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Students completing a MS are required to demonstrate a pattern of competency in the five skill areas listed below. This will be accomplished through two years of satisfactory coursework; one set of written comprehensive examinations; participation in departmental clinics, seminars, and interdisciplinary collaborations; and thesis writing. MS candidates must demonstrate competency and ability in these areas in a manner that is commensurate with an MS degree and in the best traditions of MS biostatisticians across the country.

The faculty has identified the following five universal skill areas for which students must demonstrate competency or strong proficiency: (1) theory, (2) application, (3) critical thinking, (4) communication (verbal and written), and (5) computing. The faculty recognizes that this intellectual flexibility is a learned skill that must be practiced and reinforced in classrooms, labs, consulting experiences, and research rotations.