Public Health, MPH (Biostatistics)

Master of Public Health Degree with a Concentration in Biostatistics

University of Nebraska Medical Center

  • Fully Online
  • 42
  • $597.00
  • $597.00

Program Overview

The online Master of Public Health (MPH) with a concentration in Biostatistics degree program is designed to meet the needs of those individuals who work in public health and desire to broaden their training by learning the statistical and quantitative evaluation of public health research and programs. 

Through the Public Health, MPH (Biostatistics) program, students:

  • Conceptualize and define a public health problem in multidimensional terms
  • Develop an appropriate study design, to plan and implement proper statistical analyses
  • Interpret and report the results of the study
  • Gain basic biostatistical and quantitative skills and knowledge
  • Apply biostatistical sciences while working with investigators in the process of research studies
  • Learn innovative advances made in biostatistical methods while also learning the theory and application of biostatistics

Students who pursue this degree have a strong interest in analyzing and processing information, forecasting scenarios and drawing conclusions using analytic software and methods.

Career Outlook: Biostatisticians study a blend of applied statistics and biology in order to forecast and analyze clinical trains and research health-related data. In any of these career fields, a professional's research may focus on analyzing the effectiveness of a new drug, risk factors for different illnesses, planning healthcare interventions, explaining biological phenomena and much more. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the need for statisticians to grow 35.4% by 2030, much faster than the average of all occupations.

Career paths may include academia, government agencies, pharmaceutical companies and anywhere experts are needed for data management and statistical analysis. 

Potential career paths:

  • Pharmaceutical and clinical trials
  • Engineering and computer science
  • Data management
  • Academia
  • Government agencies such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, state health departments, etc.
  • Anywhere experts on data management and statistical analysis are needed

Concentrations: Students have the option to declare a concentration when applying for admission to the Master of Public Health program, or when establishing a plan of study. The concentration is reported on the student’s transcript.

Areas of concentration in the Master of Public Health program:

  • Maternal and Child Health (42)
  • Health Services Administration & Policy (42)
  • Health Promotion (42)
  • Epidemiology (42)
  • Environmental and Occupational Health (42)
  • Emergency Preparedness (42)
  • Biostatistics (42)

Admissions and Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A Bachelor's degree

    The student must have received the equivalent of a grade of B or better in a college-level statistics course, differential calculus and integral calculus.

  2. Taken the TOEFL

    (Only required if English is not your native language)

  3. A written personal statement

    The personal statement should be single-spaced, one-page in length and describe the applicants: interest in and potential for contributing to the field of public health, career objectives and a self-assessment of personal skills and general preparation for succeeding in a public health graduate program.

  4. 3 letters of recommendation

    Applicants must submit 3 letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to academic, practice and/or research abilities. Ideally, recommenders are recent professors, researchers or employers. Recent graduates (last 1-3) years should include faculty references among their 3 references. Employer and supervisor letters or recommendation are appropriate for those who may have graduated or have been employed in the workforce for several years, or for those who are a member of the armed services.

  5. Official transcripts from all previous schools

  6. International Transcripts. All non-US transcripts must be evaluated by the World Education Service (WES) using their ICAP Course-by-course evaluation service.

  7. Resume or CV that includes employment history, professional experience/skills and volunteer/service experience.

  8. Note: The GRE requirement for the MPH program Fall 2021 application has been waived. However, applicants with a GPA below 3.0 are strongly encourage to submit GRE test scores if available.

NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states

To apply to this program:

  1. Complete the online application. Use "School Designation" section in online application to select program and area of concentration you wish to apply.
  2. Submit application fee

