Motivated by the unique ethical challenges posed by working with human subjects and by the complexity of human, biological and public health systems, biostatistical research involves the development of new and innovative statistical methods for analyzing biomedical and public health data.

Biostatisticians can design efficient public health surveys, clinical trials, and biomedical experiments that minimize the number of subjects exposed to inferior treatments, and maximize the amount of information obtained from the study subjects while securing the privacy of sensitive human-subjects data. Biostatisticians seek to develop new and innovative statistical methods for efficient analysis of the resulting data, yielding scientifically-defensible conclusions regarding the impact of risk factors and medical therapies on disease, quality life and health of human populations.

The primary objective of the M.S. Program in Biostatistics, administrated by the College’s Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, is to train students in the application and evaluation of core biostatistical methods for application in public health and biomedicine. Student completing the program are trained in core biostatistical methods, design of experiments and public health surveys, statistical computing, biostatistical consulting, probability, and mathematical statistics.

More Information

  • Degree Competencies

    The Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics embraces competency-based education as set forth by the Association of Schools of Public Health. Students receiving a M.S. in Biostatistics should meet the following competencies:

    • Demonstrate a command of core biostatistical techniques, including their computation, theoretical underpinnings, and their application in public health and biomedicine.
    • Consult with investigators in public health and biomedicine on the design of clinical trials, case-control studies, public health surveys, and other experimental and observational studies.
    • Conduct research critically evaluating extant and new statistical methods using appropriate computational tools.
    • Communicate effectively with investigators in public health and biomedical research.
    • Demonstrate and practice ethical research as it pertains to data management, analysis, and interpretation.
    • Critically review the statistical content of the public health and biomedical literature.

    Students will achieve those competencies through course work, collaboration with researchers in biomedicine and public health, and the completion of a thesis under the mentorship of Biostatistics faculty.

  • Curriculum

    To complete the M.S. in Biostatistics, students will complete a total of 36 credits, including 27 credits of core courses in Biostatistics, Statistics and Epidemiology, 6 credits of approved electives, and 3 hours of thesis research.

    Required Core Courses in Biostatistics and Statistics (20 hours):
    BIOS 7400 Research Data Management and Computing (3 hrs)
    BIOS 8010 Regression and ANOVA (3 hrs)
    BIOS 8020 Linear and Generalized Linear Models (3 hrs)
    BIOS 8200 Biostatistical Consulting I (2 hrs)
    STAT 6510 Mathematical Statistics I (3 hrs)
    STAT 6520 Mathematical Statistics II (3 hrs)

    At least one of following (3 hrs):
    BIOS 6380 Survival Analysis
    BIOS 8220 Clinical Trials

    Required Core Courses in Epidemiology and Public Health (7 hours):
    EPID 7010 Introduction to Epidemiology I  (3 hrs)
    EPID 7100 Current Topics in Epidemiology Seminar Series (1 hr)

    At least one of the following (3 hrs):
    EHSC 7010 Fundamentals of Environmental Health Science
    HPAM 7010 Introduction to Health Policy and Management
    HPRB 7010 Social and Behavioral Foundations in Public Health


    The student may choose electives from among all 8000 level courses in Statistics and Biostatistics in addition to BIOS 6380 and BIOS 7400. Students with an interest in the application of biostatistical methods in epidemiology may also select among 8000 level courses in Epidemiology. The following is a sample of suggested elective courses in biostatistics. Each course is for 3 credit hours.

    BIOS 6380 Survival Analysis
    BIOS 8100 Case Studies in Nonlinear Biostatistics
    BIOS 8110 Categorical Data Analysis
    BIOS 8120 Applied Nonparametric Biostatistical Methods
    BIOS 8130 Multivariate Design
    BIOS 8140 Multilevel and Hierarchical Models
    BIOS 8150 Spatial Epidemiology
    BIOS 8220 Clinical Trials
    EPID 8010 Cohort Study Design, Implementation and Analysis
    EPID 8020 Case Control Design, Implementation and Analysis
    EPID 8040 Clinical Trial Design, Implementation and Analysis
    EPID 8250 Biomarkers
    STAT 6240 Sampling and Survey Methods
    STAT 6280 Applied Time Series Analysis
    STAT 6290 Nonparametric Methods
    STAT 6630 Statistical Methods in Bioinformatics I
    STAT 6640 Statistical Methods in Bioinformatics II
    STAT 8040  Environmental Statistics
    STAT 8060  Computing Techniques in Statistics I
    STAT 8070  Computing Techniques in Statistics II
    STAT 8090  Statistical Analysis of Genetic Data
    STAT 8260  Theory of Linear Models
    STAT 8290  Advances in Experimental Designs

  • How to Apply

    General Guidelines

    Applicants to any of the MS or PhD programs offered by the department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics need to submit their application material through UGA’s Graduate School. Detailed information regarding the application process, and description of the materials that need to be submitted, are described in the UGA Graduate School website.

    For a complete application, you need to submit a transcript of courses, GRE test scores, a CV/Resume, Letters of Recommendation and a statement of purpose. See the detailed instructions on the graduate school website.

    Once the graduate school has received your complete application materials, we will be notified and log into the graduate school system to retrieve and review your application.

    Admission requirements

    All requirements for admission to a graduate program at UGA as specified by the graduate school need to be met. Consult the information on UGA’s graduate school website for that information. Additional, program-specific requirements also need to be met. Those requirements can be found in the departmental graduate student handbook.

    We do not have a hard minimum requirement for admission, but in general a GPA above 3.0 and GRE scores in the upper 50% – with an emphasis on quantitative scores – are required for consideration.

    Admission timeline

    January 1: Deadline to have complete application submitted to be considered for available assistantships.

    January 31: Deadline to have complete application submitted to be considered for admission, without assistantship.

    February – April: Applications will be reviewed and applicants notified.

    All other deadlines for fall admission as specified by the UGA graduate school need to be met. Our programs only admit students every fall.

    Admission considerations

    We are only able to admit a few students each year and the process is competitive. When we make admissions decisions, we look at both the academic strength of a candidate as well as the potential match for our department.

    Decisions regarding admission usually come in 3 types: admit with funding, admit without funding, and reject. Students considered most qualified and the best match for our programs are admitted with funding. The admission notification will specify the details of the funding (amount/duration). Students admitted without funding are expected to find sources of funding outside from our department (which could be within UGA or outside) if they decide to enroll in the program.