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Reputation of MS (Applied) Biostatistics - Deciding between programs

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I am trying to decide between two MS Biostatistics programs and am wondering if anyone can offer insight.


1. Boston University MS Applied Biostatistics. This is a 12 month (full time) program is in a School of Public Health, but incorporates a research component (500 hours total).


2. Northwestern University MS Biostatistics. This is also a 12 month (full time) program in the School of Medicine. 


My goal is to work as a data analyst in a hospital or university, with specific interests in clinical epidemiology.  Although I’m still open to pursuing a PhD (most likely in Epidemiology), I also want a robust quantitative background that would allow me to work after the Masters.  Both are similar in that they are more applied biostatistics programs that are flexible if I choose to later on work full or part time during the program.  I feel as though Northwestern has a better name/prestige but BU’s main draw is the location in Boston which has so much opportunity in the biomedical sector. However I’m worried that even if I were to choose BU that I would be overshadowed by those with more prestigious degrees or schools in the Boston area. If you have any advice, please help me in my decision.

Edit: In terms of program “fit”, I’m attracted to BU because I’ll be closer to my long-term partner who was also accepted to another school in Boston. In terms of research interests, Northwestern has an edge (and less competition for opportunities due to the smaller program).

Edited by Natalie139
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First, the BU program is older and much better known than the program at Northwestern (Northwestern's program is new and basically unknown). I agree that Northwestern has more lay prestige, but BU is better known in biostatistics. That being said, if your goal is to work afterwards, I don't think there is a material difference between the two. There is a pretty heavy demand for Master's level analysts, and I'm guessing both programs do well with placements afterwards. If you go to NU, your first job is likely to be closer to Chicago, and if you go to BU, your first job is likely to be closer to Boston. As an aside, Northwestern has a pretty strong epidemiology group, and from the program website, it looks like there is a substantial epidemiology component of that program. 

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