- How can I be a competitive applicant? What are my chances of being admitted?
- What is your applicant acceptance rate?
- Can I apply to more than one program? Are PhD applicants considered for the MS?
- I'm not sure if I have enough credits or courses to meet the prerequisites.
- Where can I take courses to fulfill the prerequisites? When should I take them?
GRE and TOEFL test scores, recommendation letters, and GPA
- Can the GRE or TOEFL be waived due to prior degrees or work experience? If I will be graduating with a U.S. degree, do I need to take the TOEFL?
- Can my official test scores or recommendation letters arrive after the application deadline?
- Can I update my test scores after the deadline?
- Can my recommender send his/her letter using Interfolio or other recommendation letter service?
- Is my application complete? What should I do if my application status page indicates that my test scores aren't received?
- I'm an international student and my GPA is not on a 4.0 scale - what should I enter for the GPA?
- Can I update my statement of purpose, personal statement, or CV after I submit them?
- Can I send you an updated transcript once I receive my Autumn grades?
Contacting the department
- May I visit the department and meet with an adviser or faculty member? May I speak with current students?
- Should I select a supervisor before applying? Should I contact faculty about this?
- How may I contact you with questions?
General program questions
- Do you accept graduate-level transfer credits from other U.S. institutions?
- May I enroll part time?
- Can any portion of the program be completed online?
- Is there a fast-track from the MS to PhD if a student shows promise?
- Can students tailor their program to their needs?
Please see our minimum requirements and criteria to be considered a competitive applicant. Generally, our competitive applicants are very strong in all components of their application, including grades, test scores, statement of purpose, and recommendation letters. Most competitive applicants have additional advanced math courses beyond the listed prerequisites, as well as a quantitative GRE score above 90%. Note, however, every year we decline admission to many highly qualified applicants due to the competitiveness of the applicant pool and number of available spots. As such, we are unable to respond to requests to estimate an applicant's chance of being admitted to our program.
We receive approximately 350 applications each year; about 60% for the PhD program and the remainder for the masters programs. Acceptance numbers for each degree program vary each year depending on the applicant pool and availability of space and resources, but has been about 25% of all applications.
Please see the General Requirements section of our Application Instructions page.
See our section on multivariate calculus/accelerated/AP courses and missing prerequisites on our Admissions Requirements page.
See our missing prerequisites section on our Admissions Requirements page. Due to the large number of local and online institutions that offer math courses, we do not maintain a list of recommended institutions or courses besides the mentioned probability course. To be a competitive applicant, the majority should be completed prior to applying, and any missing prerequisite should be in the process of being completed while you are applying. These cannot be completed after starting the program.
Can the GRE or TOEFL be waived due to prior degrees or work experience? If I will be graduating with a U.S. degree, do I need to take the TOEFL?
We require GRE scores for all applicants regardless of background, including those with doctorates.
We also require TOEFL scores for all international applicants, including those with doctorates, except for international applicants with U.S./English-based degrees or those who will graduate with such a degree prior to entering the program - see the Admissions Requirements page for details. Applicants who do not need to submit TOEFL scores should leave the "Report English Proficiency Scores" section of the application blank and disregard any "incomplete" status messages for this section.
No. These must be received by the deadline in order for the application to be considered. We begin our review immediately after the deadline. Be sure to review our application instructions and required steps to follow after you apply.
We begin our review immediately after the deadline. You are welcome to have ETS send your official test scores to UW, but you cannot update your self-report scores, and there is no guarantee that the new scores will be reviewed.
Is my application complete? What should I do if my application status page indicates that my test scores aren't received?
International applicants who are exempt from submitting TOEFL scores should leave the "Report English Proficiency Scores" section of the application blank and disregard any "incomplete" status messages for this section.
Please see our application instructions.
No, these submitted materials cannot be updated. Please be sure to review our application instructions.
No, we do not accept updated transcripts after the application deadline. If we need to see grades for any courses you are taking in the autumn, we will follow up with you. If you are in the process of completing a prerequisite, make sure that the transcript you upload indicates this (or mention it in your statement of purpose). Please be sure to review our application instructions.
Contacting the department
May I visit the department and meet with an adviser or faculty member? May I speak with current students?
Due to our small staff and time constraints, we regret that we are unable to accommodate individual visits to provide general advising or tours for prospective applicants prior to admission. Admitted PhD applicants will be invited to participate in a two-day visit in late February or early March, and admitted MS and MPH applicants may also arrange an independent visit in the spring. To learn more about our program, faculty, and students in the meantime, see our Faculty Interests and Profiles pages in addition to our Become a Student section.
No. Applicants are not expected to have a supervisor selected before applying. All students are assigned academic advisors when they start the program, and PhD students with research assistantships will be assigned an RA supervisor. Students will have the opportunity to work with various faculty through independent studies and select their thesis or dissertation advisor. Applicants should not contact faculty to inquire whether they can be accepted as their mentee. Applicants are selected for admission by our admissions committee only.
If you have general questions about the graduate program or the admissions process that are not answered on our website, the best method to contact us is by email. If you have program-specific questions regarding our master's programs, please indicate which program you are interested in (MS Thesis, MS Capstone, MPH).
General program questions
No. However, we do offer a placement exam for newly-admitted students who believe they can pass the first-year theory coursework (Statistical Inference, taught at the UW as STAT 512 and 513), and a few other required courses may be waived at the discretion of the Graduate Program.
Due to the rigor of our program, part-time study is discouraged. The PhD program requires full-time enrollment. For master’s programs, some exceptions have been made for students involved in other complementary training. If admitted, plans must be discussed with the Graduate Program Director for approval. Part-time study may extend the program completion time by two to three times due to the timing of our courses which are only offered once a year. UW employees interested in utilizing tuition exemption should note that the exemption does not cover thesis or other independent study credits for the MS Thesis program, nor any part of the MS Capstone program.
Our degree programs are fully residential except the MS Capstone program's Data Science pathway has an option to take the second year courses online. Individuals interested in distance learning may consider the Certificate in Applied Biostatistics offered by UW Professional and Continuing Education (PCE). Please contact PCE for questions regarding this certificate.
MS students may have the opportunity to apply to the PhD program depending on their performance on a theory exam they take the summer after their first year courses. The selection criteria is the same for all applicants to the program. If they apply and are accepted, students may begin second year PhD coursework in their second year.
MS Thesis, PhD, and MPH students will have the opportunity to take electives to support their specific research interests. MS Capstone students will take courses based on their selected pathway.
The more the 500 alumni of the Department of Biostatistics have gone on to become leaders in academia, private industry, research, non-profit, and government. They are a dynamic and active community that stays closely connected to the department.