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DrPH in Biostatistics

Offering Department: 
Program Description: 

Biostatistics is one of the most exciting areas of applied statistics, and biostatisticians collaborate with scientists in nearly every area related to health and biology to apply statistics to real world problems using skills that few people have, and that are in demand by employers. Statistical models and methodologies have provided invaluable insight into the etiology of AIDS, cancer, genetics, psychology and numerous other areas of scientific research – statistical models can help cure disease and improve the quality of life.

The DrPH in Biostatistics combines public health training with biostatistical methods and programming, and data management. The DrPH program is suited to those individuals who wish to apply various statistical methods to the solution of problems in the health sciences. This program provides substantial public health training, in addition to training in a large number of statistical methods that are of particular use in studying problems in public health. The nature of the DrPH dissertation is applied problem solving, and must demonstrate the ability for independent investigation.

Preparation for the Degree: 

Mathematics and statistics preparation for the program should include at least two years of calculus:

  • Math 31A, B Calculus and Analytic Geometry
  • Math 32A, B Calculus of Several Variables
  • Math 33A, B Matrices, Differential Equations, Infinite Series
  • ŸMath 115A Linear Algebra
Public Health preparation for the program must include the following courses (or equivalent) if Master’s degree is not in Public Health:
  • ŸCom Hlth Sci 100 Behavioral Sciences and Health Education
  • ŸEnv Hlth Sci 100 or 101 Introduction to Environmental Health
  • ŸEpidemiology 100 Principles of Epidemiology
  • ŸHlt Pol & Mgnt 100 Health Services Organization
If you have not taken these courses, be sure to include them in the course of study after admission.

Program Requirements

The program requires the completion of the following elements:

1.  Course Requirements

Unless previously taken, students are required to take the following courses:

  • Biostatistics 202A: Theoretical Principles of Biostatistics
  • Biostatistics 202B: Topics in Estimation
  • Biostatistics 200A, B, C: Biostatistics
  • Biostatistics M215: Survival Analysis
  • Biostatistics 250A, B: Linear Models
  • Biostatistics 245: Doctoral Seminar
  • Biostatistics 409: Biostatistics consulting
  • Three graduate-level courses in Biostatistics selected with consent of advisor (courses used for the MS degree at UCLA cannot be used here)
  • Three courses in the 400 series selected with consent of advisor (courses used for the MS degree at UCLA cannot be used here)

2. Written Examinations

a) Screening examination

This written examination covers the equivalent of the following courses and is taken before the end of the first year in the DrPH program:

  • Biostatistics 110A, B: Basic Biostatistics
  • Biostatistics 202B: Topic in Estimation
  • Biostatistics 200A, B, C: Biostatistics
  • Biostatistics M215: Survival Analysis
  • Biostatistics 403A: Computer Management of Health Data
  • Biostatistics 406: Applied Multivariate Biostatistics

 Note: The written comprehensive examination for the MS in Biostatistics given by the UCLA Biostatistics program may be used as a substitute for this examination. Students taking this examination as part of the requirements for the MS degree may be asked to take the examination again after entering the DrPH program.

b) Doctoral Comprehensive Examination (Written Qualifying Exam)

Courses which help to prepare for the examination includes (in addition to those listed on the previous page for the screening examination):

  • Biostatistics 250A, B: Linear Models

3. Breadth Requirement

a) Students must take a minimum of 24 units, selected with the consent of the academic advisor, in the 200 or 400 level courses, from at least two Fielding School of Public Health Departments other than Biostatistics.

b) The School also requires students to select an additional area of concentration. Biostatistics students fulfill this requirement by enrolling in Biostatistics 409 (doctoral statistical consulting seminar: field training course) for 3 consecutive quarters. This requirement must be met prior to advancement to candidacy.

4. Doctoral Seminar

All doctoral students must register for Biostatistics 245, advanced seminar, every quarter and attend regular weekly seminars scheduled by the Department. At least once each year, each student will present a seminar.