Courses You’ll Take

Core Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
CPH 517Design of Medical Health Studies3
This course is designed to prepare the graduate student to understand and apply principles and methods in the design of biomedical and public health studies, with a particular emphasis on randomized, controlled clinical trials. The major design topics to be covered include sample selection, selecting a comparison group, eliminating bias, need for and processes of randomization, reducing variability, choosing endpoints, intent-to-treat analyses, sample size justification, adherence issues, longitudinal follow-up, interim monitoring, research ethics and non-inferiority and equivalence hypotheses. Data collection and measurement issues also will be discussed. Communication of design approaches and interpretation of subsequent analysis results also will be stressed. Concepts will be explored through critical review of the biomedical and public health literature, class exercises and a research proposal. The course is intended for graduate students and health professionals interested in the design of biomedical or public health studies. Prerequisite: Biostatistics I, BIOS 806/CPH506 or an equivalent introductory statistics course, and instructor permission.
CPH 653Categorical Data Analysis3
Survey of the theory and methods for the analysis of categorical response and count data. The major topics to be covered include proportions and odd ratios, multi-way contingency tables, generalized linear models, logistic regression for binary response, models for multiple response categories, and log-linear models. Interpretation of subsequent analysis results will be stressed. Prerequisite: BIOS 818/CPH 652 or an equivalent course, CPH 651/BIOS 810 or equivalent experience with SAS programming, and instructor permission.
CPH 514Planning and Evaluation3
This course is designed to prepare graduate students, professional students or fellows to apply multi-level evidence-based policy and program approaches to improve public health. The course will guide students through planning and evaluating the impact of public health strategies based on the reach, effectiveness, scalability, implementation quality, and sustainability of these approaches in complicated and complex systems.
CPH 539Public Health: Leadership & Advocacy3
This course incorporates public health leadership theory and practices, which are grounded in biomedical and social science and sanctioned by public law. Politics of communities and organizations is also included. Advocacy is emphasized as a key tool to secure funding and to help assure that local, state, and federal policy makers will adopt, implement, and maintain important public health regulations, policies and programs.
CPH 504Epidemiology in Public Health3
The objective of the course is to understand the application of surveys and research methodology in epidemiology, especially in the community setting. Theoretical aspects will be taught as an integral part of understanding the techniques of study design and community survey. Concepts to be covered include measure of disease occurrence, measures of disease risk, study design, assessment of alternative explanations for data-based findings, and methods of testing or limiting alternatives. Students will be expected to address an epidemiological question of interest to them, first developing the hypothesis and conducting a literature search, then developing a study design and writing, in several stages, a brief proposal for the study.
CPH 500Foundations in Public Health3
This is an introductory survey course, which will ensure that all public health students, within their first full year of study, are exposed to the fundamental concepts and theories that provide the basis for the body of knowledge in the field of public health. This course will prepare students to work in public health with a sound theoretical, conceptual, and historical basis for their work. CPH 500 must be successfully completed in the first 21 hours of the program of study.
CPH 652Biostatistical Methods II3
This course is designed to prepare the graduate student to analyze continuous data and interpret results using methods of linear regression and analysis of variance (ANOVA). The major topics to be covered include simple and multiple linear regression model specification and assumptions, specification of covariates, confounding and interactive factors, model building, transformations, ANOVA model specification and assumptions, analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), multiple comparisons and methods of adjustment, fixed and random effect specification, nested and repeated measures designs and models, and diagnostic methods to assess model assumptions. Interpretation of subsequent analysis results will be stressed. Concepts will be explored through critical review of biomedical and public health literature, class exercises, an exam and a data analysis project. Statistical analysis software, SAS (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USA.), will be used to implement analysis methods. The course is intended for graduate students and health professionals who will be actively involved in the analysis and interpretation of biomedical research or public health studies. Prerequisite: Instructor permission; calculus (including differential and integral calculus); BIOS 806/CPH 506 Biostatistics I or an equivalent statistics course; BIOS 810/CPH 651 Introduction to SAS Programming, or equivalent experience with SAS programming
CPH 529Capstone Experience3
The purpose of this course is to complete the capstone project. The capstone addresses a topic of public health significance and is evidence that the student can integrate skills and competencies from across the curriculum to conduct public health research and/or practice. Prior to registering for the course, students must identify a Capstone Chair from their department and form a committee to select foundational and concentration competencies to design a capstone experience appropriate to their educational and professional goals. Prerequisite: Completion of at least 36 credit hours that includes all required MPH core and concentration courses; formed capstone committee; proposal approved by capstone committee.
CPH 651Introduction to SAS Programming3
This course is an introduction to programming for statistical and epidemiologic analysis using the SAS Software System. Students will learn to access data from a variety of sources (e.g., the web, Excel, SPSS, data entry) and create SAS datasets. Data management and data processing skills, including concatenation, merging and sub-setting data, as well as data restructuring and new variable construction using arrays and SAS functions will be taught. Descriptive analysis and graphical presentation will be covered. Concepts and programming skills needed for the analysis of case-control studies, cohort studies, surveys, and experimental trials will be stressed. Simple procedures for data verification, data encryption, and quality control of data will be discussed. Accessing data and summary statistics on the web will be explored. Through in-class exercises and homework assignments, students will apply basic informatics techniques to vital statistics and public health databases to describe public health characteristics and to evaluate public health programs or policies. Laboratory exercises, homework assignments, and a final project will be used to reinforce the topics covered in class. The course is intended for graduate students and health professionals interested in learning SAS programming and accessing and analyzing public use datasets from the web. Prerequisite: BIOS 806/CPH 506 or an equivalent introductory statistics course.
CPH 528Applied Practice Experience 3
The purpose of this course is to provide all students with an applied, scholarly and mutually beneficial experience in a public health practice setting. This experience augments academic course work meets community needs and provides students with an opportunity to integrate and apply at least five foundational public health competencies. Students are expected to demonstrate mastery of public health principles, values and practice. All partner organizations must be approved by the Office of Public Health Practice. Applied practice experiences may involve governmental, non-governmental, non-profit, industrial and for-profit settings or appropriate university-affiliated settings. To be appropriate for applied practice experience activities, university-affiliated settings must be primarily focused on community engagement, typically with external partners. University health promotion or wellness centers may also be appropriate.
CPH 506Biostatistics3
This course is designed to prepare the graduate student to understand and apply biostatistical methods needed in the design and analysis of biomedical and public health investigations. The major topics to be covered include types of data, descriptive statistics and plots, theoretical distributions, probability, estimation, hypothesis testing, and one-way analysis of variance. A brief introduction to correlation and univariate linear regression will also be given. The course is intended for graduate students and health professionals interested in the design and analysis of biomedical or public health studies; not intended for Ph.D. students enrolled in the Biostatistics Graduate Program

Tuition & Fees

Nebraska Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours


Out of State Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours

Christopher S Wichman, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Christopher Wichman's current research is focused on detecting changes in metadata. He is interested in model misspecification in the presence of zero-inflated counts, experimental design, meta-analysis and social-network analysis.

Application Deadlines
  • Fall SemesterJun 01
  • Spring SemesterOct 01
Council on Education for Public Health