Epidemiology is the study of the distribution of health and disease in populations and of the factors that influence that distribution. Epidemiology is a basic health science and is central to public health. The knowledge gained from epidemiologic studies can be used to understand disease processes and to develop programs intended to improve the health status of populations. In addition, epidemiologic studies are an essential component of the evaluation of the effectiveness of such programs.
The Epidemiology Division is a part of the School of Public Health of the University of California at Berkeley. At any one time, approximately 140 full-time students are enrolled in masters and doctoral degree programs in epidemiology and a combined masters degree program in epidemiology/biostatistics. In addition to taking courses within the School of Public Health and on the rest of the Berkeley campus, students in the epidemiology program conduct independent epidemiologic research at the School, in a wide array of other settings in the San Francisco Bay Area, elsewhere in California, and in various national and international settings.
The School of Public Health is located on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley, which is internationally recognized as one of the leading research universities in the world. The Berkeley campus is home to outstanding academic programs and world-renowned faculty in almost every conceivable field. As a result, the campus attracts students and visitors from around the world and provides an intellectually rich environment. The School of Public Health is a 10-15 minute drive from the California Department of Public Health and is a short commute to the University of California at San Francisco, one of the leading medical centers in the United States. Within a few hours drive from Berkeley are the vineyards of Napa and Sonoma, national parks such as Point Reyes, Yosemite and Lassen, breathtaking Pacific Coast beaches and cliffs, and, of course, San Francisco.
Berkeley and the San Francisco Bay Area provide almost unparalleled ethnic diversity, outstanding music, art, theater, and other cultural activities, and some of the finest restaurants in the United States.
The School of Public Health has state-of-the-art microcomputer facilities and the Berkeley campus has one of the most advanced mainframe computer systems in the world. The Public Health Library, which also serves as the library for the California Department of Public Health, has the largest collections of any school of public health library. Students also have ready access to the outstanding use of libraries on the Berkeley campus and the medical libraries at UC San Francisco and at Stanford University.
Epidemiology faculty and students have the opportunity to work with epidemiologists and other scientists at a large number of nearby institutions. Included among these are UCSF, Stanford University, the California Department of Public Health, numerous county health departments, the Northern California Cancer Center, the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program, Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, the Alcohol Research Group, the Human Population Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute.