Biostatistics & data science

Improving the health of people by interpreting data and transforming it into knowledge.

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Leading in a data-driven world

The Department of Biostatistics and Data Science is the academic home for statisticians and data scientists working to help people live better by translating data into public health knowledge.

We believe that the synergy between statistics and data science has the means to revolutionize the way we improve population health and deliver healthcare services. This intersection drives evidence-based decision-making in both research and industry, and already serves an integral role in enhancing the quality of life for people around the world. We equip our students with the knowledge and experiences needed to thrive in this era of Big Data. Our well-established faculty develop and maintain interdisciplinary networks across the Texas Medical Center, and use these relationships to ensure students have the opportunity to tackle real world challenges as part of their education.

“As a biostatistics student at UTHealth School of Public Health, you will develop expertise in the theory and practice of biostatistics, working with faculty who are renowned leaders in statistical theory and its applications to health sciences. Recently we have also developed new education programs in data science, including a Data Science Certificate and an Advanced Data Science Certificate, to develop our students’ ability to analyze and integrate Big Data from biomedical and health sciences.”

Dr. Hulin Wu
Department Chair

What are biostatistics and data science?

Statistics is a field, with a foundation in mathematics and probability theory, to develop and use the methods, theories and computational algorithms for data collection, analysis, interpretation and presentation to address scientific or business questions, in particular, dealing with the uncertainty and variation of the data.

Biostatistics is a field to develop and use statistical methods, theories and computational algorithms to address the questions from biomedical and health science fields.

Data Science is an interdisciplinary field that uses techniques, methodologies and theories from computer science, statistics, mathematics and other quantitative fields to manage, process, analyze, visualize, integrate and annotate data in order to extract useful knowledge to address scientific questions and/or improve business performance.

Department mission

Preparing the next generation of statisticians and data scientists for a data-driven world.

Biostatistics uses statistical tools and methods to make sense from the vast quantities of data generated by biomedical research and real-world practice. Through classroom instruction and hands-on experience, our students learn to operate in two roles, both as leaders in their field and as expert translators of data and statistics for their project partners and clients. Each role is equally important. As leaders in statistics, our students are primed and ready to use and develop state-of-the-art statistical methods to tackle challenging data problems from real-world projects. As project partners, our students learn to collaborate with biomedical and health science investigators to address scientific questions effectively using statistical and data science methods, and articulate findings to stakeholders in a way that is meaningful and actionable. While our PhD program in biostatistics is among the top 6 of the largest biostatistics PhD programs in the country, upon completion of their degree, all of our students are prepared to safeguard public health and improve lives of people in academia, industry, government, and beyond

Department History

Authorized in 1947, the Texas State Legislature appropriated funds for the UT School of Public Health in 1967. The first class was admitted in 1969. Currently it is one of the six schools in  The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), a public academic health science center in Houston, Texas, which was created in 1972 by The University of Texas System Board of Regents.  It is located in the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world.

571 Total Number of Biostatistics and Data Science Graduate Students and Alumni
220 PhD Students
289 MS Students
62 MPH Students

Read More About Department History

Department contact information


Dr. Hulin Wu
(713) 500-9586
[email protected]



Marice Barahona
(713) 500-9440
[email protected]

Academic and admissions advisor:

Emmanuel Moon
(713) 500-9564
[email protected]

Admission chair:

Dr. Wenyaw Chan
(713) 500-9321
[email protected]

Biostatistics and data science research

The Department of Biostatistics & Data Science has a diverse array of statistical and data science research areas available to our faculty and students. A major strength and component of our department is the Coordinating Center for Clinical Trials (CCCT), which has a more-than-40-year history of successfully coordinating large multicenter clinical trials and providing comprehensive services for these endeavors. Our  Center for Spatial-Temporal Modeling for Applications in Population Sciences (CSMAPS) is a collaborative and innovative hub which aims to uncover hidden patterns and dynamics within public health data, providing crucial insights across a myriad of public health fields - including infectious disease control, cancer research, mental health research, environmental health, health disparities, chronic disease management, and implementation sciences. We also recently established the Center for Big Data in Health Sciences (CBD-HS), which hosts several Big Data research projects, including development of predictive models and heterogeneous data integration methods for Electronic Healthcare Record (EHR) data, insurance claim data, and data from public databases or data repositories.

Our faculty’s research interests and efforts include:

  • Clinical Trials
  • Experimental and Adaptive Designs
  • Survival Data Analysis
  • Longitudinal Data from Observational and Epidemiological Studies
  • Bayesian Methods in Public Health
  • Bioinformatics/Computational Biology
  • EHR/EMR, Insurance Claim and Healthcare Data Modeling/Analysis
  • Imaging Data Analysis
  • GIS/Spatio-temporal Data Analysis
  • Risk and Disease Progression Modeling
  • Unstructured Data Analysis
  • Big Data Analytics
  • Data Management, Harmonization and Integration
  • Data Visualization and Software Tool Development
  • Missing Data
  • Stochastic Processes
  • Nonparametric statistics
  • Time Series Data
  • Casual Inference
  • Statistical Genetics
  • Machine Learning Methods

You can see the research interests for each of individual faculty members on our faculty website.

