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programs and degrees
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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 

Mission:

The mission of the PhD program in the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics is to advance the field by training students in methods research and its application through course work, seminars, workshops, independent research and dissertation writing. 

Description: 

The purpose of the Ph.D. program in the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics is to train advanced students in the theory and application of biostatistical/bioinformatics methods, and to provide an opportunity for students to be on the future forefront of leadership in biostatistics/bioinformatics. Graduates from the PhD program typically pursue careers as academic researchers and teachers; in industry, such as the pharmaceutical and biomedical fields; and in other research pursuits, both public and private. Typical roles include teaching, collaborative research, and independent research in statistics, biostatistics, bioinformatics methods, design and data analysis.

Admission Requirements: 

  • A Master's degree or 30 graduate-level credits in the disciplines of: statistics, biostatistics, bioinformatics, biological sciences, or related fields. Course in calculus is required. Course in linear algebra is highly recommended. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for outstanding students holding only baccalaureate degrees with the approval of the doctoral committee.

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores in the upper percentiles are preferred for the verbal and quantitative tests. Under special circumstances, students may be admitted provisionally as an advanced graduate special student, with requirements and limitations indicated in the SPHTM Doctoral Handbook.

  •  Letters of recommendation, written statement of career goals and objectives, and official transcripts are required and will follow the policies indicated in the SPHTM Doctoral Handbook.
  •  For students with a master's degree, a grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale for graduate coursework is preferred.
  • Foreign students must have a TOEFL score of at least:

Internet version:    89

Computer version: 230

Paper version:        570


   

Program Competencies: 

After completing the PhD degree in this program, the student will be able to:

  • Evaluate and conduct complex data analysis (Three courses out of BIOS 8350, BIOS 8820; or BINF 7210, BINF 7300, BINF 7500, BINF 8100). 
  • Demonstrate the ability to conduct collaborative and supervised/independent research (Independent Study, Dissertation Research)
  • Synthesize and communicate the results of statistics/bioinformatics analyses in both verbal and written formats (Doctoral Journal Club, Independent Study, Dissertation Research, or BIOS 8800).
  • Recognize the interdisciplinary nature of public health (SPHL 8800)

For the Biostatistics concentration, the student will also be able to develop and evaluate appropriate research methods, and conduct independent research in statistical methods (MATH 6240 BIOS 8500). And demonstrate the ability to teach statistical concepts (Serving as Teaching Assistant). 

For the Bioinformatics concentration, the student will also be able to identify and formulate statistics/bioinformatics-relevant issues in biomedical and biological studies, (BINF 7010, BINF 7500, BINF 8100, BIOLOGY elective). And propose research hypothesis, and evaluate statistics and bioinformatics methods for testing for proposed hypothesis (Doctoral Journal Club, Independent Study, Dissertation Research). 

 Graduation Requirements:  

  • Minimum of 72 total credits is required of which at least 62 credits must be in didactic coursework beyond the baccalaureate degree and at least 10 credits of  research-related courses and/or independent studies are also required.  At least 30 credits in advanced didactic course work beyond the master's degree must be  completed while enrolled in the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics doctoral program at Tulane University.  Students must obtain a broad interdisciplinary public  health  perspective.
  • Doctoral level research preparation may include up to 6 credits in research applications and 3 credits in disciplinary research methods.
  • Doctoral students are required to take the SPHL 8800 Essentials in Research Readiness Skills (2 credits) to prepare students to compete for research funding.  All students are required to complete the on-line training in Ethical Treatment of Human Subject protection by CITI.
  • No more than 12 credits of special studies (independent studies) may be applied toward a PhD doctoral degree. Such courses must have clearly defined and written learning objectives developed together by the student and course instructor. A written report of the work done in special studies must be on file in the department for review by the student's dissertation committee. 
  •  All PhD students are required to register at least four times for BIOS 8000 Doctoral Student Journal Club.
  •  Course Requirements:

 

Required Departmental Courses:



Core Courses for both Biostatistics and Bioinformatics concentrations (29 hours)             Credits

 

BIOS 7060

 

Regression Analysis

 

3

BIOS 7080

 

Design of Experiments

 

3

BIOS 7150

 

Categorical Data Analysis

 

3

BIOS 7220

 

Nonparametic Statistics

 

3

BIOS 7250

 

Principles of Sampling

 

3

BIOS 7300

 

Statistical Methods for Survival Data Analysis

 

3

BIOS 7400

 

Clinical Trials

 

3

BIOS 8000

 

Doctoral Student Journal Club

 

0

EPID 7120

 

Epidemiological Methods II

 

3

TRMD 6010

 

Biological Basis of Disease

 

3

SPHL 8800

 

Essential in Research Readiness

 

2

 

Biostatistics Concentration

Core Courses (15 hours)

 


 

BIOS 8500

 

Monte Carlo and Bootstrapping Methods

 

