MS in Biostatistics
The Master of Science or MS Biostatistics degree program equips highly trained professionals with advanced technical knowledge and research capabilities to take on statistical health data and analysis and public health research responsibilities. The curriculum provides a theoretical framework for applied Biostatistics and public health and research relevant to measuring and investigating modern biomedical and public health challenges.
The Master of Public Health or MPH Biostatistics online program is a concentration that trains persons with an advanced professional degree to work in medicine and public health in relevant teaching, research, and service roles. This degree focuses on the significance of statistics in identifying and resolving current health issues, participation in the planning and implementation of health-related studies, and the analysis and drawing of suitable conclusions from the data collected.
Specializations in Masters in Biostatistics Programs
Specializations are branches from the main degree that allow the student to acquire specific or additional knowledge and skills in a particular area of Biostatistics. Specializing opens up the gateway to a wider selection of careers and should always be considered before applying to a program. Some specializations and concentrations in an online Biostatistics Master’s include but are not limited to:
- Master of Public Health in Global Health & Applied Biostatistics
- Master of Public Health in Applied Biostatistics
- Masters in Epidemiology
- Applied Biostatistics
- Biostatistics and Epidemiology
- Biostatistics and Statistics
- Community Health
- Public Health
- Data Science
- Statistical Genetics
- Crop Sciences
- Animal Sciences
- Information Sciences
- Modeling and Methods
- Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
- Computer Science
Curriculum and Skills Gained in Online Biostatistics Masters Programs
Every online graduate Biostatistics course focuses on a specific topic related to biostatistics, epidemiology, statistics, public health, etc. The core curriculum covers applying statistical principles, processes, applications, and the analytic methods required for designing, implementing, and analyzing health-related studies. Students may also have to choose electives that align with their specific area of interest or career goals. Typically, one can expect the following courses in an online Biostatistics Master’s program:
- Epidemiology Public Health Leadership and Advocacy
- Designing Medical Studies
- Approaches to Data Analysis
- SAS Programming
- Principles of Epidemiology
- Research Methods
- Public Health Analysis
- Applied Survival Analysis
- Biostatistical Computing
- Introduction to Data Science Using R
- Biostatistical Analysis
- Statistical Theory
- Study Design
- Data Management
- Effective Methods and the Ethics of Research
- Statistical Consulting
- The Design of Clinical Trials
- Analytical Epidemiology
- Molecular Modeling and Proteomics
- Statistical Inference
- Statistics in Applications
- Epidemiology for Statisticians
- Analytic and Research Methods in Public Health
- Development of Public Health Surveillance Information Systems
- Introduction to Causal Inference in a Big Data World
- HIPAA Research Training
- Data Management & Data Analysis
- Design of Health Studies
- Advanced Biostatistical Consulting
- Fundamentals of Probability and Statistical Inference
- Communicable Disease Epidemiology
- Nutritional Epidemiology
- Environmental Epidemiology
- Fundamentals of Probability and Statistical Inference
- Applied Statistical Genetics
- Applied Bayesian Statistical Modeling
- Analysis of Mixed Models Data
- Analysis of Categorical Data in Public Health
- Statistical Methods in Clinical Trials
- Practical Biostatistics for Biomedical Laboratory Researchers
- Stochastic Epidemic Models
- Theory of Statistics, Advanced Programming and Data Analysis, and Spatial Biostatistics
- applied and theoretical multivariate methods
- public health genomics, and bioinformatics algorithms and data structures
- Multivariable Analysis for Biostatisticians, Applied Statistics in Clinical Trials
- Epidemiology of Infectious Disease
- Chronic Disease Epidemiology
- Genomic Data Manipulation
- Introduction to Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
- Cancer Genome Data Science
- Advanced Population and Medical Genetics
- Econometrics for Health Policy
- Advanced Regression for Environmental Epidemiology
- Decision Analysis for Health and Medical Practices
- Economic Evaluation of Health Policies and Program Management
Graduates of a Master’s in Biostatistics will be equipped with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to:
- better identify risk factors for disease, isolate targets for prevention, and assess the effectiveness of one or more interventions;
- understand the core concepts of Bioinformatics, including computational biology, database design and implementation, and probability and statistics;
- understand the theory and principles of statistical methods in human genetics, used for biomedical research, and advanced computing methods related to statistics;
- apply underlying principles and methods to design, plan, and conduct biomedical studies;
- apply statistical knowledge to health-related data;
- design studies, analyze data, and interpret the results so that they can be applied to the health and wellness policies and programs within a community or locality;
- collaborate with research scientists in related disciplines, and effectively communicate scientific information in both the written and oral form;
- analyze and interpret quantitative data for scientific inference, including statistical inference, graphical and tabular displays, and descriptive statistics;
- use modern computational methods to effectively analyze complex medical and public health data, including regression methods, survival data analysis, bioinformatics, and statistical genetics; and
- design research studies in medicine and public health, including study design and sample population selection, sample size justification, data acquisition and organization methods, data management methods, data analysis plans, and protocol development.
