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MS Degree in Biostatistics

OverviewThe ProgramFacultyAdmissionsDegree requirementsContact

Overview: Dornsife School of Public Health offers an MS Biostatistics program that will prepare students to make immediate contributions to the public health and biomedical research enterprise upon graduation. Ours is the only Biostatistics masters program 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.

The Program: The MS in Biostatistics program includes course work in statistical theory and methods, computing and data management, epidemiology, and general public health topics. In the second year we incorporate a quarter-long practicum experience working on a real academic, government, or industry project in a sponsoring organization setting. Students are typically enrolled full-time and complete the program in two years. The MS in Biostatistics program guide can be found here.

The Faculty: The Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics has 18 full time faculty. Our biostatistics faculty have methodologic expertise in a variety 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) and support research projects related to a variety of pressing public health and biomedical problems. The MS Program in Biostatistics is also supported by an advisory board comprised of practicing biostatisticians from the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area.

Admission: 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. More detail on the application process can be found here

The application deadline for Fall program admission is June 30 of that same year. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis from January until July.

Degree requirements: Completion of the MS in Biostatistics requires: (1) a minimum of 48 credit hours of course work (2) completion of 9 credit hours for the practicum-based Data Analysis Project with an accompanying written report and oral presentation and (3) maintenance of a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0. Coursework requirements typically include:

  • 33 quarter credit hours of required biostatistics courses
  • 7 quarter credit hours of required epidemiology courses
  • 9 credit Data Analysis Project completed at the end of the second year of study
  • 6 credit hours of elective courses which can be taken in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics or at other Departments in the University 2 credit Introduction to Public Health course

A layout showing a sample two-year progression through course and practicum requirements is included at the bottom of this page.

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 Ph.D. level biostatistician. The practicum placement will be selected in consultation with the student’s departmental faculty advisor and practicum preceptor.

Contact: Prospective students are invited to ask questions via e-mail directed to:

Mary Genevieve Carty, MHEd
Program Manager
Dept. of Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Drexel University School of Public Health

MS in Biostatistics Program Guide (PDF)

Biostatistics MS Program – 2-Year course sequence
The grid below outlines the typical sequence for full-time students in the MS Biostatistics program.


Timing of Key Events:

Data analysis project placement agreement - eighth week of the Winter Term Year 2.
Data analysis project report submission and presentation - end of Spring Term Year 2.

Year 1 - MS Biostatistics

Fall Quarter Winter Quarter Spring Quarter
 Linear Statistical Models
(3 credits)
PBHL 698
 Statistical Inference 2
(3 credits)
 PBHL 684
(3 credits)
 Introduction to Public Health
(2 credits)
PBHL 516
 Advanced Clinical Trials
(3 credits)
PBHL 683
 Generalized Linear Models 
(3 credits)
PBHL 697
 Introduction to Statistical Computing
(3 credits)
PBHL 623
Principles of Epidemiology
(4 credits)
PBHL 530
 Advanced Statistical Computing
(3 credits)
PBHL 686
 Statistical Inference 1      
 (3 credits)
PBHL 622

 11 credits  10 credits  9 credits


Year 2 - MS Biostatistics

Fall Quarter Winter Quarter Spring Quarter
 Survival Data Analysis
(3 credits)
PBHL 628
 Longitudinal Data Analysis
(3 credits)
PBHL 625
Data Analysis Project
(3 credits)
Intermediate Epidemiology
(3 credits)
PBHL 630
Nonparametric and
Semiparametric Models
(3 credits)
Data Analysis Project
(3 credits)
Applied Multivariate Analysis
(3 credits)
PBHL 631
Biostatistical Consulting
(2 credits)
PBHL 695
(3 credits)
Biostatistical Literature Review
(1 credit)
PBHL 694
9 credits 9 credits 9 credits