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About the MS 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, 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 degree 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.

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.

Learn more about the program


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 comprised of practicing biostatisticians from the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area.

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.

Application requirements

MS in Biostatistics Curriculum

The MS in Biostatistics curriculum will prepare you to:

  • Address health problems by appropriate problem definition, study design, data collection, data management, statistical analysis, and interpretation of results
  • Demonstrate mastery of the theory underlying statistical methods
  • Understand and implement innovative statistical approaches
  • Communicate biostatistical analyses to individuals with varying degrees of statistical knowledge
  • Apply research design principles to problems in public health Recognize strengths and weaknesses of approaches, including alternative designs, data sources, and analytic methods
  • Determine the data best suited to address public health issues, program planning, and program evaluation
  • Degree Requirements

    Completion of the MS in Biostatistics requires:

  • a minimum of 41 credit hours of course work;
  • 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.
  • Review degree requirements


    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

    Career Options with an MS in Biostatistics

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 34 percent increase in the job market for masters-trained statisticians, including biostatisticians. The median annual wage for statisticians was $91,160 in May 2019.

    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.

    image of 92 percent of Masters students receive scholarships

    Paying for Your Public Health Degree

    Historically, more than 92 percent 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


    Mary Genevieve Carty, MHEd
    Senior Program Manager
    Epidemiology and Biostatistics

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