Biostatistics, M.S.

Degree Requirements

School of Public Health Core (3 Hours)

Course Title Credits
PUBH 700Perspectives in Public Health3
Total Credit Hours3

Department Core (16 Hours)

Course Title Credits
BIOS 701Concepts and Methods of Biostatistics3
EPID 701Concepts and Methods of Epidemiology3
BIOS 745Seminar in Biostatistics1
BIOS 757Intermediate Biostatistics3
BIOS 758Advanced Linear Models in Biostatistics3
BIOS 709Basic Software for Public Health1
BIOS 711Introduction to R Programming1
BIOS 712Introduction to Stata Software1
Total Credit Hours16

Major Courses (16 Hours)

Course Title Credits
BIOS 746Introduction to Complex Survey Data Analysis1
BIOS 759Theory and Methods of Discrete Data Analysis3
BIOS 761Survival Analysis3
BIOS 770Applied Longitudinal Data Analysis3
STAT 512Mathematical Statistics3
STAT 513Theory of Statistical Inference3
Select one of the following: 13
Biostatistical Methods in Clinical Trials
Research Design in the Biomedical Sciences
Biostatistical Aspects of Bioinformatics
Introduction to Quantile Regression
Survival Analysis II
Generalized Linear Models
Bayesian Biostatistics and Computation
Multivariate Biostatistics
Intermediate Epidemiologic Methods
Nonparametric Statistical Methods
Total Credit Hours19

The student may choose an elective from outside of this list, with the permission of their advisor. 

Thesis (6 Hours)

Course Title Credits
BIOS 799Thesis Preparation6
Total Credit Hours6

Master’s Thesis

All M.S. students must complete a research project culminating in a thesis. The purpose of the master’s thesis is to apply the principles and methods learned during coursework and demonstrate basic biostatistical research skills with applications in public health data. After completion of the thesis, the student should be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Extend a known statistical technique to a new area, or apply a known technique in a novel setting;
  • Review the current literature as context for the research question;
  • Describe the statistical issue in the context of the current literature or a real data problem which motivates the proposed approach;
  • Conduct analyses to illustrate the technique or statistical issue;
  • Clearly present and interpret analytical results;
  • Draw appropriate inferences based on analytical results;
  • Discuss statistical findings in context of the current literature and implications for public health and future research.

Thesis Committee
The student, in consultation with their Academic Advisor, will select a Thesis Chair from the Biostatistics faculty (check under Full-time Faculty). Selection of the Thesis Chair should reflect the student’s research area of interest. The Thesis Chair is primarily responsible for advising and mentoring the student throughout the thesis. The Thesis Chair and student will work together to identify additional members of the Thesis Committee. The student is expected to be actively involved in assembling the committee, inquiring each prospective faculty member if they would be willing to serve on the committee. The committee will consist of a minimum of three members, including the Thesis Chair and at least one other departmental faculty member whose research interests are aligned with the student’s thesis goals. The third member may be from any other academic department who has expertise and interest in the student’s research area. Additional members having special expertise may serve at the student’s and Thesis Chair’s discretion. Once the committee members are finalized, the student completes a Master’s Thesis Committee Appointment Form and submits it to Graduate Director for approval.
Registering for Thesis Hours

Students actively working on their thesis can register for thesis credit hours (BIOS 799) only if approved by the Thesis Chair. Contact the Program Coordinator for thesis section. A total of six thesis credit hours are required for graduation. If a student completes the requisite six thesis credit hours and has not defended and submitted the thesis, the student must register for at least one thesis credit hour each semester that they are working on the thesis.
Thesis Timeline
The complete thesis must be read, critically evaluated, and approved by all members of the Thesis Committee. In accordance with Graduate School guidelines, the following deadlines must be met.

  • Initially, the student must prepare a written thesis proposal and present the proposal to the Thesis Committee for approval. Typically, the thesis proposal consists of the introduction, literature review, potential issues/motivations, and statistical methodology that the student intends to use for the thesis, which forms the basis of the first two chapters of the final thesis. The presentation of the proposal should be no less than 3 months prior to the thesis defense. The Thesis Proposal Approval form must be submitted to the Graduate Director upon completion of proposal defense (see Forms section).
  • A first draft of thesis should be submitted to the Thesis Committee at least two weeks before the defense (six weeks before the date of graduation), or earlier if requested by the committee (please refer to the suggested sample timeline on page 46).
  • The final copy of the thesis is to be submitted to each committee member at least 30 days prior to the end of the semester (see timetable for approximate dates) or at least two weeks prior to the thesis defense, whichever is earlier (please refer to the suggested timetable on page 46).
  • The thesis defense should be scheduled for a date after all members of the Thesis Committee receive the final copy of the thesis.
  • Announcements of the presentation should be posted at least one week prior to the defense. The thesis defense should be scheduled in an available classroom or conference room. Please contact the Program Coordinator to prepare announcements and schedule a room.
  • There are two phases of the thesis defense: public presentation and the oral exam. The candidate must publicly present the thesis in a 30-45-minute presentation. Following this, the candidate must pass an oral examination, which shall be administered immediately following the presentation and evaluated by the Thesis Committee. The oral examination will focus on the technical and scientific aspects of the thesis topic and may cover any subject matter relevant to the student’s field of study. One of three decisions may be reached at the end of the thesis defense:
    • 1) accepted as is; 2) accepted on the condition that certain changes are made within a specified time frame; 3) rejected.
  • Not later than five weeks before graduation, the thesis draft should be submitted via the electronic thesis and dissertation (ETD) process to The Graduate School for preliminary thesis format check. The student can view the format guide, ETD samples, and templates and submit their document at the Thesis & Dissertation portal. The student is responsible for making sure the thesis meets The Graduate School’s requirements.
  • All Thesis Committee members must approve the final version and sign the Thesis Signature and Approval form (TSF) (see Forms). If the student, with committee approval, should wish to publish a manuscript from their thesis, a letter requesting delayed release (embargo) of dissemination must accompany the TSF, signed by the student’s Thesis Chair and Graduate Director.
  • The student should provide each Thesis Committee member with a PDF copy of the thesis as submitted to The Graduate School or in a manner agreed upon by the committee member. Final approval is given by The Graduate School via the ETD process. The final approved thesis must be submitted via the ETD process no later than 20 days before graduation.