Accreditation for Online Biostatistics Masters Programs
Accreditation not only endorses a program’s expected high standards and quality but also ensures that certain defined requirements are always met, giving the program and/or college immense credibility. When pursuing higher studies or entering the job market, accreditation becomes a basic requirement, more often than not. Most online Biostatistics Master’s programs are programmatically accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), an independent agency recognized by the US Department of Education to accredit schools of public health and public health programs.
Where programmatic accreditation is absent, students will be well advised to look for at least one Regional Accreditation of the college from independent accrediting agencies such as:
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (MSA-CSS)
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC)
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
- Accrediting Commission for Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
- Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
- New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
Timeline for graduation from Online Biostatistics Masters Programs
The time it takes for a student of an online Biostatistics Master’s depends on the type of degree and program structure. While a Master of Public Health or MPH Bioinformatics usually requires about three academic semesters to complete the program, a Master of Science or MS Bioinformatics usually requires about 2 to 4 semesters. Some colleges offer the opportunity to full-time students to complete either program in roughly 18 months.
Knowledge enhancement activities such as lectures, seminars, or symposia related to a career field, may extend the overall duration of a Master’s in Biostatistics program.
Online Biostatistics Masters Programs Admission Requirements
The basic admission requirements for a Master’s in Biostatistics online program are similar to those of Data Analytics, Data Science, Digital Forensics, Health Informatics, Bioinformatics, or Epidemiology. These requirements typically include:
- An Application Form with the prescribed Application Fee
- Official Academic Transcripts
- A recommended minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.2 (or equivalent)
- A Resume
- A Personal Statement or Statement of Purpose
- 2 to 3 Letters of Recommendation
GRE requirements vary by college; while some do not require the GRE test score, others ask for it if the GPA is below 3.0.
To be considered for admission to a graduate program, applicants must fulfill certain Biostatistics Master’s prerequisites, such as:
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college in biology, biotechnology, computational biology, biochemistry, chemistry, information technology, statistics, life sciences, computer and mathematical sciences, engineering, or a related discipline.
- Coursework in topics such as molecular and cell biology, general chemistry, mathematics and statistics, introduction to computing, probability, statistics, advanced calculus, real analysis, or numerical analysis.
A few colleges require students to have completed calculus through multivariable integration, at least one semester of linear algebra and know a programming language.
In general, candidates for admission to a Master’s program in Biostatistics are encouraged to have:
- Practical knowledge of a statistical computing package such as SAS, SPlus, R, Stata, or SPSS.
- Knowledge of a scripting language such as Python or Perl.
Some colleges have specific admission requirements for different degree types. For example:
Master of Public Health or MPH Bioinformatics
- Applicants must have an advanced professional degree in a health field (MD, DVM, DDS, DO) or a health-related Master’s Degree.
- Applicants must have at least three to five years of experience directly relevant to Biostatistics or Public Health.
Master of Science or MS Bioinformatics
- Applicants must be from a background in the quantitative sciences and associated fields with career interests in Biostatistics and Public Health.
Note: Admission requirements and prerequisites vary greatly depending on the college, program, and concentration. Students should read the program guide, college prospectus or contact the admissions office for exact information.