Public Health was defined by C-E.A. Winslow as the science and the art of preventing
disease, prolonging life, and promoting physical health and efficiency through organized
community efforts with the goal of enabling every citizen to realize his/her birthright
of health and longevity.
The disciplines of epidemiology and biostatistics are essential to achieving the goals
of public health, and combining these two disciplines in a single department creates
synergies for both training and research. Epidemiologists study the distribution and
determinants of health and disease in populations. Biostatisticians develop and apply
statistical theory, methods and techniques to public health research data and the
planning, implementation and evaluation of public health programs. Given the strong
overlap, epidemiologists and biostatisticians often collaborate to work toward the
shared goal of generating and analyzing data to advance the public’s health.
Within the department, the degree programs are administered under two separate streams,
the Division of Epidemiology and Division of Biostatistics.