PhD-Biostatistics Concentration

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The PhD program in Public Health Sciences prepares professionals for research, teaching, and service with the overall objective of improving the health of populations.  To meet this objective, all students in the program pursue excellence in conducting research and disseminating knowledge. The primary focus is on research that advances knowledge and facilitates discovery regarding etiology, interventions, and policies that promote health at the individual, population, societal, and/or global levels. The concentration in biostatistics focuses on the reasoning and methods for using data as evidence to address public health and biomedical questions. It is an approach and a set of tools for designing studies, analyzing data, quantifying evidence, and making decisions. The PhD curriculum will prepare the student for three roles (researcher, collaborator/communicator, and educator) which are commonly expected of a Biostatistician.

Role as a Researcher
Research in biostatistics is characterized by a commitment to statistical science where foundations, methodology, and applications to the solution of public health and biomedical problems are mutually supportive. The goals of foundational research are in the development of better strategies, or ways of reasoning, for empirical studies. The goals of methodological research are in the creation of new tools or techniques for drawing inferences from data. The goals of application research are in the implementation of the aforementioned foundations and methodologies. Upon completion of the PhD in Public Health Sciences degree with a concentration in Biostatistics, the student will have demonstrated proficiency in the following research competencies:

Perform independent research where original/new biostatistical foundations, methodologies or applications are developed.
Review and synthesize literature and proposals critically from a biostatistical point of view in preparation for future peer-reviewed publications and grant proposals.

Role as a Collaborator/Communicator: Collaboration is characterized by a responsibility to ensure that researchers from various other disciplines have access to statistical knowledge, resources, and support which enhance the quality, integrity, and validity of their studies or projects. Communication is characterized by a demonstration of skills in written, oral, and graphical translation of statistical ideas, methods, and results in non-statistical terminology. Upon completion of the PhD in Public Health Sciences degree with a concentration in Biostatistics, the student will have demonstrated proficiency in the following collaboration and communication competencies:

Adapt and apply existing statistical methods as dictated by the needs of a particular study or project as it relates to, but not limited to, study design and analysis.
Effectively translate biostatistical ideas, methods, and results to collaborating colleagues.

Role as an Educator: Scholarship is characterized by the dissemination of gained knowledge to public health students, professionals, and scientists. Upon completion of the PhD in Public Health Sciences degree with a concentration in Biostatistics, the student will have demonstrated proficiency in the following scholarship competencies:

Identify biostatistical concepts and methods needed by a specified group of people.
Disseminate the said concepts and methods effectively through lectures and written materials.

The PhD program requires a minimum of 90 semester credit hours (SCH) post-baccalaureate degree and is offered on a full time or part-time basis. Any graduate credits post-baccalaureate, including master’s degree courses may be applied to coursework outlined within the PhD degree plan. A student may apply up to 42 SCH of previously taken graduate level courses toward the completion of the Ph.D. coursework (Advanced Standing). All such courses are subject to approval by the advisor.

PhD Core Competencies (see below)

2015-2016 Curriculum   Course Descriptions

PhD Core Courses: 33 SCH
BACH 5300 Theoretical Foundations of Individuals & Community Health
BIOS 5300 Principles of Biostatistics
EOHS 5300 Environmental Determinants of Health
EPID 5300 Principles of Epidemiology
HMAP 5300 Introduction to Health Management & Policy
BIOS 5310 Intermediate Biostatistics
BIOS 6300 Advanced Methods in Biostatistics
HMAP 6360 Ethical Issues in Public Health
PHED 6118 Methods for Public Health Studies II
PHED 6220 Scientific and Grant Writing
PHED 6321 Pedagogy in Public Health
PHED 6314 Methods for Public Health Studies I

Concentration Required Courses: 33 SCH
BIOS 6314 Categorical Data Analysis
BIOS 6320 Biostatistical Research and Consulting
BIOS 6322 Longitudinal Data Analysis
BIOS 6324 Survival Analysis
EPID 5313 Introduction to Data Management and Statistical Computing
BIOS 6310 Probability and Statistical Inference
BIOS 6311 Linear Models
BIOS 6312 Methods of Survey Sampling
BIOS 6326 Methods of Clinical Trials
EPID 5310 Intermediate Epidemiology
EPID 5312 Survey Research & Questionnaire Design

Electives: 12 SCH
BIOS 6390* Advanced Topics in Biostatistics
BIOS 6399 Doctoral Independent Study in Biostatistics
EPID 6310 Advanced Methods in Epidemiology I
EPID 6325 Secondary Data Analysis
*May be repeated for credit provided the topics are different

Culminating Experience: 12 SCH
BIOS 6000 PhD Comprehensive Examination
BIOS 6395 Doctoral Dissertation (12 SCH)
PhD Professional and Academic Development

Upon completion of the PhD in Public Health core courses, the student will have demonstrated proficiency in the following competencies:

Research Theories: synthesize historical, contemporary, and emerging theories and paradigms of significance to public health.
Critical Analysis: Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of existing research evidence and identify significant gaps in knowledge.
Research Methodology: Comprehend,  design and apply relevant and advanced research methods based on rigorous standards of evidence.
Scientific Communications: Develop professional skills in scientific and grant writing, oral communication, and teaching.
Ethics: Uphold the highest ethical standards in all professional endeavors, including the design and implementation of research and the participation of human subjects.
Discovery and Translational Theory: Conduct investigative research, including areas that facilitate the translation and application of discovery to practice.