Degree Requirements

PDF Version

Download the PDF version of the PhD course requirements.

The Ph.D. degree with a concentration in Biostatistics requires a minimum of 16 course units (not including Seminar, Applied Area Readings and Summer Rotation). This Ph.D. program requires the student to complete the following courses. All “a” courses are offered in the fall term, “b” courses are offered in the spring term

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

Course Units  

BIS 525a and b, Seminar in Biostatistics           and Journal Club         

0

BIS 557a, Computational Statistics   

1

BIS 567a, Bayesian Statistics

1

BIS 628b, Longitudinal and Multilevel Data Analysis  

1

BIS 643b, Theory of Survival Analysis and Its Applications

1

BIS 646b, Nonparametric Statistical Methods and their Applications  

1

BIS 678a, Statistical Consulting           

1

BIS 681b, Statistical Consulting Lab

1

BIS 691b, Theory of Generalized Linear Models                     

1

CDE 508a, Principles of Epidemiology I *

1

BIS 695c, Summer Rotation in Statistical Research

0

STAT 610a, Statistical Inference

1

STAT 612a, Linear Models

1

EPH 600b, Research Ethics and Responsibilities          

0

BIS 610b, Applied Area Readings for Qualifying Exams

1

EPH 608b, Frontiers in Public Health *

1

Students must choose a minimum of three additional electives that will best prepare them for dissertation work 

 

 

1

 

1

 

1

Students supported by training grants may be subject to additional requirements and should discuss this with the Principal Investigator of that grant to determine whether there are grant-specific requirements.

*Students entering the doctoral program with an MPH degree are exempt from EPH 608, Frontiers in Public Health. Students with prior graduate level epidemiology courses may be exempt from CDE 508, Principles of Epidemiology I.

rev. 8.29.16

 

Qualifying Exam

The qualifying examination has two parts, the first being a written examination that demonstrates facility with the use of statistical principles to develop methods of application.  A second part involves development of a written proposal and oral defense of a research protocol on a topic agreed upon by the candidate and the BIS faculty adviser that will be evaluated by a committee approved by the BIS faculty.

Research Experience

In a number of courses, especially the Statistical Consulting (BIS 578a) course students gain actual experience with various aspects of research including preparation of a research grant, questionnaire design, preparation of a database for analysis, and analysis and interpretation of real data. In addition, doctoral students can gain research experience by working with faculty members on ongoing research studies prior to initiating dissertation research, which includes but is not limited to BIS 695c. During the summer following each year of course work, candidates are required to take a research rotation that is approved by the department and communicated to the DGS.

The Dissertation

The Department strives for doctoral dissertations that have a strong methodological component motivated by an important health question. Hence, the dissertation should include a methodological advance or a substantial modification of an existing method motivated by a set of data collected to address an important health question. The dissertation must also include the application of the proposed methodology to real data. A fairly routine application of widely available statistical methodology is not acceptable as a dissertation topic. Candidates are expected not only to show a thorough knowledge of the posed health question, but also to demonstrate quantitative skills necessary for the creation and application of novel statistical tools.