Master of Science in Biostatistics

Biostatistics is the science of developing and applying statistical methods needed to tackle research problems in a variety of fields – especially public health and medicine.

The Master of Science in Biostatistics program focuses on training students to design studies, and to model and interpret data arising from research in health and medicine. MS Biostatisticians collaborate with researchers through the application of statistical and computational methods to clinical studies, electronic medical records, chart reviews and other health-related data sources. They work as part of a team to help health experts arrive at evidence-based conclusions about disease and health risks in an effort to improve population health.

Program Overview

The MS in Biostatistics program is for students who want to merge their interest in analytics and programming with their interest in health research. Students should have a background in a quantitative field (e.g., mathematics, statistics, computer science), an interest in programming, and a desire to apply their skills in the areas of medicine or public health.


Learning Goals

  • Assess foundational concepts of probability and statistical inference.
  • Analyze clinical and public health data using descriptive biostatistical methods.
  • Distinguish appropriate basic inferential statistical analyses and summarize their results.
  • Manage standard statistical software to efficiently manage data structures.
  • Summarize central concepts of statistical theory and inference.
  • Develop appropriate plans to analyze standard continuous data in order to make valid inferences.
  • Develop appropriate plans to analyze standard categorical data in order to make valid inferences.
  • Communicate effectively, in writing and verbally, with substantive investigators and members of the community when assisting in the design of research studies as well as the results of statistical analyses.
  • Weigh a public health problem in terms of magnitude, person, time, and place.
  • Explain each of the five core disciplines in public health and illustrate the ways each of the core disciplines have contributed to the historical evolution of public health.
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Required Courses

The MS in Biostatistics is a two-year (four semester) program emphasizing application, computation and theory.  Core courses cover computational methods, regression techniques, consulting, and relevant likelihood-based statistical theory.

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Admissions Guidelines

To apply to the MS in Biostatistics program, students must complete the WVU graduate application, pay the processing fee and submit all relevant information as outlined in the WVU Catalog. Completed applications are sent to the department for review. Students will receive an e-mail from the School of Public Health regarding their recommendation for acceptance.

View WVU Catalog for Admissions Guidelines