Career opportunities: Biostatistician, data analyst, informatics, information systems manager, academic
Biostatistics uses data analysis to investigate the cause of disease and injuries, as well as to identify health trends within communities. Students entering the biostatistics concentration should possess a basic knowledge in algebra and introductory statistics. The biostatistics concentration is designed primarily for students with a previous undergraduate degree, particularly in the health sciences, who want to obtain a solid background in quantitative and analytical methods for public health research. The coursework exposes students to methodology typically used to analyze different types of public health data and gives them opportunities to apply these methodologies themselves.
Faculty in the Department of Biostatistics teach courses and advise students in the biostatistics concentration. The curriculum is designed to enable students to develop competence in very specific biostatistical skills. Students are required to develop basic skills in regression analysis, survival analysis, and epidemiology methods. Each biostatistics MPH student has an opportunity to take public health electives and complete his/her program of study with an internship that includes a special analytical project.
The University of Florida offers both a Master of Public Health degree (MPH) with a concentration in Biostatistics and a Master of Science (MS) degree in Biostatistics. While both are valuable degrees, the target audiences are different. The MPH degree is designed primarily for students with a previous graduate degree, particularly in the health sciences, who want to obtain more skills in quantitative and analytic methods for public health research. There are no formal mathematics or statistics prerequisites for the MPH degree. Graduates of the MPH program with a concentration in Biostatistics return to their careers with an improved understanding of quantitative methods for public health research. This increased knowledge will both facilitate their own research programs and enhance their ability to critically read the literature in their field.
The MS degree however, is suitable for students with a substantial mathematics background, including at least three semesters of calculus and a semester of linear algebra. Some training in statistics and probability, ideally including undergraduate coursework in calculus-based probability and mathematical statistics, is desired. The mathematical level of the biostatistical courses required by the two degrees differs substantially so applicants should review both programs carefully before applying. View more information on the MS in Biostatistics on their webpage.
If you are interested in the biostatistics concentration, please contact email@example.com.
Additional information on the curriculum, including plans of study, can be found in the MPH Student Handbook.
- Standard 48-credit/42-credit MPH curriculum, Biostatistics Concentration
Biostatistics Core Courses
- PHC 6000 Epidemiology Research Methods I
Prerequisite: PHC 6001, and PHC 6052 or PHC 6050
- PHC 6053 Regression Methods for the Health and Life Sciences
Prerequisite: PHC 6052 or equivalent.
- PHC 6059 Introduction to Applied Survival Analysis
Prerequisite: PHC 6052 or equivalent, knowledge of multiple regression, SAS programming experience.
- PHC 6089 Public Health Computing
Prerequisite: PHC 6052 or approval of instructor.
Upon completion of the MPH program, students with a concentration in biostatistics should have mastered the following competencies:
- Apply standard probability distributions to public health outcomes
- Apply and interpret common statistical descriptive and inferential methods, including confidence intervals and hypothesis tests in one-sample, two-sample, and multivariable regression settings
- Build and interpret appropriate multivariate regression models to analyze public health data
- Develop practical skills in using statistical software packages for data management and analysis of public health data
- Develop written reports based on statistical analyses
Internship/Applied Practice Experience
The purpose of the MPH internship/APE (usually a research internship for biostatistics students) is to (1) apply the skills learned across the MPH curriculum and within the biostatistics concentration specifically, and (2) to advance the student’s understanding of biostatistics and public health in a real-world application and setting. Based on students’ goals, the internship setting may be in a public health agency, academic setting, or another related organization or agency. Within those settings, students may focus on a variety of specific disciplines or content areas of research, such as infectious or chronic disease, genetics, or cancer.
Information on the Applied Practice Experience can be found here.
Students must complete an Integrative Learning Experience (ILE) through completion of a capstone project that demonstrates their ability to define an issue, apply methods appropriate to their concentration, and produce results. These final activities of the MPH program are intended to encourage students to understand their projects in the larger context of public health as a cross-disciplinary field and in relation to the competencies expected of all MPH graduates.
More information about the ILE and capstone project can be found here.
Interested in the other concentrations offered in the MPH program? Explore more options on the Concentrations page.