Apr 23, 2024  
UofM 2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
UofM 2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biostatistics (MS)

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Master of Science (MS) Degree Program

Hongmei Zhang, PhD, MS
Professor and Director, Division of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Environmental Health 

224 Robison Hall 


Email: hzhang6@memphis.edu

The goal of the MS in Biostatistics program is to train students for positions in government and private health agencies, industry, and research institutes, and to prepare students who plan to enter a doctoral program in biostatistics or bioinformatics. The MS in Biostatistics is more focused and provides in depth training on biostatistical analytical tools and their related theoretical background. An MS in Biostatistics is beneficial to mid-career professionals who want to engage in population health and work in population health related research institutes, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies. Program objectives are: (1) Prepare students with analytical expertise in the field of public health; (2) Prepare students who plan to enter a doctoral program in biostatistics or bioinformatics with solid theoretical foundation; (3) Pursue innovative and rigorous research on critical public health issues to prevent disease and injury, promote well-being, and foster overall physical and mental health.

Program Admission

A bachelor’s degree is required for admission. It is required that applicants have the necessary mathematical, computational, and statistics background (e.g., calculus and linear algebra, programming, and introduction to statistics). Applicants for this program must show a potential for further study by having maintained a GPA of at least a 3.0 average in their bachelor’s-level coursework. An acceptable score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test (verbal and quantitative) is required from within the past five years. Verbal and quantitative GRE scores at 50% or above are preferred in each area. Other professional school standardized test scores (MCAT, DAT, GMAT, or LSAT) may be substituted for the GRE by applicants who are working toward or who have already earned post-baccalaureate degrees for example, in medicine, dentistry, business, or law.

All applicants who will be attending the University on a visa and who are not native speakers of English must supply a minimum score of 79 on the internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL/iBT), 220 on the computer-based test, or 550 on the paper-based test (TOEFL/PBT). International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is also acceptable in lieu of the TOEFL with a minimum acceptable score of 6.0.

Letters of recommendation from three individuals (at least one letter from a former professor or instructor) familiar with the applicant’s academic background or experience in public health related issues, specifying in detail the applicant’s capabilities for graduate study and for future performance as a public health professional, are required. Applicants must also submit a personal statement of approximately 750 to 1000 words indicating his/her present interests and career goals, including how the MS in Biostatistics will prepare the candidate to achieve these goals.

Materials submitted will be reviewed by the faculty admissions committee.  Admissions decisions are made based on the overall quality of the applicant’s scholarship and academic ability (based on GPAs, GRE scores, undergraduate coursework completed, and recommendations).

Program Requirements

The total number of credit hours is 36, including two (2) core courses, seven (7) biostatistics/statistics core courses, two (2) elective courses, and a thesis. Instead of completing a thesis and thesis defense, students have the option to take a written comprehensive exam plus a Master’s project with a report focusing on data analyses. Students are required to take a qualifying exam at the end of year one.

Courses Include:


** denotes courses that may be available online.

Retention Requirements

All students enrolled in the MS Biostatistics program are expected to attain high academic achievement in all courses taken. The following criteria will be used to determine retention status of students:

Students having been admitted unconditionally who maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher will be considered in good standing if not more than 2 (two) grades of 2.00C+ or lower has been earned.

Students must maintain a GPA of 3.00. In accordance with the Graduate School guidelines, any student not meeting this requirement will be placed on probation. The Coordinator of the MS Biostatistics will review each student’s academic record to determine whether to request permission from the Graduate School to allow a student who has not maintained a 3.00 GPA to continue to enroll in classes while on probation. The Coordinator of the MS in Biostatistics must approve courses for a student on probation. Probationary status continues even if the student has a grade under appeal. If a student remains on probation for two consecutive semesters or remains on probation after taking three courses (9 semester hours) without raising the overall GPA to 3.00, the student will be suspended from the program. Appeals of suspension must be submitted in writing to the Coordinator of the MS in Biostatistics.

A student who has been suspended from the MS in Biostatistics program will be denied enrollment in PUBH courses subsequent after suspension.

Graduation Requirements

To qualify for graduation, students need to meet the following requirements:  Complete a minimum of 36 semester hours of graduate course work beyond the bachelor’s degree including a 3 hour thesis credits (students have an option to replace these 3 credits by a written comprehensive exam plus a Master project with a report focusing on data analyses for a research project).

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