Effective 2021, SPH is not requiring the GRE for all master’s and doctoral degree programs. Learn more about our decision regarding the GRE.


Prospective applicants should have taken at least:

  • Three semesters of calculus (including multivariable calculus)
  • One semester of linear algebra

A year (two semesters) of coursework in undergraduate-level probability and mathematical statistics is strongly recommended. Real analysis or an equivalent proof-based course is recommended. Experience with a programming language (e.g., R, Java, C, Python) and exposure to applied statistics is helpful, but not required.

If your goal is to obtain a PhD in Biostatistics, we encourage you to apply directly to the PhD program, even if you don’t already hold a master’s degree. If you are not admitted to the PhD and do not hold a previous master’s degree in statistics or biostatistics, you will be automatically considered for admission to the master’s program.

Students are admitted to start in the fall semester only.

Standardized Tests

International students must demonstrate English proficiency. This is typically accomplished by taking the TOEFL – a minimum score of 100 is required to be considered for admission. More information on English proficiency for international applicants is available here.

Admissions Process

The admissions committee reviews applicants on their record of academic achievement, demonstrated academic potential, letters of recommendation, background and experience, and other factors. GPAs and standardized test scores provide competitive points of reference for admission but are not alone decisive in the admissions review. The Division of Biostatistics does not conduct interviews with applicants as part of the review process.

Most PhD admissions decisions are made in December and January, and students who are admitted may be invited to attend an in-person recruiting event in mid-February. Strong candidates who are not admitted initially may be placed on our admissions waitlist. The Division abides by the Council of Graduate Schools Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees and Assistants so that the deadline for accepting financial aid offers is April 15th.

Admitted Student Profile

In a typical year, the Division admits 25-30 students (20% of the total PhD applications received) to achieve an incoming PhD class of 8-12 students. The following table gives the average GPA of students admitted for Fall 2020:

GPA 3.84

Application Deadlines

Priority Funding Deadline: December 1
Final Deadline: February 1

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