The Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics offers Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees that prepare students to address important public health problems through careers in academia, research organizations, and professional practice settings.


Fall 2024 admissions cycle is now closed, and we look forward to receiving your materials next winter for Fall 2025. The application guidance listed below is available for individual planning purposes only. All content guidance is subject to change this fall.

Please join us this November for our Virtual Open House. We will publicize the date in late September 2024.

Students can focus in one of three areas of emphasis:

Epidemiology Emphasis

Students enrolled in the area of Epidemiology will focus on how to design, implement and analyze epidemiological studies using a variety of study designs and analysis methods.

Biostatistics Emphasis

Students enrolled in the area of Biostatistics will focus on the development and proper use of advanced and novel biostatistical methods.

Data Analysis & Modeling Emphasis

Students enrolled in the area of Data Analysis and Modeling will focus on the implementation of advanced data analysis and modeling approaches to address important questions in public health.

Why Choose Our Program?

There are a number of reasons you should consider seeking your degree in epidemiology and biostatistics at the UGA College of Public Health.

Exceptional Research Culture

  • Nationally- and internationally-recognized faculty are devoted to teaching and graduate education.
  • Diverse range of content expertise among faculty – from field epidemiology to modeling to biostatistics.
  • Exciting research programs and opportunities in which the student can become involved.
  • Connections to major public health organizations in Atlanta and beyond, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Georgia Department of Public Health, Care International, American Cancer Society, and many others.

Supportive Academic Environment

  • Instruction directly from the topic experts. All M.S. and Ph.D. level classes are taught by tenure-track or tenured faculty.
  • Small class sizes. Most M.S. and Ph.D. classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Great facilities. All of our M.S. and Ph.D. students receive their own workspace.
  • A strong graduate student community with many academic and social activities.

Excellent Quality of Life

  • Athens, Ga. has been named of America’s best college towns more than once because of fantastic art, great music, good food, and, of course, top-ranked college sports. Also, the cost of living in Athens is very reasonable, thus making it easier to live life comfortably on an assistantship or other financial support.
  • Did we mention the weather in Athens is nice and warm most of the year? No freezing winters with blizzards and months of snow.

Learn more in our Student Handbook…

You can download the most recent version of the EPIBIO Student Handbook here.


All students must satisfy the requirements specified by the UGA Graduate School.

Applicants may have training in any discipline including but not limited to mathematics, public health, the biological or physical sciences, computer science, engineering, psychology, sociology, business, statistics or biostatistics. Previous coursework or standardized test results should demonstrate strong quantitative skills.

Students are expected to have epidemiological and biostatistical knowledge at the Master of Public Health (MPH) level, as for instance taught in our EPID 7010 and BIOS 7010 courses.

Applicants seeking to complete the area of emphasis in Data Analysis and Modeling or Biostatistics must have additional biostatistical knowledge at the level of BIOS 7020. Biostatistics students should additionally have a completed course in differential, integral and multivariate calculus. Linear algebra is strongly encouraged for the Ph.D. area of emphasis in Biostatistics.

How to Apply

Apply to the UGA Graduate School

For detailed information, please see the Graduate School Admissions Requirements (domestic).

  1. Online Graduate School Application and fee ($75 domestic / $100 international)
  2. One unofficial transcript from each institution of higher education attended, except the University of Georgia. University of Georgia transcripts are on file. Official transcripts are not required during the review process and will only be required for applicants who are offered admission. Do not mail official transcripts until offered admission.
  3. [OPTIONAL] Official GRE general test score report sent by testing agency. The UGA institutional code for ETS reporting is 5813.  No departmental code is required.
  4. A resume/CV.
  5. A personal statement. In this statement, please address the following topics.
    1. Tell us the area of emphasis/concentration that you want to apply to. Also provide some details on the topics and areas of research that interest you most, and specific faculty you might be interested in working with. We understand that this can change should you end up joining our program, but it will be useful for us to know what topics, and with which faculty, you want to work with. If you already have specific ideas for research projects, please describe them. A strong research plan will certainly strengthen your application.
    2. In your own words, let us know why you would be a great candidate for our program, highlight what you have done to prepare for success in our program, and why you want to pursue a degree in our program in the chosen area of emphasis. Anything that makes you stand out as a candidate, please highlight.
    3. Explain if you will require financial support (stipend/assistantship) or not. If not, please describe how you will support yourself financially for the duration of the Ph.D. program. This information is important since we often have limited funded positions available and if a strong candidate has independent, reliable funding, this will be important information for us to consider.
    4. Also use this document to explain anything in your CV that could use some explanation. For instance, if you took a year off to care for a relative, explain that. Or if you had a semester of difficulties during your undergraduate degree in which your grades suffered, describe this. Anything you think could use some additional details and explanation, please provide it in this statement.
  6. Three letters of recommendation. List the names of recommenders in the fields on page three of the online application along with their e-mail addresses. They will receive a link to access a secure page where they can submit your recommendation quickly and easily via the Web.

