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Biostatistics (PHD) 
Program Description

The PhD in Biostatistics is offered by the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. The doctoral degree program in Biostatistics will have an emphasis on the foundations of statistical reasoning and will require its graduates to complete rigorous training in applied probability and statistical analyses. This program prepares students who have demonstrated excellence in mathematics and the sciences to become research biostatisticians in academia, industry, or government.

To the extent possible, the curriculum of each student will be tailored to his or her background and interests. 

The doctoral program requires approximately four to five years for completion. The first two years of this time are usually devoted to coursework, the comprehensive doctoral examinations, and development of doctoral research. The program is research oriented and centers on a major research project. The overall course of study is developed by the student and the Faculty Advisor, and is approved by the student's Graduate committee and the Chair the Biostatistics Section. Students will be required to defend their dissertation through a public presentation and oral examination with their committee.

View more about the program and the curriculum at:

Department/Academic Unit(s)

College of Public Health -

Arizona's first and only accredited college of public health, the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health is uniquely situated in the culturally rich and diverse Southwest. Distinguished for our outstanding community-based research and for our focus on eliminating health disparities among populations of the Southwest and globally, the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health offers tremendous opportunities to its students for education, research and community involvement.

The College of Public Health's interdisciplinary activities are enhanced by being part of the Arizona Health Sciences Center with campuses in Tucson and Phoenix. The College consistently ranks among the top five in American Indian and Hispanic graduates and students enrolled among accredited schools of public health, according to recent data from the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. In addition, the University of Arizona is one of only 62 members in the Association of American Universities, a prestigious organization that recognizes universities that have developed exceptionally strong overall research and academic programs.

College of Public Health  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Admissions Contact
Amy J Glicken
Graduate Program Coordinator
Michael J Tearne
Director of Graduate Studies
Edward John Bedrick
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Christina M Inocencio
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements
  • Master's degree in Biostatistics, Statistics, or a similar field with GPA of 3.2 or higher 
  • Strong quantitative skills
  • At least three semesters of college-level calculus through multivariable/vector calculus
  • One semester of linear algebra
  • Documented experience with a computer programming language (C/C++, Fortran, Java, Python or equivalent) is strongly recommended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume or CV
  • Statement of purpose and objectives
  • Writing sample
  • Mission and values statement
  • GRE scores 
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores for international applicants

View more detailed admissions criteria at:

Applications are to be submitted through SOPHAS, the centralized application service for accredited schools and programs of public health, at  

Standardized Tests

Required Test 
GRE - Send scores to the University of Arizona College of Public Health/SOPHAS, code 4253

International Students - Tests of English Proficiency
International applicants are required by the UA Graduate College to submit a TOEFL score of 90 on the iBT (web-based) test. 

For students who take the IELTS examination, an overall score of 7 is required, with a score of no less than 6 on any individual band or module.  TOEFL and IELTS test scores must be dated within two years of the year of enrollment. 

Students may be requested to enter the Center for English as a Second Language to improve their verbal skills.

SOPHAS TOEFL Scores - Code 5688

Financial Aid

A variety of funding is available in the form of scholarships/fellowships, teaching assistantships, and research assistantships.  More information regarding tuition and financial assistance is available at:

Admissions Deadlines

Fall Deadlines

Priority:  January 5
Secondary:  March 1

Note:  Students who apply by the priority deadline will be given the highest priority for admissions and consideration for scholarships and assistantships.

International Conditional Admission
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832
ETS Major Field Code(s) for this program: 0616

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements

Required PhD Courses (35 units) 

  • MATH 564 Theory of Probability (3)
  • MATH 566 Theory of Statistics (3)
  • EPID 573A Basic Principles of Epidemiology (3)
  • BIOS 576B Biostatistics for Research (3)
  • BIOS 685 Special Topics in Biostatistics (3)
  • BIOS 687 Theory of Linear Models (3)
  • BIOS 688 Statistical Consulting (3)
  • STAT 571B Design of Experiments (3)
  • STAT 675 Statistical Computing (3)
  • PHCL 595B Scientific Writing, Presentation and Bioethics (2)
  • BIOS 696S Biostatistics Seminar (1 unit; 2 times)
  • HPS 609 Evaluating Public Health Literature (1)
  • BIOS 585 Public Health Fundamentals for Researchers (3)

Elective Courses* (minimum 12 units)

  • BIOS 576C Applied Biostatistics Analysis (3)
  • BIOS 576D Data Management and the SAS Programming Language (3)
  • BIOS 647 Analysis of Categorical Data (3)
  • BIOS 648 Analysis of High Dimensional Data (3)
  • BIOS 675 Clinical Trials and Intervention Studies (3)
  • EPID 677 Genetic Association Studies (3)
  • BIOS 686 Survival Analysis (3)

**Electives may also be chosen from other Statistics or Mathematics courses with approval of the Biostatistics Faculty.

Note:  BIOS 576A, Biostatistics in Public Health (3 units), is considered a prerequisite, which will have been met by most entering students.

Minor Courses (minimum 9 units)
Each PhD student must complete a minimum of 9 credit hours of course work in a minor area. The minor area of study specifies the number of required minor units. This should consist of a coherent set of courses in an area (or in related areas) of application of biostatistics; the courses may be from more than one program. Minor courses should be primarily applied as opposed to mathematics/statistical in nature.

Dissertation (minimum 18 units)

PhD in Biostatistics - Total Minimum Credit Requirements = 74 units

Minor Requirements

The PhD minor in Biostatistics is administered by the Biostatistics Section in MEZCOPH. The PhD Minor in Biostatistics is designed for individuals from other University of Arizona doctoral degree programs who wish to obtain graduate training in Biostatistics.

A total of 15 course credits are required. Admission to the minor must be approved by the Biostatistics minor faculty representative and the Biostatistics Section Chair, no later than enrollment in the second minor course. Selection of courses must be performed in consultation with the Biostatistics minor faculty representative. 
PhD Minor in Biostatistics Requirements (minimum of 15 units)
BIOS 576C Applied Biostatistics Analysis (3) 
BIOS 576D Data Management and the SAS Programming Language (3) 
BIOS 647 Analysis of Categorical Data (3) 
BIOS 648 Analysis of High Dimensional Data (3) 
BIOS 675 Clinical Trials and Intervention Studies (3) 
EPID 677 Genetic Association Studies (3) 
BIOS 684 General Linear and Mixed Effects Models (3) 
BIOS 688 Statistical Consulting (3) 
BIOS 686 Survival Analysis (3) 
BIOS 687 Theory of Linear Models (3) 
MATH 564 Theory of Probability (3) 
MATH 566 Theory of Statistics (3) 
STAT 571A Advanced Statistical Regression Analysis (3) 
STAT 571B Design of Experiments (3) 
STAT 675 Statistical Computing (3) 
It is the responsibility of the student to have met prerequisites (if not already required for 
the student’s Major), such as: 
BIOS 576A Biostatistics in Public Health 
BIOS 576B Biostatistics for Research

Student Handbook  

Program StatisticsInformation about these numbers

Program-level Information
Application Acceptance Rate 82%
Med. Time-to-degree (years) 6.25
Department-level Information
Enrollment Percent Male 50%
Enrollment Percent Female 50%
Enrollment Percent International 27%
Enrollment Percent URM 9%

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Last revised 30 Aug 2018