MPH Biostatistics

The Biostatistics track builds on the classic public health biostatistics skill and knowledge base and takes advantage of special knowledge of its faculty in the areas of genetics, bioinformatics and big data science. Students have the opportunity to learn and apply statistical genetics in the context of complex disease study, high-throughput computing used in “big data” science and applications in evidence-based patient-centered outcome studies. Courses include topics and material such as interpretation of personalized and evidence-based medicine in the context of public health; basic understanding of genetics and epigenetics; and general “omic” approaches and concepts.

Biostatisticians go on to work in hospitals, for health insurance systems, pharmaceutical companies, companies producing health-related products, or health non-profits, among other opportunities. Job prospects for new graduates with Biostatistics degrees are excellent, with typical starting annual salaries as high as $65,000, according to the American Statistical Association.

Biostatistics Track (22 credits)

In addition to the common MPH core classes

Required Courses (13 credits)

PH 710: Seminar in Biostatistics and Bioinformatics (1 credit)
PH 711: Intermediate Biostatistics (3 credits)
PH 712: Probability and Statistical Inference (3 credits)
PH 713: Analyzing Observational and Experimental Data (3 credits)
PH 718: Data Management and Visualization in R (3 credits)

“S”electives – Choose three (9 credits minimum)

PH 707: Introduction to Statistical Computing (1 credit)
PH 709: Public Health Informatics (3 credits)
PH 714: Statistical Genetics and Genetic Epidemiology (3 credits)
PH 715: Applied Categorical Data Analysis (3 credits)
PH 716: Applied Survival Analysis (3 credits)
PH 717: Applied Longitudinal Data Analysis (3 credits)
PH 720: Special Topics in Biostatistics and Bioinformatics (1 – 3 credits)
PH 721: Introduction to Translational Bioinformatics (3 credits)
PH 722: Introduction to Bioinformatics in Biomedical and Public Health Sciences (3 credits)
PH 723: Clinical Trials (3 credits)

Faculty expertise in: Genetic determinants of common chronic diseases (including heart disease, bleeding disorders, Type II diabetes, stroke and colorectal cancer); using genomic technologies and bioinformatic and biostatistical techniques to accurately predict risk and treatment response in cancer and cardiovascular disease; major molecular mechanisms and pathways that modulate disease progression; using biomedical informatics, mathematical modeling and simulations to characterize and predict the use of genetics in medical practice and in particular pathology; use of high-throughput genetic technologies such as micro-arrays and next generation sequencers in the discovery and applications of genetics to complex diseases and environmental-gene development pathways; and statistical methods and computational tools to identify genetic variants that influence the susceptibility to complex diseases such as cancer of the breast, colon/rectum, lung and prostate.

Biostatistics track competencies

  1. Function as a collaborator with community partners on public health projects and in developing recommendations for appropriate study designs that advance social justice and population health.
  2. Translate research objectives into testable hypotheses.
  3. Differentiate between quantitative problems that can be addressed with routine methods and those requiring input from a doctoral-level biostatistician.
  4. Demonstrate a broad knowledge and understanding of statistical techniques used in public health studies and health-related scientific investigations.
  5. Identify and apply a variety of appropriate statistical methods for developing inferences about public-health-related questions.
  6. Demonstrate basic programming skills in multiple statistical software packages and data management and integration techniques for public health and big data projects.
  7. Apply basic informatics techniques with vital statistics and public health records in the description of public health characteristics and in public health research and evaluation.
  8. Interpret and critique statistical analyses in publications for public health professionals.
  9. Demonstrate a cognizance of the social, environmental and public health contexts that are impacted by the results of statistical analyses.
  10. Demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills when reporting statistical results to different audiences of public health professionals, policy makers and community partners.
  11. Formulate and produce graphical displays of quantitative information (e.g., scatter plots, box plots and line graphs) that effectively communicate analytic findings.
  12. Differentiate between ethical and unethical reporting of data and results.

Information Sessions

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Credits and Courses

All students enrolled in the MPH program take a common set of core classes designed to give basic skills and knowledge of public health concepts. The core curriculum consists of at least 20 credit hours, including at least three credits Field Experience and a two-credit capstone seminar. In addition to the common core, students complete the required coursework in one of five specialization tracks: Biostatistics, Community and Behavioral Health Promotion, Environmental Health Sciences, Epidemiology, or Public Health Policy and Administration. The MPH degree varies from 42-48 credits depending on the track. Students must maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 or better in order to progress through the program.

Please note: All courses subject to change. Please consult the Graduate School Bulletin for the most up-to-date information.

MPH Required Common Core Courses (at least 20 credits)

PH 702: Introduction to Biostatistics (3 credits)
PH 703: Environmental Health Sciences (3 credits)
PH 704: Principles and Methods of Epidemiology (3 credits)
PH 705: Public Health Policy and Administration (3 credits)
PH 706: Perspectives in Community and Behavioral Health (3 credits)
PH 790: Field Experience in Public Health (at least 3 credits)
PH 800: Capstone in Public Health (2 credits)

To be considered for admission, applicants must complete the required online application via the School of Public Health Application System (SOPHAS).