The Doctor of Philosophy program in biostatistics requires a minimum of 79 s.h. of graduate credit, including credit from a master's degree. Students must maintain a g.p.a. of at least 3.00. Those who receive a grade of C on 7 s.h. of course work may be dismissed from the program.

All students must successfully complete a comprehensive examination and a dissertation. The research topic and content, which vary depending on the program of study, must be approved by a student's dissertation committee. Other degree requirements include approved electives chosen from Department of Biostatistics and other University of Iowa courses.

The Ph.D. with a major in biostatistics requires the following work.

Master of Science Background

Ph.D. students must take the following courses required for the Master of Science in biostatistics. Students who have completed equivalent course work at other institutions may request waivers and/or transfers of credit. Students who earned a Master of Science in biostatistics at the University of Iowa automatically receive credit for these courses.

One of these sequences:
STAT:4100-STAT:4101Mathematical Statistics I-II6
STAT:5100-STAT:5101Statistical Inference I-II6
All of these:
BIOS:5510Biostatistical Computing (taken twice for 2 s.h. each; topics should be programming with R and programming with SAS)4
BIOS:5710 & BIOS:5720Biostatistical Methods I-II8
BIOS:5730Biostatistical Methods in Categorical Data3
BIOS:6610Statistical Methods in Clinical Trials3
BIOS:7500Preceptorship in Biostatistics3
EPID:4400Epidemiology I: Principles3
Public Health Requirement
This course:
CPH:6100Essentials of Public Health2
Responsible Conduct of Research Training
This course:
BIOS:7270Scholarly Integrity in Biostatistics1

Core Courses

All of these:
BIOS:7110Theory of Biostatistics I4
BIOS:7120Theory of Biostatistics II4
BIOS:7210/STAT:7570Survival Data Analysis3
BIOS:7310Longitudinal Data Analysis3
BIOS:7410/STAT:7510Analysis of Categorical Data3
STAT:7200Linear Models4


With approval of their advisor, students choose 12-19 s.h. of courses according to their interest in biostatistics, statistics, genetics, computing, public health, or in other areas. No more than 5 s.h. in nonquantitative courses (e.g., epidemiology, environmental health) may count toward the electives requirement. Courses required for the M.S. degree that are not listed above also may be used to satisfy the electives requirement, although BIOS:7800 Independent Study in Biostatistics does not generally count as an elective. At least 6 s.h. of elective course work must be taken with grades awarded.

Students may take the following courses. 

BIOS:6420Survey Design and Analysis3
BIOS:6650Causal Inference3
BIOS:6720Statistical Machine Learning for Biomedical and Public Health Data3
BIOS:6810Bayesian Methods and Design3
BIOS:7230Advanced Clinical Trials3
BIOS:7240High-Dimensional Data Analysis3
BIOS:7330Advanced Biostatistical Computing3
BIOS:7600Advanced Biostatistics Seminar (topics include high-dimensional data analysis, statistical methods in bioinformatics, model selection, spatial modeling, statistical computing)1-3
BIOS:7700Problems/Special Topics in Biostatisticsarr.
IE:4172Big Data Analytics3
STAT:4520Bayesian Statistics3
STAT:6300Probability and Stochastic Processes I3
STAT:6540Applied Multivariate Analysis3
STAT:6560Applied Time Series Analysis3
STAT:7100Advanced Inference I3
STAT:7101Advanced Inference II3
STAT:7400Computer Intensive Statistics3
STAT:7520Bayesian Analysis3


Students must enroll in the following dissertation course for at least two semesters in residence.


Applicants to the Ph.D. program in biostatistics must apply through the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS). After the SOPHAS application is verified, the applicant pays a supplemental Graduate College admission fee to the University of Iowa Office of Admissions. For detailed application information, visit Requirements and How to Apply to Biostatistics on the Department of Biostatistics website.

The biostatistics faculty considers several factors when evaluating applications for admission, including Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores, grade-point averages, letters of recommendation, intent and motivation for graduate study, and research interests.

All applicants must hold a bachelor's degree, have a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.00, and have taken the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test. Applicants whose first language is not English and who do not hold a baccalaureate or more advanced degree from an accredited institution in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada (excluding French Quebec), English-speaking Africa, Australia, or New Zealand must score at least 100 (internet-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Applicants with lower scores are not considered for admission. In place of TOEFL scores, the department accepts International English Testing System (IELTS) scores of 7.0 or higher, with no subscore below 6.0.

All biostatistics applicants are required to have strong written and oral communication skills.

Completion of an M.S. program in statistics or biostatistics generally is required for admission to the Ph.D. program.

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College.

Ph.D. application deadlines are posted on the Department of Biostatistics website, visit Requirements and How to Apply to Biostatistics.

A limited number of teaching and research assistantships are available. Assistantships offer financial support and tuition assessed at the resident tuition rate along with a tuition scholarship. They also provide valuable on-the-job training experience.

For information on financing education through jobs, grants, and loans, contact the University's Office of Student Financial Aid.

The program prepares students for professional and academic careers in biostatistics, especially for positions that emphasize developing and applying statistical methodology to solve important biological and public health problems.