3

BIOS 8800

 

Applied Data Analysis

 

3

MATH 6070

 

Introduction to Probability

 

3

MATH 6080

 

Introduction to Statistical Inference

 

3

MATH 7240

 

Mathematical Statistics

 

3


Math Electives  (3 hours)

(One of the following three  courses)

 

 

MATH 6030

 

Stochastic Processes

 

3

MATH 6040

Linear Models

 

3

MATH 6130

 

Special Topics: Data Analysis

 

3


Electives (15 hours)  
(At least two elective courses should be BIOS courses in statistics and biostatistics methods/applications) 

 

 

BIOS 7160

Advanced Categorical Data Analysis

 

3

BIOS 8350

Analysis of Longitudinal & Clustered Data

 

3

BIOS 8820

 

Multivariate Methods

 

3

BINF  7010  

 

Population and Quantitative Genetics

 

3

BINF  7210

 

Statistical Methods in Bioinformatics

 

3

BINF  7300

 

Bioinformatics Approach to Transcriptomics

 

3

BINF  7500

 

Epigenetics and Epigenomics

 

3

BINF  8100

 

Statistics in Human Genetics

 

3

TRMD 6230

 

Methods in Cell Biology

 

3

TRMD 6240

 

Molecular Biology Methods for Public Health

 

3

CELL 6000

CELL 7010     

CELL 7110                           

 

Ethics in Biological Studies/Biomedical Ethics

Cell Biology

Molecular Biology

 

3

3

3

 

Bioinformatics Concentration 

Core Courses (15 hours)

 

 

 

BINF 7010

 

Population and Quantitative Genetics

 

3

BINF 7210

 

Statistical Methods in Bioinformatics

 

3

BINF 7300

 

Bioinformatics Approach to Transcriptomics

 

3

BINF 7500

 

Epigenetics and Epigenomics

 

3

BINF 8100

 

Statistics in Human Genetics

 

3






Biology Electives (3 hours)
(One of the following two courses)

 

 

HMGN 7060

  

Molecular Genetics

 

3

EPID 8810

 

Human Molecular Genetics

 

3

 

 



Electives (15 hours)

 

 

 

BIOS 7160

 

Advanced Categorical Data Analysis

 

3

BIOS 8350

 

Analysis of Longitudinal & Clustered Data 

 

3

BIOS 8500 

BIOS 8800

BIOS 8820

TRMD 6230

TRMD 6240

CELL 6000

CELL 7010

CELL 7110

CELL 6710

MATH 6030

MATH 6040

MATH 6070

MATH 6080

MATH 7240

 

Monte Carlo and Bootstrapping Methods

Applied Data Analysis 

Multivariate Methods         

Methods in Cell Biology 

Molecular Biology Methods for Public Health 

Ethics in Biological Studies/Biomedical Ethics

Cell Biology

Molecular Biology 

Molecular Biology of Cancer 

Stochastic Processes 

Linear Models 

Introduction to Probability 

Introduction to Statistical Inference

Mathematical Statistics 

 

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

 

Independent Research/Dissertations (10 hours).

Note: Students with no graduate-level epidemiologic courses are required to take EPID 6030 Epidemiologic Method I (3 hours). This course (or an equivalent for students with previous graduate-level epidemiologic courses) may be counted towards the required 62 credits in didactic coursework.


 

G. The student should form a dissertation committee after successful completion of the comprehensive examination (see below). The composition of the committee and qualification/appointment requirements for the committee members will follow the policies in the SPHTM Doctoral Handbook. 

A student is required to take a written comprehensive examination within one year of completion of the required amount of course work. The student has a maximum of two attempts to pass the examination. Students must demonstrate general knowledge of bioinformatics and biostatistics covered by the core courses, and particular knowledge of the biostatistics and bioinformatics of one content area. 

Upon successfully completing the comprehensive examination, students are eligible to submit a prospectus. Upon the successful defense of the prospectus, the recommendation of the department and the approval of the prospectus by the Executive Committee, the student's status will be changed to that of doctoral candidate and can proceed to completion of the dissertation.

Both the prospectus and the dissertation must follow the guideline provided by the SPHTM Doctoral Committee. The dissertation must meet the accepted criteria for excellence in the presentation of written work in the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics community. The prospectus should be publicly presented and approved by the dissertation committee at least one year before dissertation defense. The dissertation must be submitted and publicly defended. 

A student is required to have at least three first author manuscripts before being allowed to graduate: at least one peer-review publication (published, in press, or accepted), and at least two publishable manuscripts being submitted. The dissertation can be compiled in one of two formats: (1) the traditional dissertation format, or (2) the three-manuscripts-model format. 

Detailed guidelines and policies for prospectus, dissertation, academic performance, residency, registration requirements, time limitation, and extensions are provided in the SPHTM Doctoral Handbook, and must be followed.

