Master of Science in Public Health Sciences for Clinical Professionals (MSCP)

The Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Chicago offers a course of study in the theory, methods, and concepts of biostatistics, epidemiology, and health services research needed to design and carry out clinical and epidemiologic research programs.  It is designed for the professional enhancement of individuals who already have doctoral-level expertise in Medicine and related clinical disciplines.  The curriculum leads to the degree of Master of Science (M.S.).

The program can be completed in one year of full-time study, or it can be spread over two or more years.  Most students in the program are concurrently in a clinical fellowship or training program.

Students in the program acquire skills with basic statistical methods, followed by additional training in the fundamental theory and methods of epidemiology, biostatistics, and health services research.  Through choice from a broad range of elective courses, students can specialize in one of the three disciplinary areas.

Admissions requirements
Applicants should either have a doctoral-level clinical degree (such as M.D., D.O., or nursing Ph.D.) from an accredited institution, or must have completed pre-clinical training at an accredited medical school.  In the latter case, the candidate must provide a plan for completion of both the M.D. and M.S. degrees, and a letter of support from the candidate’s medical school.  The degree program may be pursued while the candidate will be participating in a clinical training or fellowship program.  In this case, the candidate should ensure that the time commitments of the two programs could both be met.  Candidates must also submit a statement describing how the proposed course of study will enhance their professional objectives.

Applications are due March 15 and are completed online. 
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Program requirements
A candidate in this program for the degree of Master of Science in Public Health Sciences must (a) complete the following core courses:



  • PBHS 32100 - Introduction to Biostatistics (fall quarter) (Statistics 22000 or equivalent can be substituted for this course)
  • PBHS 32410 - Regression Analysis for Health and Social Research(winter quarter)
  • PBHS 32700 - Biostatistical Methods (spring quarter)


  • PBHS 30910 – Epidemiology and Population Health (fall quarter)
  • PBHS 31001 - Epidemiologic Methods (winter quarter)

Health Services Research

  • PBHS 35100 - Health Services Research Methods (spring quarter)



*Any substitution for core courses must be approved by the MSCP Program Director.
(b) complete three electives approved in advance by the Program Director, for a total of 9 courses.  Electives may be courses in Public Health Sciences or any other unit of the University. 

(c) complete a Master’s paper, which must be approved by two faculty readers, one of whom is a faculty member in the Department of Public Health Sciences and one who will be approved by the MSCP Program Director.

**It is expected that the degree will be completed no later than one year after the student has successfully finished the coursework.

***Note additionally that the Division of Biological Sciences requires a minimum grade of B in all required courses, as well as an overall minimum average grade of B. Students receiving less than a B in a required course will be placed on academic probation and will be required to retake the course. They will remain on probation until a grade of B or higher is received in the course. If while on probation, a student received less than a B in another required course, the student will be terminated from the program.

Program recommendations
The Department of Public Health Sciences offers a weekly, 90-minute workshop/seminar series in the autumn, winter, and spring quarters.  Seminars focus on topics in biostatistics, epidemiology, health services research, economics, public policy, and sociology.  The current seminar schedule can be found at the department website.  We recommend that MSCP students attend seminars that complement their MSCP curriculum and interests.

Program contacts
Diane Lauderdale, Ph.D., MSCP Program Director, 773-702-2453.