Graduate Academic Programs

Master's Degree Programs

Master of Science in Biostatistics Major

Description of Program

The M.S. program in Biostatistics will prepare the students with various academic and professional goals, such as to become clinical scientists, public health researchers, and biostatisticians in pharmaceutical industry. The students will receive fundamental training in probability and statistical theory, regression models, and statistical packages. They will also gain expertise in modern topics such as statistical learning, high-dimensional models, and clinical trials. Our program also emphasizes research in interdisciplinary areas, effective collaboration and communication with scientists and practitioners. Studets are prepared for quantitative doctoral programs in public health, such as biostatistics and epidemiology.

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 36 credit hours is required to complete the M.S program in Biostatistics. A minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) is required for graduation. A minimum grade of C is required in each course.

Complete the following required course (0 credits)

  • Students in the M.S. in Biostatistics degree program must complete the Public Health Foundations online prerequisite prior to the first day of classes. Complete details and registration information for this experience can be found at the following website:

Complete each of the following biostatistics core courses (24 credits)

  • SPH-E 651 Epidemiology (3 cr.)
  • SPH-Q 651 Ingtroduction to Statistical Distributions in Public Health (3 cr.)
  • SPH-Q 652 Biostatistical Inference (3 cr.)
  • SPH-Q 603 Categorical Data Analysis (3 cr.)
  • SPH-Q 604 Applied Linear Regression (3 cr.)
  • SPH-Q 605 Analysis of Multi-level and Longitudinal Data (3 cr.)
  • SPH-Q 611 Statistical Packages in Research (3 cr.)
  • SPH-Q 612 Survival Analysis (3 cr.)

Complete a 3-credit biostatistics elective course (3 credits)

Options include any SPH-Q or STAT-S course at 600-level or above. Recommended choices include:

  • SPH-Q 602 Multivariate Statistical Analysis (3 cr.)
  • SPH-Q 654 Modern Regression Methods (3 cr.)
  • SPH-Q 657 Biostatistical Methods for Clinical Trials (3 cr.)
  • STAT-S 626 Bayesian Theory and Data Analysis (3 cr.)
  • STAT-S 650 Time Series Analysis (3 cr.)
  • STAT-S 660 Sampling (3 cr.)
  • STAT-S 611 Applied Statistical Computing (3 cr.)
  • STAT-S 670 Exploratory Data Analysis (3 cr.)
  • STAT-S 675 Statistical Learning: High-Dimensional Data Analysis (3 cr.)
  • STAT-S 676 Statistical Learning: Model Selection (3 cr.)

Complete a 3-credit multi-disciplinary elective course or another biostatistics elective above (3 credits)

A multi-disciplinary course is recommended to provide background knowledge for the areas where biostatistical methods are applied, such as biology, genetics, psychology etc.

Complete one of the following two options for biostatistics research (6 credits)

Option 1: Thesis option

  • SPH-Q 699 M.S. in Biostatistics Thesis (6 cr.)

Option 2: Non-Thesis option

  • Pass an M.S. competency exam administrated by the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • An additional biostatistics elective course (3 cr.)
  • An additional biostatistics elective course (3 cr.)
Special Opportunities

Students have the opportunity to develop skills by participating in research activities supervised by faculty members or in collaboration with other graduate students. The students may also have the opportunities to work with our external industry partners. Students are strongly encouraged to publish research results in professional journals and via presentations at national conferences.


The field of biostatistics is unique in that it combines elements of the medical field with that of math, statistics, and science, offering a wide array of different types of jobs in biostatistics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the job outlook for biostatistics to grow 30% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations (i.e., 5%). Biostatisticians are hired by a wide variety of industries and institutions: 

  • State and local health departments (e.g., the Indiana State Health Department and Monroe, Marion, and Morgan County Health Departments).
  • Federal government agencies (e.g., the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration).
  • Pharmaceutical companies (e.g., Pfizer, Merck, Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb).
  • Technology companies (e.g., Google, Microsoft, Amazon).
  • Medical device companies (e.g., Cook).
  • Insurance companies (e.g., Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc., and Cigna Corporation).
  • Institutes of higher education (e.g., the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago).
  • International agencies (e.g., the World Health Organization and the U.S. Agency for International Development).
  • Consulting firms.
  • Medical centers and health care facilities.

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