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MS Degree in Biostatistics

Students graduate from our MS Biostatistics program prepared to make immediate contributions to the public health and biomedical research enterprise upon graduation. Students gain a thorough understanding of biostatistical methods, strong computational skills and the ability to apply this knowledge to research focusing on health related problems. The program prepares students for handling the quantitative and computational aspects of a research project, ranging from study design, data collection and management, developing analysis plans, conducting analyses and reporting findings both orally and in writing.

Dornsife offers the only Biostatistics masters degree in eastern Pennsylvania that is based in a School of Public Health. The program features nationally and internationally recognized faculty housed in a comprehensive national research university, small class size, and individual attention from faculty members who are committed to the student’s success. In keeping with Drexel University’s tradition of practice-based education, the program also features a practicum research experience based in a public health or biomedical setting.

Download the program guide (PDF)

Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 34% increase in the job market for masters-trained statisticians, including biostatisticians. The average salary for statisticians in 2016 was $80,500 per year. Graduates with degrees in biostatistics are employed in public health research and service organizations, university research groups, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, health-related industries and government. New technologies are generating an unprecedented amount of data which present exciting opportunities for biostatisticians with strong computational skills.

More information regarding the projected outlook and salary for statisticians can be found on the Bureau of Labor Statistics' website.


The Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics has 24 full time faculty, all of whom are dedicated to balancing research and teaching. The Department has a robust research portfolio focusing on a range of areas including modeling time-to-event data, mixed and multilevel models, longitudinal data analysis, microarray data analysis, agreement and reliability assessment, time series analyses, and stochastic processes. The MS Program in Biostatistics is supported by an advisory board comprised of practicing biostatisticians from the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area.


The MS in Biostatistics program includes course work in statistical theory and methods, computing and data management, epidemiology, and general public health topics. Incorporated into the second year is a two quarter-long practicum experience working on a real academic, government, or industry project in a sponsoring organization setting. The practicum-based research project will involve the application of biostatistical analysis to a problem of significance to the sponsoring academic, government or industry organization with joint oversight provided by a Department faculty member and an on-site PhD level biostatistician.

Sample Plan of Study

The tables below outline the typical sequence for full-time students in the MS Biostatistics program, 2017-2018.

Year 1 - MS Biostatistics

Year 1 - MS Biostatistics

Fall Quarter Winter Quarter Spring Quarter
Linear Statistical Models
(4 credits)
BST 569
Generalized Linear Models
(3 credits)
BST 570
Survival Data Analysis
(3 credits)
BST 557
Statistical Inference 1
(3 credits)
BST 551
Statistical Inference 2
(4 credits)
BST 551
Advanced Statistical Computing
(3 credits)
BST 701
Statistical Computing
(3 credits)
BST 555
Intro Descript Epi & Biostatistics
(3 credits)
EPI 570
(3 credits)
 10 credits  10 credits  9 credits

Year 2 - MS Biostatistics

Fall Quarter Winter Quarter
Longitudinal Data Analysis
(3 credits)
BST 553
(3 credits)
(3 credits)
(3 credits)
Data Analysis Project
(3 credits)
BST 590
Data Analysis Project
(3 credits)
BST 590
9 credits 9 credits


Applicants to the MS Program in Biostatistics must possess a baccalaureate degree, ideally in a quantitative field such as mathematics, economics and computer science or a scientific area such as natural, biological, medical and environmental sciences. Applicant’s undergraduate training should have included at least two semesters of calculus and at least one semester of linear algebra. Some familiarity with a programming language or a statistical package is desirable, as well as probability and multivariate calculus.

Review admission and application requirements


Applicants to the MS in Biostatistics program should have strong GRE Quantitative scores as well coursework in mathematics or a related quantitative or science field.


  • Bachelor’s degree, ideally in a quantitative field such as mathematics, economics and computer science or a scientific area such as natural, biological, medical and environmental sciences.
  • at least two semesters of calculus in college.
  • at least one semester of linear algebra in college.
  • knowledge and experience in computing such as operating system, office software and Internet. Familiarity with a programming language or a statistical package is desirable.

Application Deadline

  • Priority deadline: March 15th. Applicants who apply by March 15th will be given priority consideration for scholarships.
  • Regular decision deadline: August 1st. Applicants will be considered for scholarships should funds remain available.

Applications are continually reviewed.

Application Requirements

  • Completed application through the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS)
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate schools attended
  • Official results from the GRE taken within the last 5 years (code to submit to SOPHAS is 7890)
  • Results from the IELTS or TOEFL exam (non-native English speakers only)
  • World Education Service evaluation of all foreign transcripts (international applications only)
  • Three letters of recommendation from faculty or professionals who can evaluate the applicant’s promise as a graduate student
  • Essay describing your educational and career goals
  • Resume

Degree Requirements

Completion of the MS in Biostatistics requires:

  1. a minimum of 41 credit hours of course work;
  2. a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher;
  3. a substantial data analysis project (6 credit hours) with a written report and oral presentation.