Biostatistics Practicum

Biostatitics students are required to complete one term of practical experience (between 150-300 hours total) to enrich and supplement the more traditional academic aspects of the program. The practicum, which provides a view of career opportunities after graduation, may be completed during the school year or over the summer. In consultation with your faculty advisor—who must approve both the proposed practicum project prior to its initiation and the report submitted at its conclusion—you are encouraged to craft an individualized practicum experience tailored to your interests and goals.  All students will present their practicum experience during their last Spring semester at the Practicum Poster Symposium.

Mailman School Practicum Resources

The Office of Career Services (OCS)  and Office of Field Practice (OFP) are invaluable resources for identifying additional local, regional, national, and global internship opportunities for Mailman students.

For MPH students, once you identify a practicum opportunity of interest, you must submit a Scope of Work form to OFP and complete the department's practicum form which will require faculty advisor approval. Upon successful completion of the practicum, you must promptly submit an online practicum completion form to OFP in order to meet your graduation requirement.

Practicum Competencies

The practicum experience should meet one or more of the following competencies:

  • Formulate and produce graphical displays of quantitative information that effectively communicate analytic findings

  • Translate research objectives into testable hypotheses

  • Compare and contrast different study designs and their implications for inference in medical/public health research

  • Interpret quantitative findings in accurate, accessible language for audiences outside of biostatistics

  • Evaluate research reports and proposals for research funding on the basis of their scientific integrity, validity, and the strength of the quantitative analysis

Practicum Examples

Biostatistics students have enjoyed a wide range of practicum opportunities, from working in healthcare organizations and in local and state Departments of Health to internships in the pharmaceutical industry.

Some examples of successful student practica in biostatistics include:

  • Statistical analyst/data manager in Respiratory Health Research: Examined the association of in utero exposure to air pollution on the health and development of newborns in a multi-site, international, longitudinal cohort study conducted by an academic research center.

  • Statistical consultant/data manager in Neurology Research: Joined an academic research team conducting a longitudinal study to evaluate the association between cerebral stroke location and fatal cardiac outcomes.

  • Research analyst on a psychiatric epidemiology study: Assessed trends in adolescent and young adult use of a recreational drug by gender, ethnicity, and geographic area and examined the effect of changes in legislative policy regarding the drug on its usage.

  • Statistical analyst/data manager with the Department of Health: Analyzed data from the World Trade Center Registry to evaluate the association between respiratory syndromes and pediatric post-traumatic syndromes and the events of 9/11.

  • Statistical consultant/analyst with a health promotion research group: Analyzed data from a randomized clinical trial to assess the efficacy of a brief, focused educational intervention with physicians on increasing recommendations for colorectal cancer screening in comparison to a service-as-usual control.