Do you want to have an impact on national and international health issues? Are you interested in working with real data to fuel real world change?

Biostatistics is a rapidly-growing field that applies statistical methods to improve public health and reduce illness. As a biostatistician, you'll be a critical member of the research team. You'll design studies, analyze the resulting data and communicate the results.

You might design a clinical trial of a new medication, craft a study to determine the most effective way to prevent teen smoking, or help identify factors which predict a particular disease—fascinating and important projects that impact people and society.

Our students gain the confidence they need to work with very large data sets (often called "big data") using various computer techniques (with some additional computer science courses.). They use their finely honed quantitative analysis skills every day to make a difference in many fields.

Program Requirements

The major in biostatistics includes a foundation in mathematics, a core of applied and theoretical statistics courses, and relevant biology and computing courses.


  • MATH 118 Introductory Statistics
  • MATH 211 Linear Algebra
  • MATH 220 Multivariable Calculus (Math 120-121 (Calculus I-II) or its equivalent in high school is a pre-requisite)
  • MATH 227 Statistical Design and Analysis
  • MATH 228 Introduction to Data Science
  • MATH 229 Regression Models
  • MATH 338 Probability
  • MATH 339 Mathematical Statistics
  • MATH 391
  • CS 112 Introduction to Computer Science

Students are encouraged to take a course in SAS programming either as an Independent Study or by completing ITECH 4101: Programming in SAS (Emmanuel College). 

In addition, students must take two biology courses. One from: 

  • BIOL 104 Introduction to Environmental Science
  • BIOL 123 Principles of Microbiology
  • BIOL 113 General Biology
and the other from a 200+ or 300+ level biology course. 

Finally, at least four semester hours of independent learning (for students entering prior to September 2014) or the capstone (for students entering September 2014 or later) must be completed in Biostatistics. Math 390 may be used to satisfy the capstone requirement. It is Departmental policy that courses required for a major should not be taken pass/fail.

Minor Requirements

The minor in biostatistics consists of MATH 118, MATH 227, MATH 229; one from BIOL 104, 113, 123, 336, or 346; and one from SOC 241, PSYC 203, or MATH 228. Students who had the equivalent of MATH 118 in high school should consult with their Mathematics advisor about the selection of a fifth course.

Customize Your Program
A biostatistics major can usefully be combined with a major in any health science (or indeed with a major in any field which makes extensive use of quantitative methods) or stand on its own. You'll work with your advisor to tailor a program to your interests and career goals. Simmons offers many options for customizing your studies, including dual majors, accelerated programs and a wide variety of complementary minors.
Internships and Research

We encourage our students to take advantage of multiple hands-on learning opportunities, including on-site research, off-site research and internships. You'll sharpen your skills and refine your interests while building your resume and developing important mentoring relationships.

Students have recently held the following positions:

  • Intern at Boston University School of Medicine examining the correlation between patient religiosity and health outcomes
  • Intern at John Snow, Inc., to analyze survey data from project OPTIONS, a physician delivered intervention for HIV positive patients in clinical care
  • Research assistant for the C - Change program at the Health Care Research Unit of Boston University School of Medicine on the treatment of elderly patients who are on Medicare
  • Intern at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Tuberculosis Division, studying the correlation between how far patients live from the closest TB clinic and the extent to which they complete their treatment program
  • Intern at EMC to become a "big data" analyst
  • Intern at Brigham & Women's Hospital examining the association between various genetic factors and multiple sclerosis.
    Robert Goldman
    Michael Brown
    • Michael Brown
    • Professor of Mathematics
    • Phone: 617-521-2688
    • Office: S217
    Donna Beers
    • Donna Beers
    • Professor of Mathematics
    • Phone: 617-521-2389
    • Office: S212
    Viktor Grigoryan
    • Viktor Grigoryan
    • Assistant Professor of Mathematics
    • Phone: 617-521-2491
    • Office: S214
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How to Apply
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