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 goals of Ph.D. Program in Biostatistics, administrated by the College’s Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, are to:

  • Advance the discipline of Biostatistics through the development of new and innovative biostatistical methods with applications in Public Health and Biomedicine.
  • Improve the quality of public health and biomedical investigations through the use of sound study design and the appropriate application of state-of-the-art biostatistical methods.
  • Create the next generation of epidemiologists who can respond to the challenges in public health in the future, educate future students in the field, and provide service to the community.
  • Serve the larger communities in which we live and work, by using our special skills and knowledge.

More Information

  • Degree Competencies

    The degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Biostatistics will be awarded in recognition of in-depth knowledge and comprehensive understanding of Biostatistics together with a demonstrated ability to perform independent research contributing new and innovative biostatistical methods.

    Students receiving a Ph.D. 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.
    • Work independently as a collaborator with public health and biomedical researchers to design clinical trials, case-control studies, public health surveys, and other experimental and observational studies.
    • Create, conduct and publish original research on the theory and application of biostatistics aimed at developing new and innovative methods for analysis of public health and biomedical data.
    • Communicate effectively with investigators in public health and biomedical research.
    • Teach biostatistics to undergraduate students in public health, biomedicine, and related fields.
    • Demonstrate and practice ethical research as it pertains to data management, analysis, and interpretation.
    • Critique the statistical literature, and 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 completion of a dissertation under the mentorship of Biostatistics faculty.

  • Curriculum

    The proposed program requires 71 credits to complete the Ph.D. degree in Biostatistics, including 33 credit hours in required core courses in Biostatistics and Statistics, 8 credit in required courses in Epidemiology and Public Health, 12 credits of approved electives, and 18 credits of dissertation research. Core courses are aimed at competencies 1-6.

    Required Core Courses in Biostatistics and Statistics (33 credit hours):

    BIOS 8010 Regression and ANOVA (3 hrs)
    BIOS 8020 Linear and Generalized Linear Models (3 hrs)
    BIOS 8030 Longitudinal Data Analysis (3 hrs)
    BIOS 8040 Advanced Biostatistical Methods (3 hrs)
    BIOS 8200 Biostatistical Consulting I (2 hrs)
    BIOS 8210 Biostatistical Consulting II (2 hrs)
    BIOS 8310 Advanced Inference in Biostatistics (3 hrs)
    BIOS 8320 Asymptotic Inference in Biostatistics (3 hrs)
    BIOS 9100 Biostatistics Graduate Seminar (2 hrs)
    STAT 6810 Probability Distributions (3 hrs)
    STAT 6820 Statistical Inference (3 hrs)
    STAT 8060 Computing Techniques in Statistics I (3 hrs)

    Required Core Courses in Epidemiology and Public Health (8 credit hours):

    EPID 7010 Introduction to Epidemiology (3 hrs)
    EPID 9100 PhD Epidemiology Seminar (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

    Electives in Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Statistics

    Students may choose electives from among all 8000 level courses in Statistics and Biostatistics. Students with interests in Bioinformatics or Epidemiology may select from 8000 level courses in those two programs. The following is a sample of suggested elective courses:

    BINF 8210 Computational Methods in Bioinformatics
    BINF 8211 Advanced Methods for Biological Data Analysis
    BINF 8940 Applied Genome Analysis
    BIOS 8100 Case Studies in Nonlinear Biostatistics
    BIOS 8110 Categorical Data Analysis
    BIOS 8120 Applied Nonparametric Biostatistical Methods
    BIOS 8130 Multivariate Design
    BIOS 8220 Clinical Trials
    EPID 8010 Cohort Study Design, Implementation and Analysis
    EPID 8020 Case Control Design, Implementation and Analysis
    EPID 8250 Biomarkers
    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 8170 Probability Theory I
    STAT 8180 Probability Theory II
    STAT 8240 Sampling and Related Topics
    STAT 8260 Theory of Linear Models
    STAT 8270 Spatial Statistics
    STAT 8280 Time Series Analysis
    STAT 8290 Advances in Experimental Designs
    STAT 8300 Multivariate Analysis
    STAT 8330 Advanced Applications and Computing
    STAT 8350 Bayesian Data Analysis
    STAT 8560 Advanced Theory of Nonparametric Statistics
    STAT 8650 Bootstrapping Techniques
    STAT 8700 Applied Stochastic Processes
    STAT 8730 Sequential Analysis

  • 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 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.