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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

Jihong Liu

Healthy Start program improves health behaviors, practices according to new research

The study found that the program resulted in significant reductions in inadequate prenatal care, large-for-gestational-age births, and inadequate weight gain during pregnancy as well as positive impacts on breast feeding and public service practices.

Emily Farrell

I Am Public Health: Emily Farrell

Emily Farrell is a student in the Master of Public Health in Epidemiology and Maternal and Child Health Certificate of Graduate Study programs. Follow her journey with this I Am Public Health spotlight.

garnet asterisk

Three doctoral candidates win 2023 Breakthrough Graduate Scholar Awards

Gabriel Benavidez (Epidemiology and Biostatistics), Maggie Carson (Environmental Health Sciences), and Valerie Yelverton (Health Services Policy and Management), are recipients of three of these prestigious honors.

Melissa Nolan

National Academies appoints Melissa Nolan to Forum on Microbial Threats

Melissa Nolan, associate professor of epidemiology, has been selected to serve on the Forum on Microbial Threats for the National Academy of Medicine. The forum convenes leaders to discuss critical scientific and policy concerns related to infectious diseases.


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.

More Arnold School News

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