Jul 12, 2024  
2016-2017 CSU East Bay Catalog 
2016-2017 CSU East Bay Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biostatistics, M.S.

Department & Faculty Information  

Program Description

The Department of Statistics and Biostatistics offers graduate study leading to the degree Master of Science in Biostatistics. The program is designed to serve the needs of students with varying backgrounds in Statistics, Biological Sciences, Public Health, Computer Science, Mathematics and other sciences. The program includes curriculum designed to prepare students to work in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. All students are expected to master a wide variety of applied statistical and probabilistic techniques and the theoretical foundations on which these techniques rest. They are expected to be familiar with recent developments and to be able to use the statistical literature to learn new techniques and theories throughout their professional careers. In addition to the general requirements stated elsewhere in this catalog, a student must satisfy the departmental requirements stated in the following paragraphs.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with an M.S. in Biostatistics from Cal State East Bay will be able to:

  1. Apply biostatistical methods to data, including (a) descriptive statistics, probability and graphical displays, (b) distributions, hypothesis testing and confidence intervals, and (c) uncertainty, likelihood, modeling and error analysis;
  2. Derive basic theory and communicate to others results involving biostatistical data analysis;
  3. Formulate problem solutions, produce appropriate computer code and to interpret results.

Admission Requirements

  1. A baccalaureate degree or equivalent.
  2. Differential and Integral Calculus, including multiple integration and infinite series.
  3. Departmental approval.
  4. For “Classified Graduate” status, fulfillment of the University Writing Skills Requirement.

In addition to the above minimal requirements for admission, if students have some of the following background they will be at an advantage both as to selection for the program and optimal progress toward the degree if admitted:

  • basic statistics and probability at the level of STAT 3401 , STAT 3502  (or beyond)
  • additional mathematics at the level of MATH 2101  and MATH 3100  or MATH 3300  (or beyond)
  • knowledge of a computer programming language
  • coursework in biology and/or health sciences
  • experience in a setting where studies or experiments are conducted for the collection of data

Advancement to Candidacy Requirements

  1. Completion of at least 15 quarter units of approved work beyond the baccalaureate, with an average of “B” (3.0) or higher.
  2. Departmental approval. (May be contingent upon a written or oral qualifying examination.)

Degree Requirements

Successful completion of the following unit, grade, and course requirements.

A. Unit and Grade Requirements

The M.S. in Biostatistics program consists of at least 48 quarter units of approved upper division and graduate work. At least 44 of these units must be approved graduate (6000 level) courses. All work applied toward the 48 quarter units must be at an average grade of “B” (3.0) or higher. No graduate-level course may be at a grade below “B-.”

B. Course Requirements (48 units)

Additional courses referred to in section # 3 below must be approved in writing in advance by an advisor.

1. Required First Year Courses (24 units)

3. Additional Courses

Select one course from those listed below or, with department approval, select courses in Biostatistics, Biological Sciences, Computer Science, Mathematics, or Statistics. A partial list of courses is given below:


1. Students considering additional graduate education in Statistics or Biostatistics are strongly advised to take advanced mathematics coursework.

Comprehensive Examination

Successful completion of a departmental examination is required. This written examination will cover the contents of the courses in the candidate’s approved program. Other material may be included, the general nature of which will be specified in advance. The examination will generally be given only in the Fall and Spring quarters, and will cover both applied and theoretical topics.

In each quarter of offering, the department Chair will appoint three or more members of the graduate faculty to administer the examination. Each student will generally take the comprehensive examination in the quarter s(he) intends to graduate or in the preceding quarter, after consulting with the graduate advisor. The examination committee is the final departmental authority in deciding eligibility to take the examination.

Other Graduate & Post-Baccalaureate Degree Requirements

In addition to departmental requirements, every student must also satisfy the university requirements for graduation as described in the Graduate/Post-Baccalaureate Admission and Degree Information  chapter in this catalog. These include the 32-unit residence requirement, the five year rule on currency of subject matter, the minimum number of units of 6000-level courses, the 3.00 grade point average, and the University Writing Skills Requirement. For information on meeting the University Writing Skills Requirement, see the Testing Office website at www.csueastbay.edu/testing or call 510.885.3661.