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Anschutz Medical Campus

Master of Science in Biostatistics

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus - Aurora, CO

At the Colorado School of Public Health you can train in the high-demand field of biostatistics on the region's premier health sciences campus - the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

Offered through the CU Denver Graduate School and Colorado School of Public Health, the master of science in biostatistics exposes students to a wide variety of studies and research interests including longitudinal data, statistical genetics and genomics, clinical trials, infectious disease, and cancer research. To see the wide range of projects undertaken by our students, you can review our previous thesis titles.

The program targets students with strong skills and training in mathematics with the interest to apply math in health care and biological settings.  Students pursuing the MS look forward to rewarding careers in academia, research, public health and private industry.  Potential positions include design and analysis of health studies, clinical trials, drug development and public health studies.

Coursework includes: applied and theoretical statistics; consulting; analysis of clinical trials; longitudinal and survival data; as well as production of a research paper or thesis.  Please note this program requires 3 semesters of recent calculus (e.g., Calculus I-III offered from a math or engineering department), and linear algebra with a preference for grades of B+ or higher, an introductory statistics or biostatistics course, and exposure to some statistical software (e.g., R, SAS).  Students interested in a less mathematical program with broader exposure to Public Health should consider the MPH in Applied Biostatistics​.

Students interested in specializing in statistical methods in genomics and genetics can consider the MS Minor in Statistical Genomics/Genetics.  Students interested in specializing in the generation, analysis and interpretation of large data sets can consider the MS Minor in Data Science Analytics.

The MS Biostatistics program is designed to be completed in 2 years by full time students.  Many MS students are supported through Research or Teaching Assistantship positions.  These positions are competitive, and offer opportunities for training and experience in research, teaching and practice in Biostatistics.

Program Curriculum

MS Biostatistics Curriculum Checksheet

Course Prefix Course Requirement Semester Credits
Required Biostatistics Courses (20 credits)
BIOS 6611 Biostatistical Methods I


BIOS 6612 Biostatistical Methods II


BIOS 6621 Biostatistical Consulting I


BIOS 6622​ ​Biostatistical Consulting II ​1
BIOS 6624 ​Advanced Statistical Methods and Analysis ​3
BIOS 6631​ ​Statistical Theory I ​3
BIOS 6632​ ​Statistical Theory II ​3
BIOS ​6643 ​Longitudinal Data Analysis 3​
Required Public Health Courses​ (6 Credits)

PUBH 6600​

EHOH 6601

​Foundations in Public Health

Public Health Concepts



EPID 6630​ ​Epidemiology ​3
Elective Biostatistical Courses​ (6 credits from this list)
(courses not listed require director approval)​
BIOS ​6641 ​Causal Inference 3​
BIOS ​6645 ​Predictive Analytics 3​
BIOS 6646​ ​Survival Analysis ​3
BIOS 6649​ ​Design of Studies in Health Sciences ​3
BIOS 6655​ ​Stat. Methods in Genetic Association Studies ​3
BIOS 6660​

BIOS 6640
​Analysis of High-throughput Data

Python and R Programming in Data Science

Thesis/Research Paper/Project​ ​ ​4

Total Program Credits

Note: Students may substitute CBHS 6619 Public Health in the Global Community - 3 credits for the combination of PUBH 6600 and EPID 6601 to fulfill the Public Health requirement.

(Curriculum is subject to change annually)


Program Competencies

Identifier MS Biostatistics Competencies Required Courses Description of Assessment
Carry out and explain calculations, derivations and proofs central to basic statistical theory, and explain their use and implications in applied statistical work. BIOS 6631 Statistical theory I, and BIOS 6632 Statistical theory II Multiple written homeworks and written exams each semester
Apply statistical concepts of basic study designs including bias, confounding and efficiency, and identify strengths and weaknesses of experimental and observational designs. BIOS 6611 Biostatistical methods I, and EPID 6630 Epidemiology Multiple written homeworks and written exams (6611), Final exam (6630)
Carry out exploratory and descriptive analyses of complex data using standard statistical software and methods of data summary and visualization. BIOS 6611 Biostatistical methods I, and BIOS 6621 Statistical consulting I Multiple written homeworks (6621), Multiple written homeworks and exams (6611)
Carry out valid and efficient modeling, estimation, model checking and inference using standard statistical methods and software. BIOS 6611 Biostatistical methods I, BIOS 6612 Biostatistical methods II, BIOS 6643 Analysis of longitudinal data, Two required Biostatistics electives Multiple written homeworks and exams each semester (6611, 6612, 6643), Written homeworks, exams and projects in electives
Demonstrate statistical programming proficiency, good coding style and use of reproducible research principles using leading statistical software. BIOS 6611 Biostatistical methods I, BIOS 6612 Biostatistical methods II, and BIOS 6624 Advanced statistical methods and analysis Multiple programming assignments each semester, and written projects (6624)
Demonstrate basic skills necessary for collaborating with non-biostatistical scientists, including mapping study aims to testable hypotheses, carrying out basic power and sample size estimation and evaluation, and identifying appropriate design, modeling and analysis methods to address study hypotheses. BIOS 6621 Statistical consulting I, and BIOS 6624 Advanced statistical methods and analysis Multiple homework assignments (6621) and written projects (6624)
Communicate, orally and in writing, simple and complex statistical ideas, methods and results in non-technical terms appropriate for collaborator needs (e.g. preparation of analysis section of grant proposals and methods and results sections of manuscripts). BIOS 6622 Statistical consulting II, and BIOS 6624 Advanced statistical methods and analysis Multiple homework assignments (6621) and written projects (6624)
Carry out a large independent research project involving innovative application of existing statistical methods or development of new methods, and report the methods and findings orally and in writing (e.g. a thesis or research paper). BIOS 6651 MS research paper, or BIOS 6950 Masters thesis Written thesis or research paper and oral defense and exam

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