MS in Biostatistics


A graduate stats student working at a computer in a classroom


In the Master of Science in Biostatistics program, students develop the skills and methods necessary to thrive in the biological, biomedical and health services sciences. Coursework includes statistics, mathematics and public health as well as a comprehensive examination.

The biostatistics program is jointly administered by the Department of Statistics and the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics in the GW Milken Institute School of Public Health (SPH). 

Application Deadlines: 

  • April 1 (fall semester)
  • February 1 (applicants seeking funding)
  • October 1 (spring semester)


Student Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the theory and principles behind the statistical methods most commonly used in biomedical research (contingency tables, survival analysis, mixed models and missing data)
  • Learn and apply the underlying principles and methods to design, plan and conduct biomedical studies
  • Provide biostatistical advice as a member of a team engaged in a biomedical research project; this expertise includes the manipulation and analysis of data



Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSACHE) logo


This degree program is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education through the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences and by the Council on Education for Public Health through the SPH regulations.



MS Transfer Credits

Students may complete the GW Master of Science in Biostatistics program prior to admission to the PhD degree program. In this case, no more than 24 credit hours from the MS degree may be applied toward the PhD coursework requirements. In this instance, the student will be required to take a minimum of 27 additional credit hours of coursework. The distribution of these courses between statistics and public health would depend on the nature of the master's degree and whether the transferred credit hours would be used to defray statistics or public health coursework. Students should consult their academic advisor for more details on this option.


Course Requirements

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 33 credits, including 18 credits in core statistics courses, 7 credits in core public health courses, 6 credits in elective courses, and 2 credits in consulting.

Admission Considerations

The courses listed below (or course equivalents) are prerequisites for admission consideration and must appear on the student's transcript. Students may apply to the program only after they have fulfilled this requirement: 

MATH 1231Single-Variable Calculus I
MATH 1232Single-Variable Calculus II
STAT 2118Regression Analysis

Applicants lacking the courses listed below (or course equivalents) are considered for admission; however, if admitted, the student is required to complete these courses within two semesters of matriculation in the program. Credit earned in these courses does not count toward the 33 credits required for the degree and grades earned are not reflected in the overall grade-point average.

MATH 2184Linear Algebra I
MATH 2233Multivariable Calculus
One of the following:
PUBH 6249
STAT 2183Intermediate Statistics Lab/Packages

Degree Requirements

Required statistics courses
STAT 6201Mathematical Statistics I
STAT 6202Mathematical Statistics II
STAT 6210Data Analysis
STAT 6227Survival Analysis
PUBH 6265Design of Medical Studies
PUBH 6266Biostatistical Methods (Basis for Master’s Comprehensive Examination)
Required public health courses
PUBH 6003Principles and Practices of Epidemiology
PUBH 6299Topics in Epidemiology (2 credits)
Two courses selected from the following:
PUBH 6262Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
PUBH 6262Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
PUBH 6268Advanced SAS
PUBH 6282Introduction to R Programming
Approved Electives
6 credits in elective courses selected from the following:
PUBH 6121Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology
PUBH 6242Clinical Epidemiology and Public Health: Reading the Research
PUBH 6244Cancer Epidemiology
PUBH 6245Infectious Disease Epidemiology
PUBH 6250Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS
PUBH 6252Advanced Epidemiology Methods
PUBH 6281Analysis of Complex Surveys Using SAS and Stata
STAT 3187Introduction to Sampling
STAT 4181Applied Time Series Analysis
STAT 4188Nonparametric Statistics Inference
STAT 6197Fundamentals of SAS Programming for Data Management
STAT 6215Applied Multivariate Analysis I
STAT 6216Applied Multivariate Analysis II
STAT 6217Design of Experiments
STAT 6223Bayesian Statistics: Theory and Applications
STAT 6231Categorical Data Analysis
STAT 6242Modern Regression Analysis
STAT 6287Sample Surveys
STAT 8226Advanced Biostatistical Methods
STAT 8265Multivariate Analysis
STAT 8273Stochastic Processes I
STAT 8281Advanced Time Series Analysis
STAT 8288Topics in Sample Surveys
PUBH 6258Principles of Biostatistical Consulting
PUBH 6283Biostatistics Consulting Practicum

 The Master’s Comprehensive Examination

The master's comprehensive examination is a written exam in the field of biostatistics and is based on the content covered in PUBH 6266 Biostatistical Methods. It is administered by the faculty of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the Milken Institute School of Public Health.