5. Oral Examinations and Dissertation

a) Oral Qualifying Examination

The oral examination examines the student’s understanding of statistical theory and his/her ability to apply this knowledge to problems in health research. The proposed dissertation topic is also reviewed. Once a student has passed this exam, he or she can advance to candidacy.

b) Dissertation and Defense

After successfully completing a dissertation under the guidance of a Biostatistics faculty member, an oral examination defending the dissertation is required. A failed examination may be repeated once on the recommendation of the committee.

Time To Degree

The DrPH program is normally completed in 6 years.

Admissions

Desired Qualifications

In addition to meeting the University’s minimum requirements:

Mathematics and statistics preparation for the program should include at least two years of calculus:

  • Math 31A,B: Calculus and Analytic Geometry
  • Math 32A,B: Calculus of Several Variables
  • Math 33A,B: Matrices, Differential Equations, Infinite Series
  • Math 115A: Linear Algebra

Public Health preparation for the program must include the following courses (or equivalent) if your Master’s degree is not in Public Health:

  • Com Hlth Sci 100: Behavioral Sciences and Health Education
  • Env Hlth Sci 100 or 101: Introduction to Environmental Health
  • Epidemiology 100: Principles of Epidemiology
  • Hlt Pol & Mgnt 100: Health Services Organization

*If you have not taken these courses, be sure to include them in the course of study after admission.

Admissions Process

Applicants are only admitted in the Fall.  Applicants who wish to be considered for all financial aid considerations should have their applications, letters, transcripts and official GRE scores here at the School of Public Health by December 1 of the year preceding the desired entrance year.

The department will accept late applications, but we encourage you to apply as early as possible. After June 1 you should probably consider applying for the following year's admission cycle. Late applicants are less likely to be considered for financial aid.

The application process has three steps. You must:

  1. Submit an on-line application and pay the application fee at SOPHAS,
  2. Submit an online application and pay the application fee at UCLA Graduate Admissions, and
  3. Mail required academic documents and test scores to SOPHAS and to UCLA's School of Public Health.

For complete application instructions and the list of required materials, review the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Admission Application Check List and Submission Instructions.

As we receive many more qualified applicants for the program than there are available spaces, meeting the minimum requirements for admission does not ensure admission to the program. 

Tuition and Fees

Total new student mandatory fees for 2015-16 for residents are $23,129.74. For non-residents, total mandatory fees are $35,830.74.  Fees are subject to change and should be used as a guide only. For the most up to date fees and more information on fee breakdown, visit the registrar's office.

Please see FSPH Financial Opportunities page for information on awards, scholarships, training opportunities, employment, summer internship funding, and need-based aid. Please note that opportunities listed under 'Summer Internship Funding' are only applicable to MPH students.

Careers

Graduates from UCLA's Biostatistics programs are recruited by top-notch employers. Our students get jobs at excellent universities, companies, and government agencies. Many graduates stay in the Los Angeles area or elsewhere in California, but our graduates are recruited by employers across the United States and indeed around the world. Graduates often work in academia, government, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and other private sector industries.

Faculty in this Department

For a list of faculty in this department, please click here.

To search all School of Public Health faculty members by name, department or area of expertise, click here.

Helpful Links

Who to Contact for More Information

For more information or for questions on the program, please contact Roxy Naranjo at rlnaranjo@ph.ucla.edu or 310.267.2186.

 

*This information is intended as an overview, and should be used as a guide only. Requirements, course offerings and other elements may change, and this overview may not list all details of the program. For the most up-to-date information, please consult the registrar’s office.

Attachments: 
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PDF icon FSPH Biostats Student Handbook 2017-18441.86 KB

* Admission requirements listed are Departmental requirements, and are in addition to the University's minimum requirements. Many programs receive more applicants than can be admitted, so meeting the minimum requirements for admission does not ensure admission. Every effort is made to ensure minimum admissions requirements are up to date - for the most up-to-date information on the University's minimum requirements, please visit the UCLA Graduate Division.

** Fees are subject to change and should be used as a guide only. For the most up to date fees and more information on fee breakdown, visit the registrar's office.