How to Become a Biostatistician

How to Become a Biostatistician

1. Earn a Bachelor's Degree (4 Years)

In order to become a biostatistician, you don't necessarily need to pursue a degree in biostatistics. In fact, the major is often not even an option. Instead, pursue a mathematics degree with a high concentration on statistical analysis.

A broad knowledge of biology and an in depth understanding of mathematics and statistical methods and measures are required for students to qualify as biostatisticians.

Several semesters of calculus, statistics, and linear algebra will likely be the focus of your undergraduate curriculum, along with the necessary requirements to graduate.

For a complete list of accredited schools and programs in the field of public health, students can visit the website of the Council on Education for Public Health.

The preparation timeline below outlines the suggested courses:

Grade Level Example Courses
Freshman
  • Calculus I
  • Calculus II
  • Chemistry I & Lab
  • Chemistry II & Lab
  • Physics I
  • Physics II
  • Humanities Requirements
  • Electives
Sophomore
  • Applied Mathematics I
  • Applied Mathematics II
  • Linear Algebra I
  • Linear Algebra II
  • Statistics I
  • Foreign Language I
  • Humanities Requirements
  • Electives
Junior
  • Statistical Methods & Data Analysis I
  • Numerical Analysis I
  • Numerical Analysis II
  • Foreign Language II
  • Statistics II
  • Humanities Requirements
  • Electives
Senior
  • Statistics II
  • Remaining Requirements & Electives

If biostatistics is not directly available as a choice, choose statistics or another math-intensive program and supplement your curriculum with courses in biology, health science, or anything else related to the medical field.

2. Consider a Master's or Doctoral Program (2 - 6 Years)

While a post-baccalaureate degree is not required to enter the field, acquiring one will open several doors that otherwise wouldn't be available and it will put you ahead of your competition when applying to positions.