Biostatistics Field of Study Comprehensive Exam Information

Fall 2020 Biostatistics Stream Comprehensive Exam Committee:

Exam Information

All PhD students are required to write a comprehensive examination after completion of the core courses in epidemiology and biostatistics. The exam is written in the fourth term, provided that the first-year coursework has been successfully completed.

The PhD comprehensive exam will provide the opportunity for students to demonstrate their ability to integrate material across the core courses. It is expected that all students will be able to critically evaluate published and proposed research, taking into consideration both epidemiology and biostatistics principles.

The PhD comprehensive exam will take place on November 11, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Potential Outcomes

  • If the student does not perform satisfactorily on a specific question or topic, the comprehensive exam committee may request additional written or oral response, or require the student to take remedial action (ex. take an extra course). This option is at the sole discretion of the committee.
  • If a student fails, the entire exam must be rewritten, typically within 4 months of the original exam. Failure at the second attempt will result in withdrawal from the program.

Resources for Review

Suggested Biostatistics Readings

  • D’Agostino et al. (2006) Introductory Applied Biostatistics
  • Lachin (2011) Biostatistical Methods: The Assessment of Relative Risks, 2nd Edition
  • Klein & Moeschberger (2005) Survival analysis: techniques for censored and truncated data, 2nd Edition
  • Vittinghoff et al. (2012) Regression Methods in Biostatistics: Linear, Logistic, Survival, and Repeated Measures Models, 2nd Edition

Suggested Epidemiology Readings

  • Rothman (2012) Epidemiology: An Introduction, 2nd Edition
  • Koepsell & Weiss (2014) Epidemiologic Methods: Studying the Occurrence of Illness, 2nd Edition
  • Porta (2008) A Dictionary of Epidemiology, 5th Edition

Please note: Copies of previous exams and examples of student responses are available from the Academic Programs Coordinator.