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Master of Science in Biostatistics-Decision Science

Major: BDSCMSBIO
Degree Awarded: MS
Unit: GH
Program Webpage: http://louisville.edu/sphis/bb/academics


Program Information

Biostatistics involves the development and application of statistical techniques to scientific research in health-related fields, including medicine, epidemiology, and public health. Students in the M.S. program will receive state-of-the-art training in the latest statistical methodologies in order to tackle the challenges associated with the study design and data analysis of modern research conducted in the health sciences.

Decision science (or formal decision analysis) is an emerging, cutting-edge discipline that provides researchers with additional tools with which to develop the clinical and healthcare policies and guidelines that affect public health.

The M.S. program in Biostatistics-Decision Science is in the Department of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics.

Competencies

To graduate, a student must be able to demonstrate mastery of the following competencies:

  1. Read, interpret, and evaluate for optimality the biostatistics content of scientific and biomedical journal articles.
  2. Analyze moderately complex research data using statistical methods involving common linear statistical models.
  3. Manage data using spreadsheet and database software.
  4. Use standard statistical and graphics computer packages including SAS, Microsoft Excel, and SPSS.
  5. Keep abreast of statistical methods literature to evaluate and utilize new statistical methods.
  6. Thoroughly understand the broad discipline of biostatistics, including its theoretic underpinnings, its history of development, current applications, and areas of active inquiry.
  7. Understand advanced biostatistical operations.
  8. Conduct independent research.
  9. Advance the field of biostatistics through original research.
  10. Read and critically evaluate decisions analyses published in the literature.
  11. Understand and apply the concepts of public health and information sciences to clinical decision making and decision analysis.
  12. Thoroughly understand the broad discipline of decision science including its theoretic underpinnings, its history of development, current applications, and areas of active inquiry.
  13. Advance the field of decision science through original research.


Demonstration of competencies 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 12 is achieved by successful completion of required coursework. Demonstration of competencies 6, 8-11, and 13 is achieved by successful development, execution, completion, and defense of the thesis.

Admission Requirements

Applicants are required to submit the following:

  1. Graduate application (see http://graduate.louisville.edu/apply) submitted to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies (SIGS).
  2. Non-refundable application fee.
  3. At least two letters of recommendation written within past twelve months (can be submitted with form at http://graduate.louisville.edu/apply).
  4. Submission of GRE scores to SIGS (85th percentile or better on Quantitative section is preferred).
  5. All post-secondary transcripts (may require foreign credential evaluation if not from accredited U.S. institution).
  6. Statement of goals submitted to the department office (must include desired academic and degree program).
  7. Foreign credential evaluation is required for each degree not from an accredited U.S. institution. This requirement may be waived, with approval by the dean, for degrees not considered to be relevant to evaluation of the applicant or whose transcript requires no foreign credential evaluation.
  8. A baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution is required for admission.
  9. A minimum undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 is required for unconditional admission.
  10. International students for whom English is not their primary language must show English language proficiency by one of:
    • Award of a degree from an accredited U.S. institution
    • Official TOEFL score of 100 or higher (iBT, or Internet-Based Test), 250 or higher (CBT, or Computer-Based Test), or 600 or higher (PBT, or Paper-Based Test)
    • Official documentation of passing the exit examination for the advanced level of the Intensive English as a Second Language Program at the University of Louisville


Curriculum


Faculty Advisor

Upon admission to the M.S. program, each student is assigned to work with the director of the program. The director assumes the role of faculty advisor until the student chooses a thesis advisor at which point this responsibility shifts to the thesis advisor.

Program of Study

Upon admission to the M.S. program, a program of study is developed for each student by the faculty advisor and approved by the program director. Decisions regarding additional coursework are made by the faculty advisor, and such courses become part of the program of study. This approach gives maximum flexibility for addressing differing student qualifications and interests.

