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Biometry & Statistics Major and Minor

Tackling the life sciences from a new perspective

Biometry is the application of statistics, mathematics, computing and other quantitative methods to phenomena and problems in the life sciences. Statistics is concerned with many aspects of scientific investigations: developing and studying the design and measurement aspects of investigations, executing investigations and collecting numerical information, summarizing the data obtained, and making inferences from the data.

Students learn how to use statistics, mathematics, computing, and other methods to solve problems in diverse fields, from the life and social sciences to business and finance.

Students enter the Biometry and Statistics major as freshmen or as transfer students. A strong background in mathematics is highly recommended for students considering a major in Biometry and Statistics. Students currently enrolled as freshmen or sophomores at other institutions who are considering transferring to the Biometry and Statistics program are encouraged to satisfy as many of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) distribution requirements as possible before transferring. 

Biometry and Statistics is also a part of the Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science.

Major in Biometry and Statistics

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Biometry and Statistics majors have many career opportunities and possibilities for graduate study. Career choices are as varied as the fields of application of statistics. Collecting and using data effectively are vital activities in many organizations. 

Recent research in Biometry and Statistics includes discovering human genes and modeling the evolution and domestication of dogs. 

CALS seeks students who maintain a rigorous high school curriculum and demonstrate an outstanding record of academic achievement.

  • 4 Units of English
  • 4 Units of Mathematics  (including calculus)
  • 3 Units of Science (biology, chemistry and physics recommended)
  • Also recommended: an additional unit of science

Biometry and Statistics major requirements for students entering the major in:

All courses satisfying the major requirements must have a letter grade of C- or better.

  • Discuss the mathematical basis and foundations of probability and statistics.
  • Explain and apply the fundamentals of applied statistical methodology.
  • Use modern statistical software and a programming language.
  • Effectively communicate the results of a statistical analysis.

Students in the statistics concentration should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of specialized statistical methods

Students in the statistical genomics concentration should be able to:

  • Apply statistical and computational methods for genomic data

Biometry and Statistics Minor

The Minor in Biometry and Statistics is designed to provide students with basic knowledge of statistical techniques and the mathematics necessary to understand and use them. A minor in biometry and statistics is available to all undergraduate students. 

Biometry is the application of statistics, mathematics, computing and other quantitative methods to phenomena and problems in the life sciences. Statistics is concerned with many aspects of scientific investigations: developing and studying the design and measurement aspects of investigations, executing investigations and collecting numerical information, summarizing the data obtained, and making inferences from the data.

Students learn how to use statistics, mathematics, computing, and other methods to solve problems in diverse fields, from the life and social sciences to business and finance.

Required Courses: 

  • Calculus I: MATH 1110
  • Calculus II: MATH 1120 or MATH 1220 or 1910 
  • Statistical Methods I: BTRY 3010/STSCI 2200 
  • Equivalents include AEM 2100, BTRY 6010, ENGRD 2700, HADM 2010, STSCI/ILRST 2100, MATH 1710, PAM 2100/2101, PUBPOL 2100/2101, PSYCH 2500, SOC 3010, and STSCI 2150. 
  • Multivariable Calculus: MATH 1920 or MATH 2220 or MATH 2230 or MATH 2130 
  • Statistical Methods II: BTRY 3020/STSCI 3200 
  • Probability: BTRY/STSCI 3080 
  • Equivalents include MATH 4710, ECON 3130, and ORIE 3500 

 

Elective Courses

Students must take three additional courses from the Statistical Methods elective list below. Linear Algebra, Linear Models with Matrices (BTRY/STSCI 4030), Theory of Statistics (BTRY/STSCI 4090) and Statistical Computing (STSCI 4520) may also be counted towards this requirement. 

