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umichigan biostats vs umichigan stats

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UMich biostat is well regarded for genetics. If one is interested in this application in particular, then this is arguably the best department in the country to be. If one is interested in anything else of the biostatistics flavor, UMich is good but arguably not the best.

UMich stat is a large and fairly well-balanced department, balanced in the sense that there are plenty of people doing work in theory and in applications there. This would be a great place to be if one wanted to work in stats generally, and I think there are some people in the engineering school who do ML research with whom some stats people collaborate. However, I don't think UMich stat is known for ML or anything else like how UMich biostat is known for genetics.

If I personally had the choice between these programs, then I would choose the stat department because I am interested in applications outside of the health sciences, but I would not regret ending up in the biostat department which boasts a similarly intense program and probably slightly improved outcomes for graduates considering their broadly applicable expertise.

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If you want to study genetics or be a part of collaborative medical/public health research, go to biostat department.  If you don't want to do those things, you'd probably be happier in a stats department. There's some serious methods research outside of genetics in the biostat department, like Peter Song, but not as many options for that as in the stats department


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