University of Washington Department of Biostatistics will offer a new Master of Science (MS) in Biostatistics degree beginning Autumn 2018. The new 50 credit, full-time degree program called MS Capstone features a choice from three specializations, a capstone project, and the efficiency of an 18-month timeline.
The department's decision to develop this streamlined program is a response to the growing demand for highly qualified practitioners of biostatistics in many fields. Fortune Magazine predicts a 23% projected job growth by 2024, and ranks a master’s in biostatistics as the #1 graduate degree to pursue in terms of career investment in 2016.
“Biostatisticians are in high demand in many industries, including public health," says Adam Szpiro, Associate Professor in Biostatistics at UW and director of the new degree program. “We see this each year when our graduating students are recruited by universities and other research institutes, technology companies like Google and Microsoft, and pharmaceutical and bio-tech companies. All of these organizations seek candidates with advanced skills in statistical analysis and the ability to deeply engage in real-world problems. Our new MS Capstone program is specifically designed to foster these skills and empowers MS graduates to efficiently transition into the next phase of their careers.”
Students choosing the MS Capstone program will benefit from receiving a similar core curriculum to other UW Biostatistics programs, but on a faster timeline. By the third quarter of the program, students choose their area of specialization in data science, statistical genetics or modeling and methods. This specialization determines the required course electives. The MS Capstone program culminates in a capstone project instead of the traditional research-based thesis. This project allows students to produce a marketable portfolio showcasing their skills to future collaborators and employers. The MS Capstone may be completed in 18 months, compared to the 24-36 months required for the department’s Master of Science Thesis program.
The department will begin accepting applications for the new MS Capstone degree program September 1, 2017. First classes will begin in Autumn 2018.