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Biostatistics MS and PhD Programs
Biostatistics as a Profession

Biostatistics is the application of statistical concepts and methods to biological research, usually medical research. Classical methods of experimental design, inference, analysis of variance, regression, and survival analysis are among the areas to be mastered. Biostatistics has grown rapidly since 1950 and continues to be one of the fastest growing specialties of statistics.

Typically, biostatisticians are involved in the design and analysis of three major areas of medical research.

  • Laboratory research studies: these investigators develop basic understanding of disease processes or pharmacological effects of new drugs in animal models and human systems.
  • Epidemiological studies: these studies identify factors that increase disease risk. Historical studies have examined risks for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, smoking, cholesterol levels, and the relationship of smoking to lung cancer.
  • Clinical trials: in the past two decades, biostatisticians have become increasingly involved in clinical trials. These clinical studies evaluate new drugs, procedures, or other treatment modalities in a rigorous manner to test for benefit or possible harm. Each year millions of dollars are spent on such studies by industry, government, and academic institutions.

Considerable medical opportunity exists for both MS and PhD graduates in industry, government, and medical centers. In addition, PhD graduates are highly sought in academic institutions. A career in biostatistics offers plentiful exciting and challenging opportunities.

Check out the following links which further describe Biostatistics as a Profession, and provide some information regarding the job opportunities available in this field.


UW Van Hise Building
UW Van Hise Building

Department Alumni - Post-graduation positions

What is Biostatistics (UCLA site)

American Statistical Association Job Listings

Society for Clinical Trials Job Board

Chronicle of Higher Education Career Network (type in Biostatistics in "Find a Job" field)

National Institutes of Health jobs website

Biostatistics Job Listing (U of Florida site)

Uw Madison, Chemistry Lab UW Madison, Class held outside on Bascom Hill