Major: Biostatistics
Degree Awarded: Master of Science (MS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 48.0
Co-op Option: None
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 26.1102
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 11-9121; 15-2041

About the Program

Students in the Master of Science in Biostatistics program gain the skills necessary to apply statistical, mathematical, and computational techniques to scientific research in health-related fields, including medicine, epidemiology, and public health. Biostatistics is an integral and indispensable tool in improving health and reducing illness. Biostatisticians play essential roles in designing studies and analyzing research data. Graduates are employed in public health research and service organizations, university research groups, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, health-related industries, and government. The demand for biostatisticians in the job market has been consistently strong. New technologies are generating an unprecedented amount of data which present exciting opportunities for biostatisticians with strong computational skills.

The program provides students with a thorough understanding of biostatistical methods, strong computational skills, and the ability to apply this knowledge to research focusing on health-related problems. The program prepares students to handle the quantitative and computational aspects of a research project including study design, data collection and management, developing analysis plans, conducting analyses, and reporting findings both orally and in writing. Coursework includes statistical theory and methods, computing and data management, epidemiology, and general public health topics. Incorporated into the second year is a two quarter-long practicum experience working on a real academic, government, or industry project in a sponsoring organization setting. The practicum-based research project will involve the application of biostatistical analysis to a problem of significance to the sponsoring academic, government, or industry organization with joint oversight provided by a Department faculty member and an on-site PhD-level biostatistician.

Major Competencies

  • Apply appropriate quantitative methods to evaluate the determinants and epidemiology of health and disease
  • Manage and maintain analytic datasets
  • Execute a data analysis plan
  • Communicate statistical findings effectively and succinctly using data visualization tools and appropriate summaries
  • Work collaboratively with researchers in public health, medicine, and other health science disciplines

Additional Information

For more information about this program, please contact:

DSPH Academic Advising Team
Office of Education

Additional information can be found on the Dornsife School of Public Health website, including admissions criteria and how to apply.

Degree Requirements

Required Biostatistics Courses
BST 551Statistical Inference I3.0
BST 553Longitudinal Data Analysis3.0
BST 555Introduction to Statistical Computing3.0
BST 557Survival Data Analysis3.0
BST 567Statistical Consulting3.0
BST 569Linear Statistical Models4.0
BST 570Generalized Linear Models4.0
BST 675Statistical Consulting Lab1.0
BST 701Advanced Statistical Computing3.0
Required Epidemiology Course
EPI 570Introduction to Epidemiology3.0
Other Required Courses
BST 699Data Analysis Project6.0
MATH 510Applied Probability and Statistics I3.0
PBHL 501Introduction to Public Health0.0
Students must select 9.0 credits total. Some potential electives include the following:9.0
Survival Data Analysis
Applied Multivariate Analysis
Design & Analysis of Clinical Trials
Nonparametric and Semiparametric Models
Applied Bayesian Analysis
Applied Survey Research in Epidemiology
Epidemiology for Public Health Practice
Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Perinatal Epidemiology
Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology & Prevention
Making Sense of Data
Pathophysiologic Basis of Epidemiologic Research
Autism as a Public Health Challenge
Total Credits48.0

Sample Plan of Study

First Year
BST 5553.0BST 5513.0BST 7013.0VACATION
BST 5694.0BST 5704.0Biostatistics Electives6.0 
MATH 5103.0EPI 5703.0  
 10 10 9 0
Second Year
BST 5573.0BST 5533.0  
BST 5673.0BST 6993.0  
BST 6751.0PBHL 5010.0  
BST 6993.0Biostatistics Elective3.0  
 10 9  
Total Credits 48
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