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MPH in Biostatistics

Offering Department: 
Program Description: 

A Master of Public Health in Biostatistics offers exceptional opportunities to contribute to transforming public health by solving real-world problems like disease outbreaks and environmental and industrial hazards, using skills that few people have. This professional degree program, a natural direction for individuals with strengths in applied mathematics, includes course work focused on biostatistical methods and programming and data management in the context of public health, as well as a core of courses spanning multiple disciplines of public health. The program also includes field training and a comprehensive examination. The MPH is typically a two-year program, but can be completed in less time by well-prepared students.

Preparation for the Degree

Mathematics preparation for the program should include at least one year of calculus:

  • Mathematics 31A, B - Calculus and Analytic Geometry
  • Mathematics 32A - Calculus of Several Variables

Program Requirements

The program requires the completion of 62 quarter-credit units.

1. Course Requirements in Biostatistics (34 units)

MPH students are required to take three core biostatistics methods courses in year one.  Typically MPH students in Biostatistics meet this requirement by completing one of the three series below:

  • Biostatistics 200A, 100B and 406  
  • Biostatistics 200A, 200B and 200C
  • Biostatistics 200A, 200B and 406.  

The difference between the biostatistics methods sequences (200A, 100B, 406 vs. 200A, 200B, 200C) is that the 200 sequence has more technical and mathematical detail while the 100B/406 sequence focuses on more practical applications. The 200 sequence is taken by MS students in the Department of Biostatistics while the 100B/406 sequence is often taken by MPH students in other departments in the School of Public Health. The decision of whether the Biostatistics 200 sequence is an appropriate fit should be made in consultation with the student’s academic advisor, career goals and prior mathematical background. In order to register for the Biostatistics 200 sequence students will need a PTE (permission to enroll) number. To obtain a PTE number students should contact Roxy Naranjo ( and the 200-course instructor.

  • Biostatistics 200A, Methods in Biostatistics
  • Biostatistics 100B, Introduction to Biostatistics  or 200B, Methods in Biostatistics
  • Biostatistics 406: Applied Multivariate Biostatistics or Biostatistics 200C, Methods in Biostatistics

 In addition to the 3 methods courses above, students are required to take:

  • Biostatistics 201A: Topics in Applied Regression
  • Biostatistics 201B: Topics in Applied Regression
  • Biostatistics 203A: Introduction to Data Management and Statistical Computing
  • Biostatistics 400: Field Studies in Biostatistics (4 units)
  • Biostatistics 402A: Principles of Biostatistical Consulting (2 units)
  • Biostatistics 595: Effective Integration of Biostatistical Concepts in Public Health Research
  • And 12 units of biostatistics elective courses chosen from courses in the 200 series with course numbers of 203B and above or from the 400 series.

Note: carefully check course prerequisites to ensure eligibility for the courses and consult with academic advisor.

Required courses for the degree must be taken for a letter grade. 

2. Core Course Requirements in Public Health (20 units)

  • Public Health 200A and B: Foundations in Public Health
  • Public Health 411: Public Health as Profession

3. Comprehensive Examination

An MPH Culminating Written Report is required.

  • Should demonstrate the application of the material in the curriculum to a public health problem
  • Typically motivated by the Field Training Experience
  • Draft must be submitted to committee at least 1-2 weeks prior to scheduling the Oral Exam
  • Needs to be approved by the faculty supervising the report
  • Examples of reports from recent graduates are available in the Biostatistics Library and via Box. Email the Student Services Officer for the link.

An Oral Presentation of MPH Culminating Report is required

  • During the oral examination the student presents his/her work to the faculty committee (minimum of three members of the biostatistics faculty including the project advisor) and answers questions
  • Must receive successful pass from the faculty committee.

The Oral Presentation and Written Report may be repeated only once.

4. Field Training

Field training in an approved public health program of up to ten weeks is required of MPH candidates. A minimum of four units, but no more than eight units is required. 

Time To Degree

The MPH in Biostatistics is typically a two year program (6 academic quarters), but can be completed in less time by well-prepared students.

Typical Course Sequencing

To view a typical sequence of classes for the MPH in Biostatistics, please consult the MPH in Biostatistics Sequence of Classes document.


Desired Qualifications

In addition to the University’s Minimum Requirements, most applicants for the MPH in Biostatistics have a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics, or in a Physical, Biological or Social Science. We also recommend some programming experience, some experience in Statistics or Biostatistics and some experience with a Statistics computer package.

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.

We encourage you to apply as early as possible. After June 1 you should consider applying for the following year's admission cycle.

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

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.


Biostatisticians have the potential to have enormous scientific impact in medicine, public health, life sciences, survey research, and computer science. There is tremendous variety in possible fields of application, including AIDS, cancer, genetics, imaging, bioinformatics, immunology and public policy. Graduates of the program work in a variety of policy and management healthcare settings. Examples of positions include consulting, project management, financial analysis in healthcare organizations, research positions and administration.

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 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.



* 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.