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What is a Master of Science in Biostatistics?

The Master of Science (MS) in Biostatistics degree, offered at Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health, is a full-time graduate program that provides students with a fundamental understanding of biostatistical methods and strong computational skills, and the ability to apply this knowledge to research focusing on health-related problems.

This biostatistics graduate program provides students with the ability and capacity to make immediate contributions to the public health and biomedical research enterprises upon graduation.

Why Pursue a Masters of Science Degree in Biostatistics at Drexel Dornsife?

The biostatistics graduate program prepares students for handling the quantitative and computational aspects of a research project, including:

  • Study design
  • Data collection and management
  • Developing analysis plans
  • Conducting analyses
  • Reporting findings both orally and in writing

Unique features of Dornsife's MS in Biostatistics include:

  • The only biostatistics masters degrees in eastern Pennsylvania that is based in a school of public health
  • Nationally and internationally recognized faculty
  • Small classes with many opportunities to receive individual attention from faculty members who are committed to the student’s success.
  • A renowned, CEPH-accredited program based at the #1 graduate school of public health in Philadelphia.
  • This biostatistics graduate program is a STEM-designated degree program

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.

What is the Difference Between an MS and PhD in Biostatistics?

The biostatistics masters is a 48-credit program that includes coursework on statistical theory and methods, computing and data management, epidemiology, and more. The curriculum includes a data analysis project.

The PhD in Biostatistics provides further hands-on research and training in statistical analysis. The program has a minimum of 90 hours of coursework and includes the completion of a dissertation.

Access to Renowned Faculty

The Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics faculty 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 that is comprised of practicing biostatisticians from the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area.

Master's in Biostatistics Admissions

The Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health seeks students with intellectual and interpersonal competencies who have the potential to serve as thought leaders in the field of public health.

The School has set a high priority on establishing a student body that is representative of the nation's population.

Admissions Requirements and Prerequisites for the MS in Biostatistics Program

To be considered for the MS in Biostatistics program at Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health, applicants must meet the following admissions criteria and complete the following biostatistics master's prerequisites:

  • An undergraduate bachelor degree program from an accredited US college or university, or its equivalent in another country, 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
  • 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.

Application Requirements for the Biostatistics Master’s Program

To have your application reviewed for an MS in Biostatistics degree, applicants must submit the following documents:

  • Online application
  • Official transcripts from every college-level institution you attended (academic records from institutions outside the U.S. must undergo a credentials evaluation)
  • English proficiency test score (TOEFL or IELTS), if applicable
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Statement of Purpose and Objectives (describing career and educational goals, professional experience, and area of research interest)

GRE scores are not required as part of the application for the Masters of Biostatistics program.

To learn more about Drexel Dornsife’s application and admission requirements, please visit the page below:

Review Admissions and Application Requirements

Master's in Biostatistics Curriculum

The MS in Biostatistics curriculum will prepare students to:

  • Apply appropriate quantitative methods to evaluate the determinants and epidemiology of health and disease
  • Manage and maintain analytic datasets
  • Execute a data analysis plan
  • Communicate statistical findings effectively and succinctly using data visualization tools and appropriate summaries
  • Work collaboratively with researchers in public health, medicine, and other health science disciplines

Required Courses to Complete a MS in Biostatistics

The MS in Biostatistics program includes course work in statistical theory and methods, computing and data management, epidemiology, and general public health topics.

Core courses in the biostatistics masters program include:

  • BST 551 Statistical Inference I - 3 credits
  • BST 553 Longitudinal Data Analysis - 3 credits
  • BST 555 Introduction to Statistical Computing - 3 credits
  • BST 557 Survival Data Analysis - 3 credits
  • BST 567 Statistical Consulting - 3 credits
  • BST 569 Linear Statistical Models - 4 credits
  • BST 570 Generalized Linear Models - 4 credits
  • BST 675 Statistical Consulting Lab - 1 credit
  • BST 701 Advanced Statistical Computing - 3 credits
  • EPI 570 Introduction to Epidemiology - 3 credits
  • BST 699 Data Analysis Project - 6 credits
  • MATH 510 Applied Probability and Statistics I - 3 credits

Sample Plan of Study

Biostatistics Degree Requirements

Completion of the MS in Biostatistics requires:

  • A minimum of 48 credit hours of coursework
  • A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher
  • A substantial data analysis project (6 credit hours) with a written report and oral presentation

To learn more about the MS in Biostatistics degree offered at Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health, please follow the link below:

Review Degree Requirements and Courses

Masters in Biostatistics Data Analysis Project

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.

This practicum-based MS Data Analysis Project involves 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.

How Many Years Does It Take To Get a Masters in Biostatistics?

The biostatistics graduate program is full-time. Most students complete the program in less than two years. For a suggested sequence of courses, review the sample plan of study.

Where Can You Work With an MS in Biostatistics?

Graduates with degrees in biostatistics are employed in a number of fields and industries:

  • Public health research and service organizations
  • University research groups
  • Research facilities
  • Technology companies
  • Hospitals
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Health-related industries
  • Government work

What Can You Do With an MS in Biostatistics?

Recent Drexel Dornsife graduates have pursued the following careers after completing their MS in Biostatistics:

  • Statisticians
  • Biostatisticians
  • Data scientists
  • Clinical research coordinators
  • Business analysts

New technologies continue to generate an unprecedented amount of data, and this presents exciting opportunities for biostatisticians with strong computational skills.

Are Biostatisticians in High Demand?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment for masters-trained statisticians, including biostatisticians, is expected to grow 30 percent between 2022 and 2032. The median annual salary for statisticians was $98,920 as of May 2022.

Enhance your skill set and advance your career with an MS in Biostatistics from Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health, the #1 Public Health School in Philadelphia. Start your application today.

image of 92 percent of Masters students receive scholarships

Paying for Your Public Health Degree

Historically, more than 92% of full-time masters students receive some type of scholarship funding.

The Dornsife School of Public Health makes every effort to ensure that students receive as much financial assistance as possible through merit-based scholarships, grants and student loans.

Explore scholarships and financial aid


Loni Philip Tabb, PhD
Associate Professor of Biostatistics
Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs

David A. Wood, MBA, MS
Executive Director, Enrollment Management