Academic Programs Catalog

College of Human Medicine

Graduate Study


Biostatistics - Master of Science

The master’s degree program in biostatistics is designed to provide graduate students with essential quantitative training necessary for public health and medical research. Students completing the program will be well prepared to design experimental studies and analyze data in several areas of clinical and biomedical investigations. Required courses concentrate on the principles of study design and methods for analysis of the continuous, categorical and mixed types of biomedical data from clinical experiments and from observational studies. Elective courses are offered in analytic methods for inference from longitudinal data, genomic and genetic data, and censored data.

Admission

To be considered for admission applicants must:

  1. Have a bachelor’s degree including undergraduate or graduate level quantitative methods with at least two semesters of college-level calculus, a course in matrix or linear algebra, and an introductory course in statistics.
  2. Demonstrate interest or experience in a public health field by submitting a statement of purpose.
  3. Provide an official transcript.
  4. Submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Test results should not be older than five years.
  5. Submit three letters of recommendation, one of which must be from an academic advisor from a previous program.
  6. Provide Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores, if an international applicant. A minimum score of 80 on the internet-based test, 550 on the paper-based test or 237 on the computer-based test, or passing grade on the MSU English Language Test (MSUELT). Scores must be no older than two years. International students with full native fluency in English are exempt.

Students with less preparation may be provisionally admitted. Credits earned in collateral course work will not count towards the degree requirements.

Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Biostatistics

The program is available under either Plan A (with thesis) or Plan B (without thesis).  The student's program of study must be approved by the student's academic advisor and guidance committee with the approval of the Dean of the College of Human Medicine.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Human Medicine, the student must complete at least 40 credits distributed as follows:

 1. All of the following courses (10 credits):  
EPI 808B Advanced Biostatistics 3
EPI 826B Categorical Data Analysis 3
EPI 855 Biostatistical Modeling in Genomic Data Analysis 3
EPI 856 Statistical Consulting in Public Health 1
2. One of the following courses (3 credits):
EPI 853B Statistical Computing 3
STT
461
Computations in Probability and Statistics 3
3. Both of the following courses (6 credits):
EPI 810 Introductory Epidemiology 3
LCS 829 Design and Conduct of Epidemiological Studies and Clinical Trials 3
4. The following course (1 credit):
EPI 828 Seminar in Responsible Conduct of Research 1
5. Elective courses selected from the following (Plan A, 16 credits) or (Plan B, 20 credits):
a. At least 13 credits (Plan A) or 17 credits (Plan B) from the following biostatistics, statistics, and econometrics courses:
EC 821A Cross Section and Panel Data Econometrics I 3
EC 821B Cross Section and Panel DataEconometrics II 3
EPI 851 SAS Programming I: Essentials 1
EPI 852 SAS Programming II: Data Management and Analysis 1
EPI 858 Clinical Trials 3
EPI 920 Advanced Methods in Epidemiology and Applied Statistics 3
EPI 951 Latent Variable Modeling 3
EPI 952 Duration and Severity Analysis 3
EPI 953 Analytical Strategies for Observational Studies 3
STT 801 Design of Experiments 3
STT 825 Sample Surveys 3
STT 847 Analysis of Survival Data 3
STT 850 Applied Multivariate Statistical Methods 4
STT 861 Theory of Probability and Statistics I 3
STT 862 Theory of Probability and Statistics II 3
b. At least 3 credits from the following epidemiology courses:
EPI 812 Causal Inference in Epidemiology 3
EPI 813 Investigation of Disease Outbreaks 3
EPI 817 Epidemiology of Communicable Disease 3
Other epidemiology electives are available with approval of the student’s academic advisor.
Additional Requirements for Plan A
1. The following course (4 credits):
EPI 899 Master's Thesis Research 4
Additional Requirements for Plan B
1. Completion of a final oral examination or evaluation.


Biostatistics - Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biostatistics provides students with the quantitative skills needed for the development, evaluation and application of novel methods for the analysis of modern biomedical data.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university, and of the College of Human Medicine, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

For admission to the doctoral degree in biostatistics on regular status, the student must:

  1. have a master’s degree in biostatistics, statistics, or related field;
  2. submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE)scores, or MCAT scores;
  3. provide TOEFL scores if their native language is other than English;
  4. provide three letters of recommendation;
  5. provide a statement of purpose;
  6. provide official transcripts.
Applicants with strong academic records who are in the process of completing a master of science may be admitted on a provisional basis. The first 30 credits applied towards the completion of a master of science may not be counted toward the Ph.D. in Biostatistics.

Applicants who are admitted without a master’s degree will be required to complete collateral course work to make up deficiencies. Collateral course work will not count towards the fulfillment of degree requirements. It is strongly recommended that applicants have taken course work in multivariate calculus, advanced undergraduate linear algebra and probability, and numerical computing.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Biostatistics

The doctoral degree program in biostatistics is selected in consultation with a faculty advisor and guidance committee. The doctoral degree program will offer three emphasis areas: design and analysis of medical studies; big data and statistical genetics; and biometry, a flexible option for students with diverse interests.

