Minor Area of Concentration

In consultation with the Curriculum Committee, each student will develop a minor program of study to complement his/her major area of concentration. The intent of the minor requirement is to provide complementary expertise that places the student’s major concentration in a substantive, multidisciplinary context. The student will take 3 additional courses in that area which are neither core nor concentration courses. The program may comprise courses from any Division or School on campus. 

Tailored to each individual student, the minor will vary in its degree of specificity from student to student. It may be one of the other three broad areas represented by the Department faculty, an area represented by another department or school, or it may be a more specialized, emerging or synthetic area that is distinct from the major area of concentration; examples include psychiatric or cancer epidemiology, economics and epidemiology of aging, and clinical trials design, human genetics, cancer biology, genetic or molecular epidemiology, bioinformatics, medical decision making, or survey research methods. The minor area should not be a specialization or subfield within the major concentration, as this does not fulfill the intent of broadening the student’s perspective. Ideally, the major and minor concentrations will pair contextual with methodological training. For example, a biostatistics student may decide to minor in human genetics or in cancer epidemiology to gain knowledge in a substantive area of application. An epidemiology student focusing on cancer epidemiology may select cancer biology or human genetics for more substantive knowledge, and an epidemiology student focusing on social epidemiology may select sociology or, more specifically, network analysis as a minor. A health services research student focusing on health economics may decide to minor in computer science, public policy, or econometrics/biostatistics.  Students should discuss their potential choice of minor with the Curriculum Committee and the program director no later than the summer after the first year of the program.

In many cases, the combination of portions of the core curriculum and the minor program will approximate traditional Master's level training in a given area. For example, a student with a minor in biostatistics or epidemiology will accrue 5 or more courses in that area from the core curriculum and minor curriculum over the course of the program.