comprehensive Exam Type(s)

No comprehensive exams

Capstone, Thesis or Dissertation

None required

Practicum, Internships & Fieldwork

Not required

Global Options Available

The UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health strives to integrate global content and approaches across the School’s courses, programs and degrees. We believe that every student should emerge from our School with an understanding of global health issues. Some courses are focused largely on global issues, others are designed so that global and local issues are intertwined and some still are evolving. Learn more about these options.

NOTE: Certificate students don’t have opportunity for global study outside courses comprising program.

After the Program

Employment Opportunities

Epidemiologists and local, state and national healthcare organizations

Example Job Responsibilities

Epidemiologic and other surveillance activities related to outbreak investigations

  1. Complete online application
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    • Summer Application Deadline: April 7, 2023
    • Fee: 45
    • Step Link

    (The Graduate School Application is a common application system for UNC-Chapel Hill programs.)


      See program details in GPS for requirements such as prequisites, prior degree, work experience, any test score waivers, as well as a tuition estimate and program overview.

    2. Applicant information,  including North Carolina residency information.

    3. Educational history

      • Please upload a copy of your most recent transcript(s), including your current term grades, if applicable. (If grades are not yet available, send them to the UNC Gillings program contact as soon as they become available.) Be sure the transcript reflects the name of the institution and any degrees you received.
    4. Community standards

      You will be asked about honor code, crime, academic sanction, military discharge, etc.

    5. Upload your personal statement.

      • Upload a document that answers the following questions (no more than 2 pages).
        • State your purpose in applying for this program.
        • Explain how the certificate will be of value to you.
        • Describe any experience you have had with distance education.
        • Ten-twelve hours of student work per course, per week are required for successful course completion. Describe how you will schedule that time.
        • If you will be working full-time, explain what mechanisms you have or can put in place to ensure that you will be able to handle the demands of both work and school. Specifically, detail the support your supervisor has offered and whether release from work/school is available.
        • Describe what contributions you could make to this certificate program.
        • Please list all college level math courses you have taken--(honors courses taken in high school can be included).
    6. Upload your resume or CV.

    7. Enter names of recommenders. UNC will then send them an email with instructions for submitting a letter on your behalf. We encourage references from professors or teachers (or teaching assistants) or work/research supervisors who have worked directly and closely with you and who can speak about you with specificity.

        • Not required
    8. Document submission (check legibility of uploads)

    9. Pay the Graduate School application fee.

    10. Track your progress.

      • You will be able to track status through the Graduate School application. Once a decision is made, you will receive an email instructing login to the Graduate School application portal to see the decision letter.
  2. FYI: application review process
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    1. SPH application review:

      • Interview
        • No interview required.
      • You will be notified via email regarding program decision.

The Gillings Program Search is a tool for exploring academic programs at the School. It is a prospectus for the current year to be used in consultation with an academic adviser and does not constitute the complete degree or program requirements for graduation or program completion.

Epidemiology, Public Health Leadership Program
Credit Hours: