PhD in Biostatistics

The PhD program in biostatistics (BIOS) is offered through Emory’s  Laney Graduate School. The program is designed for people with strong quantitative skills and a background or interest in the biological, medical, or health sciences. The program is ideal for students seeking to deepen their knowledge of biostatistics through advanced course work, research, analysis, and collaboration. To the extent possible, the curriculum can be tailored to each student’s individual background and interests.

View a list of BIOS graduate faculty and their research interests

For data and demographics of the Biostatistics PhD program, please click here

Application Deadline

Dec 1, 2019
Apply now through Laney Graduate School

BIOS PhD Admission Requirements

How to Apply 

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university 
  • Course in multivariate calculus (typically calculus III) 
  • Course in linear algebra
  • GRE scores taken within the last five years. Scores in the 50th percentile or higher are recommended. *
  • Application + $75 application fee
  • 3 letters of recommendation 
  • Statement of purpose 
  • Transcripts from each post-secondary institution you have attended 
  • Resume/CV

*GRE scores can be waived if the applicant has a doctoral degree from a U.S. institution in a relevant field 

International Applicants

In addition to these requirements, all departments require international students to submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores. All PhD candidates will need to apply through Laney Graduate School.

TOEFL scores should be: at least 96 on the Internet-based test, 243 on the computer-based test, and 590 on the paper-based test.

Paying for your PhD

All full-time Emory PhD BIOS students are either offered tuition and stipend awards by the university, or have individual fellowships from outside funding sources. This support is for the first five years of the program, conditional upon being in good academic standing. Exceptionally qualified applicants will be considered for a George W. Woodruff Fellowship or, if eligible, an Emory Graduate Diversity Fellowship which offers financial support—including tuition and an additional stipend—for up to five years contingent upon satisfactory academic performance.

Degree Requirements

It typically takes students two-to-three years to complete PhD coursework, depending on the number of 500-level courses they need to take, and two years to complete their dissertation. Students who have a master's degree in biostatistics or statistics are exempt from 500-level courses. The appropriate class schedule is determined on a case-by-case basis through a review and a discussion of the student's academic record, academic interests, and previous experience in the biological and health sciences.

View the competencies for this PhD program here


All PhD students must participate in the Teaching Assistant Training and Teaching Opportunities (TATTO) program. This includes a three-day summer teacher training workshop (normally taken in the summer before the second year in the PhD program), serving as a teaching assistant during the second and third years in the program and practical experience in statistical consulting. More about TATTO


All students are required to complete 12 credits of elective courses in biostatistics, at least six of which should be in 700-level courses. Enrollment in the invited speakers seminar series (BIOS 790R) is strongly encouraged but does not count toward satisfying the electives requirement. In addition, students are required to complete six credits of elective courses (at the 300-level or above) outside of biostatistics. Students without prior training in epidemiology are required to compete at least two credit hours in epidemiology.

BIOS 701

All students are required to have training in public health. The primary means of obtaining this knowledge is through BIOS 701: Translational Public Health Research (1 credit hour) which is taken the fall semester of your second year.


All PhD students are required to complete and defend a dissertation. Students are encouraged to begin exploring potential research topics as soon as they enter the program by meeting with faculty advisors. 

The doctoral dissertation must meet the requirements of both the department and Laney Graduate School. In particular, the dissertation must make a new contribution to the student’s field of study, or present a unique new interpretation on existing knowledge. Students are required to pass an oral defense of the dissertation proposal. 

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