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Doctor of Philosophy - Biostatistics

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus - Aurora, CO


The PhD in Biostatistics prepares students for advanced study and research in biostatistics.  The program targets students with strong skills and training in mathematics and statistics who are interested in applications in health care and biological settings. As of September 1, 2019, we had 15 continuing and seven new Ph.D students.

PhD Biostatisticians typically function as independent investigators or key collaborators and co-investigators with researchers in other areas.  In this function they take the lead in designing studies and analyses.  Many continue to teach and carry out research developing new statistical methods.  Areas of faculty research include analysis of longitudinal data, clinical trials, statistical methods in genetics and genomics, causal modeling, treatment of missing data and imputation, and image analysis, functional data analysis, and data visualization. To see the wide range of projects undertaken by our students, you can review our previous thesis titles.

Coursework (beyond the MS in Biostatistics) includes: advanced biostatistical methods; advanced mathematical statistics; electives in a variety of areas; and electives in a health care or biological area of the student’s choice.

For students with an MS in biostatistics or a related field the program can be completed in three to four years, with most of the first one to two years devoted to coursework and most of the later years to research and dissertation. Research and dissertation work involves developing, comparing and evaluating statistical methods (e.g. methods for analyzing data), typically motivated by an application in health care or biology.​ PhD students are supported by Research or Teaching Assistant positions.  ​

The past several years, all PhD students desiring funding have been supported on Research or Teaching assistantships that pay a stipend, tuition and health insurance. Through these positions students conduct independent research as well as receiving real-world research and collaborative experience on a very large and active health sciences campus. PhD students are also required to serve at least one semester as a TA.

Biostatistics MS and PhD Program Handbook

 

PhD Biostatistics Program Plan of Study​​​

Program Requirements - PhD Biostatistics


COURSE REQUIREMENT COURSE # CREDITS
Required MS Biostatistics Courses   20
Elective MS Biostatistics Courses   6
Required Public Health Courses   6

Foundations in Public Health

Public Health Concepts

PUBH 6600

EHOH 6601

2

1

Epidemiology EPID 6630 3
Required PhD Biostatistics Courses   6
Advanced Mathematical Statistics I BIOS 7731 3
Advanced Mathematical Statistics II BIOS 7732 3
Elective PhD Biostatistics Courses
(Courses not listed require director approval)
  9
Statistical Methods in Genomics BIOS 7659 3
Analysis of Correlated Data BIOS 7712 1
Statistical Methods for Missing Data BIOS 7713 2
​Advanced Statistical Computing ​BIOS 7714 ​3
​Stochastic Modeling ​BIOS 7715 ​2
​Topics in Statistical Genetics ​BIOS 7716 ​1
​Bayesian Biostatistical Methods ​BIOS 7717 ​3
​Introduction to Biomedical Image Analysis ​BIOS 7718
​3
Information Visualization​ ​BIOS 7719
​3
Elective Health Sciences Courses   3
Dissertation BIOS 8990 30
TOTAL PROGRAM CREDITS   79
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PhD Biostatistics Competencies

Identifier PhD Biostatistics Competencies Required Course  Description of Assessment
PHD-BIOS 1 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
PHD-BIOS 2 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)
PHD-BIOS 3 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)
PHD-BIOS 4 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
PHD-BIOS 5 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)
PHD-BIOS 6 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)
PHD-BIOS 7 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)
PHD-BIOS 8 Carry out and explain calculations, derivations and proofs central to advanced statistical theory, and explain their use and implications in applied statistical work. BIOS 7731 Advanced mathematical statistics I, and BIOS 7732 Advanced mathematical statistics II Multiple written homeworks and written exams each semester
PHD-BIOS 9 Carry out advanced statistical modeling using a range of statistical theory, methods and computation. Biostatistics PhD electives (9 credits required beyond MS) Multiple written homeworks, projects and presentations.
PHD-BIOS 10 Demonstrate advanced collaborative biostatistical skills, including formulating testable study aims, identifying, designing and evaluating statistical analyses appropriate for study aims, reading and synthesizing biostatistical literature relevant to study analyses, and suggesting new methods when existing approaches are inadequate. Biostatistics PhD electives (9 credits required beyond MS) Multiple written homeworks, projects and presentations.
PHD-BIOS 11 Carry out independent biostatistical research involving development and evaluation of novel statistical methods and their application to problems of importance in health science research, and report the methods and findings orally and in writing (e.g. a dissertation and publishable papers). BIOS 8990 Doctoral thesis Written dissertation and oral defense and exam
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Colorado School of Public Health

13001 E. 17th Place
Mail Stop B119
Aurora, CO 80045


colorado.sph@ucdenver.edu

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