Degree Requirements

The M.S. biostatistics-decision science is a 36 credit-hour program including the thesis. Additional hours may be needed for completion of the concentration program.

Coursework

36 total credit-hours of required coursework
     24 credit-hours of core coursework
     3-6 credit-hours of concentration coursework
     6-9 credit-hours of thesis research

Required Coursework

Semester

Course #

Course Title

Credit-Hours

Fall I

PHEP-618

Epidemiologic Methods II

3

PHST-661

Probability

3

PHST-680

Biostatistical Methods I

3

Semester Total

9

 

Spring I

PHST-662

Mathematical Statistics

3

PHST-681

Biostatistical Methods II

3

 

Elective course

3

Semester Total

9

 

Fall II

PHST-602

Biostatistics-Decision Science Seminar

1

PHCI-624

Clinical Trials I

2

 

Concentration course

3

 

Concentration course

3

Semester Total

9

 

Spring II

PHST-602

Biostatistics-Decision Science Seminar

1

PHDA-603

Public Health Practicum I

2

 

Concentration course(s)

6

Semester Total

9

 

Degree Total

36

 

Electives

An elective course must be chosen from the following list or as approved by student’s faculty advisor.

Electives

Course #

Course Title

Credit-Hours

MATH-566

Nonparametric Statistics

3

MATH-567

Sampling Techniques

3

MATH-568

Mathematical Models in Molecular Biology

3

MATH-667

Methods of Classification

3

PHBI-750

Statistical Methods for Bioinformatics

3

PHEH-500

Introduction to Environmental Health

3

 

Biostatistics Concentration

Coursework

Biostatistics Concentration Coursework

Semester

Course #

Course Title

Credit-Hours

Fall II

PHST-683

Survival Analysis

3

PHDA-666

Master’s Thesis Research

3

Semester Total

6

 

Spring II

PHST-684

Categorical Data Analysis

3

PHDA-666

Master’s Thesis Research

3

Semester Total

6

 

Concentration Total

12

 

Decision Science Concentration

Coursework

Decision Science Concentration Coursework

Semester

Course #

Course Title

Credit-Hours

Fall II

PHDA-663

Analysis for Decision Making (cross-listed with IE-643)

3

PHDA-666

Master’s Thesis Research

3

Semester Total

6

 

Spring II

PHDA-666

Master’s Thesis Research

6

 

Concentration Total

12

 

Thesis

To successfully complete the M.S. degree, each student must successfully defend a master’s thesis on a topic approved by his or her major professor and thesis committee.

Thesis Committee

Students choose a principal advisor (major professor) and at least two other committee members. One member of thesis committee must be from allied department in the university. The committee is appointed by the dean of the school upon the recommendation of the program director.

Thesis Preparation

The thesis is to be prepared in format and binding according to the guidelines established by the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies (SIGS).

Thesis Approval

The thesis is to be submitted in completed form to the chair of the thesis committee at least fifteen days before the end of the term in which the candidate expects to be graduated, and the candidate is not eligible for the final oral examination until the thesis has been accepted by the committee.

The thesis committee schedules an oral examination of the candidate, which all faculty and students of the department are invited to attend. This defense is scheduled at the convenience of the members of the thesis committee. The thesis is approved by a majority vote of the committee.

Thesis Distribution

One unbound copy of the thesis, signed by the thesis committee, must be deposited with SIGS before graduation. A copy of the final, signed thesis must also be deposited with the department office.



Departmental Faculty


Guy Brock, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Somnath Datta, Ph.D.

Professor

Susmita Datta, Ph.D.

Professor

Jeremy Gaskins, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Maiying Kong, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

K.B. Kulasekera, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair

Doug Lorenz, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Riten Mitra, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Shesh Rai, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Dongfeng Wu, Ph.D.
Associate Professor



Contact Information

Biostatistics-Decision Science - MS

Susmita Datta,Ph.D.
Program Director
(502)852-0081
susmita.datta@louisville.edu
 

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