The M.S. in Biostatistics is a two-year program. It is designed to train students to meet the growing need in managed care organizations, medical research, and the pharmaceutical industry for graduates with technical skills in data analysis. In contrast to the more general M.P.H. degree, the M.S. degree emphasizes the mastery of biostatistical skills from the beginning of the plan of study. While graduates of this program may apply to the Ph.D. degree program, the M.S. degree is itself quite marketable as a terminal degree.
Download the PDF version of the MS course requirements.
BIS 525a,b, Seminar in Biostatistics
BIS 540a, Fundamentals of Clinical Trials
BIS 623a, Applied Regression Analysis
BIS 625a, Categorical Data Analysis
BIS 628b, Longitudinal and Multilevel Data Analysis
BIS 630b, Applied Survival Analysis
STAT 541a, Probability Theory
STAT 542b, Theory of Statistics
BIS 695c, Summer Internship in Biostatistical Research
EPH 600b, Research Ethics and Responsibility
(BIS 695c and EPH 600b, do not count towards the 14 course units)
Students must choose two Biostatistics Electives from the following courses:
BIS 557a, Computational Statistics
BIS 561b, Advanced Topics and Case Studies in Multicenter Clinical Trials
BIS 643b, Theory of Survival Analysis
BIS 646b, Nonparametric Statistical Methods and their Applications
BIS 651b, Spatial Statistics in Public Health
BIS 691b, Theory of Generalized Linear Models
Students must choose one Public Health elective (not in Biostatistics)
Students must choose two additional electives
In the second year of the MS program, the student is required to execute a program of independent
research under the direction of a faculty member. This project usually falls into one of these main areas:
1. Development of a new statistical theory or methodology.
2. A computer-based simulation study to illustrate properties of an existing method.
3. The analysis of a real data set.
The student is required to prepare a written thesis under the supervision of a Biostatistics
faculty member. Upon completion of the thesis, the student will make an oral presentation
of the results of his/her work.
For specific instructions on the organization, mechanics, and publication of the thesis,
see Appendix II: Thesis Guidelines in the Bulletin.
Upon receiving an MS degree in Public Health with a concentration in Biostatistics, the student will be able to:
- Describe advanced concepts of probability, random variation and commonly used statistical probability distributions.
- Develop an efficient design for collecting, recording, and storing data collected in the conduct of public health and medical research.
- Develop sample size and statistical power calculations for basic study designs including those utilized in clinical trials.
- Design efficient computer programs for study management, statistical analysis, as well as presentation using SAS and other programming languages.
- Produce edited data sets suitable for statistical analyses.
- Apply advanced informatics techniques with vital statistics and public health records in the description of public health characteristics and in public health research and evaluation.
- Perform analyses of stated hypotheses using a variety of analytical tools including analysis of variance, multiple regression, nonparametric statistics, logistic regression, multivariate analyses, and methods for analyzing rates and failure time data.
- Interpret results of advanced statistical analyses and use these results to make relevant inferences from data.
- Produce working tables and statistical summaries describing research in health science.
- Develop written presentations based on intermediate to advanced statistical analyses for both public health professionals and educated lay audiences.
- Develop oral presentations based on intermediate to advanced statistical analyses for both public health professionals and educated lay audiences.
Prerequisites - Biostatistics Track
The candidate should have an undergraduate degree with major emphasis in a quantitative science. Mathematics majors are typical applicants to the program, although applicants with training in a variety of areas are encouraged to apply. At a minimum, all applicants should have completed the following coursework, with a minimum GPA of B or better, prior to matriculation:
- One year of calculus and a course in linear algebra
- A one-year sequence in mathematical statistics
- Knowledge of statistical computing (SAS and/or S-plus)