Advisor: Dr. Jianwei Chen,  619-594-2059, GMCS-573

Admissions and Financial Support:
Please see the Overview and Admissions page for information about applying to the program and for information about teaching assistantships.

General Requirement: 
General requirements for unclassified standing, classified standing, and advancement to candidacy are described in the Graduate Bulletin.  Students should file an Official Program soon after the beginning of the final year of study.  An Official Program must be filed prior to taking the last nine units of graduate course work.
 
Description

The Master of Science in Statistics, concentration in Biostatistics at San Diego State University emphasizes statistical methods and applications in the biological, health, and medical sciences. This would be the appropriate program for a student who entertains the idea of working in the biotech or pharmaceutical industry. Local job opportunities are excellent.

Program Requirements

The student must complete a minimum of 31 units of coursework as described below. Upon entry to the program, the student will be assigned to a graduate adviser in biostatistics. Thereafter, the adviser will meet with the student each semester and discuss their academic program. A program of study must be approved by the graduate adviser in biostatistics.

1. Complete Statistics 510, 670A, 670B with no grade less than B in each course. These are core statistics courses.

2. Complete Statistics 680A, 680B with no grade less than B in each course. These are biostatistics concentration courses.

3. Complete at least six units of courses in biostatistics and statistics, selected from the following with the approval of the graduate adviser in biostatistics: Statistics 520, 560, 570, 580, 596, 672, 673,676, 677, 678, 679, 696, 700, 701, 702, 795.

4. Complete at least six units of 500-level or graduate courses from a science of application of biostatistics (e.g., bioscience, health science, or medical science), selected with the approval of the graduate adviser in biostatistics. If the student has an undergraduate degree in an area of application of biostatistics, 500-level or graduate mathematical sciences courses may be substituted with the approval of the graduate adviser in biostatistics.

5. Complete one unit of Statistics 720.

6. Thesis Option (Plan A) – With approval of the graduate adviser and the faculty member who will chair the thesis committee, the student may choose Plan A and complete three units of Statistics 799A. The chair of the thesis committee must be a faculty member from the division of statistics in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. One of the other two members of the thesis committee must be a faculty member from a science of application of biostatistics (i.e., bioscience, health science, or medical science). The student must pass an oral defense of the thesis, open to the public.

7. In other cases, the exam option (Plan B) will be followed. Students who choose Plan B are required to complete three additional units of 600- and 700-numbered statistics courses, not including Statistics 799A, and pass a comprehensive written examination.

Refer to Graduate Bulletin for current courses and curricula.

Thesis Requirements (Plan A)

General requirements for the master’s thesis are as described in the graduate bulletin:

A thesis is the written product of a systematic study of a significant problem. It identifies the problem, states the major assumptions, explains the significance of the undertaking, sets forth the sources for and the methods of gathering information, analyzes the data, and offers a conclusion or recommendation. The finished product evidences originality, critical and independent thinking, appropriate organization and format, high level of writing competency, and thorough documentation.

Students should note that they must be advanced to candidacy before they will be permitted to form an official thesis committee and to enroll in Math 799A. In addition to the university requirements, the departmental requirements are as follows:

1. The chair of the thesis committee must be a faculty member from the Division of Statistics in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

2. One of the other two members of the thesis committee must be a faculty member from outside the Statistics Division. For students pursuing the Concentration in Biostatistics, the outside member must be a faculty member from a field of application (e.g., biology, public health).

3. The student must pass a public oral defense of the thesis.

Please view complete details regarding your Thesis Committee form.

PLAN B (Exam/non-thesis option): Fall 2017/Spring 2018

Policies and Procedures for the Plan B examination:

Students in the Plan B option must pass a two-part comprehensive examination. You must be Advanced to Candidacy to register for a Statistics master exam.  If you are not Advanced to Candidacy, do not register for master exams. If you do, your registration will be cancelled.

Theory Exam: The theory exam will cover materials from mathematical statistics and linear regression. Though the exam questions will not be marked as from specific course work, students are advised to review course materials from STAT 670AB and STAT 510 (or STAT 610 when it is introduced).

The exam will be closed book and closed notes. Students are allowed three 2-sided formula sheets of standard letter size (11 inches by 8.5 inches) and if typed, no smaller than 12 point font. Only formulas may be put on the cheat-sheets (problems with solutions are not allowed). The cheat-sheets must be handed in together with the exam. Necessary critical values or statistical tables will be provided for the exam. A hand calculator can be brought for basic arithmetic operations. The use of a cell phone, smart watch, or any other device that can access the internet during the exam, is strictly forbidden.

The theory exam will be given at 1:00 -5:00 pm on the Wednesday before fall semester classes begin each year.

Data Analysis Exam: The data analysis exam consists of a written report of a data analysis project. Each student will be given a data set and corresponding scientific questions. Students will have one week to complete the data analysis and produce a written report following the instructions provided at the time of the exam. Collaboration on the data analysis and report writing is not allowed. Any collaboration will be deemed as cheating and result in a failing grade.

The instructions and details of the data analysis exam will be available online at 10am the Tuesday of the week before spring semester classes begin each year.  A hard copy of the report must be submitted to the Dept Office in GMCS 413 by noon the following Tuesday.  Electronic submissions are not allowed.

THEORY EXAM, FALL 2018
TE registration: TBA

Exam date/location: TBA
Be sure to bring your personal hand calculator for the Theory Exam.
Email: mathhelp@mail.sdsu.edu
Subject line reads: Fall Theory Exam: (insert your last name in CAPS). In the text, Include your full name, red id#, mailing address, phone#, and email address. You must indicate the number of times you have taken the exam.

Cancellations should be done before deadlines noted above or a failing grade will be given. At the time of the exam, each student will be given a random ID number to be used on the exams. Students may take the two parts of the exam in any order. Each part of the exam may be taken by a student at most two times.

If you have filed for Advancement to Candidacy, and successfully passed the two part comprehensive exams, please download and complete a copy of the Report of Final Examinations form. Have your Academic Advisor sign the form, then take the form to the Graduate Division Office.

DATA ANALYSIS EXAM, SPRING 2018
Exam will be available online: 10:00am, Tuesday, January 9

DATA EXAM INSTRUCTIONS 
DATA DOCUMENTATION  
DATA FILE  
Written report is due in the Department Office, GMCS 413, no later than 11:00am, Tuesday, January 16, 2018 
Report may be submitted any time prior to the deadline. 
Candidate must be advanced to candidacy before taking a two-part comprehensive exam.

REGISTRATION DATES: November 1 – November 30
No late registration.

Email: mathhelp@mail.sdsu.edu
Subject line reads: Spring Data Analysis Exam: (insert your last name in CAPS).
In the text, Include your full name, red id#, mailing address, phone#, and email address.
You must indicate the number of times you have taken the exam.

Cancellations should be done before deadlines noted above or a failing grade will be given. Each candidate will be given a random code number to be used on the exams. Students may take the two parts of the exam in any order. Each part of the exam may be taken by a student at most two times. For discussion, contact your advisor.

If you have filed for Advancement to Candidacy, and successfully passed the two part comprehensive exams, please download and complete a copy of the Report of Final Examinations form. Have your Academic Advisor sign the form, then take the form to the Graduate Division Office.

Faculty

While coursework from other instructors may be counted towards the MS, the core faculty for the program consists of the statistics specialists within the Department. These are as follows:

Barbara Bailey, Jianwei Chen, Juanjuan Fan, Richard Levine, C.D. Lin, K.J. Lui, Jorge Carlos Roman

Advisor:  Dr. Jianwei Chen, 619-594-2059, GMCS 573

rev: 09/27/2017