University of Vermont

2011-12 Online Catalogue

Biostatistics (Master of Science)


The program offers a concentration in biostatistics leading to the M.S. degree.

Emphasis is placed on learning how to design studies and perform computerized data analysis as the statistician in a research team. The curriculum takes full advantage of courses taught in the Statistics Program and includes potential experience in a variety of health, biomedical, natural resource and other research projects in the College of Medicine or other departments of UVM. This experience is designed to provide candidates with opportunities to use their academic training and work experience in defining research problems, formulating rational methods of inquiry, and gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data.

Three of our faculty are in the College of Medicine's Department of Medical Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, whose research activities cover the full range of studies that take place within an academic medicine environment. These include population-based health surveys of various types and evaluations of health promotion programs and professional education activities, such as community intervention studies to prevent smoking and to promote breast cancer screening. They also include clinical studies of many different interventions, bioengineering experiment design and measurement studies, statistical genetics, as well as data from other pre-clinical, clinical, and epidemiological studies.

Opportunities are also available for biostatistical research related to problems in agriculture and the life sciences, as well as natural resources and the environment. Opportunities could include multivariate or spatial data analyses for ongoing wildlife and water quality studies for example. All students gain research and consulting experience through our research requirement: a research project (STAT 381) or a thesis (STAT 391). Other opportunities for experience will arise through involvement in our Statistical Consulting Clinic. (STAT 385). (See also Statistics Program and Statistical Consulting Clinic descriptions.)

General Requirements

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies and Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Science

An undergraduate major which provides a foundation for the application of statistical methodology and concepts to health and biomedical or agriculture/natural resource problems. For example, pre-medicine majors who have delayed their application to medical school will be well suited for the program. It is expected that candidates will have completed three semesters of calculus and a course including matrix algebra methods. Also they will have a solid introductory course in statistics (like STAT 211) and a course including undergraduate probability (like STAT 151). However, provisional admission to the program can be given prior to the completion of these mathematics and statistics requirements. Computer experience is desirable. The Graduate Record Examination is strongly advised and is required of any applicant who wishes to be considered for assistantship support. Current undergraduate students at the University of Vermont should contact the program director for details on the Accelerated Master's Program.

Minimum Degree Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science

Plan A: (Thesis) A thirty semester credit program requiring twenty-four semester hours of course work. The program must include (Biostatistics) BIOS 200, BIOS 221, BIOS 223, BIOS 229, BIOS 231, or BIOS 235, BIOS 251, BIOS 261, and BIOS 350; plus six semester hours of approved thesis research.

Plan B: (Non-thesis) A thirty-three semester credit program requiring thirty semester credits of course work. The program must include BIOS 200, BIOS 221, BIOS 223, BIOS 229, BIOS 231, or BIOS 235 or BIOS 251, BIOS 261, and BIOS 350, as well as other 200/300-level statistics/biostatistics courses (except BIOS 211, BIOS 241, BIOS 281, BIOS 308), or (if approved) other courses in mathematics, quantitative methods, or specialized fields of application. The research project requirement is met by taking three semester credits if either statistical research (BIOS 381) or statistical consulting (BIOS 385).

Under both plans, students must have or acquire a knowledge of the material in BIOS 211, attend the regular colloquium series and participate in the Statistics Student Associate Journal Club as part of their training. The comprehensive examination covers knowledge acquired in the core courses of the program. Under the non-thesis option, students will be expected to take major responsibility for a comprehensive data analysis or methodological research project, and are encouraged to present the results from the project.


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