Master of Science - Biostatistics Concentration


For more information and to apply to the MS program, visit the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences website. Please choose "Public Health" as the program. Then select Biostatistics as the concentration. Do not try to use SOPHAS. 

MS students in Biostatistics receive training in the theory and application of statistical methodology in biomedical science. Graduates of the MS program go on to professional positions in the health sciences, including biotechnology, government, the pharmaceutical industry, and many other areas. Applicants to the program should have experience in mathematics, statistics or another quantitative field. The minimum math requirement is one year of calculus and a course in linear algebra.

We also offer a Master of Public Health (MPH) in Biostatistics. If you wish to learn more about this program and/or the difference between the MS and the MPH, please visit the MPH in Biostatistics page

Please note that you may apply to both the MPH and the MS program simultaneously.

(Download the PDF Version of the degree requirements)

The M.S. degree requires a total of 15 course units. The M.S in Biostatistics requires the student to complete or acquire an exemption from the following courses. Full time students must carry a minimum of 4 course units each semester. If a course is waived, a substitute course must be identified.

MS Required Courses (11 course units)

Course Title Units Term Offered Notes
BIS 525/BIS 526 Seminar in Biostatistics and Journal Club 0 Fall/Spring Must take both terms
BIS 540 Fundamentals of Clinical Trials 1 Fall  
BIS 623 Advanced Regression Models [or S&DS 612 Linear Models] 1 Fall  
BIS 628 Longitudinal and Multilevel Data Analysis 1 Spring  
BIS 630 Applied Survival Analysis [or BIS 643 Theory of Survival Analysis] 1 Spring  
BIS 678 Statistical Practice I 1 Fall  
BIS 679 Advanced Statistical Programming in SAS and R 1 Fall  
BIS 681 Statistical Practice II 1 Spring  
EPH 508 Foundations of Epidemiology and Public Health 1 Fall  
EPH 608 Frontiers of Public Health * 1 Fall and Spring Offered both terms – only need to take 1 term
EPH 600 Research Ethics and Responsibilities 0 Fall  
S&DS 541 Probability Theory [or S&DS 600 Advanced Probability or S&DS 551 Stochastic Process] 1 Fall S&DS 600 and S&DS 551 offered in Spring
S&DS 542 Theory of Statistics [or S&DS 610 Statistical Inference] 1 Spring S&DS 610 offered in Fall
BIS 695 Summer Internship in Biostatistical Research 0 Spring Register in Spring for Summer

MS Electives in Biostatistics (2 course units)

Two of the following:

Course Title Units Term Offered Notes
BIS 557 Computational Statistics 1 Fall  
BIS 567 Bayesian Statistics 1 Fall  
BIS 643 Theory of Survival Analysis 1 Spring Cannot fulfill elective if substituted for BIS 630
BIS 646 Nonparametric Statistical Methods and their Applications 1 Spring  
BIS 651 Spatial Statistics in Public Health 1 Spring  
BIS 691 Theory of Generalized Linear Models 1 Spring  

MS Electives in Statistics and Data Sciences (2 course units)

Two of the following or any other S&DS600 level course:

Course Title Units Term Offered Notes
S&DS 563 Multivariate Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences 1 Spring  
S&DS 565 Applied Data Mining and Machine Learning 1 Fall and Spring  
S&DS 612 Linear Models 1 Fall  

Other Courses

Course Title Units Term Offered Notes
EPH 100 Professional Skills Series 0 Fall and Spring Required to graduate
BIS 649 and BIS 650 Master’s Thesis Research
Students choosing this option must present their research in a public
seminar to graduate 
2 Fall and Spring Optional -if chosen student must still fulfill all other requirements listed above

*Students entering the program with an MPH or relevant graduate degree may be exempt from this requirement.

rev: 7/11/19

Upon receiving an MS degree in Public Health with a concentration in Biostatistics, the student will be able to:

  • Describe advanced concepts of probability, random variation and commonly used statistical probability distributions.
  • Develop an efficient design for collecting, recording, and storing data collected in the conduct of public health and medical research.
  • Develop sample size and statistical power calculations for basic study designs including those utilized in clinical trials.
  • Design efficient computer programs for study management, statistical analysis, as well as presentation using SAS and other programming languages.
  • Produce edited data sets suitable for statistical analyses.
  • Apply advanced informatics techniques with vital statistics and public health records in the description of public health characteristics and in public health research and evaluation.
  • Perform analyses of stated hypotheses using a variety of analytical tools including analysis of variance, multiple regression, nonparametric statistics, logistic regression, multivariate analyses, and methods for analyzing rates and failure time data.
  • Interpret results of advanced statistical analyses and use these results to make relevant inferences from data.
  • Produce working tables and statistical summaries describing research in health science.
  • Develop written presentations based on intermediate to advanced statistical analyses for both public health professionals and educated lay audiences.
  • Develop oral presentations based on intermediate to advanced statistical analyses for both public health professionals and educated lay audiences.

Students in the MS program file their applications and financial aid materials through the Graduate School.

MS students are allowed to serve as Teaching Fellows or Research Assistants. Teaching Fellowships are generally available to MS students in Public Health in the second year after they have taken classes and become familiar with the Public Health coursework. However, it is possible to obtain a Teaching Fellowship in a department outside of Public Health. Many first year MS students have found Teaching Fellowships in language departments or the Math department.

Research Assistant positions are also available on a part time basis. Faculty in Biostatistics are generally familiar with various research projects that are in need of a research assistant. We suggest you begin your search for a research assistant position by asking your faculty advisor for suggestions. There are also many positions posted on the Student Employment website.