Master of Science in Applied Biostatistics & Epidemiology

The Master of Science in Applied Biostatistics and Epidemiology is designed for students interested in epidemiological and clinical trial study design and data analysis.

This program focuses on applied biostatistics, epidemiological concepts and research methods, and research applications including cancer, infectious disease, chronic disease and environmental epidemiology. Epidemiological methods are taught from a practical, hands-on perspective, enabling students to gain a thorough understanding of epidemiological and clinical research study designs and appropriate methods of data analysis for these studies. Graduates are well-prepared for data analysis and study coordination positions in the academic, public health and pharmaceutical sectors.


MS in Applied Biostatistics & Epidemiology curriculum at-a-glance

Core Coursework

Typically completed in 2 years, the 38-unit degree consists of 7 core courses (25 units), 3 to 7 elective courses (at least 9 units) and a master’s thesis (4 units). During the program, students learn to manage, analyze and interpret biomedical research data using specialized software common in the field.

Click courses for descriptions.

Concepts of biostatistics; appropriate uses and common misuses of health statistics; practice in the application of statistical procedures; introduction to statistical software including EXCEL, SPSS, nQuery.

Major parametric and nonparametric statistical tools used in biomedical research, computer packages including SAS. Includes laboratory. 

Terminology/uses of epidemiology and demography; sources/uses of population data; types of epidemiologic studies; risk assessment; common sources of bias in population studies; principles of screening. 

Study design, ascertainment of study objects, questionnaire development, various methodological issues in study design and interpretation including bias, measurement error, confounding and effect modification. 

Principles and methods used in epidemiology for comparing disease frequencies between groups. Restricted to the analysis of binary outcome variables. 

Design, conduct, and interpretation of results of clinical trials; emphasis on principles affecting structure, size, duration of a trial, and the impact of ethical and practical considerations. 

Survey of natural history of infectious disease, methods of disease control and outbreak investigation, and an overview of the epidemiology of injury.

Master's Thesis

The program culminates in a master’s thesis on a topic of the student’s choosing. Research consists of original work worthy of submission to a publication or peer review journal.

Past thesis titles
  • Visceral primary tumors in pediatric Non-Rhabdomyosarcoma Soft Tissue Sarcoma (NRSTS)
  • Assessment of the mortality burden associated with ambient air pollution in rural and urban areas of India

Admissions requirements

The program will consider applicants who satisfy all requirements for admission to the Graduate School:

  • A Bachelor's degree and minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0; official transcripts from each accredited college or university attended
  • The department encourages applicants with undergraduate degrees in allied health, pharmacology, public health, medicine, biological and clinical sciences or other related fields. Undergraduate preparation should have included applied statistics, college algebra, an introductory course in calculus and basic computer programming. 
  • A Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score – Verbal and Quantitative.
  • Records of GRE scores are purged after 5 years. Please visit the Educational Testing Service  for GRE exam information.
  • Applicants may substitute MCAT (< 3 years old), GMAT (< 5 years old), DAT (< 5 years old) or LSAT (< 5 years old) in lieu of the GRE requirement
  • A minimum of three (3) letters of recommendation. (ALL letters must be less than a year old and on department letterhead. At least one letter must be academic. We do not accept letters from peer colleagues or friends.)
  • A Statement of Purpose of approximately 2-3 pages addressing the following questions: Why are you interested in pursuing the MPH Degree? How will an MPH Degree affect or enhance your career aspirations and goals?
  • A Curriculum vitae (C.V.) or resume

Applicants not meeting Graduate School requirements for regular standing may, with approval of the Graduate School, be conditionally admitted.

Additional requirements for international applicants »

Admissions Deadlines

MS Programs Deadline: April 1, 2020

Term starts May 20, 2020

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MS Programs Deadline: June 1, 2020

Term starts August 24, 2020

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MS Programs Deadline: TBA

Term starts January 11, 2021.

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Learn about financial aid »