Degree programs

Designed for professionals working in health care or industries related to public health, research, and biostatistics, the coursework consists of data science, data analytics and predictions, analytic methods, and data management. We offer the following degree programs:

Master of Science (MS)

The MS in Biostatistics and Data Science is a minimum of 36 semester credit hours and is generally a two-year program for full-time students. Training is offered in research design, basic statistical theory, data analysis, computer applications, and statistical consultation. The program emphasizes fundamental statistical approach and methods and computational skills and provides the basis for doctoral level biostatistical studies.

Admission Requirement: Complete multivariate calculus.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The Ph.D. in Biostatistics and Data Science is a minimum of 48 semester credit hours and is generally a four-year, full-time program beyond the Masters of Science degree or a five-year, full-time program beyond the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. Prepared to become independent investigators, graduates emerge with a full understanding of the development and application of biostatistical analyses to tackle human health and disease crises. The Ph.D. curriculum is designed to allow students to prepare themselves to assume senior statistical positions in governmental or private health research agencies or follow careers in teaching and research.

Admission Requirement: Complete multivariate calculus and a semester of linear algebra.

Certificates offered

Taking a class or getting a certificate is a great way to enhance your current career skills, or help you decide if pursuing a degree in public health is the right choice for you. Non-degree or certificate courses can count towards a degree program, as long as the courses taken align with the requirements described in the degree program planner.

For non-degree seeking students:

For degree-seeking students

Center for Biostatistics Collaboration and Data Services

Our new Center for Biostatistics Collaboration and Data Services will provide opportunities for our faculty and students to collaborate and interact with biomedical and health science investigators to address scientific questions using their statistical and data science skills.

Consulting Areas

  • Biostatistics consulting and data analysis services
  • Data management services
  • Data science services


Dr. Vahed Maroufy
(713) 500-9588
[email protected]

Seminar Series

When Title Presenter Where
02/02/2024 Leading Pharmaceutical Drug Development through Proficiency in Biostatistics and Data Science Xiaolong Luo, Sarepa Houston location, RAS E-102A
02/20/2024Principles for Designing Complex Data AnalysesPeng, Roger, UT AustinRAS E-102A
02/27/2024TBDMargaret Gamalo, PfizerRAS E-102A
03/05/2024TBDWenge, Guo, NJITOnline or RAS E-101
03/12/2024TBDTru Cao RAS E-102A
03/26/2024TBDTru CaoRAS E-102A
04/02/2024TBDDr. Dehan Kong, University of TorontoOnline or RAS E-101
04/09/2024TBDDr. Bo Wang, University of Mass. Medical School RAS E-102A
04/23/2024TBDRob Krafty, Chair Emory Biostatistics RAS E-102A
04/30/2024TBDNathan B CruzeTBD
  • A Special Conference

    With the first class admitted in 1969, the Department of Biostatistics and Data Science at UTHealth Houston School of Public Health is celebrating its 55th Anniversary. For this special milestone in the history of the Department, the conference is organized to invite researchers and alumni in the United States and around the World to come to give talks and discuss problems, share results, identify emerging issues, and establish academic collaboration on Biostatistics and Data Science in the new era of data-driven sciences.

    The conference will be held in the home building of the School of Public Health at UTHealth Houston, where many generations of our students have been studying. This is also a home-coming event for our alumni who are a pride of the Department for their successes and achievements.”

    CLICK HERE FOR DETAILSA Special Conference on Biostatistics in the New Era of Data-Driven Sciences

    55th Anniversary Special Conference

    Support grows for the new UTHealth COVID-19 Center of Excellence   

    Bringing together expertise and access to the best clinical care, research trials, discovery science, and public health knowledge, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) has established the UTHealth COVID-19 Center of Excellence.

    READ MORESPH - Center of Excellence

    UTHealth researchers and physicians, from left, Luis Ostrosky, MD; Bela Patel, MD; and Henry Wang, MD, MPH, are leading clinical trials on COVID-19.

    Emily Gordon will represent UTHealth School of Public Health   

    Two UTHealth School of Public Health students have been selected by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) to join the 2020-2021 cohort of This is Public Health Ambassadors.

    READ MORESPH - Emily Gordon TIPH

    Emily Gordon

    New updates to preliminary exam policy   

    The Department of Biostatistics and Data Science has updated the Preliminary Exam Policy as of April, 2021

    READ POLICYSPH - 4/21 Prelim ExamNews

    Department of Biostatistics and Data Science Logo

    Congratulations to the recipients of this year's Preliminary Exam Award Winners!   

    Jiachen Lu, MS, and Shiming Zhang, are the winners of the Highest Overall Score and Highest Theory Score awards, respectively, for this year’s Biostatistics and Data Sciences Preliminary Exam. Congratulations!


    Shiming Zhang and Jiachen Lu, left to right

    US Department of Defense Recommends Funding to Department of Biostatistics and Data Science 

    The Department of Defense has recommended $750,000 in funding for research led by the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health’s Department of Biostatistics and Data Science. The study, “Leveraging FITBIR Data to Improve Clinical Practice of Severe Traumatic Brain Injury,” is led by Dr. Jose-Miguel Yamal.

    READ MORESPH - Research Update - TDI

    Jose-Miguel Yamal's headshot.

    Mapping the spread of COVID-19 in Texas

    A working team of faculty, staff and students recently launched a visualization dashboard which provides real-time data analytics to monitor COVID-19 spread in the state of Texas.

    READ MORESPH - Our Impact - Covid Dashboard

    An image of the world made to look like the outline of a coronavirus. (Image is Creative Commons)