  • BTRY/STSCI 3090: Theory of Interest 
  • BTRY/STSCI/ILRST 3100: Statistical Sampling 
  • STSCI/ORIE 3510: Introduction to Engineering Stochastic Processes I 
  • STSCI/ILRST/INFO 3900: Casual Inference
  • STSCI/ILRST 4010: Great Ideas in Statistics 
  • STSCI 4060: Python Programming and its Applications in Statistics 
  • BTRY/STSCI/ILRST 4100: Multivariate Analysis 
  • BTRY/STSCI/ILRST 4110: Categorical Data 
  • BTRY/STSCI/ILRST 4140: Applied Design 
  • BTRY/STSCI 4270: Introduction to Survival Analysis 
  • BTRY 4381: Biomedical Data Mining and Modeling 
  • STSCI/ILRST 4550: Applied Time Series Analysis; cross-listed as ORIE 5550 
  • STSCI 4630: Operations Research Tools for Financial Engineering
  • STSCI 4740: Data Mining and Machine Learning (or CS 4780: Introduction to Machine Learning, or CS 4786: Machine Learning for Data Science) 
  • STSCI 4780: Bayesian Data Analysis: Principles and Practice 
  • STSCI/ORIE 5640: Statistics for Financial Engineering 
  • BTRY 4820: Statistical Genomics 
  • BIOCB 4840/CS 4775 (previously BTRY 4840): Computational Genetics and Genomics
  • BIOCB 4380 (previously BTRY 4380): Quantitative Genomics and Genetics
  • BIOCB 4381 (previously BTRY 4381): Biomedical Data Mining and Modeling
  • CS 4740: Natural Language Processing 
  • ECON 4110: Cross Section and Panel Econometrics 
  • NTRES 6700: Spatial Statistics 
  • ORIE 4741: Learning with Big Messy Data 

Students must earn a grade of C- or better in each course used for the minor. Courses with the S/U option will not count towards the minor.

Directions:

  1. Please submit a Google Form AFTER COMPLETING all minor requirements (or if you are enrolled in your final semester of completing the requirements).  
  2. Keeping track of progress in meeting requirements is the student's responsibility. If your course choices change or if the change creates any doubt about meeting the requirements of the minor, confirm its acceptability the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Advising. 
  3. Please contact Julia Aquadro (jra269 [at] cornell.edu (jra269[at]cornell[dot]edu)) with any questions.

Apply to the Minor

Transfer Student Admissions

Apply statistics, mathematics, computing, and other methods to solve problems in diverse fields, from the life and social sciences to business and finance.

Academic Record

  • Strong academic record at the college level. In general, competitive applicants have at least a 3.0 (B) average.
  • CALS Required Coursework should be completed or in-progress with a “B” or better before applying.
  • The most competitive applicants are full-time students who have met the GPA and course requirements.

For transfers entering as sophomores or transfers with two full-time college semesters of study (post-high school) completed or in progress at time of application.

Required

Strongly encourage (but not required)

  • One full academic year of Introductory Biology with labs (for PreMed/PreVet students or those intending to take the Statistical Genomics concentration)

For transfers entering as juniors or transfers with four full-time college semesters of study (post-high school) completed or in progress at time of application.

Required

  • Two College Writing/English Composition courses or one writing/composition and Public Speaking
  • Calculus I & II
  • Two course sequence in statistical methods (e.g. Statistics I and Statistics II)
  • Linear Algebra

Strongly encouraged (but not required)

  • One full academic year of Introductory Biology with labs (for PreMed/PreVet students or those intending to take the Statistical Genomics concentration)
  • Courses that meet the CALS social science and humanities requirements in Cultural Analysis, Historical Analysis, Knowledge, Cognition and Moral Reasoning, Literature and the Arts, Social and Behavioral Analysis and Foreign Language.

Careers in Biometry and Statistics

Biometry and Statistics professor giving a lecture.

Business

  • Banking analyst
  • Actuarial analyst
  • Management consulting analyst
  • Financial services analyst
  • Business intelligence analyst
  • Business development associate
  • Project analyst
  • Implementation consultant
  • Assurance associate
  • Global benefits analyst
  • Assistant trader
  • Life sciences consultant
  • Options trader
  • Web analyst
  • Risk analyst

Communication/Education/Gov't

  • Strategic planning analyst
  • Math teacher
  • Census bureau survey statistician
  • Media data management associate
  • MLB advanced media analyst

Healthcare/Research

  • Cancer center data analyst
  • Computer scientist
  • Medical research data scientist
  • Research associate
  • Research fellow
  • Healthcare technical services

Technology

  • Information security practitioner
  • Data analyst
  • Technology analyst

NEWS SPOTLIGHT

Study reveals new insights about the origin of dogs

Three types of dogs sitting on a doorstep.

Resources for Biometry Students

A CALS education goes beyond the classroom and gives students frequent opportunities to apply what they learn in real-world settings.