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Graduate Degree and Certificate Programs

Statistics is the exciting and rapidly-growing science of "learning from data, and of measuring, controlling, and communicating uncertainty." (Davidian and Louis, 10.1126/science.12118685).

Statistical methods are developed and applied to research in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), medicine, industry, and business fields, among many others. Statisticians play essential roles in designing the studies, analyzing data, disseminating findings, and creating new methods for addressing problems.

As science and technology progress and new ways to measure and collect information become possible, new statistical techniques must be developed and applied. With the breathtaking pace of science and technology, the skills of statisticians are especially in demand because of new advances in STEM and medical fields and in the collection, storing, and management of "Big Data".

Our innovative MS & PhD programs in Biostatistics and our recently formed MS in Applied Statistics, Analytics & Data Science help meet the ever-increasing demand for statisticians and biostatisticians needed to take leadership roles in academia, government and industry. The course work, seminars and collaborative research experiences have been designed so that our graduates acquire the knowledge and expertise that allows them to work at the frontier of their field.

Our faculty members are active researchers collaborating and consulting in research projects and initiatives throughout the Medical Center, in addition to pursuit of their own research agendas and participation in curricular instruction. Expertise in the department includes linear, nonlinear, and longitudinal modeling, clinical trial and experimental design, survival analysis, categorical data analysis, robust statistics, psychometric methods and Bayesian methodology.

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Degree Details

The goal of the MS program is to prepare students to function as a biostatistician or biostatistical consultant. Upon completion of the MS in Biostatistics the student will have an extensive understanding of biostatistical theory and practice and will be proficient in the application of statistical methods to one or more areas in the health sciences.

At the completion of the MS program in Biostatistics the graduate should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a broad knowledge and understanding of statistical theory and practice as applicable in the health sciences.
  • Function as a collaborator on a research team.
  • Take a leadership role in the design and implementation of a health science project.
  • Assume responsibility for the design and implementation of analyses for health science investigations.
  • Assist with the design and implementation of data management systems for large health science studies.
  • Prepare reports and publications resulting from health science studies.
  • Serve as an advocate for good statistical design in health science investigations.

Degree Requirements

The program consists of 36 credit hours including collaborative research experience, annual evaluations and the successful completion of the Masters General Examination.

Course Plan

The course plan consists of 27 credit hours from required Biostatistics core courses which includes 3 credit hours of Collaborative Research Experience. This requirement ensures the completion of a research component through collaborative effort within or external to the Department.

A minimum of 9 credit hours in Elective courses is also required. Elective credits include a minimum of three and a maximum of six credit hours in approved courses from outside the department and a minimum of three and maximum of six credit hours in Biostatistics electives. Biostatistics electives can be chosen from the list of elective classes and the required PhD courses.

Required Biostatistics Core Courses (27 credit hours)

  • BIOS 810 Clinical Trials (3 credit hours)
  • BIOS 820 Statistical Computing (3 credit hours)
  • BIOS 830 Experimental Design (3 credit hours)
  • BIOS 835 Categorical Data Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • BIOS 840 Linear Regression (3 credit hours)
  • BIOS 871 Mathematical Statistics I (3 credit hours)
  • BIOS 872 Mathematical Statistics II (3 credit hours)
  • BIOS 898 Collaborative Research (3 credit hours)
  • BIOS 900 Linear Models (3 credit hours)

Annual Evaluations

Students are evaluated each April by their graduate advisor and the director of the graduate program. These evaluations provide feedback to the student regarding the progress that they are making in a variety of areas: meeting program requirements, classroom performance, and research performance.

Graduate Examination

Masters General Examination: The Masters General Examination is given after a student’s third full semester in residence, assuming the completion of the following courses: Mathematical Statistics I & II, Statistical Computing, Design and Analysis of Experiments, Regression, and Categorical Data Analysis. The examination has three purposes: to assess the student’s strengths and weaknesses; to determine whether the student should be awarded the MS degree; and, if it is a degree goal, to determine whether the student is prepared to continue into the PhD program.

 

For questions regarding the MS in Biostatistics program, contact:

Jo Wick, Ph.D.
Assistant Director of Graduate Education, Department of Biostatistics & Data Science
jwick@kumc.edu
(913) 588-4790

The goal of the PhD program is to produce biostatisticians who can develop biostatistical methodology that can be utilized to solve problems in public health and the biomedical sciences. In addition, graduates will be prepared to apply biostatistical and epidemiology methodology for the design and analysis of public health and biomedical research investigations. Finally, graduates will be well suited to function as collaborators or team leaders on research projects in the biomedical and public health sciences.

