Online Master’s Degree in Biostatistics

An online masters degree in biostatistics can be a great option for any individual hoping to build on an existing bachelor’s degree in biology, or public health. At the master’s level, biostatistics programs can either be offered as a Master of Public Health (MPH) in Biostatistics, or as a Master of Science in Biostatistics. Students enrolled in a MPH program typically look at biostatistics specifically as they apply to pathology and diseases, while traditional biostatistics programs teach students to understand and apply statistical methods for the design of biomedical research and analysis.

Classes for an Online Masters Degree in Biostatistics

Online biostatistics masters degree programs require students to complete course work in statistical theory, health science, clinical trials, and analysis of data. Students must complete exams based on theoretical knowledge of the field, while also demonstrating knowledge by studying clinical trials and survey data, and writing unique observations based on the data. Finally, most programs will require students to complete a final project that requires they complete their own statistical study. Some courses you can expect to see may include:

  • Theory of Statistics
  • Advanced Statistical Computing
  • Latent Variable Models
  • Survival Analysis
  • Clinical Trials

While most online biostatistics masters degree programs do not require students to participate in any practicum or work experience programs, almost all will require the student to complete their own independent study and research for their final thesis. Students are often called upon to take the knowledge learned in statistical theory, and apply it to their own unique project. Students must first select a topic of study and have it approved by a professor or department head. Once the student has an approved topic or project, they must collect their own data, interpret the data, and present it before a department head or advisory board.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Masters Degree in Biostatistics

While students can pursue a number of different careers after earning an online masters degree in biostatistics, one of the most common is as a biological statistician. Statisticians design surveys and experiments, or collect data applying to a specific field or area of biology. Most commonly, biological statisticians perform research to better understand certain issues within public health, such as the effectiveness of certain treatments, or the spread of disease and illnesses. Once the data is collected, the use computers with special statistical software to analyze the data, and then create reports for their findings in the form of tablets, charts, and graphs.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most statisticians enter the field with a master’s degree. The BLS also reported that statisticians held approximately 25,100 jobs in 2010, with one third working for the government. The field is also expected to grow by 14% through the year 2020, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations combined.


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