Degree Programs

student and professor discussing research

The exponential growth in big data, along with rapid advances in high-powered computing and machine learning, have increased the value of critical thinking and analytics expertise to ensure proper data use and interpretation. The demand for statistical expertise is reflected in a robust job market for biostatisticians. 

  • 33%
    The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics listed statistician among the 20 occupations with the highest projected increase in jobs between 2020 and 2030, with an estimated growth of 33%.

The UCLA Fielding School of Public Health prepares critically thinking graduates with strong, highly marketable skills through four biostatistics degree programs: 

  • MDSH

    The MDSH, the department’s newest degree program, is the first Master of Data Science in Health degree offered within the University of California system. Established in response to the growing demands of the health industry for well-trained professional health-data analytics leaders, the MDSH emphasizes data analytical tools, computing, practical health data solutions, and close connections with the health industry and other fields in public health.

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  • MPH

    The MPH in Biostatistics, a two-year professional degree, prepares students for positions in which their analytical skills can help solve real-world public health problems such as disease outbreaks and environmental or industrial hazards. The curriculum teaches biostatistical methods, statistical computing, and data management in the context of public health, and includes courses spanning public health’s multiple disciplines. The program provides invaluable work experience through a mandatory internship.  

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  • MS

    The MS in Biostatistics is a springboard to successful, quantitative careers in health-related research. It can serve as a stepping-stone to the PhD or as a highly marketable stand-alone degree. The research-oriented focus prepares students with coursework in mathematical statistics and biostatistical methods. MS graduates often participate in multidisciplinary teams in which they contribute expertise in study design, data management, and data analysis.  

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  • PhD

    The PhD in Biostatistics trains biostatisticians to solve health-related problems through the research, development, and application of advanced and novel statistical methods. The program combines broad-based preparation in the mathematical underpinnings of biostatistical inference, training in diverse state-of-the-art applied statistical methods, and one-on-one mentorship in the development of novel biostatistical methods. Graduates leave with the ability to contribute invaluable insights in health-related studies through the use of statistical models and methods.  

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All four degree programs equip graduates with the know-how to apply their quantitative skills to public health problems by combining state-of-the-art training in statistical methods, computation, and data science grounded in medical and population health applications. Outside of the classroom, students participate in impactful research, hone their teaching skills, and learn about other health-related fields, all of which contributes to a rich graduate experience. Beyond the required internships built into the MPH program, many UCLA Fielding biostatistics students explore career interests through summer internships. All PhD students are fully employed as research scientists and/or teaching assistants. 

Joseph Zoller

I came to FSPH to pursue biostatistics because of the broad, interdisciplinary, and impactful research being done in the department.

Joseph Zoller
PhD Candidate, Biostatistics

Students in UCLA Fielding’s biostatistics department benefit from access to award-winning biostatistics faculty members who are actively involved in cutting-edge biostatistical and applied research in collaboration with UCLA Fielding faculty in other departments, the medical school, nursing school, and biological science departments on the UCLA campus. The multitude of projects and warmth and accessibility of biostatistics faculty members provides students invaluable opportunities to consult with some of the field’s top minds on the topics that most interest them. Students also prepare for their roles as biostatisticians on multidisciplinary teams as they interact and collaborate with classmates in other UCLA Fielding departments

Graduates of UCLA Fielding’s biostatistics degree programs are in high demand in settings that include top universities, medical centers, HMOs, and hospitals; local, state, and national government agencies; small and large biotech, pharmaceutical, and tech companies and startups; and numerous other private corporations.