Graduate program director
Roy T. Sabo, Ph.D.
Associate professor, Department of Biostatistics
Russell M. Boyle
Associate director, graduate programs in biostatistics
Program website: biostatistics.vcu.edu
Refer to the program search function of the online VCU Bulletins for a complete listing of all programs, concentrations and related curricular options.
Biostatistics, Master of Science (M.S.) with a concentration in clinical research and biostatistics
Biostatistics, Master of Science (M.S.) with a concentration in genomic biostatistics
Apply online at graduate.admissions.vcu.edu.
Biostatistics, Master of Science (M.S.)
Applications received prior to Jan 15 given priority consideration
In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, applicants for the M.S. in Biostatistics must complete the verbal, quantitative and analytical writing sections of the Graduate Record Exam.
Additionally, the following mathematics courses or their equivalents are required for admission: MATH 307 Multivariate Calculus, MATH 309 Introduction to Probability Theory, MATH 310 Linear Algebra and STAT 212 Concepts in Statistics. Although not required, prior course work in additional mathematics, statistics or computer science is helpful.
The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.
It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.
General academic regulations for
all graduate students in all graduate programs at VCU
The mission of the VCU Department of Biostatistics is to improve human health through methodological research, the education of graduate students and health science researchers in biostatistical methods and applications, and collaborative health sciences research. Faculty members conduct methodological research motivated by collaborative alliances, which in turn contributes to and enhances the department’s educational mission. By focusing on the integration of methodological and collaborative research, students develop strong biostatistical and communication skills, enabling them to assume leadership positions in academia, government and industry.
The program is designed to provide students with the skills required to advance to positions as bioscience researchers/trainers in a broad spectrum of positions. The structure of the program provides a framework for the progressive development of a mastery of the current state of the subject matter of bioscience and an ability to synthesize this information and apply this foundation to the identification of key areas of investigation/experimentation in bioscience. The program relates the above framework to the development of the ability to design, implement and interpret experimental approaches which address the questions identified. In addition, students will develop skills in the various means of communicating both the core of bioscience knowledge and the expression of experimental design, results and interpretation to a variety of potential audiences.
In addition to the general VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, M.S. students must complete a minimum total of 42 graduate credit hours of course work. Students are required to take BIOS/STAT 513 and 514, BIOS 524, BIOS 546, BIOS 553, BIOS 554, BIOS 571 and BIOS 572. In addition, each student is required to take one of BIOS 615, BIOS 616, BIOS 625, BIOS 631 or 647. Students are also required to take either BIOS 567 and one other 500- or 600-level BIOS or STAT course, or two other 500- or 600-level BIOS or STAT courses. Full-time master’s students must take four credit hours each of BIOS 516 Biostatistical Consulting and BIOS 690 Biostatistical Research Seminar. In addition, students will participate in the summer student research program and present at the Biostatistics Student Research Symposium the summer and fall after the first year, which will require one credit hour of BIOS 697 Directed Research in Biostatistics.
Students pursuing the M.S. in Biostatistics must pass a qualifying examination administered at the end of May or the beginning of June after completion of the first year of course work. 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/STAT 513, BIOS/STAT 514 and BIOS 546.
Each part of the exam is graded as pass/fail. A student who does not pass 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.
M.S. in Biostatistics students must write a thesis that reports the results of data analysis, or a review or survey. An original research topic is not required.
M.S. in Biostatistics candidates must defend their theses at a final oral examination. While questions are restricted to the topic of the dissertation for the Ph.D. candidate, no such restriction applies for the thesis defense for M.S. candidates.
|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|
|One of the following:||3 (minimum)|
|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|
|One of the following combinations:||6 (minimum)|
|BIOS 567 Statistical Methods for High-throughput Genomic Data I plus one of the courses in the list below||6|
|Or (with program director approval) two of:|
|BIOS 632 Multivariate Analysis II||3|
|BIOS 638 Statistical Design and Analysis of Toxicology||3|
|BIOS 639 Statistical Design and Analysis of Toxicology||3|
|BIOS/STAT 650 Design and Analysis of Response Surface Experiments||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|
|Consulting and seminar||8 (minimum)|
|BIOS 516 Biostatistical Consulting (one-credit course taken four semesters)||4|
|BIOS 690 Biostatistical Research Seminar (one-credit course taken four semesters)||4|
|Summer student research program||1 (minimum)|
|BIOS 697 Directed Research in Biostatistics||1|
|Total graduate credit hours required (minimum)||42|
Many students often end up taking more than the minimum number of hours required for a degree program. The total number of hours may vary depending upon the program, nature of research being conducted by a study or in the enrollment or funding status of the student. Students should refer to their program websites and talk with their graduate program directors or advisers for information about typical plans of study and registration requirements.
A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.
Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.
Degree candidacy requirements
As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.
Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.
School of Medicine graduate program policies
The School of Medicine provides policies applicable to all programs administratively housed in the school. Information on master’s programs is available in the Graduate Bulletin at pubapps.vcu.edu/Bulletins/about/?uid=10046&iid=30113.