Master of Science Thesis Requirements

The Master of Science in Biostatistics Thesis is a 63-credit degree program. This page provides an overview of requirements for students entering the program in 2024 or after.

Course Credits

  • 30 credits of core curriculum courses
  • 9 credits of elective courses
  • 3 seminar credits (BIOST 580)
  • 3 credits for Statistical Consulting (BIOST 590)
  • 18 credits for Thesis
  • Minimum 3.0 grade in each core course and 2.7 minimum in each elective course
  • Full-time enrollment of 10 credits per quarter is expected (summer optional).


Students must pass the First Year (MS) Statistical Theory Examination after the end of spring quarter following completion of STAT 512 and STAT 513 (usually in the first year). If this examination is failed, it must be passed the following year. Learn more about exams in our Students section.


The master's thesis is an opportunity to give insight into a research question or body of data. It also provides evidence of your ability to carry out independent biostatistical investigation and to present the results in clear and systematic form. Under the guidance of an advisor and second reader, MS Thesis students must perform biostatistics research and write a thesis.

  • Students should consider potential thesis advisors and topics starting in the first year of the graduate program.
  • Students typically begin work on their thesis in the autumn quarter of their second year.

Sample Timeline

For students entering the program in 2024 or after.

First Year

Autumn Winter Spring Summer
STAT 512 Statistical Inference STAT 513 Statistical Inference BIOST 561 Computational Skills for Biostatistics [2] Select Thesis Advisor
BIOST 514 Biostatistics I BIOST 515 Biostatistics II
Elective (optional) Elective (optional)

BIOST 540 Longitudinal and Multilevel Data Analysis [3]

BIOST 579 Data Analysis and Reporting Electives [3]

BIOST 580 Seminar in Biostatistics  [1] BIOST 580 Seminar in Biostatistics  

Students entering the program in 2023 or later must fulfill the CEPH foundational knowledge in Public Health requirement by taking either: BIOST 504 Foundations of Public Health for Biostatistics or PHI 500 Public Health Practice, Science and Knowledge. Students can take these courses any quarter/year they are offered.

Second Year

Autumn Winter Spring Summer
BIOST 536 Categorical Data Analysis in Epidemiology BIOST 537 Survival Data Analysis in Epidemiology Electives  
Elective Elective
    BIOST 580 Seminar in Biostatistics
BIOST 590 Biostatistical Consulting (one quarter) [4]

Core Courses

Additional requirements

Course recommendations and notes

Optional courses


  • First Year (MS) Theory Exam follows spring quarter of Year 1.
  • MS Thesis completed by the end of Year 2.