Requirements and Curriculum

The PhD degree requires a minimum of 72 credit hours of coursework. Additional program requirements include passing the PhD qualifier exams, participating in practical data analysis training and providing written and oral reports about the experience, and preparing a dissertation.

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A master's degree in biostatistics or statistics is required for application to the PhD program. If you do not already possess one of these master's degrees, please apply to the master's program.

A master's degree is a requirement to apply to the PhD program, and if you earned an MA degree in biostatistics from UB, all 30 credits may be applied toward the 72 credits required for the PhD.

View the Department of Biostatistics Graduate Student Handbook for more information. If you are unsure which application to complete, please contact Noreen D. McGuire, graduate program coordinator, at

Core Required Courses

All courses are 3 credit hours unless otherwise indicated.

If you have earned your master's degree from an accredited school of Public Health and have completed one of these courses, please see Lili Tian, PhD for a waiver of this course requirement.

Elective Course Options

You must complete a minimum of 12 credit hours of electives coursework; at least 9 credits (three courses) must come from the list below. All courses are 3 credit hours. The fourth elective may be an approved, graduate-level course from outside the Department of Biostatistics that complements your study with approval from the Director of Graduate Studies.

Practical Training

Practical training provides you with real-world data application experience. This requirement can be satisfied by one of the following:

  • working with a faculty member in a consulting or collaborative research setting
  • participating in an internship that has been approved by your advisor and supervisory committee
  • completing credit in STA 781 - Research and Reading with your major professor

At the conclusion, you will provide written and oral reports about your practical training to your supervisory committee.

Qualifying Exams

To be admitted to candidacy for the PhD degree, you must pass three qualifying exams—two written (applied part and theory part) and one oral exam (the proposal). Learn more about the qualifying exams.

Responsible Conduct of Research Training Requirement

You will need to provide proof of satisfying the Responsible Conduct of Research Training.

Publishable Manuscript Requirement

Co-author at least one publishable-quality manuscript on the theory and methodology of biostatistics.

Supervisory Committee

Throughout your program, you will rely on your supervisory committee for guidance and assistance. Learn more about how to appoint a supervisory committee and how they will help you.


Through the dissertation, you will design, implement, complete and report on significant and original, independent research. Learn more about the dissertation requirements.

Questions about program requirements or curriculum?

Contact Noreen McGuire, academic program coordinator, at or (716) 829-6142.