Certificate in Statistical Genetics

The Department of Biostatistics, in coordination with the Department of Genome Sciences, the Department of Statistics and the Institute for Public Health Genetics, offers a Graduate Certificate in Statistical Genetics (StatGen) option for matriculated UW graduate students and non-matriculated students.


Requirements are structured to meet the UW Graduate School requirements for interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate programs.


To satisfy certificate requirements, you must complete:

  • At least 15 credit hours, with at least 9 credit hours from courses numbered 500 and above.
  • Required courses include BIOST 550, BIOST 551 and 3 credits of BIOST 581 (Statistical Genetics Seminar).
  • Completion of a statistical genetics capstone experience.

Students may also need to take prerequisite material in

  • Statistics or Biostatistics
  • Computer Programming
  • Genetics or Genome Sciences


Statgen Certificate courses cannot be simply a subset of courses required for a matriculated gradate or professional student’s program. The overlap of coursework applied towards both programs must not exceed 6 credits and is limited to elective coursework in each program.

Required Course List

Select from the following courses:

  • STAT/BIOST 550
  • STAT/BIOST 551
  • GENOME 562 and either GENOME 540 or 541(*)

*Note that to take 541 without 540 requires permission of the instructor: students who have taken STAT/BIOST 550 will have the necessary background to be given this permission.

Students may petition to replace any ONE of the above courses by another 500-level class. The petition will be granted only for courses deemed by the Steering Committee to be Statistical Genetics and of comparable technical and scientific standard to the course being substituted.

Elective Courses

Students may choose broadly from 500-level courses in Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Genome Sciences, Public Health Genetics or Statistics. Their choice will need approval from the Statgen Steering Committee.

Grades & Completion

  • Required GPA and/or passing grades. Intending Certificate students are very strongly encouraged to take all of their 5 Certificate courses for graded credit. Students wishing to take any of the Certificate courses S/NS should discuss this with the instructor and/or their Statistical Genetics advisor.
  • To meet UW Certificate requirements, at least 9 credits must be taken graded. These 9 graded credits must include STAT/BIOST 551 and 552. The remaining 2 classes may be taken S/NS.
  • A minimum grade of 2.7 and a GPA of 3.0 is required for the any of the 5 Certificate classes taken for graded credit. For classes taken S/NS, an S (2.7) is required.
  • Although STAT/BIOST 550 is a required pre-requisite of 551 it may be counted towards the Certificate even if taken S/NS. We wish to encourage students from diverse areas who may be uncertain as to their interest or preparation for Statistical Genetics to take STAT/BIOST 550. Generally STAT/BIOST 550 is taken before students formally enroll in the Certificate Program.

StatGen Seminar and Capstone

  • 3 quarters of Statistical Genetics Seminar (BIOST 581), to be taken as the 3 quarters in one academic year.
  • Students whose degree or class schedules make continuous Fall-Winter-Spring participation impractical may request to count 3 quarters of BIOST 581 that are not within one academic year.
  • Capstone experience (required by the Graduate School). A literature of research project that arose from any one of the Certificate courses taken by the student should be presented as a seminar in the Statistical Genetics Seminar. Students who are nearing completion of the Certificate Program should contact the BIOST 581 instructors to schedule this presentation.