Portland-State-University 2018-2019 Bulletin

Biostatistics MPH

Biostatistics is one of the five core areas of public health knowledge. Over the last decade in the US, there has been an increasing demand for individuals well-trained in the field of biostatistics to collaborate in public health research and program evaluation. The increasing use of electronic health records, population-based health surveys, large scale community-based interventions and evaluations of health care reform initiatives are just a few examples where biostatistics is essential for public health. We have noticed that those excelling in biostatistics often find employment prior to completing their degrees, a strong indication of the need for a track specifically focused on the application of biostatistics in public health. The Biostatistics track of the MPH program provides training in biostatistics methods as they apply to population health.

Courses emphasize intermediate to advanced applied statistical methods and statistical programming commonly used in public health research and practice, and track competencies highlight population-based study design, analytic methods, data interpretation, and communication. Epidemiological study design and methods are also an important component of the training provided by this track. Graduates of the program will be equipped to pursue careers in local, state and federal agencies, health and medical centers, pharmaceutical companies and research institutions.

Core Competencies

Students graduating from this track will be able to:

  • Apply appropriate principles of research design and population-based concepts to assess health problems;

  • Apply appropriate descriptive and inferential statistical methods to analyze risk determinants of disease and health conditions;
  • Apply descriptive and inferential statistical methods that are appropriate to the different study designs used in public health research;
  • Interpret and summarize results and communicate them to lay and professional audiences, in the context of proper public health principles and concepts;
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses of alternative designs and analytic methods, and critically review and assess statistical analyses presented in public health literature;
  • Describe basic ethical principles pertaining to the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of public health data;
  • Identify cultural dimensions of conducting research, including culturally sensitive recruitment of study participants, and develop strategies for interpretation of data in the larger cultural context.

For more information and instructions on how to apply to the program visit the MPH in Biostatistics web page.