Graduate Bulletin


The graduate programs in Biometry and Statistics are designed to prepare its recipients to teach, to do research in biometry and statistics and to apply up-to-date statistical and biometrical methods to scientific problems. Students learn how to apply statistics in most areas of the health and biological/medical sciences. Most of these applications are part of the ongoing work at the New York State Department of Health and students are able to work with faculty and Health Department employees on research activities that are on the forefront of public health research. A faculty with diverse interests and students with diverse backgrounds and goals create a challenging and intellectually stimulating environment.

Program Leading to the Master of Science Degree

Requirements for Admission

In addition to the general university requirements for admission to master's study described earlier in this bulletin, an applicant's undergraduate major preferably should have been in the mathematical and/or statistical sciences. Students lacking preparation in these areas must make up such deficiencies.

Statistic Sequence (30 Graduate Credits Minimum)

  1. Statistics (18 credits, minimum): Courses as advised, including Sta 669 (retitled equivalent of Mat 682). With departmental approval, a thesis may be presented in place of Sta 669.
  2. Supporting courses (0-12 credits, minimum): Courses as approved by the advisor.
  3. Satisfactory completion of a special field examination in statistics.
  4. Recommended courses: Sta 554-555, Sta 558-559 and at least one of Sta 556, Sta 562, Sta 564 or Sta 566.
Biometry Sequence (36 credits, minimum)
  1. Statistics (18 credits minimum): Courses in statistics as advised, including Sta 669 (retitled equivalent of Mat 682). With departmental approval, a thesis may be presented in place of Sta 669.
  2. Biology, epidemiology or public health courses (6 credits, minimum): Courses as approved by the advisor;
  3. Supporting courses (0-12 credits, minimum): Courses as approved by the advisor;
  4. Satisfactory completion of a special field examination in statistics.
  5. Recommended courses: Sta 554-55, Sta 558-559, and at least one of Sta 556, Sta 560, Sta 562, Sta 564, or Sta 566.
Program Leading to the Doctor of Philosophy Degree

Admission Requirements

In addition to the general University requirements for admission to graduate study, applicants to the graduate programs in Biometry and Statistics are expected to:

  1. Have a bachelor's degree with a major in mathematics, statistics, computer science, the biological, physical or social sciences. Linear Algebra, multivariate calculus and computer programming are required for the successful completion of the program. Highly qualified students who are deficient in these prerequisites may make up such deficiencies;
  2. Provide three letters of recommendation from academic advisors or other faculty members familiar with the applicant;* and
  3. Submit official scores of the Graduate Record Examination or Medical College Aptitude Test.
* For candidates whose academic record predates the application by five years or more, letters of recommendation may be submitted by supervisors.

Program/Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. Program of study and research normally takes at least four academic years of full-time study and research beyond the baccalaureate. The general program requirements call for a minimum of two years of full- time graduate study (60 credits), or the equivalent, and at least one additional year devoted to the research and writing of an acceptable dissertation. Students must also adhere to the University's requirements as described earlier in this publication.

During the first two years of study the student obtains a general education in statistical theory and methodology. The student develops a program of coursework under the guidance of a faculty advisor and, upon successful completion of the course work, usually receives a Master's Degree at the end of the second year. A Master's Degree is not a prerequisite, but the requirements for one of the Master's Degree Programs described above must be completed by the end of the second year.

Two PRELIMINARY EXAMINATIONS are required and the student normally takes these by the end of the second year of study. One is in the area of mathematical statistics and probability and the other in the area of statistical methodology and applied statistics. The courses required for the preliminary examinations are offered each year and they can be satisfactorily completed in two years. Students entering doctoral program are encouraged to take some work (3-9 credit hours) in mathematics and at least six graduate credit hours in departments other than Biometry and Statistics.

After successfully passing the preliminary examinations, the student begins the process of specialization under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Readiness to begin the dissertation is marked by completion of the QUALIFYING EXAMINATION, which should take place within 18 months after passing the preliminary examinations. Upon completion of the qualifying examination, the student advances to candidacy and begins work on the dissertation.

Research Tool

The research tool requirement for the doctoral degree is met by satisfactorily demonstrating computer literacy; competency is evaluated by the faculty.

Full Time Study in Residence

Students are not required to study full time.

Admission to Candidacy

A student is admitted to candidacy for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy upon the following:

  1. Satisfactory record in course and research study (minimum GPA of 3.0);
  2. Completion of the University's residence requirement;
  3. Satisfactory completion of research tool requirement;
  4. Satisfactory completion of the preliminary and qualifying examinations; and
  5. Approval by the student's committee of a proposed dissertation topic.

The dissertation is based on independent research by the candidate and should constitute a significant original contribution to the area of biometry and statistics. The dissertation committee consists of at least three members, all of whom must hold the rank of assistant professor or above. One of the committee members must be from outside the Department of Biometry and Statistics. Outside readers may be included at the discretion of the committee. The dissertation must be approved by and successfully defended before the dissertation committee; the defense is open to the University community.