VCU Bulletins

Biostatistics, Master of Science (M.S.)

McClish, Dr. Donna K.
Director, Graduate Programs in Biostatistics
mcclish@vcu.edu
(804) 827-2050

Boyle, Russell M.
Associate Director, Graduate Programs in Biostatistics
boyle@vcu.edu
(804) 827-2049

Web:
www.biostatistics.vcu.edu

Admission requirements summary

Biostatistics, Master of Science (M.S.)
Degree:

M.S.
Semester(s)
of entry:

Fall preferred
Deadline
dates:

Applications received prior to Jan 15 given priority consideration
Test
requirements:

GRE, MCAT or DAT
Special requirements:
Program requirements and other information are found at www.biostatistics.vcu.edu.

The Department of Biostatistics at Virginia Commonwealth University offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Biostatistics. It is part of the School of Medicine on the university’s MCV Campus.

While committed to excellence in biostatistical research and in its graduate program, the department also collaborates in biomedical research with other departments on the MCV Campus. Its faculty members are nationally recognized for their biostatistical work in the areas of clinical trials, pharmacology, toxicology and genomics. The department continues to emphasize scholarship and graduate education, and its graduates are in demand for jobs throughout the country in government, academia and the private sector.

The program is committed to diversifying the racial and ethnic composition of people who become biostatisticians. Individuals from all racial or cultural backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Student learning outcomes

M.S. in Biostatistics requirements

Master’s students will complete at least 33 semester credit hours of course work worth three or more credits. In addition to the first-year sequence, each student is required to take one of BIOS 615, BIOS 616, BIOS 625, BIOS 631 or BIOS 647; one other 600-level BIOS course; and one BIOS or STAT course. Full-time M.S. students must take four semesters of BIOS 516 Biostatistical Consulting and BIOS 690 Biostatistical Research Seminar. In addition, students will participate in the Student Summer Research Program and present at the Biostatistics Student Research Day during the summer/fall after the first year.

First-year sequence Credits
BIOS/STAT 513 Mathematical Statistics I 3
BIOS/STAT 514 Mathematical Statistics II 3
BIOS 524 Biostatistical Computing 3
BIOS 546 Theory of Linear Models 3
BIOS 553 Linear Regression 3
BIOS 554 Analysis of Variance 3
BIOS 571 Clinical Trials 3
BIOS 572 Statistical Analysis of Biomedical Data 3
   
Choose one of:  
BIOS 615 Advanced Inference 4
BIOS 616 Advanced Inference 4
BIOS 625 Categorical Data Analysis and Generalized Linear Models 4
BIOS 631 Multivariate Analysis I 4
BIOS 647 Survival Analysis 3
   
Choose one additional BIOS, STAT or MATH course  
Suggested courses  
BIOS 567 Statistical Methods for High-throughput Genomic Data I 3
BIOS 632 Multivariate Analysis II 3
BIOS 638 Statistical Design and Analysis in Toxicology 3
BIOS 639 Statistical Design and Analysis in Toxicology 3
BIOS 667 Statistical Learning and Data Mining 3
BIOS 688 Applied Bayesian Biostatistics 3
STAT 503 Introduction to Stochastic Processes 3
STAT 613 Stochastic Processes 3
STAT 614 Stochastic Processes 3
STAT 625 Applied Multivariate Analysis 3
STAT/BIOS 650 Design and Analysis of Response Surface Experiments 3

M.S. requirements – genomic biostatistics concentration

Master’s students will complete at least 33 semester credit hours of course work worth three or more credits. In addition to the first-year sequence, each student is required to take BIOS 567; a relevant course pertaining to bioinformatics or molecular biology (BIOL 540 suggested); and one from among BIOS 632, BIOS 667, 668 and BIOS 691 (with a topic of statistical genetics or systems biology). Full-time M.S. students must take four semesters of BIOS 516 Biostatistical Consulting and BIOS 690 Biostatistical Research Seminar. In addition, students will participate in the Student Summer Research Program for two summers and present at the Biostatistics Student Research Day each September.

First-year sequence Credits
BIOS/STAT 513 Mathematical Statistics I 3
BIOS/STAT 514 Mathematical Statistics II 3
BIOS 524 Biostatistical Computing 3
BIOS 546 Theory of Linear Models 3
BIOS 553 Linear Regression 3
BIOS 554 Analysis of Variance 3
BIOS 571 Clinical Trials 3
BIOS 572 Statistical Analysis of Biomedical Data 3
   
Second-year sequence (required)  
BIOL/BNFO 540 Fundamentals of Molecular Genetics (or equivalent course) 3
BIOS 567 Statistical Methods for High-throughput Genomic Data I 3
   
Choose one of:  
BIOS 632 Multivariate Analysis II 4
BIOS 667 Statistical Learning and Data Mining 3
BIOS 668 Statistical Methods for High-throughput Genomic Data II 3
BIOS 691 Special Topics in Biostatistics
(systems biology, microarray II or statistical genetics)
3

M.S. requirements – clinical research and biostatistics concentration

Master’s students with a concentration in clinical research and biostatistics will complete at least 34 semester credit hours. The curriculum includes 17 credit hours of core course work, 12 credit hours of electives and at least five credits hours of directed independent research. A research advisory committee must be formed to direct the student’s research project.

First-year sequence Credits
BIOS 516 Biostatistical Consulting 3
BIOS 531 Clinical Epidemiology 3
BIOS/STAT 543 Statistical Methods I 3
BIOS/STAT 544 Statistical Methods II 3
BIOS 571 Clinical Trials 3
BIOS 572 Statistical Analysis of Biomedical Data 3
   
Second-year sequence  
OVPR 601 1
Approved electives 12

Qualifying exam

Students pursuing the M.S. degree must pass a qualifying examination administered at the end of May or the beginning of June after completion of the first-year courses. The examination is an in-class, closed-book exam given over a period of two days and covers material from the following first-year courses:

Part A (applied): covers BIOS 553, 554, 571 and 572.

Part B (theoretical): covers BIOS 513, 514 and 546.

Each part of the exam is graded with a pass/fail. A student who fails Part A or Part B of the exam at the M.S. level must retake that part of the qualifying exam. Such a student may petition the Examination Committee of the Department of Biostatistics for a winter administration of the qualifying exam.

Thesis

For the M.S. degree, students must write a thesis that reports the results of data analysis, or a review or survey. An original research topic is not required.

For students pursuing a genomic biostatistics concentration, a thesis reporting the results of original research related to genomics biostatistics is required. It is expected that the dissertation will make use of some high-throughput genomic technology as an application.

Final examination

All M.S. students must defend their theses at a final oral examination. While questions are restricted to the topic of the dissertation for the Ph.D. student, no such restriction applies for the thesis defense for master’s students.

 

 

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Last update: 9/11/2013

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