For Students Entering in 2021-22 Academic Year and After


At the annual review of MS first year students, faculty members can nominate MS Capstone students to apply to the PhD program. Faculty will vote on these nominations and those students approved will be invited to apply to the PhD program and reviewed by the Admissions Committee.  Their application should consist of a resume, statement of purpose, transcripts from previous institutions, and one letter of recommendation from Biostatistics faculty.  MS Capstone students will be informed of their admission to the program (yes or no) in the summer after their first year, contingent on continued satisfactory progress.

If You Accept the Offer 

If you are admitted and accept the offer, in fall of your second year you will be given the option to take the STAT 512-13 placement exam. If you do not take the placement exam or do not place out of Stat 512-13 you will take STAT 512-13 (in lieu of two MS Capstone pathway courses, as determined by the Graduate program) in your second year.  Contingent on continued satisfactory progress at the end of the winter quarter of your second year (i.e., completion of all requirements for the MS Capstone degree and either passing STAT 512-13 with 3.0 or higher or placing out of STAT 512-13), the student will formally transfer to the PhD program before Spring Quarter of their second year (and still receive their MS Capstone degree). 

Students who are not admitted to the PhD program are required to proceed with completing the remaining MS Capstone degree requirements.

Eligibility Requirements 

  • Strong grades in all courses, especially BIOST 522-23 and BIOST 514-15. 

  • Evidence of independent research 

  • Biostatistics faculty invitation for the application to the PhD program following first year progress review 

Note: Eligibility to apply does not guarantee admission.

Admission Review Factors 

The MS-to-PhD admissions process is as rigorous as the regular admissions process. The applicant must demonstrate overall excellence, the proven ability to do PhD-level work, and engagement with the field. The Admissions Committee will consider the following as they holistically review each application:  

  • Mastery of knowledge and skills demonstrated by:  

  • Engagement in class, class exam scores, and overall course grades. 

  • Strong research skills as well as potential for PhD-level work (e.g., Independent Study with a faculty member resulting in a research project, research resulting in a publication, etc.) as evidenced by:  

  • One letter of recommendation from Biostatistics faculty. 

  • Publication(s), grants received, etc.  

  • Engagement with the field and department as well as a spirit of curiosity and independent inquiry as demonstrated by:  

  • Regularly attending Department Seminars and interacting with the guest speaker and faculty. 

  • Meaningfully contributing to Student Seminar by attending, presenting research, asking questions, and sharing feedback with the student presenters.  

  • Communicating with/asking questions of course instructors regarding class material and other aspects of the field. 

  • Seeking out opportunities to talk with/learn from faculty, guest speakers, and more senior students in the department. 

To Apply 

  • The student submits a revised Statement of Purpose and transcripts from previous institutions and arranges for one Letter of Recommendation to be submitted from a Biostatistics faculty member. 

  • This material is sent to The MS-to-PhD application deadline is provided to eligible students in their progress review letter. 

Review Process and Decisions 

  • The Admissions Committee reviews the application materials listed above along with the student's UW transcript. 

  • Admissions decisions are communicated by the end of July.