Graduates of the PhD in Biostatistics will have:

  • The ability to develop careers in academia, research institutes, government, and industry;
  • A broad understanding of current statistical methods and practices in the health sciences;
  • A solid theoretical training necessary for the development and study of new statistical methods;
  • The ability to assume all responsibilities of a statistician in collaborative health science research; in particular, the graduate will have experience in the design, data management, analysis, and interpretation of a variety of experimental and observational studies;
  • Experience in writing reports and giving oral presentations describing health science studies.

Degree Requirements

The program consists of 63 credit hours including collaborative research experience, annual evaluations, graduate examinations and the successful completion of a doctoral dissertation. Dissertation research culminates in a final dissertation examination which consists of an oral presentation by the candidate and an examination by the faculty.

Relevant prior graduate work will be taken into consideration in setting up individual programs of study leading to the PhD. The typical course plan consisting of 63 credit hours is designed for students who have not previously completed a MS in Biostatistics. To apply for the PhD program directly a student must possess a Masters degree in statistics, biostatistics, mathematics or applied mathematics from an accredited program or a terminal degree (MD, PHD) in another field and get approval from the graduate program director. Otherwise, applicants should apply for the MS degree.The course plan for a student that has previously completed a MS in Biostatistics will be customized to account for master level courses already taken and therefore the total credit hours required will vary.

Typical Course Plan

The typical course plan consists of 42 credit hours from required Biostatistics courses, 12 credit hours of electives, and a minimum of 9 credit hours of dissertation research. Elective credits include a minimum of six and a maximum of nine credit hours in approved courses from outside the department and a minimum of three and a maximum of six credit hours in Biostatistics electives.

Required Biostatistics Core Courses (42 credit hours)

  • BIOS 810 Clinical Trials (3 credit hours)
  • BIOS 820 Statistical Computing (3 credit hours)
  • BIOS 825 Nonparametric Statistics (3 credit hours)
  • BIOS 830 Experimental Design (3 credit hours)
  • BIOS 835 Categorical Data Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • BIOS 840 Linear Regression (3 credit hours)
  • BIOS 845 Survival Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • BIOS 871 Mathematical Statistics I (3 credit hours)
  • BIOS 872 Mathematical Statistics II (3 credit hours)
  • BIOS 898 Collaborative Research (3 credit hours)
  • BIOS 900 Linear Models (3 credit hours)
  • BIOS 902 Bayesian Statistics (3 credit hours)
  • BIOS 905 Theory of Statistical Inference (3 credit hours)
  • BIOS 910 Generalized Linear Models (3 credit hours)

Annual Evaluations

Students are evaluated each April by their graduate advisor and the director of the graduate program. These evaluations provide feedback to the student regarding the progress that they are making in a variety of areas: meeting program requirements, classroom performance, and research performance.

Graduate Examination

Qualifying Examination: The Qualifying Examination is given after a student’s third full semester in residence, ensuring the completion of the following courses: Mathematical Statistics I & II, Statistical Computing, Design and Analysis of Experiments, Regression, and Categorical Data Analysis. Passing of the Qualifying Examination as a MS requirement applies. The examination has two purposes: to assess the student’s strengths and weaknesses and to determine whether the student is prepared to continue into the PhD program.

Comprehensive Examination: The Comprehensive Examination is given at the end of a student’s fifth full semester in residence, when a doctoral aspirant has completed the major portion of the course work at a satisfactory level and met all other program, school, and general requirements prerequisite to the comprehensive examination, including the research skills requirement. The examination has two purposes: to assess the student’s strengths and weaknesses and to determine whether the student should continue in the PhD program.

Dissertation Requirement

Dissertation: Students are recognized as candidates for the PhD only after they have passed the Comprehensive Examination and completed all residency and departmental requirements. The candidate must present a dissertation showing the planning, conduct, and results of original research and scholarly activity. The purpose of the dissertation is to encourage and ensure the development of broad intellectual capabilities as well as to demonstrate an intensive focus on a problem or research area.

Final Oral Examination: When the completed dissertation has been accepted by the committee in final draft form, and all other degree requirements have been satisfied, the chair of the committee requests (at least three weeks prior to the date of examination) the Graduate Division to schedule the final oral examination.

For questions regarding the PhD in Biostatistics program, contact:

Jo Wick, Ph.D.
Assistant Director of Graduate Education, Department of Biostatistics & Data Science
jwick@kumc.edu
(913) 588-4790

For questions regarding the Biostatistics Graduate Program, contact:

Jo Wick, Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Education
jwick@kumc.edu
(913) 588-4789

Shana L. Palla, EdD
Assistant Director of Graduate Education
spalla@kumc.edu
(913) 897-8674


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KU School of Medicine

University of Kansas Medical Center
Department of Biostatistics & Data Science
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Mailstop 1026
Kansas City, KS 66160