Doctor of Philosophy in Biostatistics

 

Program: Doctor of Philosophy in Biostastics
Department: Global Biostatistics and Data Science (BIOS)

The purpose of the PhD program in Global Biostatistics and Data Science is to train advanced students in the theory and application of biostatistical/bioinformatics methods, and to provide an opportunity for students to be on the forefront of leadership in global biostatistics/data science. Graduates from this PhD program typically pursue careers as academic researchers and professors; in industries 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.

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Admission Requirements

Students seeking a doctoral degree from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine must meet the school's general admission requirements and submit materials per the application requirements. All candidates must have completed a master's degree or have earned 30 graduate-level credits in a field related to the doctoral area of study. In addition, the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics requires the following from prospective doctoral students.

  • Successful prior completion of a course in calculus. A course in linear algebra is highly recommended.
Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for outstanding students holding only baccalaureate degrees with the approval of the doctoral committee.

Program Requirements

All doctoral students must obtain a broad interdisciplinary public health perspective. Requirements for all doctoral students include:
  • A minimum of 72 total graduate credits including:
    • Up to 42 credits taken in a master's program.
    • At least 30 credits in advanced didactic coursework beyond the master's degree  completed while enrolled at Tulane SPHTM.
  • No more than 12 credits of special (independent) studies may be applied toward the doctoral degree. The Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics requires at least 10 credits of research-related courses and/or independent studies.
  • Residency of one full academic year. Degree requirements must be completed within seven years after student first enrolls.
  • All doctoral students will take the comprehensive exam, submit a prospectus, and defend a dissertation for original research.
  • Doctoral level research preparation may include up to six credits in research applications and three credits in disciplinary research methods.
  • All PhD students in Biostatistics and Bioinformatics are required to register at least four times for BIOS 8000 Doctoral Student Journal Club.

Application Deadlines

Applications to the doctoral program should be submitted via SOPHAS by priority deadline of December 1 to be considered for fellowships and any available student funding. Transcripts and GRE verification should be submitted as soon as possible to avoid delay. There is no separate form for consideration of funding and applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. The school deadline for application to the doctoral program is January 15.

Courses:

Core Courses for both Biostatistics and Bioinformatics concentrations (29 hours)  

BIOS 7060 Regression Analysis (3)
BIOS 7080 Design of Experiments (3)
BIOS 7150 Categorical Data Analysis (3)
BIOS 7220 Nonparametic Statistics (3)
BIOS 7250 Principles of Sampling (3)
BIOS 7300 Statistical Methods for Survival Data Analysis (3)
BIOS 7400 Clinical Trials (3)
BIOS 8000 Doctoral Student Journal Club (0)
EPID 7120 Epidemiological Methods II (3)
TRMD 6010 Biological Basis of Disease (3)
***SPHL 8800 Essential in Research Readiness (2) *** NO LONGER REQUIRED. HOW DOES THIS AFFECT?

Biostatistics Concentration - Core Courses (15 credits)   

BIOS 8500 Monte Carlo and Bootstrapping Methods (3)
BIOS 8800 Applied Data Analysis (3)
MATH 6070 Introduction to Probability (3)
MATH 6080 Introduction to Statistical Inference (3)
MATH 7240 Mathematical Statistics (3)

Biostatistics Concentration - Math Electives (3 credits)
(One of the following three courses)         

MATH 6030 Stochastic Processes (3)
MATH 6040 Linear Models (3)
MATH 6130 Special Topics: Data Analysis (3)

Biostatistics Concentration – General Electives (15 credits)
(At least two elective courses should be BIOS courses in statistics and biostatistics methods/applications)

BIOS 7160 Advanced Categorical Data Analysis (3)
BIOS 8350 Analysis of Longitudinal & Clustered Data (3)
BIOS 8820 Multivariate Methods (3)
BINF 7010 Population and Quantitative Genetics (3)
BINF 7210 Statistical Methods in Bioinformatics (3)
BINF 7300 Bioinformatics Approach to Transcriptomics (3)
BINF 7500 Epigenetics and Epigenomics (3)
BINF 8100 Statistics in Human Genetics (3)
TRMD 6230 Methods in Cell Biology (3)
TRMD 6240 Molecular Biology Methods for Public Health (3)
CELL 6000 Ethics in Biological Studies/Biomedical Ethics (3)
CELL 6750 Cell Biology (3)
CELL 6030 Molecular Biology (3)

