Theory and Methods

The Theory and Methods track (TM) provides comprehensive training in biostatistical theory and techniques for individuals seeking positions as statisticians in health-related research within a biomedical, clinical, or laboratory setting. It also provides the necessary academic preparation for those who wish to pursue PhD-level training in biostatistics at a later date. The program's mathematical emphasis gives graduates a deeper foundation in statistical methods than the traditional MPH degree.

The length of the 36-credit program varies with the background, training, and experience of individual students. Most complete the program within two years (four semesters) and begin their studies in the fall semester. 

In addition to fulfilling their course work, all TM students complete a one-term practicum and capstone experience. The practicum experience is an important element of the TM training, as it provides students with the opportunity to apply knowledge learned in the classroom to real-world situations and offers a taste of future career opportunities.

Admissions Information

Applicants should have some background in college mathematics, including at least a year of calculus. A semester of linear/matrix algebra is highly encouraged. Students with strong scores on the quantitative section of the GRE are given first preference. As with all Biostatistics programs, the most important ingredients for the MS/TM are a facility for quantitative reasoning and a true enjoyment of working with data.


Search the Columbia Directory to find current students in the program. 

Learn More

View competencies, course requirements, sample schedules, and more in our Academics section. 


Paul McCullough, Director of Academic Programs