As the amount of health-related electronic data has exploded in recent years, the need for people with the skills to analyze and utilize this information in the service of public health has become crucial. To help meet that demand, the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health will offer a new master of data science in health degree program beginning this fall.
The program, designed for both working professionals seeking to thrive in this data-rich environment and recent college graduates hoping to enter the burgeoning field, will be housed in the school’s department of biostatistics and will provide instruction in a wide range of data science methods, including statistical modeling, machine-learning and data engineering, mining, visualization and communication.
By developing the knowledge to effectively process and deploy information from sources as varied as public health surveys, patient medical records and genomic sequencing databases, as well as growing data from wearable health devices, environmental sensors and even social media, program participants will position themselves to help shape public health policy and health industry practices well into the future, said Dr. Ron Brookmeyer, dean of the Fielding School and a distinguished professor of biostatistics.
“The ubiquity of health information presents both an unprecedented opportunity and enormous responsibility,” Brookmeyer said. “With our school’s longstanding academic strength in this area and our close community partnerships, we are ideally situated to lead multidisciplinary initiatives that turn data science into better health outcomes locally and globally.”
The program will be delivered in hybrid mode, with in-person weekend classes and weekday online sessions. Students will typically enroll in two classes per quarter and earn their degree in two years.