The Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics provides rigorous training in the fundamental sciences underlying public health practice. Our biostatistics faculty apply statistical techniques including survival and longitudinal data analysis, computational statistics, statistical analysis of genomic and proteomic data, machine learning, neuroimaging statistics, and bioinformatics to analyze and interpret health data.

Students with an MPH in biostatistics develop skills to implement research studies of human health and disease, interpret quantitative data, and use statistical reasoning to address public health problems. This MPH program accommodates full and part-time students.

Find out more about the admissions process and deadlines

View the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics flyer.

Explore Program Details


The Master of Public Health in Biostatistics consists of 43 credit hours of graduate work. In addition to required courses, the credit hour requirements include:

  • three to six elective credit hours
  • a six to nine credit hours capstone experience that includes an internship (three credits, 240 hours) and either
    • an MPH project (three credits) or
    • thesis (six credits)

A full-time student may complete our program in two years. Part-time students may take up to 4 years to complete the program. The majority of courses are offered in the late afternoon and evenings, which helps accommodate the working student. Within five years of entrance to the program, all program requirements must be met and the degree awarded. There is a recommended sequence for completing the MPH program that considers prerequisites and course scheduling.


The Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in Bostatistics is a professional, practice-based degree. As such, upon completion of the degree requirements, all students are expected to demonstrate their ability to:

Biostatistics Common Core Competencies

  1. Describe the role biostatistics serves in the discipline of public health.
  2. Describe basic concepts of probability, random variables, and commonly used statistical probability distributions.
  3. Distinguish among the different measurement scales or types of variables and select appropriate descriptive statistical methods for summarizing public health data.
  4. Select appropriate inferential statistical methods to answer research questions relevant to public health research.
  5. Conduct descriptive and inferential statistical analyses that are appropriate to different basic study designs used in public health research.
  6. Interpret results of statistical analyses found in public health studies.
  7. Critically review and summarize statistical analyses presented in public health literature.
  8. Perform appropriate sample size and power calculations to ensure that the study is sufficiently powered to achieve the scientific aims.

Biostatistics Cognate Competencies

  1. Identify limitations in public health studies.
  2. Comprehend basic ethical and legal principles pertaining to the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of public health data.
  3. Communicate results of statistical analyses to lay and professional audiences.


Master of Public Health in Biostatistics Curriculum Overview

  Course Title Credits
EPIB 610  Foundations of Epidemiology 3
EPIB 650  Biostatistics I 3
HLSA 601  Introduction to Health Systems 3
HLTH 665  Health Behavior I 3
MIEH 600  Foundations of Environmental Health 3
EPIB 611  Intermediate Epidemiology 3
EPIB 651  Biostatistics II  3
EPIB 652  Categorical Data Analysis  3
EPIB 653  Survival Data Analysis   3
EPIB 655  Longitudinal Data Analysis 1
EPIB 641  Public Health and Research Ethics 3
Electives with Advisement 3/6
Capstone EPIB 785  Internship in Public Health 3
EPIB 786 Capstone Project in Public Health (3 credits) or EPIB 799 Thesis (6 credits) 3/6
  Total Biostatistics MPH Program 43


The MPH Program expects students to obtain a significant practicum experience in population-based health prior to graduation. A practicum/internship experience involves hands-on experience working and interacting with public health professionals. All students are required to obtain a practicum experience as part of the MPH program, regardless of prior experience.

The 240 hour internship is designed to enable students to gain practical experience as professionals under conditions conducive to educational development. The internship is a time-limited, supervised period during which students apply biostatistical methods in a public health organization that works with epidemiologic and biostatistical studies. The internship provides students with the opportunity to integrate and apply knowledge and skills obtained in the MPH program.

In addition to the internship, all students must choose to complete an applied project (EPIB 786, 3 credits) or a research thesis (EPIB 799, 6 credits) as the culminating experience of the program. These experiences are student-led and require synthesis and integration of knowledge acquired in coursework, practicum, and other learning experiences and the application of theory and principles in a situation that approximates some aspect of professional practice. When designing the project/thesis students should review the MPH competencies for their program. Students must address each competency between the internship and project/thesis.

There are numerous opportunities to obtain a practicum experience. Examples of previous student practica placements for the MPH in Biostatistics include:

  • Office of Analysis and Epidemiology, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
  • Hospital Care Team, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
  • Research Data Unit, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
  • Division of Statistical Research & Methods, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
  • Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition/Biostatistics Branch (CFSAN), Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Biostatistics Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute (NCI)
  • IOWA Foundation for Medical Care
  • Consortium Health Plans