Master of Science in Biostatistics

The Master of Science in Biostatistics is designed for students interested in applying statistical methods to the design and analysis of biomedical research and clinical investigations data.

The program focuses on the theory of biostatistics, data analytic methods, experimental design (including the design, conduct and analysis of clinical trials), statistical methods in human genetics, biomedical informatics and advanced statistical computing methods. Statistical methods are taught both from a practical and theoretical perspective.

Program Director

Trevor Pickering
Trevor Pickering, PhD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Population and Public Health Sciences

tpickeri@usc.edu

Application Deadlines

FALL

Priority: December 1st
Final: May 1st

SPRING

October 1st

SUMMER

March 1st

For More Information

Core Coursework

Typically completed in 2 years, the 39-unit degree consists of 8 core courses (28 units), 2 to 5 elective courses (at least 7 units) and a master’s thesis (4 units). During the program, students take part in research teams assisting with study design, data coordination and management, statistical analysis and reporting of results.

Concepts of biostatistics; appropriate uses and common misuses of health statistics; practice in the application of statistical procedures; introduction to statistical software including EXCEL, SPSS, nQuery. 

Major parametric and nonparametric statistical tools used in biomedical research, computer packages including SAS. Includes laboratory. 

Statistical methods for analysis of categorical data including dichotomous, ordinal, multinomial and count data, using Stata package. Includes laboratory. 

Terminology/uses of epidemiology and demography; sources/uses of population data; types of epidemiologic studies; risk assessment; common sources of bias in population studies; principles of screening. 

Statistical methods for analysis of various experimental designs. Parametric analysis of variance (ANOVA), repeated measures methods, crossover designs, non-parametric ANOVA.

Principles and methods used in epidemiology for comparing disease frequencies between groups. Restricted to the analysis of binary outcome variables. 

Density distribution and hazard functions; normal, chi-square, student’s t and F distributions; and sampling procedures for single factor and multiple factor designs, distributions. 

Theory of estimation and testing, inference, analysis of variance, theory of regression. 
Recommended Preparation: college-level calculus and linear algebra. 

Master's Thesis

The program culminates in a master’s thesis on a topic of the student’s choosing. Research consists of original work worthy of submission to a publication or peer review journal. 

Guidelines for PM Thesis Courses 
Full-time students begin working on their thesis at the beginning of their second year and register for PM 594a/b over two consecutive semesters. When you are enrolled in PM 594a, you will select a Committee Chair (or thesis advisor), that will help you form your thesis committee and guide you through your thesis project. The thesis is written like a scientific paper which is typically about 30-40 pages double spaced, although there is no page requirement. A thesis defense is not required for MS students, only the submission of your final manuscript that must be approved by each of your committee members and submitted to the Graduate School by the posted deadlines. Additional details for the submission guidelines and formatting can be found here at the MS Thesis Guidelines below:
Past thesis titles
  • Modeling Risk Factors for Early Smoking Experimentation in School-Aged Children
  • The Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on the Progression of Carotid IntimaMedia Thickness and Arterial Stiffness in Elderly African American Women: Results of a Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial

Program Faculty

Master's Thesis

The program culminates in a master’s thesis on a topic of the student’s choosing. The equivalent of one year of full-time effort must be devoted to research leading to a master’s thesis. The thesis provides a structure for the development of a plan to address a research problem and a suitable approach to the analysis and presentation of the results.

Guidelines for PM Thesis Courses 
Full-time students begin working on their thesis at the beginning of their second year and register for PM 594a/b over two consecutive semesters. When you are enrolled in PM 594a, you will select a Committee Chair (or thesis advisor), that will help you form your thesis committee and guide you through your thesis project. The thesis is written like a scientific paper which is typically about 30-40 pages double spaced, although there is no page requirement. A thesis defense is not required for MS students, only the submission of your final manuscript that must be approved by each of your committee members and submitted to the Graduate School by the posted deadlines. Additional details for the submission guidelines and formatting can be found here at the MS Thesis Guidelines below:

USC Health Sciences Profiles – This is a helpful tool to search for the research topics and profiles of USC faculty and their researchhttps://profiles.sc-ctsi.org/search/. For the list of PPHS faculty, filter by the department for “Preventive Medicine”.

Master's Thesis

The program culminates in a master’s thesis on a topic of the student’s choosing. The equivalent of one year of full-time effort must be devoted to research leading to a master’s thesis. The thesis provides a structure for the development of a plan to address a research problem and a suitable approach to the analysis and presentation of the results.

Guidelines for PM Thesis Courses 
Full-time students begin working on their thesis at the beginning of their second year and register for PM 594a/b over two consecutive semesters. When you are enrolled in PM 594a, you will select a Committee Chair (or thesis advisor), that will help you form your thesis committee and guide you through your thesis project. The thesis is written like a scientific paper which is typically about 30-40 pages double spaced, although there is no page requirement. A thesis defense is not required for MS students, only the submission of your final manuscript that must be approved by each of your committee members and submitted to the Graduate School by the posted deadlines. Additional details for the submission guidelines and formatting can be found here at the MS Thesis Guidelines below:

USC Health Sciences Profiles – This is a helpful tool to search for the research topics and profiles of USC faculty and their researchhttps://profiles.sc-ctsi.org/search/. For the list of PPHS faculty, filter by the department for “Preventive Medicine”.

Master's Thesis

The program culminates in a master’s thesis on a topic of the student’s choosing. The equivalent of one year of full-time effort must be devoted to research leading to a master’s thesis. The thesis provides a structure for the development of a plan to address a research problem and a suitable approach to the analysis and presentation of the results.

Guidelines for PM Thesis Courses 
Full-time students begin working on their thesis at the beginning of their second year and register for PM 594a/b over two consecutive semesters. When you are enrolled in PM 594a, you will select a Committee Chair (or thesis advisor), that will help you form your thesis committee and guide you through your thesis project. The thesis is written like a scientific paper which is typically about 30-40 pages double spaced, although there is no page requirement. A thesis defense is not required for MS students, only the submission of your final manuscript that must be approved by each of your committee members and submitted to the Graduate School by the posted deadlines. Additional details for the submission guidelines and formatting can be found here at the MS Thesis Guidelines below:

USC Health Sciences Profiles – This is a helpful tool to search for the research topics and profiles of USC faculty and their researchhttps://profiles.sc-ctsi.org/search/. For the list of PPHS faculty, filter by the department for “Preventive Medicine”.

Master's Thesis

The program culminates in a master’s thesis on a topic of the student’s choosing. The equivalent of one year of full-time effort must be devoted to research leading to a master’s thesis. The thesis provides a structure for the development of a plan to address a research problem and a suitable approach to the analysis and presentation of the results.

Guidelines for PM Thesis Courses 
Full-time students begin working on their thesis at the beginning of their second year and register for PM 594a/b over two consecutive semesters. When you are enrolled in PM 594a, you will select a Committee Chair (or thesis advisor), that will help you form your thesis committee and guide you through your thesis project. The thesis is written like a scientific paper which is typically about 30-40 pages double spaced, although there is no page requirement. A thesis defense is not required for MS students, only the submission of your final manuscript that must be approved by each of your committee members and submitted to the Graduate School by the posted deadlines. Additional details for the submission guidelines and formatting can be found here at the MS Thesis Guidelines below:

USC Health Sciences Profiles – This is a helpful tool to search for the research topics and profiles of USC faculty and their researchhttps://profiles.sc-ctsi.org/search/. For the list of PPHS faculty, filter by the department for “Preventive Medicine”.

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