Bioinformatics Concentration - Core Courses (15 credits)

BINF 7010 Population and Quantitative Genetics (3)
BINF 7210 Statistical Methods in Bioinformatics (3)
BINF 7300 Bioinformatics Approach to Transcriptomics (3)
BINF 7500 Epigenetics and Epigenomics (3)
BINF 8100 Statistics in Human Genetics (3)

Bioinformatics Concentration - Biology Electives (3 credits)
(One of the following two courses)         

HMGN 7060 Molecular Genetics (3)
EPID 8810 Human Molecular Genetics (3)               

Bioinformatics Concentration - General Electives (15 credits)

BIOS 7160 Advanced Categorical Data Analysis (3)
BIOS 8350 Analysis of Longitudinal & Clustered Data (3)
BIOS 8500 Monte Carlo and Bootstrapping Methods (3)
BIOS 8800 Applied Data Analysis (3)
BIOS 8820 Multivariate Methods (3)
TRMD 6230 Methods in Cell Biology (3)
TRMD 6240 Molecular Biology Methods for Public Health (3)
CELL 6000 Ethics in Biological Studies/Biomedical Ethics (3)
CELL 6750 Cell Biology (3)
CELL 6030 Molecular Biology (3)
CELL 6710 Molecular Biology of Cancer (3)
MATH 6030 Stochastic Processes (3)
MATH 6040 Linear Models (3)
MATH 6070 Introduction to Probability (3)
MATH 6080 Introduction to Statistical Inference (3)
MATH 7240 Mathematical Statistics (3)

Note: Students with no graduate-level epidemiologic courses are required to take EPID 6030 Epidemiologic Method I (3 hours). This course (or an equivalent for students with previous graduate-level epidemiologic courses) may be counted towards the required 62 credits in didactic coursework. 

Comprehensive Exams

A student is required to take a written comprehensive examination within one year of completion of the required amount of course work. The student has a maximum of two attempts to pass the examination. Students must demonstrate general knowledge of bioinformatics and biostatistics covered by the core courses, and particular knowledge of the biostatistics and bioinformatics of one content area.

After completion of the required didactic hours of academic coursework, 60 hours minimum, the student must be registered each semester for at least two credits of doctoral studies until the comprehensive examination and prospectus have been successfully completed and the student's status has been changed to doctoral candidate.

Independent Research (10 credits)

Prospectus

Upon successfully completing the comprehensive examination, students are eligible to submit a prospectus. Upon the successful defense of the prospectus, the recommendation of the department and the approval of the prospectus by the Executive Committee, the student's status will be changed to that of doctoral candidate and can proceed to completion of the dissertation.

Dissertation

Both the prospectus and the dissertation must follow the guideline provided by the SPHTM Doctoral Committee. The dissertation must meet the accepted criteria for excellence in the presentation of written work in the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics community. The prospectus should be publicly presented and approved by the dissertation committee at least one year before dissertation defense. The dissertation must be submitted and publicly defended.

A student is required to have at least three first author manuscripts before being allowed to graduate: at least one peer-review publication (published, in press, or accepted), and at least two publishable manuscripts being submitted. The dissertation can be compiled in one of two formats: (1) the traditional dissertation format, or (2) the three-manuscripts-model format.

Detailed guidelines and policies for prospectus, dissertation, academic performance, residency, registration requirements, time limitation, and extensions are provided in the Doctoral Program Handbook, and must be followed.

Ready for More?

You can learn more in a webcast or visit sophas.org to start your application now.

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Department of Biostatistics, 1440 Canal Street, Suite 2001, New Orleans, LA 70112, 504-988-5164 kbranley@tulane.edu

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