Overview

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 preclinical, clinical, and epidemiological studies. The Statistics Program has established an internship affiliation with the Vermont Department of Health. The internship program provides an excellent opportunity to interact with researchers from various disciplines on a variety projects.

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.)

Undergraduates at the University of Vermont are encouraged to consider the Accelerated Master's Program (AMP). Please contact our Graduate Program Coordinator for further information about this opportunity.

Full-time graduate students in Statistics and Biostatistics at UVM typically take two years to complete their M.S. degree.

Admission Requirements

The following are required for admission to our graduate programs in statistics or biostatistics.

  • A baccalaureate degree
  • Three semesters of calculus, through multivariable calculus
  • (UVM MATH 021, 022, and 121 or equivalent)
  • A course in matrix methods (UVM MATH 124 or equivalent)
  • At least one course in statistics (such as UVM STAT 211). Certainly more background, in terms of formal coursework in statistics and/or experience with data analysis is highly desirable.
  • GRE (Graduate Record Exam) - general test

It is possible to be admitted to our programs (but not to candidacy) if some of the course pre-requisites have not been satisfied. All pre-requisites must be completed prior to receiving the MS degree.

For international students taking the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), scores of at least 90 are required for admission, and at least 100 for a Graduate Teaching Assistantship. The Institution Code for test scores for UVM is 3920.

All applications must be completed online at http://www.uvm.edu/~gradcoll/

Applications will require three letters of recommendation, college transcripts, Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores, and TOEFL scores for those whose native language is not English.

Applicants whose files are complete by March 1 receive full consideration for admission and for financial support starting in the Fall Semester. The deadline for all other applicants is April 1. Typically, we don't consider admissions for the Spring Semester, although we do sometimes make an exception for highly qualified applicants that need to complete some of the prerequisites. Financial support is not available in such cases.

Degree Requirements

The department offers both a thesis option and a non-thesis option within the MS degree in Biostatistics.

Under both plans, students must have or acquire a knowledge of the material in Biostatistics 211, attend the regular colloquium series and participate in the Statistics Student Association Journal Club as part of their training. The comprehensive examination covers knowledge acquired in the core courses of the program.

Thesis Option

This is a 30-hour program requiring 24 semester-hours of course work. The program must include:

  • Biostatistics 200, 221, 223, 231, 229 or 235, 251,261, 350;
  • plus 6 semester hours of approved thesis research (Bios 391).

Non-Thesis Option

This is a 30-hour program requiring 27 semester-hours of course work. The program must include:

  • Biostatistics 200, 221, 223, 231, 229 or 235, 251, 261, 350;
  • other 200/300 level statistics courses (except 211, 241, 381, 308), or (if approved) other courses in mathematics, quantitative methods, or specialized fields of applicaiton;
  • plus 3 semester hours of either approved statistical research (Stat 381) or statistical consulting Stat 385).

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.