About Us

The Department of Public Health Sciences is the home for biostatistics, epidemiology and health services research at the University of Chicago.  

We study individual, collective, environmental and organizational factors that affect the health of human populations, as well as methods for carrying out such research. Department members draw on the disciplines of statistics, epidemiology, genetics, psychology, sociology, demography and economics in the study of health, health care and biomedical science from a population perspective. The Department provides a unique environment where cross-disciplinary research in these areas of inquiry can flourish.

The University of Chicago approved the creation of the Department of Public Health Sciences within the Division of the Biological Sciences in Spring of 1993. Dr. John Bailar joined the University as founding department chair in November, 1995, and the department began full operations in fall, 1996. Dr. Bailar was succeeded as chairman by Ronald Thisted in January, 1999.  Professor Thisted served as Chair for 14 years.  On April 1, 2014 Professor Diane S. Lauderdale was appointed Chair by Dean Polonsky. 

The Department has students and faculty in the disciplines of biostatistics, epidemiology, and health services research. In addition, the Department provides methodologic expertise to researchers in other departments through Biostatistics Laboratory. The Biostatistics Laboratory has 9 full-time biostatisticians, epidemiologists, and computer scientists. They have active collaborations with every clinical department in the Biological Sciences Division, as well as projects involving faculty members throughout the University.

The Department's educational programs provide both professional and academic training. We offer two graduate degree programs, one leading to the Ph.D. degree, and the other to a Master of Science in Public Health Sciences for Clinical Professionals (MSCP).  We also offer a certificate in clinical research methods in conjunction with the Institute for Translational Medicine.