MS - SCG concentration

The MS in Biostatistics with area of concentration in Statistical and Computational Genomics is designed for students with a background in calculus, some experience with programming, and a strong interest in public health and genomics. The SCG concentration emphasizes biostatistical theory and statistical computational methods for analyzing and interpreting ‘omics data so that students are prepared to be effective statistical collaborators in interdisciplinary studies; and lead the design and execution of studies.

Biostatistics and SCG Careers

Statistical and computational genetics is an exciting, rapidly changing, and interdisciplinary profession. Trained statistical and computational geneticists are in high demand.In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor’s O*NET OnLine projects the job growth for bioinformatics scientists nationwide to be 5-9%.

Here are just a few employers with open positions for statistical geneticists, genomic data scientists or bioinformaticians in a recent search on Indeed, Glassdoor, and ZipRecruiter:

  • 23andMe
  • Regeneron Pharmacueticals
  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
  • GeneDx
  • New York Genome Center
  • Signature Science
  • AgBiome
  • NIH Bioinformatics and Microbiome Center

Typical median salary ranges were $42,000-$167,000.

SCG Concentration-Specific Competencies

Students with the statistical and computational genetics concentration will master the core MS in biostatistics competencies and will also be able to:

  1. Apply specialized data curation, management, and cleaning tools for various types ‘omics data,
  2. Apply specialized statistical, bioinformatics, and computational methods for analysis of ’omics data, and
  3. Effectively use a programming language (such as R) to analyze ‘omics data.

SCG Concentration-specific Requirements

40 credits, including:

  • Coursework in fundamentals of statistical theory and applications
  • Coursework in programming languages (e.g. SQL, R, SAS, Python)
  • Coursework in modern computational methods for high dimensional data, machine learning, genomics and molecular biology
  • A statistical consulting practicum
  • Coursework in epidemiology and public health
  • Capstone course to prepare a thesis involving innovative data analysis or related to an internship experience

program information

MS-SCG Schedule (PDF)
MS-SCG Degree Requirements Worksheet (PDF, 2020-21)
Student Handbook (PDF, 2020-21)


Sample thesis titles

Browse titles in D-Scholarship, the institutional repository for research output at the University of Pittsburgh

Application deadline

Applications for fall admission are due by April 1 for international applicants and July 15 for US applicants.

Apply online now

Using  SOPHAS, the centralized application service for graduate schools of public health.


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MS Student News


2020 Best Poster Presentation - Jason Kennedy 

2020 Best Poster Presentation - Jason Kennedy

Congratulations to master's candidate Jason Kennedy (BIOST MS '20) who was awarded Best Poster Presentation at the annual Biostatistics Research Day on February 27 for his work on “The association between clinical phenotype cohesiveness and sepsis transitions after presentation.”  (03/10/2020)

Clemons awarded Commonwealth Equity Scholarship 

Clemons awarded Commonwealth Equity Scholarship

Arvon Clemons (BIOST '21) was awarded the Commonwealth Equity Scholarship for academic year 2019-20.  (12/17/2019)

DiSanto awarded Commonwealth Equity Scholarship 

DiSanto awarded Commonwealth Equity Scholarship

Dominic DiSanto (BIOST '20) was awarded the Commonwealth Equity Scholarship for the academic year of 2019-20.  (12/17/2019)

Biostats student wins best presentation award 

Biostats student wins best presentation award

Masters student Eli Lovelace (BIOS '20) won the Best Presentation award in local Kaggle Competition using the web-based data repository. The Pittsburgh Data Science Meetup Group hosted a Kaggle Competition on February 18, awarding prizes in two categories: most accurate model and best presentation.... (03/13/2020)

Wang receives RAC graduate student fellowship from Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh 

Wang receives RAC graduate student fellowship from Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

Xinjun (David) Wang (BIOST ’22) has been awarded a graduate student fellowship from UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. He received a perfect review score in the application despite the strong competition this year. The fellowship will provide support for two years for him to work on his thesis... (07/09/2020)

Meet Ruishen Lyu, MS student in biostatistics 

Meet Ruishen Lyu, MS student in biostatistics

Just like with his interest in preventative medicine, Ruishen Lyu (BIOST MS '20) had two main reasons for choosing Pitt from among the other universities to which he was accepted. The first was the great reputation of a large research university like the University of Pittsburgh. The second was the... (01/29/2020)

2020 Best Oral Presentation - Tao Sun 

2020 Best Oral Presentation - Tao Sun

Congratulations to doctoral candidate Tao Sun (BIOS '20) who was awarded Best Oral Presentation at the annual Biostatistics Research Day on February 27 for his work on "GWAS-based Deep Learning for Survival Prediction.”  (03/16/2020)
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