Master of Science in Biostatistics
Q: Is there a specific undergraduate degree required for admission into the Master of Science in Biostatistics?
No. Admission to the program requires a previous course in statistics, preferably at a sophomore level or above, calculus II and a course in linear algebra.
Q: Is the Graduate Records Exam (GRE) required for admission?
Yes, we require scores from the general GRE as part of the application. While there is no lower bound for GRE scores to gain admission, we look at this as a component of a comprehensive review of the application for admission.
Q: Is a foreign credential evaluation of transcripts from international institutions required?
Not necessarily. English-language copies of all post-secondary official transcripts must be included as part of the application materials. After review of these transcripts, the department’s admissions committee may require submission of a foreign credential evaluation in addition to the originally submitted transcript.
Q: What are the English language proficiency requirements for admission?
Students must achieve a minimum score on the TOEFL exam (550 on the paper-based TOEFL, 213 on the computer-based TOEFL, 79 on the Internet-based TOEFL), a score of 6.5 or better on the IELTS examination, successful passing of an exit examination for the advanced level of an Intensive English as a Second Language Program, or demonstration of a degree awarded from an institution with instruction primarily in English, as formally documented by an appropriate institutional official.
Q: What type of information should be included in the statement of purpose?
The statement of purpose should cover your background, experiences, and motivations and reason for undertaking graduate work in biostatistics. It is important that this statement describe both your strengths and weaknesses so that the admission committee can make an informed decision regarding admission.
Q: What is the difference between Biostatistics and Bioinformatics?
Biostatistics is the development and application of statistical methodology for health sciences including medicine, nursing, dentistry, and public health. If you envision statistics as a set of tools for designing studies, collecting and analyzing data, reporting results, and making evidence-based decisions, then biostatistics is the set of tools you use most often when working with data in the health sciences.
Bioinformatics is a rapidly growing field of statistics involving the discovery and application of statistical methods for proteomic, genomic, metabolomic, and other data. Genetic research has made dramatic advances in recent years, creating massive data sets as well as a need for statistical and computational methods for handling such data. Bioinformatics provides the tools necessary for appropriately handling such data and turning masses of genetic data into information.
Q: What are possible career outcomes?
There is a very high demand for biostatistical training in many industrial sectors including the insurance, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries, as well as at research institutions and various government agencies (NIH, FDA, Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics etc.). Job growth data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics predict that there will be a 34% increase in the need for statisticians in the labor market from 2014-2024 (https://www.bls.gov/ooh/). Another study by McKinsey Global Institute predicts that the United States will need over 150,000 professionals with expertise in statistical methods by 2018 (www.mckinsey.com). Our graduates have secured employment at Humana, Google, UPS, NIH, Texas Children’s Hospital, and several other major employers in the United States.
What are the advantages of an MS in Biostatistics over a Bachelor’s degree in statistics or mathematics?
Graduates with Master’s degrees in Biostatistics tend to be more attractive to employers in the industrial market than graduates with Bachelor ’s degrees are and generally better compensated, too. The 2015 Salary Survey of Business, Industry, and Government Statisticians published by the American Statistical Survey shows that the median salary for an entry-level employee in industry with a Master’s degree in statistics, biostatistics, or mathematical statistics was $83,700
Can the MS degree be completed part-time?
Yes. Our advisors work with part-time students to develop course plans for completion of the degree.