*International applicants, please see additional requirements.

Once the UGA Graduate School has received your complete application materials, the Department will be notified to log into the Graduate School system to retrieve and review your application.  You can check your UGA application status at

Learn more: Funded Research Positions for New PhD Students

The following list of EPIBIO faculty members have funded research positions available in Fall 2024 for incoming Ph.D. students. Click one of the links below to learn more about each faculty member’s research program or for contact information.

  • Andreas Handel: Area of research focus is infectious disease modeling and analysis (PhD – DAM)
  • Amy Winter: focus is infectious disease modeling (PhD – EPID or DAM)
  • Christopher Whalen: focus is infectious disease Epidemiology and network science (PhD – EPID)
  • Justin Bahl: focus is infectious disease (PhD –  EPID or DAM)
  • Ye Shen: focus is statistic and data science (PhD – Biostats)
  • Xiao Song: focus is Biostatistics (PhD – Biostats)
Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to earn a degree?

While there is no fixed timeline, the M.S. degree is generally expected to take about 2 years to complete and the Ph.D. degree around 4 years. These times can vary based on student progress.

Do you offer assistantships?

We generally do not offer assistantships for our M.S. program.

We only admit students to our Ph.D. program if we can identify a source of funding. Funding comes from departmental and college assistantships, competitive fellowships given by UGA, research assistantships from individual investigators, or funding that students are able to secure themselves. Because we ensure that each of our Ph.D. students is funded, the amount of funding is usually the factor limiting the number of students we take. Therefore, if you have your own source of funding, please state this explicitly and explain briefly at the end of your personal statement. This can have an impact on your admission decision.

Is there other financial support available?

UGA has several competitive scholarships, and the College of Public Health also has funding opportunities. For more information, visit our Financial Aid page.

What are the minimum scores and grades I need to be admitted?

We do not have hard minimum requirements for test scores or grades beyond those specified by the UGA Graduate School. We evaluate each application in full and consider suitability based on the full application. In general, we expect students to have a strong academic undergraduate record with a GPA around 3 or above, test scores in the upper 50%, indications of strong quantitative skills, and strong support letters. Relevant work experience or previous research experience is a plus. Again, we evaluate the full application, so if a candidate is very strong in one area, this can potentially make up for weaknesses in another area

How many students do you admit each year?

For the M.S. program, we generally admit every student we consider qualified. This ends up being usually around 10 students, around 5 of those choose to start our program. For the Ph.D. program, we usually have more qualified students than we can fund, thus admission is competitive and depends on the applicant pool. We admit on average around 5-10 students, on average 5 choose our program each year. Since our programs are fairly small, those numbers are only averages and can fluctuate a good bit from year to year.

Can I work while doing the M.S. or Ph.D.?

While our degrees are designed with full-time students in mind, we had and have students who successfully manage to go through the program while working, some of them full-time. Working students generally take less courses per semester and therefore might take somewhat longer to complete the degree.

When do I choose my area of emphasis?

You need to pick your area of emphasis when you apply.

If I want to change my area of emphasis later, can I do so?

This might be possible. However, you will be reviewed by our faculty and only if the determination is made that you are qualified for whichever area you want to change to will you be allowed to do so.

Where can I find out more about coursework and other details?

You can find a lot of additional details in the student handbook. Download the most recent version here.


Have questions?

We encourage prospective students to reach out to our office for more information about the degree programs in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Please contact EPIBIO Graduate Coordinator at [email protected] or 706-542-6288 with any questions.