Certificate in Health Data Science

The deadline has been extended to June 1, 2024.


The Certificate in Health Data Science (CiHDaS) is a 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.


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

Minimum requirements for admission are:

  • Bachelor’s degree (BA/BS) or the equivalent from an accredited institution in a quantitative or biomedical science, or related field, with a minimum grade point average of 3.0.
  • International applicants from non-English speaking countries must also demonstrate proficiency in English by:
    • Completing one year of full-time study with a minimum GPA of 3.2 at a college or university in the United States that has been accredited by an accreditation agency or state agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, or
    • Earning a degree from a college or university outside of the United States with instruction fully in English, or
    • Obtaining the minimum scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) - administered by ETS, or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see the Graduate Division’s International Admission Requirements for minimum scores; note that the Health Data Science program minimum internet based TOEFL iBT score is 100. Test scores are valid from these institutions for a maximum of two years from the test date. TOEFL official scores must be sent to UCSF’s institutional code 4840; for IELTS scores, email a copy of your score report to [email protected].​​​​​​.

International students who have completed degrees in countries where English is the native language are exempt from the testing requirement.

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)
    June 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