5th Year (AM)/OGE

The Master of Arts in Biostatistics is designed in accordance with the Brown Graduate School specification of two special Master’s Degree programs (Fifth-Year Master’s degree for Brown Undergraduate students and Open Graduate Education Program for Brown doctoral students) and is open only to students already at Brown.  

For Brown undergraduates, we offer a fifth-year Master’s (AM) degree that can be completed in one year after receiving the bachelor’s degree. The AM degree program is also open to Brown Graduate students pursuing a master’s degree in a secondary field through the University’s Open Graduate Education Program (OGE).

5th Year Master's Degree (AM):

The 5th-year Master’s Degree option allows Brown Undergraduates to continue at the University for Master of Arts (AM) Degree after completing their Bachelor's Degree.  Applicants to the 5th -Year program follow the regular procedures of applying to the Master’s program with the exception that the GRE is not required. Fifth-year candidates are expected to complete the Master’s in one year and earn an AM degree. It is required that 5th-Year Master’s students take two courses counting toward the Master’s degree (see below for course list) prior to matriculating into the Master’s program.

Students must apply for the 5th-Year Master’s program through SOPHAS Express for applicants to the Biostatistics program before they complete their undergraduate studies.

It is strongly suggested that undergraduate students considering the 5th-year Biostatistics Master’s program consult with the Master’s Graduate Program Director before their senior year of undergraduate study. Admission must be approved by the Biostatistics Department Graduate Program and by the Graduate School. While a student must be enrolled as an active undergraduate student at the time of application, admission to the graduate program can be deferred for up to two years with approval from the Biostatistics Graduate Program.

Open Graduate Education Program:

The Open Graduate Education Program allows Brown doctoral students to pursue a master’s degree in a secondary field. Interested doctoral students from graduate programs outside the Department of Biostatistics should apply through the UFunds online system.

For more details on the University's Open Graduate Program, please visit their site.  


  • Use probabilistic and statistical concepts and methods to describe and draw inferences from biomedical data.
  • Apply appropriate statistical methods to analyze data of different types and structures.
  • Prepare reports of methods, results, and interpretations from a simulation that investigates the properties of a statistical method.
  • Perform power analysis and sample size calculations to determine the required number of subjects to carry out scientific studies.
  • Use statistical software for data management, implementation of comprehensive statistical analysis, and presentation of results.
  • Write reports of comprehensive and novel statistical analysis of public health data.

Candidates are expected to complete the Master’s in one year and are enrolled in the AM program. In line with Brown’s Graduate School policy, two of the eight courses required for the Biostatistics AM  degree must be completed while the student is an undergraduate, and six-semester courses must be taken while in residence as a Master’s student.

The AM degree in Biostatistics requires 8 courses plus the new PHP 101 Public Health online course.  The specifics are as follows:

The Master of Arts degree in Biostatistics requires 7 courses (4 required and 4 elective) in biostatistics, in addition to the mandatory PHP 101 Public Health (a multi-module, online introduction to public health course required by all School of Public Health students). The specifics are as follows:

Required Courses - AM (4 biostatistics plus PHP 0101)

PHP 2515  Fundamentals of Probability & Statistical Inference OR PHP 2520 Inference I
PHP 2514 Applied Generalized Linear Models
PHP 2550 Practical Data Analysis
PHP 2560 Statistical Programming with R
PHP 0101 Scope of Public Health (online course)  

Elective Courses (choose 3)

Statistical Electives:
PHP 2030 Clinical Trials Methodology
PHP 2516 Applied Longitudinal Models (½ Course)
PHP 2517 Applied Multilevel Models (½ Course)
PHP 2530 Bayesian Statistical Methods
PHP 2580 Statistical Inference II
PHP 2601 Linear Models
PHP 2602 Analysis of Lifetime Data
PHP 2605 Generalized Linear Models
PHP 2610 Causal Inference & Missing Data
PHP 2620 Statistical Methods for Bioinformatics
PHP 2650 Statistical Learning/Big Data
PHP 2980: Graduate Independent Study & Thesis Research
Epidemiology Electives:
PHP 2120 Introduction to Methods in Epidemiologic Research
PHP 2150 Foundation in Epidemiologic Research Methods
PHP 2200 Intermediate Epidemiologic Methods
Programming and Data Science Electives:
PHP  2561 Methods in Informatics and Data Science for Health
CSCI 1420 Machine Learning
CSCI 1470 Deep Learning
CSCI 1570 Design and Analysis of Algorithms
CSCI 1810 Computational and Molecular Biology
CSCI 1820 Algorithmic Foundations in Computational Biology


For a full list of classes that the Department of Biostatistics offers please visit our Courses page.

In response to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) notice NOT-OD-13-093 and the Brown University School of Public Health mandate regarding the use of Individual Development Plans (IDP), all students in the Department of Biostatistics, regardless of funding sources, are required to complete and submit, in consultation with their advisor, and IDP. Specifically:

  • Incoming, matriculating students must complete an IDP, in consultation with their advisor, by the beginning of their second semester.  
  • All students must submit an updated IDP, in consultation with their advisor, on an annual basis.  

The IDP is a valuable tool that gives students the opportunity to consider and address their short-term and long-term career goals.  In order to achieve compliance with the IDP policy, please fill out the Individual Development Plan for Biostatistics, discuss with your advisor, and submit your completed form.  

Note: New students will be provided their login credentials following orientation.