How do the 80-credit masters programs in Biostatistics and Epidemiology, the 60-credit masters program in Health Data Science (HDS), and the 80-credit masters program in Computational Biology & Quantitative Genetics (CBQG) differ from each other?
All four programs are complementary and each is designed to provide students with a great degree of flexibility in choosing courses to develop specific competencies. The SM2-CBQG program has a strong focus on the analysis and interpretation of complex genomic data; research is normally motivated by the need to solve a biological problem using computational methods, and students will learn about genomic databases, micro array analysis, next generation sequencing, human genetics, and laboratory techniques. The SM60-HDS program is focused more on computational methods, software engineering, and data wrangling; research is motivated by the need to make sense of health-related data, such as electronic medical records, cell phone data, and environmental exposures – in other words, data that is not necessarily genomic. Working with their advisor, students design an individual program, drawing upon a broad and often overlapping selection of required and elective courses.
One key difference is that the new SM2 in Computational Biology and Quantitative Genetics requires a 10-20 credit Collaborative Research Thesis experience. The focus here is on giving students practical experience that is likely to be of interest to potential employers.
Strengths and weaknesses of the undergraduate record, work experience, career goals, and future educational plans will normally inform an applicant’s choice in selecting the degree program that is right for them. And as a student’s interests evolve, in some cases he or she may petition to transfer between programs in their second year.
Explain the specific differences between:
- The SM2 in Computational Biology and Quantitative Genetics
- The SM in Health Data Science
- The SM2 in Epidemiology with a Specialization in Genetic Epidemiology and Statistical Genetics
Again, there is a good deal of potential overlap between these programs, so specific interests and future plans will guide the student to a particular program. The following table summarizes degree requirements for the three programs.
|Entrance Requirements||Required Coursework||Thesis|
|SM2 in Computational Biology and Quantitative Genetics||
||55 credits total
||10-20 credit Collaborative Research Thesis|
|SM in Health Data Science||
||60 credits total
Project-Based Research Course
|SM2 in Epidemiology Specialization in Genetic Epidemiology and Statistical Genetics||
||75 credits total
||5 credit thesis required|