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Online Master's Degree in Biostatistics

An online master's degree in biostatistics can help working professionals further their careers, while allowing them to complete their coursework in a time frame and location that is more convenient for them. Learn more about the fast-growing field of biostatistics and the degree needed to enter the field below.

Getting an Online Master's Degree in Biostatistics

In 2018, biostatistics was among the top twenty fastest growing fields, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and earning a master's degree in biostatistics can be a useful step toward becoming a leader in that field. Those seeking to earn an online master's degree in biostatistics should already possess a strong grasp of statistical concepts, have passed the GRE, and exhibit excellent self-discipline, as online courses tend to be structured in a way that enables students to work at their own pace, with discussion boards, chat rooms and webinars requiring up to nineseveral hours of attention per course, per week.

Prospective students may choose to pursue a Master of Science degree in biostatistics or a Master of Public Health degree with a specialization in biostatistics. Both tracks may require practical work in a real world setting and courses for either track may include:

Biostatistics I

In this course, students can learn to evaluate public health related studies through assessing subjects such as theoretical distributions, hypothesis testing, data analysis and more. By reviewing current biomedical research, students may grasp concepts of estimations and uni-variate linear regression models. After completion of this class, a student might be expected to understand the application of biostatistical methods in real public health and medical settings.

Medical Study Design

Upon completion of an initial biostatistical class, a graduate student may move on to learn the principles of designing medical studies. These principles may include processes of randomization, sample size validation, selection of end-points, ethical research practices and more. Methods of training in this course might include literature review, group mock study design, and research proposals.

Intro to SAS Programming

Statistical analysis software (SAS) is a crucial tool in the hands of a trained biostatistician. In this course, the student can learn how to utilize SAS to create models and analyses given a set of parameters and data files. Upon completion, a graduate student may be expected to construct their own models and predictions based upon raw research results.

Foundations of Public Health

It is imperative for students pursuing this degree to have a fundamental understanding of the concepts that dictate public health in theory and in practice. This course might cover the history and notions that govern the philosophies of public health. Students can achieve a solid basis of comprehension that could allow them to move seamlessly into leadership roles in the field.

Epidemiology in Public Health

Epidemiology is one of the most important applications of biostatistics. Students might cover topics, in this course, like disease occurrence, community survey methods, alternative explanations and more. The culmination of this course could provide a graduate student with the ability to address epidemiological queries from a data based approach.

Public Health Law and Advocacy

This course may prepare a student to utilize data to advocate for community based public health needs and programs. Students may review current state and federal agendas to understand best practices for securing funding, accessing key players and ensuring program adoption within communities. It may also give an overview of how policy is made relating to public health and how regulations are implemented at various levels in organizations.

Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases

There are few applications of biostatistics that are of more pressing importance than understanding the underlying causes of the chronic diseases that have been on the rise in the Western world. In this course, students might evaluate the contributory elements that influence chronic diseases. Additionally, the topics in this class may examine factors that have been applied to prevent new cases of these diseases.

Introduction to STATA

The STATA program is a powerful software system designed to allow users to manipulate large datasets to produce meaningful graphics and plots. In this introductory course, students might be instructed on the basic usage of this software in creating regression models and statistical simulations. These skills can be invaluable in pharmaceutical research settings or if a student plans to work within a federal public health agency.

Environmental Health

A course in environmental health might cover the principles of environmental factors that affect the health of geographically similar populations. Topics may include exposure and risk assessment as well as potential interventions. Students could evaluate current and historical data to understand the methods of assessing environmental impacts on population health.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2018 projections, biostatistics is poised to be one of the fastest growing fields over the next decade. An online master's degree in biostatistics can prepare a student for a career in pharmaceutical research, public health or medicine and may consist of two years of coursework spanning topics that can range from epidemiology to statistical software programs to legal advocacy.