Doctor of Philosophy in Biostatistics

Our Ph.D. program has been designed to provide rigorous training in statistical theory and methods, with the goal of enabling students to carry out original research in biostatistics. Graduates of our Ph.D. program are prepared to:

Conduct theoretical and methodological research in biostatistics.
Employ modern statistical techniques in the analysis of large and/or complex data sets in the health sciences.
Serve as biostatisticians in collaborative research teams in the health sciences.
Teach biostatistics to health sciences professionals and graduate biostatistics students.


We seek students with bachelor's or master’s degrees in mathematics, statistics, biostatistics, or related fields who are interested in extending their knowledge of biostatistics to be able to conduct cutting-edge research in theory and methodology. The Ph.D. curriculum is mathematically rigorous, so while we do welcome individuals with diverse backgrounds to our program, applicants are required to possess some level of fluency in advanced mathematics.

Program Overview

The Ph.D. curriculum involves 34 hours of coursework, including a practicum course in which students engage in biostatistical consulting. Comprehensive examinations are taken the summer after students complete the first year of core courses. Students emphasizing in biostatistics move on to take courses in clinical trials, advanced nonparametrics, survival analysis, and other biostatistical electives. Students emphasizing in bioinformatics take courses in high-throughput computing, statistical genetics, bioinformatics, and other electives in biostatistics and genetics. Upon completion of the 34 hours of course work, students enter doctoral candidacy, during which dissertation research is conducted. All students are required to complete and defend a dissertation prior to graduation.

We encourage you to take a detailed look at the Ph.D. curriculum, information on the comprehensive exams, and requirements for the doctoral dissertation to get familiar with the Ph.D. degree. If you are interested in applying to the Ph.D. program, be sure to review our admission requirements.  Feel free to if you have any questions about our Ph.D. program.


The School of Public Health and Information Sciences is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health.  To learn more, visit the accreditation page.

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