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.
View a list of current BIOS PhD students.
For data and demographics of the Biostatistics PhD program, please click here.
Applications are accepted each fall in September with a December 1 deadline. Admissions is offered for the following fall only.
BIOS PhD Admission Requirements
- Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
- Required prerequisite coursework in:
- Multivariate calculus (typically Calculus III)
- 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
- Optional diversity statement
- Transcripts from each post-secondary institution you have attended. Please upload through the online application
*GRE scores can be waived if the applicant has a doctoral degree from a U.S. institution in a relevant field
If you are an international applicant, please review additional requirements to support the application through the Laney Graduate School. Biostatistics requires international applicants to submit the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores.
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. Students who earned a degree from an institution within the United States may be eligible to waive the TOEFL requirement.
A small number of finalist are required to interview with faculty typically in early February. Applicants currently residing outside the U.S. may be invited through Skype or Zoom.
Paying for your PhD
All full-time Emory PhD students receive a generous financial support package from the Laney Graduate School consisting of a tuition scholarship and stipend. Additionally, a 100% student health insurance subsidy is provided.
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 special admissions fellowships, which offers additional financial support up to five years contingent upon satisfactory academic performance.
Special Admissions Fellowships
In addition to the tuition scholarship, stipend and health insurance subsidy, Laney Graduate School offers special fellowships designed to address specific admission priorities. Please review these opportunities in the LGS Admissions financial support overview.
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.
Students are required to enroll for a minimum of 9 credit hours each semester and term. It typically takes students two-to-three years to complete PhD coursework, depending on the number of 500-level courses needed, 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 curriculum for each student is personalized according to a student’s educational background and research interest.
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. Click here for more information.
All students are required to complete 12 credits of elective courses in biostatistics; at least 6 of these credits must be in 700-level courses. Enrollment in the invited speakers seminar series (BIOS 790R) is required for the first two years of coursework in which only 2 credit hours will count toward elective hours. In addition, students are required to complete 6 credits of elective courses (at the 300-level or above) outside of biostatistics; at least 2 of these credit hours must be in epidemiology for students who lack prior training in epidemiology. Students must maintain an average GPA of at least B- and a minimum of 51 credits must be taken as graded.
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.