 



 Additional Requirements

After completion of the required didactic hours of academic coursework, 60 hours minimum, the student must be registered each semester for at least two credits of Doctoral Studies until the comprehensive examination and prospectus have been successfully completed and the student's status has been changed to doctoral candidate.

The comprehensive examination must be taken within a year after the completion of the coursework. Students have two attempts to pass the examination; the second attempt must take place within a year of the first.

After successful completion of the comprehensive examination, the student should form a dissertation committee and develop a prospectus. The committee must include a minimum of three members, with at least two being faculty in the Biostatistics Department and at least one from another department within the University. The chair of the committee must be a faculty member of the Biostatistics Department. A prospectus of the dissertation research should be publicly presented and approved by the committee at least one semester before the dissertation defense. The prospectus must follow the guidelines of the Doctoral Committee.

Following the successful defense of the prospectus, the student is admitted to PhD candidacy and can proceed to completion of the dissertation. The dissertation must follow the guidelines provided by the Doctoral Committee.  Students must register for Dissertation each semester and pay the registration fees.

The dissertation must be submitted and publicly defended with the approval by the dissertation committee, the Doctoral committee, and Executive Faculty. The PhD degree must be completed within seven years from the first semester of coursework and extensions will be given only for extreme circumstances. 

 

Model Course Schedule

(Potential entry points are Fall and Spring)


Model Course Schedule – Fall Entry, Biostatistics Concentration

Semester

 

Course

 

Credits

Fall

 

BIOS 7150
MATH 6070
EPID 6030
Elective

 

  3
  3
  3
  3

Spring

 

BIOS 7220
BIOS 7060
BIOS 7080
TRMD 6010

 

  3
  3
  3
  3

Fall

 

EPID 7120
BIOS 7300
MATH 6080
Elective

 

  3
  3
  3
  3

Spring

 

MATH 7240
BIOS 8500
BIOS 7250

 

  3
  3
  3

Fall

 

BIOS 7400
SPHL 8800
Elective

 

  3
  2
  3
   

Spring

 

Math Elective
BIOS 8800
Elective

Total coursework credits

 

  3
  3
  3
   
62

 

Model Course Schedule – Fall Entry, Bioinformatics Concentration

Semester

 

Course

 

Credits

Fall

 

BIOS 7150
EPID 6030
BINF 7500
TRMD 6010

 

  3
  3
  3
  3

Spring

 

BINF 7010
BINF 7300
BIOS 7060
BIOS 7080

 

  3
  3
  3
  3

Fall

 

EPID 7120
BIOS 7300
SPHL 8800
Biology Elective

 

  3
  3
  2
  3

Spring

 

BINF 7210
BIOS 7220
BIOS 7250

 

  3
  3
  3

Fall

 

BIOS 7400
BINF 8100
Elective

 

  3
  3
  3

Spring

 

Elective
Elective
Elective

Total coursework credits

 

  3
  3
  3

62



Model Course Schedule – Spring Entry, Biostatistics Concentration

Semester

 

Course

 

Credits

Spring

 

BIOS 7220
BIOS 7060
BIOS 7080
TRMD 6010

 

  3
  3
  3
  3

Fall

 

EPID 6030
MATH 6070
BIOS 7150
Elective

 

  3
  3
  3
  3

Spring

 

MATH 7240
BIOS 8500
BIOS 7250

 

  3
  3
  3

Fall

 

EPID 7120
BIOS 7300
MATH 6080
Elective

 

  3
  3
  3
  3

Spring

 

MATH elective
BIOS 8800
Elective

 

  3
  3
  3

Fall

 

BIOS 7400
SPHL 8800
Elective

Total coursework credits

 

  3
  2
  3

62



Model Course Schedule – Spring Entry, Bioinformatics Concentration

Semester

 

Course

 

Credits

Spring

 

BINF 7010
BINF 7300
BIOS 7060
BIOS 7080

 

  3
  3
  3
  3

Fall

 

EPID 6030
BINF 7500
BIOS 7150
TRMD 6010

 

  3
  3
  3
  3

Spring

 

BINF 7210
BIOS 7220
BIOS 7250

 

  3
  3
  3

Fall

 

EPID 7120
BIOS 7300
SPHL 8800
Biology Elective

 

  3
  3
  2
  3

Spring

 

Elective
Elective
Elective

 

  3
  3
  3

Fall

 

BIOS 7400
BINF 8100
Elective

Total coursework credits

 

  3
  3
  3

62



* BIOS 6230 is recommended to be taken in the first semester if student does not have prior expertise in SAS.

Contact:  For more information on the Ph.D. program in the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, please contact:

Kathleen Branley, Department Administrator
Phone: (504) 988-2102
Fax: (504) 988-1706
Email: kbranley@tulane.edu

 

 

 
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Department of Biostatistics, 1440 Canal Street, Suite 2001, New Orleans, LA 70112, 504-988-5164 kbranley@tulane.edu