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Prospective Students: General Information


The Department of Biostatistics at the University of Washington is consistently ranked as one of the top Biostatistics programs in the country.

Founded in 1970, the Department of Biostatistics is a recognized leader in the statistical sciences. Its 83 faculty include a Member of the United States National Academy of Sciences, two Members of the Institute of Medicine and 20 Fellows of the American Statistical Association. Our postdoctoral and graduate students are among the most talented in the country, and more than 560 alumni hold leadership roles in academia, government and industry worldwide. The Department is a center of excellence for development and application of statistical methodology across the health sciences, and has collaborative partnerships with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Group Health Cooperative, and the Veteran’s Administration. To complement our research, we recently established the Center for Biomedical Statistics to provide consulting and collaborative services.

The Department of Biostatistics offers Master of Science, Master of Public Health, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in quantitative methods applied to the medical and biological sciences. Biology, medicine, and health sciences are undergoing major changes in their development as quantitative sciences. As technological advances generate huge quantities of information, biostatistical tools and concepts are critical for the analysis of these data. The techniques and viewpoints of mathematics and statistics, traditionally peripheral to biology and medicine, are now woven into the fabric of the life sciences, thereby providing exciting new opportunities in research and teaching.

Many universities have instituted programs relating mathematics or statistics to one particular biological field. The goal of the biostatistics graduate program is to equip students to develop and apply the quantitative techniques of mathematics, statistics, and computing appropriate to medicine, biology, and other health science disciplines.

Because of the excellence of the faculty and their involvement in diverse statistical applications, as well as the high caliber of the students, the department produces superb graduates at all levels. Students are recruited from programs in mathematics, statistics, and biology and are selected on the basis of outstanding quantitative ability.

Important notes
Ph.D. applicants who are interested in Statistical Genetics: review the information on this page.

Current MS students in the UW Biostatistics Department interested in applying to the Ph.D. pathway: In order to be considered for the Ph.D. Pathway, a MS student must pass the MS Theory Exam at the Ph.D. level and have a minimum grade no lower than 3.0 in STAT 512/513 and BIOST 514/515. Application process: The student must submit a request to the Admission Committee to change from the MS to the Ph.D. Pathway along with a revised Personal Statement and a Letter of Recommendation from a Biostatistics faculty member supporting the change. The request and accompanying material should be submitted within two weeks after the results of the MS Theory Exam are known. The Admissions Committee will review the request and respond by the end of July before the beginning of the student’s second year.

All necessary information for applying to the Graduate Program in Biostatistics can be found on this website. Applicants should apply on-line according to the information presented in the “Application” section.

If you have general questions about the application and admissions process, please refer to the “Application FAQs” section. Specific questions about your application and/or status can be submitted to:

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