Degree Requirements

Ph.D. Degree Program

The Ph.D. program produces biostatisticians who can develop biostatistical methodology that can be used to solve problems in public health and the biomedical sciences. In addition, graduates are prepared to apply biostatistical and epidemiology methodology for the design and analysis of public health and biomedical research investigations. Finally, graduates are well suited to function as collaborators or team leaders on research projects in the biomedical and public health sciences.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

The program consists of 63 credit hours including collaborative research experience, annual evaluations, graduate examinations, and the successful completion of a doctoral dissertation. Dissertation research culminates in a final dissertation examination consisting of an oral presentation by the candidate and an examination by the faculty.

Relevant prior graduate work is taken into consideration in setting up individual programs of study leading to the Ph.D. The typical course plan consisting of 63 credit hours is designed for students who have not previously completed a M.S. in biostatistics or directly relevant area. The course plan for a student who has previously completed a M.S. in biostatistics or directly relevant area is customized to account for master's-level courses already taken; therefore the total credit hours required will vary. Students applying directly to the Ph.D. program must have a master's degree in statistics, applied statistics, biostatistics, mathematics, or applied mathematics from an accredited program or a terminal degree (M.D., Ph.D.) in another field and must get approval from the graduate program. Otherwise, applicants should apply for the M.S. program.

The typical program consists of 63 credit hours including collaborative research experience, annual evaluations, graduate examinations, and the successful completion of a doctoral dissertation.

Required Biostatistics Ph.D. Core Courses (42 credit hours)

BIOS 810 Clinical Trials 3
BIOS 820 Statistical Computing/SAS Base L1 3
BIOS 825 Nonparametric Methods 3
BIOS 830 Experimental Design 3
BIOS 835 Categorical Data Analysis 3
BIOS 840 Linear Regression 3
BIOS 845 Survival Analysis 3
BIOS 871 Mathematical Statistics
3
BIOS 872 Mathematical Statistics II 3
BIOS 880 Bayesian Statistics 3
BIOS 890 Linear Models 3
BIOS 898 Collaborative Research 3
BIOS 900 Theory of Statistical Inference 3
BIOS 910 Generalized Linear Models 3

Annual Evaluations

Students are evaluated each April by their graduate advisors and the director of the graduate program. These evaluations provide feedback to the student regarding the progress they are making in meeting program requirements, classroom performance, and research performance.

Qualifying Examination

The qualifying examination is given after a student’s third full semester in residence, assuming the completion of the following courses: Mathematical Statistics I and II, Statistical Computing, Experimental Design, Linear Regression, and Categorical Data Analysis. The examination has two purposes: to assess the student’s strengths and weaknesses and to determine whether the student is sufficiently prepared to continue in the Ph.D. program.

Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination is typically given at the end of a student’s fifth full semester in residence, when a doctoral aspirant has completed the major portion of the course work at a satisfactory level and met all other program, school, and general requirements prerequisite to the comprehensive examination, including the research skill and responsible scholarship requirements of the university.

The examination assesses the student’s strengths and weaknesses and determines whether the student should continue in the Ph.D. program. There is both a written component to the exam and a subsequent presentation and defense of a dissertation proposal.

Dissertation

Students are recognized as formal candidates for the Ph.D. only after they have passed the comprehensive examination and completed all residence and departmental requirements. The candidate must present a dissertation showing the planning, conduct, and results of original research and scholarly activity. The purpose of the dissertation is to encourage and ensure the development of broad intellectual capabilities as well as to demonstrate an intensive focus on a problem or research area. This work is carried out under the guidance of a dissertation advisor.

Final Oral Examination

When the completed dissertation has been accepted by the dissertation committee in final draft form and all other degree requirements have been satisfied the chair of the committee requests (at least 3 weeks before the date of the examination) the Graduate Division to schedule the final oral examination.

Contact Info

Department of Biostatistics

KU Medical Center, 5028 Robinson
Mail Stop 1026, 3901 Rainbow Blvd.
Kansas City, KS 66160
913-588-4703
biostatistics@kumc.edu
http://biostatistics.kumc.edu/
Matthew S. Mayo, Chair
913-588-4703
mmayo@kumc.edu

Department of Biostatistics

KU Medical Center, 5028 Robinson
Mail Stop 1026, 3901 Rainbow Blvd.
Kansas City, KS 66160
913-588-4703
biostatistics@kumc.edu
http://biostatistics.kumc.edu/
Michael Brimacombe, Graduate Director
913-588-4703
Tamela Loos, Graduate Coordinator
913-588-2757
tloos@kumc.edu
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