Thank you for your interest in our programs. We hope the links and information below will help answer your questions. If not, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Questions about our programs
The MPH in Applied Biostatistics (MPH/AB) targets students interested in a broader exposure to areas of public health, with specialization in biostatistics and analysis. The concentration is flexible and requires 15-24 credits of biostatistics courses, but does not require the Statistical Theory sequence Statistical Theory I and Statistical Theory II. Students pursuing the MPH in Applied Biostatistics are strongly encouraged to take the more advanced Biostatistical Methods sequence Biostatistical Methods I and Biostatistical Methods II, which requires 2 semesters of calculus, a previous introductory statistics course, and exposure to some statistical software e.g., R, SAS, etc. instead of the introductory MPH Applied Biostatistics sequence MPH Applied Biostatistics I and MPH Applied Biostatistics II. The MPH in Applied Biostatistics does not prepare students for PhD work in Biostatistics.
The MS in Biostatistics program targets students interested in working as biostatisticians, or in pursuing a PhD in Biostatistics. The MS requires 3 semesters of recent calculus (e.g., Calculus I-III offered from a math or engineering department), and linear algebra with a minimum grade of B+ or higher, an introductory statistics or biostatistics course, and exposure to some statistical software (e.g., R, SAS). The MS program includes 26 credits of biostatistics coursework including the Statistical Theory sequence Statistical Theory I and Statistical Theory II, as well as a thesis or research paper. All MS coursework is required for the PhD in Biostatistics.
Please apply to the degree you want to obtain. Highly qualified undergraduate students with strong backgrounds in math and statistics and an excellent GPA/GRE will be considered for admission directly into the PhD program. If we are not able to accept you into the PhD program, we will consider you for the MS program. If you enroll in the MS, based on excellent performance in the first year you may be offered admission to the PhD. Since all MS coursework is required for the PhD program this path does not affect the coursework or length of completion time for the PhD in Biostatistics.
As of September 1, 2019, we had 15 continuing and 7 new PhD students; 21 continuing and 7 new MS students; and 14 continuing and 8 new MPH/AB students. Typical first-year biostatistics class sizes are 15-20 for the Statistical Theory sequence and 35-40 for the Biostatistical Methods sequence (which is also taken by PhD students in Epidemiology, Health Services Research, Pharmaceutical Outcomes, and qualified MPH/AB students).
For full-time students in the MS in Biostatistics and the MPH in Applied Biostatistics, expect the program to take 2 years to complete. Students pursuing the PhD in Biostatistics can expect the program to take 3 to 4 years beyond the MS, depending on thesis and dissertation work. Please note that the MPH in Applied Biostatistics does not prepare students for PhD work in Biostatistics.
In some cases, yes. For the MS in Biostatistics, we do not give weekend, evening, or online courses. Courses commonly taken during the same semester are scheduled in blocks to minimize travel time. For the MPH in Applied Biostatistics, the core courses are sometimes offered online, though Biostatistical Methods I and Biostatistical Methods II (required for the MS and strongly recommended for the MPH) are not available online.
The MS and PhD Biostatistics programs are balanced between theory and application. For the MS program, the most mathematical courses are the Statistical Theory sequence Statistical Theory I and Statistical Theory II. Most other courses are more applied and involve data analysis in a variety of areas (outlined below in the degree plans). The PhD program includes a further year-long sequence in statistical theory as well as several more electives. Students in both programs have many opportunities to participate in real consulting and collaborative research on our very active health sciences campus, as well as to work with faculty on thesis and dissertation research.
The MPH in Applied Biostatistics is more applied, does not require the Statistical Theory sequence Statistical Theory I and Statistical Theory II, and is balanced between general public health courses and biostatistics courses.
Yes, there is an MS Minor in Data Science Analytics and MS Minor in Statistical Genomics and Genetics available now. Please visit the MS in Biostatistics page for more information. There is a lot of activity in this area in the department with several faculty members, as well as a Working Group. In addition, the Anschutz Medical Campus has a new Center and Division for Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine. The minor involves
several electives and a thesis or research paper in this area.
Questions about the application process
For both MS and PhD, applications are reviewed holistically, with consideration placed on: GPA, background in math and statistics, GRE scores, work experience, reference letters, and essays.
MS applicant GPA is at least 3.3 on a 4.0 scale, with A's in most math classes.
MS GRE quantitative scores are expected to be near or above the 70 percentile
PhD GRE quantitative scores are expected to be near or above the 80 percentile
Verbal and analytic writing scores are also considered for both MS and PhD. Applications with numbers below these may be considered on a case-by-case basis, if other aspects of the application are strong. All components of the application are considered in a holistic review.
MPH in Applied Biostatistics applicants are expected to have a GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, with GRE scores near or above the 50 percentile.
International students (for whom English isn't their first language) are also required to submit their official TOEFL scores in order to be considered for admission. The minimum TOEFL requirements for the Graduate School are: 550 (paper test), 213 (computer test), or 80 (internet test). However, a score of 570 (paper test), 230 (computer test), or 89 (internet test) or higher is preferred.
We offer a number of Research Assistant (RA) and Teaching Assistant (TA) positions, which are allocated competitively based on achievement and fit. RA positions pay a stipend depending on academic level plus tuition and health insurance for 20 hours/week
of work, and are usually but not always for students beyond their first year. TA positions pay an hourly rate for amounts of work depending on qualifications and availability and may include some tuition support.
The past several years all PhD students were funded with RA positions (which may include some teaching assistant work), and some MS students are funded on entry with RA or TA positions. All MS students were funded by research positions by the end of their
first summer. Many MPH/AB students obtain TA or research positions after their first year. All of our PhD and MS students and many MPH/AB students have opportunities to work directly with faculty in our department and around campus doing research