Ph.D. Curriculum

The Ph.D. in Biostatistics is 34 credit hour program, including 12 hours of core coursework and 22 hours of elective coursework, which is in part determined by a student’s area of emphasis – biostatistics or bioinformatics.  Free electives are chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor, typically from any of the doctoral level courses offered by the Department of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics (PHST 700-level).

Required Coursework – All Students

Course No.Course Title OfferedCredits
PHST 691Bayesian StatisticsSpring, annually3
PHST 710Advanced Statistical Computing IFall, annually3
PHST 762Advanced Statistical InferenceFall, annually3
PHST 781Advanced Linear ModelsFall, annually3

Elective Coursework – Biostatistics Emphasis

Course No.Course TitleOfferedCredits
PHST 703Doctoral Practicum in ConsultingAs needed1
PHST 724Advanced Clinical TrialsSpring, odd years3
PHST 782Generalized Linear ModelsSpring, even years3
PHST 783Advanced Survival AnalysisSpring, even years3
VariousAdditional ElectivesVarious12

Elective Coursework – Bioinformatics Emphasis

Course No.Course TitleOfferedCredits
PHST 703Doctoral Practicum in ConsultingAs needed1
PHST 750Statistics for BioinformaticsSpring, even years3
PHST 751High Throughput Data AnalysisSpring, odd years3
BIOC 545Advanced BiochemistyFall, annually3
CECS 632Data MiningFall, annually3
VariousAdditional ElectivesVarious6

Elective Offerings Not Listed Above

Course No.Course TitleOfferedCredits
PHST 671Special Topics in BiostatisticsAs needed1-3
PHST 675Independent Study in BiostatisticsAs needed1-3
PHST 752Statistical GeneticsFall, odd years3
PHST 780Advanced NonparametricsFall, odd years3


Examples course plans for completion of Ph.D. coursework are available here.

In order to satisfy accreditation requirements, all students graduating with a Ph.D. in Biostatistics must complete 1 foundational course in public health and 1 course in epidemiology. Credit hours earned satisfying the public health requirement do not apply to the total credit hour requirement. Credit hours earned satisfying the epidemiology requirement may count toward the degree total. Under certain circumstances, the public health course requirements can be fulfilled by prior coursework or other relevant experience.

Other PHST courses, including 704, 711, 725, and 785, are not currently in rotation, but can be offered per instructor availability and student demand. Students are welcome to explore biostatistics- and bioinformatics-related courses outside the department to complete coursework requirements, subject to the approval of a faculty advisor.

Upon completion of the first year of coursework, students are eligible to take the comprehensive examination in the summer of the first year.  Go to our comps page to learn more about the exams.  You can also check out the full Ph.D. curriculum – coursework, exams, and dissertation – here.


The Ph.D. in Biostatistics is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health.  To learn more about the accreditation of the School of Public Health and Information Science, visit the accreditation page.

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