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M.P.H. Concentration: Biostatistics

If you like collecting and analyzing health information, forecasting scenarios and making important health, economic or policy recommendations, a highly applied program like Saint Louis University's concentration in biostatistics may be ideal for you.


Biostatisticians apply statistical theory and mathematical principles to research in public health, medicine, pharmacology, biology, environmental science, and other related fields aimed at determining the causes of disease and injuries, and to identifying critical trends within communities.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

In addition to the admission criteria for all M.P.H. programs, the following is needed for admission to the M.P.H. in biostatistics program:

  • Bachelor's degree in mathematics, statistics, physics, chemistry, or engineering.
  • Applicants from a biological or social science background with prior coursework that includes calculus I and an introductory statistics class are also eligible.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until classes are full.  No GRE is required. Applications are reviewed holistically and are accepted on a rolling basis until classes are full. Apply using the centralized application services SOPHAS.org or HAMPCAS.org.

Joint Concentration Options
  • Epidemiology - a joint concentration in biostatistics and epidemiology requires just six additional credit hours and can still be completed in two years. We live in a data-driven economy so a joint concentration provides additional skills that future employers will value and the flexibility to do more with your career.
Concentration Competencies

SLU's strong job placement rates are based largely on its competencies-based training, collaborative faculty and a team-based learning experience.

If you concentrate your public health studies in biostatistics, you will be able to:

  • Articulate the principles of biostatistics.
  • Compute descriptive and multivariate statistical tests and measures of association using statistical software, e.g., SPSS, Excel, SAS & R.
  • Interpret results of statistical analyses.
  • Communicate results of statistical analyses.
  • Follow ethical norms and rules for acquiring, managing, sharing, securing and analyzing data.

What our faculty investigate:

  • Bayesian statistics
  • Categorical data analysis
  • Functional data analysis
  • GIS and spatial analysis
  • Latent structure modeling
  • Longitudinal data analysis
  • Statistical quality control
  • Survival data analysis

Applied Practice Experience

As a Master of Public Health student, you will be required to complete an internship, referred to as the Applied Practice Experience, or APEx, with an approved organization and preceptor. This 320-hour experience is designed to enhance your educational experience and promote professional competence in biostatistics. 

Students have engaged in practice experiences with organizations like Cerner Enviza, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and St. Louis Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Careers in Biostatistics

As a biostatistician, you have opportunities to work in government, industry, and academia. Your research and analysis may include:

  • Analyzing risk factors for different chronic and infectious diseases.
  • Analyzing the effectiveness of new drugs.
  • Communicating and explaining scientific discoveries.
  • Determining trends in drunken or distracted driving injuries.
  • Planning effective health care interventions and strategies for government, health care systems, and NGOs.