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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost/tuition fees?

The tuition rates are subject to change every year; the School of Population Health rates from last year are available here. The Office of Student Accounting and Insurance may be able to discuss the current rates if they are available. They can be reached at (601) 984-1060.

Is the tuition fee waived for PhD students who received stipends for entire duration of 5 years?

Students who receive stipends usually receive the Dean's Scholarship to cover tuition costs. In addition, non-resident fees are waived for all our new PhD students and existing PhD students who maintain good grades.

The stipend amount mentioned in your website is around $24,000 per year. Is it for 12 months or 9 months?

The stipend is for 12 months of the year.

Is the program supported by teaching or research assistantships?

Unfortunately, we do not currently offer research or teaching assistantships for incoming Master of Science students. We do have competitive funding for doctoral students.

What is the scope of industrial internship in your program during summer?

Students can apply for any industrial internship, as long as they get approval from the Program Director and the Internship Course Director. The internship has to further the statistical or data programming skills of the student and give him/her real-world experience in the field of Biostatistics and Data Science. We share the list of internships from the American Statistical Association and are trying to establish some internships between our department and other companies (takes some time since we are a new program). Let me know if you have a particular internship that you are curious about.

What is the class size?

There is no limit on the class size but we aim to keep our student to faculty ratio low to guarantee individualized attention and one-on-one research mentorship. Last year's matriculating class included five students in the master of science and doctoral programs combined. We judge each applicant on his/her merit and will let the quality of the applicant pool determine our class size.

Do you accept transfers for the Master of Science program?

Transfer credits are handled on a case-by-case basis. It is expected that students will enroll in most of the core courses at our institution. However, exceptions may be considered when students can prove that they have received didactic training in an equally rigorous course at another institution.

Is this an online program?

No, this is a face-to-face program; this is vital to ensuring our students can communicate with non-statisticians and the broader community to improve population health. We stress consulting and collaborative communication skills in our program. Throughout the didactic training component, students may enroll in one or two online courses taught by national and international experts in the field.

When does the program start?

Our programs start in August of each year. We do not allow students to matriculate in the spring due to the sequential nature of our courses.

Are there any particular undergrad degrees required before applying for the Masters?

Program prerequisites include a calculus sequence through multiple variable integration and partial differentiation, a course in linear algebra/matrix theory, and knowledge of one statistical or computer programming language. We welcome applications from a diverse set of academic backgrounds; this strengthens peer learning and expands the lens through which we approach population health problems. We have accepted students with backgrounds in statistics, mathematics, computer and electrical engineering, marketing, etc.

Can the application fee be waived?

The application fee may not be waived at this time.

Can TOEFL, IELTS or such requirements be waived?

These requirements may be waived for students who are currently enrolled at a college or university in the United States and/or who demonstrate a proficiency in written and spoken English following a personal interview.

Are fellowships or scholarships available?

Currently, we only offer stipends to doctoral students. Stipends and scholarships are assigned on a competitive basis as funds become available. The current graduate stipend is $24,150 per year for up to five years. For more information about scholarships, please contact us at datascience@umc.edu 

Why should you choose our program compared to others?

Our program has several strengths. Unlike most data science programs, we are focused on population health and are housed in a school with the departments of Preventive Medicine and Population Health Science. Most data science programs are business-focused or housed in computer science departments. Our ultimate goal is to translate data to actionable findings that can improve health care and cure diseases.

Our blended program was designed to include sufficient statistical theory, ensuring that students understand the proper method to use and the limitations to the analysis. We further embed exercises of effective communication into our program; students will complete internships and statistical consulting sessions. The lack of effective communication is one barrier to the translation of findings to benefits to the broader community. Lastly, our students can work with high-quality epidemiologic data from two renowned studies, namely the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study and the Jackson Heart Study. Both include participants from the local community and allow students to work on real-life data with national and international health experts.

Do you allow part-time study?

We allow students to pursue a part-time plan of study. The program director meets with all part-time students and plots an individualized plan of study to ensure that the courses are taken in the proper sequence and the quickest timeframe.

Where do I send my transcripts?

Please send your transcripts to:

Office of Student Records and Registrar
University of Mississippi Medical Center
2500 North State Street
Jackson, MS 39216

Where do I send my TOEFL and GRE scores?

The institutional code is 1857 to have your TOEFL and GRE scores sent directly to the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Is a master's degree required prior to enrollment in the doctoral program?

No. Students in the doctoral program will earn a Master of Science degree following completion of the first two years of coursework (after a minimum of 30 credit hours). The third year will contain doctoral-specific courses and creation of the dissertation proposal, while the fourth and fifth years will be devoted to dissertation research.