Student’s must:
  1. Complete 25 credits in the required courses for the chosen emphasis area, and electives.
  2. Pass the comprehensive examination which contains two modules: the first (3/4 of the exam) will be based on the content covered in the required courses common to all emphasis areas; and the second (1/4 of the exam) will be based on the required courses in the chosen emphasis area. A student who fails the comprehensive examination may retake the examination within six months after the first take, usually in January of the following year.
  3. Complete 24 credits of EPI 999 Doctoral Dissertation Research.
  4. Successful completion of a dissertation and final oral examination in defense of the dissertation.


 

Epidemiology - Master of Science

The master's degree program in epidemiology is designed to produce individuals competent to undertake research in epidemiology and to participate in epidemiologic work as a part of public health practice. Required core courses concentrate on the population approach to disease, quantification of disease frequency, approaches to acute disease outbreaks, relevant biostatistical techniques, sources of health data, research design and analysis, and the development of skills in epidemiologic judgment.  Specialized elective courses are offered in epidemiologic aspects of heart disease, cancer, reproductive health, and communicable diseases.

Admission

A bachelor's degree is required for admission to the program.

Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Epidemiology

The program is available only under Plan A (with thesis).  The distribution of credits within the student's program is determined by the student's academic advisor and guidance committee with the approval of the Dean of the College of Human Medicine.  The guidance committee determines the form, scope, and time of required examinations.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Human Medicine, the student must complete at least 40 credits distributed as follows:

1. All of the following courses (31 credits):
EPI 808 Biostatistics I 3
EPI 809 Biostatistics II 3
EPI 810 Introductory Epidemiology 3
EPI 812 Causal Inference in Epidemiology
EPI 817 Epidemiology of Communicable Diseases 3
EPI 826 Research Methods in Epidemiology 3
EPI 828 Seminar in Responsible Conduct of Research 1
EPI 836 Practicum in Epidemiological Methods 3
EPI 851 SAS Programming I: Essentials 1
EPI 852 SAS Programming II: Data Management and Analysis 1
EPI 899 Master's Thesis Research 4
LCS 829 Design and Conduct of Epidemiological Studies and Clinical Trials 3
2. One of the following courses (3 credits):
EPI 815 Epidemiology of Cardiovascular Disease 3
EPI 823 Cancer Epidemiology 3
3. Complete 6 credits of 800-level or above course work approved in advance by the student's guidance committee.
4. Pass an oral examination in defense of the thesis.

Epidemiology - Doctor of Philosophy

The objective of the Ph.D. degree program is to provide students with the epidemiological and biostatistical skills that will enable them to undertake the highest levels of clinical and epidemiologic research. The program trains students to participate both in public health activities such as health planning, disease control, and community health education and in research into the causation of disease.

Admission

To be considered for admission to the program:

  1. an applicant must have earned a master of science or a master of public health in epidemiology degree with at least 40 credits.
  2. applicants who earned their master of science or master of public health in epidemiology at an institution other than Michigan State University will be evaluated individually by the department to determine if any additional collateral course work will be required. Credits earned in collateral courses will not count toward the Ph.D. in Epidemiology.
  3. submit GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores, or MCAT scores.
  4. present evidence of competency in English (TOEFL or MELAB scores) with their application if their native language is not English.
  5. submit three letters of recommendation.
  6. submit a statement of purpose.
  7. submit official transcripts.

Applicants with strong academic records who are in the process of completing a master of science or a master of public health in epidemiology may be admitted on a provisional basis. The first 40 credits applied towards the completion of a master of science or a master of public health in epidemiology may not be counted toward the Ph.D. in Epidemiology.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the University and the College of Human Medicine, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Epidemiology

               
1. Complete the following core courses (9 credits):  
  EPI 805 Readings in the Historical Roots of Epidemological Thought 3
  EPI 910 Themes in Contemporary Epidemiology 3
  EPI 920 Advanced Methods in Epidemiology and Applied Statistics 3
2. One of the following courses (3 credits):  
  EPI 950 Advanced Biostatistical Methods in Epidemiology 3
  STT 847 Analysis of Survival Data 3
3. Complete 15 credits of 800-900 level course work approved in advance by the student's guidance committee.  
4. Attendance at 80% of all presentations in the departmental epidemiology seminar series during the period of course work.  
5. Attendance at monthly Doctoral Journal Club meetings.  
6. Pass a comprehensive written examination which will cover the field of epidemiology in general and the candidate’s area of special interest and study.  
7. Successfully complete 24 credits of Epidemiology 999  doctoral dissertation research that demonstrates original research in epidemiology and public health.  
8. Successful oral defense of the dissertation.  

Academic Standards

A student who fails the comprehensive examination or the final oral defense of the dissertation may repeat either examination only once, within six  months of the first examination.