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About Us: Epidemiology and Biostatistics


Picture of Professor Amir Sapkota

On behalf of the faculty, staff and students, I warmly welcome you to the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the UMD School of Public Health! The department aims to understand and improve the health of populations through research, teaching and community outreach. Faculty members are actively engaged in cutting-edge research to address critical public health problems in Maryland and around the world. I would like to invite you to become acquainted with our course and degree offerings, faculty expertise in research, and student achievements and opportunities.

Our mission is to train the next generation of epidemiologists and biostatisticians in rigorous epidemiology and biostatistics methods and their applications to address real-life public health problems. The department offers the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in epidemiology and in biostatistics. We also support certificate programs in epidemiology and in biostatistics.

One of the greatest advantages of our department is its location in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. This unique location provides faculty and students with unparalleled opportunities for research, internship, thesis and dissertation projects, as well as placements at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (e.g., National Institutes of Health, National Center for Health Statistics, Food and Drug Administration), Children's National Medical Center, the Maryland Department of Health, and many other national, state and local health agencies.

Looking forward to meeting you!

Amir Sapkota, PhD
Chair and Professor

health data visualization

What is Epidemiology and Biostatistics?

Epidemiology and biostatistics are complementary but distinct disciplines. Epidemiology is the study of trends, patterns and causes related to disease or health events in populations. It explores how diseases affect and spread in populations and investigate the social determinants of health. Biostatistics provides essential analytical methods that are needed to assess the impact of disease and health programs. Through a combination of statistics, probability, and computing skills, biostatisticians are a key component to biomedical research and public health practice. Students will acquire the expertise necessary to design and implement basic and applied research in disease etiology, control and prevention. After graduating from our programs, students will be well prepared to conduct epidemiologic research, analyze data, interpret results and disseminate findings in academic, government, private sector and community health settings.