HDS concentration

The MS in Biostatistics with area of concentration in Health Data Science is designed for students with a background in calculus, some experience with a programming language, and a strong interest in public health and data science. The HDS concentration emphasizes biostatistical theory and statistical computational methods for analyzing, processing and interpreting large-scale data sets so that students are prepared to clean, store, manage, manipulate, visualize and process high dimensional data as well as be effective statistical collaborators in interdisciplinary studies; and lead the design and execution of studies.

Biostatistics and HDS careers

Addressing the rising need for health care analytics, our HDS concentration provides cross-disciplinary and necessary training for graduates of our program to be in high demand. In fact,  Glassdoor ranks data scientist as the #1 best job in America for 2019 and Forbes magazine states “IBM Predicts Demand For Data Scientists Will Soar 28% by 2020. Here are just a few employers with open positions for health data scientists found on a recent search on Indeed, Glassdoor and ZipRecruiter:

  • Amazon
  • Fortive
  • GNC
  • Google
  • Highmark Health
  • Innovu
  • RAND
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific

Typical median salary ranges were $56,000-$125,000.

HDS concentration-specific competencies

Students with the health data science concentration will master the core MS in biostatistics competencies and will also be able to:

  1. Apply data curation and data management techniques such as data munging, data scraping, sampling, and cleaning in order to construct informative, usable, and manageable data sets for meaningful analyses,
  2. Apply methods for big data and machine learning to reveal patterns, trends and associations including visualization, and
  3. Effectively use a programming language (such as R and/or Python) for data management and statistical analysis.

HDS 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 data science, machine learning and database management,
  • A statistical consulting practicum,
  • Coursework in epidemiology and public health, and
  • Capstone course to prepare a thesis involving innovative data analysis or related to an internship experience.

program information Schedule-at-a-Glance for MS with Health Data Science concentration (PDF)

MS-HDS Schedule-at-a-Glance (PDF)
MS-HDS Degree Requirements Worksheet (PDF, 2019-20)
Student Handbook (PDF, 2019-20)

Admissions information

Sample Thesis Titles

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

Application Deadline

Applications are due by January 15 for fall admission. 

Apply online now

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

Questions?

biostat@pitt.edu

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MS Student & Alumni News

Biostatistics Student Wins National Award 

Biostatistics Student Wins National Award

Xiaotian (Steven) Gao, a Masters student in the Department of Biostatistics at Pitt Public Health is the 2015 and inaugural winner of the Lingzi Liu memorial award.  (03/17/2015)

Lyu receives Lingzi Lu Memorial Award 

Lyu receives Lingzi Lu Memorial Award

This year, Pitt BIostats master's student LINGYUN LYU is a recipient of the  Lingzi Lu Memorial Award  from the American Statistical Association in partnership with the International Chinese Statistical Association, The award provides travel support to the ASA Conference on Statistical Practice and... (12/13/2017)
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Liu's paper selected for Distinguished Student Paper Award 

Liu's paper selected for Distinguished Student Paper Award

Peng Liu's (BIOST '16, '20) paper "MethylSeqDesign: A framework for Methyl-Seq genome-wide power calculation and study design issues" has been selected for the Distinguished Student Paper Award. Congratulations!  (02/11/2019)
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Barbour: 2019 Early Career Excellence Award 

Barbour: 2019 Early Career Excellence Award

Kamil Barbour (BIOST ’11, EPI ’10) is an epidemiologist with the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion for the CDC, currently serving as team lead of the State Chronic Disease Epidemiology Assignee Program. In this hand-selected role, he supervises four senior-level ... (04/22/2019)
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2018 Celebration of Student Awards 

2018 Celebration of Student Awards

On April 28, 2018, Pitt Public Health celebrated recent graduates with awards given upon the culmination of a degree program. Delta Omega's honor society inductees were announced and outstanding thesis/essay and dissertation awards were conferred. Outstanding Student Awards were also given at both ... (04/30/2018)
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Pitt Public health students competed and won at Code4PA code-a-thon competition 

Pitt Public health students competed and won at Code4PA code-a-thon competition

At this year's Code4PA event, two teams of Pitt Public Health students won prizes in the regional competition and advanced to the final round. A team of four, including HUANG LIN (BIOS '20), QING YIN (BIOS '21), AND LINGYUN LYU (BIOS '22), won best use of a case/visualization. The other team, inclu... (11/07/2018)
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Boyd selected for JSM Diversity Workshop and Mentoring Program 

Boyd selected for JSM Diversity Workshop and Mentoring Program

Kristina Boyd (BIOST '19) has been selected to participate in the JSM Diversity Workshop and mentoring program at this year's Joint Statistical Meetings taking place in Denver July 28-31. She was also granted a travel award to attend. Those selected will participate in daily sessions, career enhanc... (07/03/2019)
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