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Arnold School of Public Health

  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics faculty members posing

Epidemiology and Biostatistics

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.

Find out more about the department and what we offer in our welcome from the Chair.

Degrees Offered

We offer eight advanced degrees in epidemiology and biostatistics. Each graduate degree has specific application deadlines and requirements.


Epidemiology and Biostatistics News


2022-2023 SPARC Graduate Research Grants awarded to 12 Arnold School graduate students

Graduate students from across the Arnold School have earned 2022-2023 SPARC Graduate Research Grants from the USC Office of the Vice President for Research to fund individual scholarship initiatives.

Rahul Ghosal

Rahul Ghosal brings functional, distributional data analysis expertise to Arnold School as assistant professor of biostatistics

The Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics welcomed Rahul Ghosal to their ranks at the start of the academic year. The assistant professor specializes in developing statistical methods with applications in the health sciences/biosciences.


Office of the Vice President for Research announces 2023 Breakthrough Award winners

Five Arnold School faculty members and three graduate students have been recognized with 2023 Breakthrough Awards. They have been honored with Breakthrough Leadership in Research, Breakthrough Star (Melissa Nolan) and Breakthrough Graduate Scholar (Gabriel Benavidez) Awards.

James Hebert

The scientific reasons you should resolve to start gardening in 2023

Arnold School scientists have contributed to new research on how community gardening increases fiber consumption and physical activity while decreasing stress and anxiety. 

Bezawit Kase

Epidemiology graduate researches ways to use nutrition to prevent cancer

During her program, Bezawit Kase explored her interest in child nutrition and built expertise in how diet can be used to reduce the risk of cancer. Her research focuses on understanding the mechanisms through which nutrition is connected to cancer risk.

Melissa Nolan

Women researchers at USC embody goals of Title IX in their educational journeys and research careers

The Office for the Vice President of Research features epidemiology assistant professor Melissa Nolan, chronicling the journey of the first-generation college graduate, what she loves about the environment at the Arnold School and how she's paying it forward.

More Arnold School News

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