Health Data Science Concentration


Big data arising in the Biomedical Sciences and Public Health, including but not restricted to various forms of "omics" data, imaging data, geospatial data, mobile health data and electronic health records, present unprecedented challenges and opportunities for the biostatistics community in both research and in the training of the next generation of students. To address the rapidly growing needs of a workforce with well-trained quantitative and computational skills in data analytics, beginning the fall semester of 2019, the UM Department of Biostatistics launches a concentration on health data science (HDS) as part of the Master of Science program. This concentration program expands and facilitates the professional training of students in the Master of Science Program featuring computational skills and data analytics. This new training program is particularly appealing for those who take the Master of Science degree as a terminal degree and plan on entering the data science industry. Ongoing PhD students are able to complete this concentration. If they choose this route, some additional coursework is needed in order to meet the requirements of both the PhD and the HDS concentration.


The HDS concentration is offered under the umbrella of the Biostatistics Master of Science degree program with the requirements of 48 credits. Its curriculum is designed with the addition of HDS concentration-specific courses (including both core courses and elective courses), making the concentration the training of data analytics. The key program-specific courses added into the current curriculum of the Master of Science include a series of computing courses, one course on introduction to health data science, and one course on health data case studies. In addition to the existing core and selective courses in the Master of Science program, the HDS concentration features three core courses and five elective courses, some of which are parts of the current Master of Science program courses and some are new courses designed specifically for the HDS concentration. Two of the three core courses replace required courses for the traditional MS degree (BIOS 653: Applied Statistics III – Longitudinal Data Analysis, and BIOS 699: Analysis of Biostatistical Investigations)