Biostatistics - Master of Science

Biostatistics is one of the primary fields in the science and practice of public health, relating statistical information to concrete health issues as they affect human populations.

Biostatisticians often collaborate with public health and clinical professionals to research and analyze problems in a wide range of health sciences, providing the evidence needed to make critical clinical and policy decisions.

The Master of Science (MS) degree is a natural entry point for students who are interested in pursuing a PhD degree or a career in research. Because of this orientation, the emphasis in the MS degree program is on building a strong foundation in a particular specialty field, along with the research methods important in that field.

To reflect this research and academic orientation, the MS degree ordinarily requires the preparation of a thesis, though it is available under a non-thesis option at the discretion of the division of specialization.  The MS program with a specialization in Biostatistics presupposes a basic statistical background at the level of PUBHBIO 6210-6211.

Students admitted to the MS degree program are assigned a faculty advisor who will provide guidance throughout the program. 

Program of Study

The MS-Biostatistics curriculum consists of a minimum of 45 credits organized into four curricular domains:
1. Epidemiology requirement (3 credits)
2. Biostatistics specialization and Selective courses (27 credits)
3. Electives (12 credits)
4. Thesis (3 credits)

For detailed additional information about specific requirements, students are directed to the College of Public Health (CPH) Graduate Student Handbook and to the Ohio State University Graduate School Handbook.

Recommended Preparation

The most important background for biostatistics is good preparation in mathematics. The recommended preparation is a course in multivariable calculus and a course in linear algebra. A first course in probability and statistics is desirable, and any applied statistics courses are also helpful. Familiarity with a statistical package (SAS, R, STATA, SPSS, etc.) is also desirable, though not required. Close attention will be paid to grades in quantitative courses of any kind. GRE scores (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing score) should be at the 50th percentile or higher, and many students score well above that, especially on the quantitative portion.

For information regarding application materials, test scores and codes, and decision timelines see our frequently asked questions page.