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.


While applications are still being accepting for the M.S. program., we are no longer accepting applications for the PhD program for Fall 2020.  Applications open August 2020 for those interested in applying to our M.S. and Ph.D. programs for Fall 2021 enrollment. Deadline for those applications is December 1, 2020.

To be considered for full funding (Ph.D. program only), the application deadline is:
December 1.

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 Science & 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 few 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 w 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 life comfortable 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. Please note: This is not the final version for 2019, and minor edits may still be pending.


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

Step 1:  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. 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 and a statement of purpose. The statement of purpose is your opportunity to communicate to us how this program fits with your career and educational goals. You should also highlight your relevant experience and preparation for this program.
  5. 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

Step 2: Apply to the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

** Full-funding is available for applicants to the Ph.D. program only. To be considered, the application deadline is December 1.  PLEASE NOTE: In your statement of purpose, please include: 1) your area of emphasis, and 2) whether or not you require funding.**

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.

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, for the M.S. program, every student we deem qualified is admitted. 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.

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 Sara Ervin in Student Services at or 706-542-9394 with any questions.