PhDs in Population Health Sciences with a Biostatistics emphasis are the leaders of data-driven health care delivery. Graduates will direct research in academic, government, policy and health system settings.


Population Health Scientists with expertise in Clinical and Translational Epidemiology use advances in understanding of the molecular basis of disease to improve patient treatment and outcomes.

health systems

Population Health is at the heart of a shifting health care landscape, using rigorous methodologies and research design to strategically improve care delivery to patient populations.

PhDs in Population Health Sciences are at leading edge of a new interdisciplinary approach to health care for people worldwide.

Crystal Xu
Crystal Xu, PhD Graduate with a Biostatistics Emphasis, presents a poster the 2019 Annual Statistical Association Meeting on Estimating the Optimal Individualized Treatment Rule from a Cost-Effectiveness Perspective.
Holeman Hike

Teryn Holeman, MD/PhD student, enjoying the beautiful Wasatch Front and hiking with her husband. Check out all that Utah has to offer besides a great education.  

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Amir Lueth

Amir Leuth, a PHD Student in the Clinical & Translational Epidemiology Emphasis, presenting a poster at the 2020 Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine Conference on Placental Abruption in Nulliparous Women.

Football Game
Our PhD Students enjoying a football game in Fall of 2019Learn More



The Biostatistics emphasis in this interdisciplinary program is distinguished by its rigorous training and practical collaboration. In this training program, students will develop essential expertise in theory and methods in biostatistics. Students will have opportunities to not only work with Biostatistics faculty in development of statistical theory and methods, but also collaborate with health systems researchers, translational epidemiologists, and clinical and basic science investigators across the University of Utah and around the globe. We aim to train the next generation of biostatisticians with skills needed to analyze complex biomedical data in the Big Data era, and academic leaders who are committed to improving patient and population-oriented care.

The curriculum of each student will be tailored to his or her background and objectives. In addition to core statistical training in probability, statistical inference, epidemiology, statistical programming, regression modeling, survival analysis, and categorical data analysis, the PhD program particularly emphasizes the development of expertise in study design, machine learning, analysis of big data, modern causal inference, and methods for analysis of multi-level data. Students are encouraged to pursue elective courses in related areas of application including bioinformatics, health economics, public health, and computer science.

Within the required coursework, students have the opportunity to develop a highly individualized plan of study with their faculty advisor. Students may orient their thesis to either novel applications of statistical methods or to the development of new methods, while publishing their research in academic journals.

Download Biostatistics Info Card (pdf)

Clinical & Translational Epidemiology

Clinical and translational epidemiologists work with lab scientists to develop optimal patient treatments based on cellular and molecular research findings.

The clinical & translational epidemiology track of our innovative 4-year curriculum reflects the translational process from cells to symptoms. A strong foundation of epidemiology complemented by coursework in biostatistics and biomedical informatics will prepare graduates with a unique blend of skills positioning them for success in transforming health care delivery.

Download Clinical & Translational Epidemiology Info Card (pdf)

Health Systems Research

PhDs in Population Health Sciences foster data-driven health care delivery while working in academic, government, policy, research, and health system settings.

The 4-year curriculum mirrors the novel interdisciplinary nature of population health sciences.

The PhD program complements and interfaces with existing graduate programs in public health, biomedical informatics, medicine, pharmacotherapy, mathematics, economics, political science, computing, nursing, statistics, and more.

Download Health Systems Research Info Card (pdf)

Education Team

Maureen Murtaugh

Maureen Murtaugh, PhD
Director of Graduate Studies



Marcie Leek, MPA
Academic Program Manager


Questions? Contact us by phone or email:

Phone: 801-587-2100

Williams Building, Room 1N490
295 Chipeta Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84108