PhD in Biostatistics
The Ph.D. program in Biostatistics educates advanced students in the theory and application of biostatistics and data science methods and prepares them to be on the forefront of leadership in these areas. Education in the advanced theory of probability and statistical inference is combined with applied methods in complex study design and analysis.
Graduates from the PhD program typically pursue careers as academic researchers and teachers; in industry, such as the pharmaceutical and biomedical fields; and in other research pursuits, both public and private. Typical roles include teaching, collaborative research and independent research in statistics, biostatistics, bioinformatics methods, design, and data analysis.
- Develop and/or evaluate new biostatistical and data science methods.
- Apply advanced statistical techniques with rigorous evaluation of underlying assumptions.
- Contribute to the advancement of statistical theory, methodology and knowledge through communication of results.
The PhD program requires a minimum of 72 post-baccalaureate degree credits, with at least 30 credits of doctoral study at Tulane SPHTM. Up to 42 credits may be applied from the MPH or equivalent master’s degree. Upon admission to the PhD program, faculty review the master’s degree coursework to determine credits that may be applied toward the PhD degree. If a prerequisite course or equivalent has not been fulfilled, the student must take the course in addition to the 30 credits of advanced doctoral study but may count toward the total 72 credits. All students in SPHTM without prior public health degrees are also required to take SPHL 6020 Foundations in Public Health (3 c.h.) that provides an overview of public health. See PhD Handbook.
The PhD must be completed within seven years of matriculation into the doctoral program.
|Prerequisite Coursework (from prior master's degree) 1|
|SPHL 6020||Foundations in Public Health||3|
|BIOS 6040||Intermediate Biostatistics||3|
|BIOS 7040||Statistical Inference I||3|
|BIOS 7050||Statistical Inference II||3|
|BIOS 7060||Regression Analysis||3|
|BIOS 7080||Design of Experiments||3|
|BIOS 7150||Categorical Data Analysi||3|
|BIOS 7250||Principles of Sampling||3|
|BIOS 7300||Survival Data Analysis||3|
|SPHL 6060||Epidemiology for Public Health||3|
|Select 12 credits of Biostatistics elective courses at the 6000 or higher level||12|
|Required Doctoral Courses|
|BIOS 8270||Asymptotic Inference||3|
|BIOS 8350||Clustrd & Longtdinal Dta Anlys||3|
|BIOS 8500||Monte Carlo and Bootstrapping||3|
|BIOS 8800||Applied Data Analysis||3|
|BIOS 8820||Multivariate Methods||3|
|EPID 7120||Epidemiologic Methods II||3|
|Select a minimum of 12 credits from relevant advanced level courses offered within the department, school, or university in consultation with an academic advisor. 2||12|
|Total Credit Hours||72|
Students who do not have these prerequisites are required to take these or equivalent courses.
Additional credits may be needed to obtain a total of 72 credits. No more than 12 credits of special (independent) studies may be applied toward the doctoral degree.
Students are required to take online research ethics training via CITI or another equivalent training program in research ethics. This certification must remain current throughout the program duration.
Students are required to pass a written comprehensive examination that demonstrates general knowledge of biostatistical methods and research applications. The department administers a written comprehensive examination upon completion of the required coursework. The exam is administered twice a year (October and March) and must be taken within a year after the completion of the coursework. The exam has two parts: an applied biostatistics component; and a probability and mathematical statistics component. Candidates must pass both parts to successfully complete the comprehensive exam requirement. Students have two attempts to pass each component of the examination; the second attempt must take place within a year of the first. (See BDS PhD guidance from department)
(See PhD Handbook)
After successful completion of the comprehensive examination, the student forms a dissertation committee and develops a prospectus. The committee must include a minimum of three members with at least two faculty from the Department of Biostatistics and Data Sciences and one external to the school.
(See PhD Handbook)
Students work with their advisor and doctoral committee to determine a research hypothesis and prepare a prospectus of proposed dissertation research. The research prospectus is presented and defended at least one semester before the dissertation defense. Following the successful defense of the prospectus, students are admitted to PhD candidacy and proceed with dissertation research.
(See PhD Handbook)
Students must conduct original research and defend a dissertation based on that research. The dissertation research demonstrates scholarly work and is the basis for the dissertation. The student defends the dissertation to their committee; the dissertation committee and SPHTM Executive Faculty approve the dissertation.