Certificate in Health Data Science at UC San Francisco

The application for entrance in Summer 2024 is now open. Application deadlines are detailed below in the “How To Apply.” Apply Now!

The Certificate in Health Data Science (CiHDaS) is one-year program, ideal for those already working in the biomedical or pharmaceutical industries, focused on applying biostatistics, data science and epidemiological thinking in clinical research settings. 

The CiHDaS program is intended for:

  • Quantitative science learners interested in studying data science with a focus on biomedical applications.
  • Numerically able biomedical scientists interested in applying data science methods in clinical, epidemiological and biological sciences.

Data science and biostatistical tools are increasingly necessary to accommodate the growing emphasis on precision and evidence based-medicine, the widespread analyses of electronic health records, and the improved capabilities to collect and store massive datasets. 

We also offer a Master’s of Science in Health Data Science (MiHDaS) as a two-year program that includes a capstone research project, teaching and industry experience. You can find more information about the MiHDaS here.


Certificate students are required to complete a minimum of 28.5 units of coursework over a 1-year (4 quarters) period. The required courses are listed in the table below. Students are welcome to take additional elective courses.



Year 1


Summer Quarter


Responsible Conduct of Research (EPI 201)


Opportunities and Challenges of Complex Biomedical Data (BIOSTAT 202)


Introduction to Programming for Health Data Science in R (BIOSTAT 213)


Fall Quarter


Epidemiologic Methods I (EPI 203)


Programming for Health Data Science in R II (BIOSTAT 214)


Biostatistical Methods for Clinical Research I (BIOSTAT 200)


Data Science Program Seminar


Winter Quarter


Biostatistical Methods for Clinical Research II (BIOSTAT 208)


Machine Learning in R for the Biomedical Sciences (BIOSTAT 216) 


Data Science Program Seminar


Spring Quarter


Biostatistical Methods for Clinical Research III (BIOSTAT 209)


Advanced Machine Learning for the Biomedical Sciences II, (DATASCI 225)


Data Science Program Seminar




Health Data Science Bylaws

UCSF Graduate Program Health Data Science (HDaS) Bylaws_APPROVED 11172022

How to Apply

  • Timeline:
    September 15, 2023: Application opens for the 2024-25 year
    January 15, 2024: International student priority deadline (applications received by this date will be reviewed first)
    April 1, 2024: Final application deadline
    Mid-July 2024: Admitted students begin courses
    Applications are reviewed on a monthly basis. Early application submission is particularly encouraged for applicants originating outside of the San Francisco Bay Area who may require housing or student visas and for applicants who will need to apply for financial aid. Submit the following required materials to the UCSF Graduate Division online application.
  • Transcripts. Applicants must upload unofficial transcripts from every academic institution attended, even if you did not receive a degree. Alternatively, you may upload a scanned copy of an official transcript. The program does not require official transcripts until admission. If you completed coursework/degrees outside of the United States, you must submit transcripts translated into English. You may upload an unofficial copy of your World Education Services (WES) course-by-course credential evaluation; however, this is optional for your application and you do not need to send your official WES report until you are admitted. Additionally, if your university does not issue grades in a 4.0 grade point scale, you will need to convert your grades for the application. The World Education Services provides a free online GPA calculator for this purpose.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation. These letters should be from individuals who are familiar with the nature of your preparation for graduate school and who can provide insight into your potential to succeed as a scientist. We require that at least one letter be from someone who is familiar with your academic strengths and weaknesses, ideally a faculty member with whom you have worked during your education.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae. Include all applicable information including but not limited to: education; honors and awards; positions held; membership and service in societies; research experience/projects; computer skills; language proficiency; extracurricular interests; and community service.
  • Statement of Purpose (2,000 character limit including spaces). Describe your reasons for interest in the program. Include your objectives, potential research interests and goals, and how you envision acceptance into the program can help you accomplish these.
  • Personal History Statement (2,000 character limit including spaces). You are welcome to share any other information that is not included in your CV or elsewhere in your application that might be relevant for the admissions committee to know, such as: What unique characteristics you bring and can contribute to a cohort of master’s students. If you have below a 3.0 GPA or if there is an area of potential concern in your transcript or CV, please address any extenuating circumstances.
  • Application fee: U.S. citizens or permanent residents may qualify for an application fee waiver. International applicants are not eligible to apply for fee waivers. See guidelines on Application Fee Waivers to determine your eligibility for this exemption. To request the waiver, select the “application fee waiver” option in the payment area of the online application.
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores: see above minimum requirements for international applicants from non-English speaking countries