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2021-2022 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Combined Bachelor of Science in Statistics and Master of Science in Biostatistics

Grand Valley State University combined degree programs offer students the opportunity to complete both an undergraduate and graduate degree, meeting their unique personal, academic, and career goals. Pursuing a combined degree can reduce the cost and total time required to complete both.

The combined degree program (B.S./M.S.) offers qualified undergraduates the option to earn a B.S. and an M.S. in an accelerated time frame. Students admitted to this program may use up to 12 credit hours of graduate work as partial satisfaction of the requirements for the undergraduate degree. Since the Master's degree in biostatistics is a professional science master's program, four credit hours at the graduate-level involve an industry internship experience.

Highlights of the addition of the combined degree program in biostatistics include:

  • Enhance our comprehensive major of the B.S. degree in statistics with the hands-on approach of an applied master's degree.
  • An emphasis of both degrees in the application of statistical software to solve problems and interpret data.
  • Learn advanced statistical techniques earlier within your academic and professional career.
  • Obtain valuable internship experience in the fourth year of five total years to complete both degrees
  • Accelerate your career trajectory and complete your degrees one step ahead of the competition.
  • Explore career opportunities through partnerships in the West Michigan area.

Qualified undergraduates may choose an accelerated bachelor/master program and obtain both a B.S. degree (with appropriate undergraduate statistics coursework) and an M.S. in biostatistics. Students admitted to this program will count up to 12 credits of graduate work in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the undergraduate. An additional 25 credit hours will be taken at the graduate level according to the specific requirements of the M.S. in biostatistics. The requirements for applying to the combined degree program in biostatistics are as follows:

  • At least 65 hours of undergraduate academic credit have been completed or is in progress
  • A cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 at the time of application.
  • Completion of the following prior to application with at least B performance in each course: STA 215 (or STA 312), STA 215, at least one of STA 310, STA 321, STA 315.
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Letter of intent

Note that the application procedure is identical for biostatistics and applied statistics.

Admissions decisions for the combined degree program will be made by the biostatistics admissions committee and based on the student's application materials. Criteria such as overall GPA and GPA in undergraduate statistics courses will be utilized. Decisions will normally be communicated to students within three weeks of submitting a complete application to the combined degree program.

Registration for 600-level courses is to occur only after acceptance into the combined degree program.

Undergraduate Statistics Major Requirements and Shared Courses

All university requirements, including general education courses, must be completed before the final (graduate) year of the combined B.S./M.S. program. If any shared courses (for both degrees) are dual-listed, students in the combined B.S./M.S. program must complete all assignments expected of graduate students and they will be evaluated in the same way as graduate students. This combined degree will abide by all policies of the graduate school.

The Department of Statistics has identified the following list of courses from which students may choose four courses to potentially dual-count toward the B.S. degree and the M.S. degree in biostatistics. Up to 12 credit hours can be dual counted. Students are strongly encouraged to work with the graduate program director and their statistics department advisor to ensure all undergraduate and graduate requirements are met. The details on how each course may be shared in the two degrees are given as follows:

  • One of STA 518 or STA 526 may count as both an applied statistics master's course (required or elective) and an undergraduate statistics elective.
  • One of STA 518 or STA 526, not previously used, may count as both an applied statistics master's course (required or elective) and as free undergraduate credit hours.
  • CIS 661 as a biostatistics master's requirement and either in the application cognate or as free undergraduate credit hours.
  • CMB 610 as a biostatistics master's requirement and either in the application cognate or as free undergraduate credit hours.
  • STA 610 (Section 03) may count as a required applied statistics master's required course and as free undergraduate credit hours.
  • STA 628 may count as both applied statistics master's credit (required or elective) and as free undergraduate credit hours.
  • PSM 650 may count as an applied statistics master's requirement and either in the undergraduate application cognate or as free undergraduate credit hours.

Requirements

During Graduate Studies

A student shall be considered a graduate student for all purposes upon either of the following events: the award of a baccalaureate degree, or the completion of 120 credit hours.

Graduation Without Completion of the Program

If a student decides at some point to pursue only the undergraduate portion of the combined degree, GVSU will still recognize the graduate courses taken in lieu of undergraduate courses. Credit from the undergraduate degree cannot be used toward a graduate degree at a later date.

Sample Order of Coursework

This sample order of coursework assumes that students will complete the general education courses with the help of their advisor and have completed an appropriate sequence of undergraduate statistics courses to be admitted into the combined degree program. Students are strongly encouraged to work with the Graduate Program and their advisor in Statistics to ensure all undergraduate and graduate requirements are met, and to customize the combined program to their areas of interest.

Year One

Fall

Winter

Year Two

Fall

Winter

Year Three

Fall

Winter

Year Four

Fall

Winter

Year Five

Fall

Winter

The curriculum details listed previously (and sample course sequence) are stated as being specific to statistics major undergraduates, but one does not need to be an undergraduate statistics major to apply or complete the combined degree. The 12 shared credit hours chosen from the same specific bulleted list of seven courses listed previously may be used as free credit hours in a student initiated combined degree (SICD) program with appropriate communication among the student, the undergraduate major advisor, and the statistics department. Other circumstances may also be considered on a case by case basis for shared courses in the undergraduate major (beyond the typical case of 12 undergraduate free credit hours from the given list of seven courses).



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