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.

On this page:

Required courses

All courses are 3 credit hours unless otherwise indicated.

  • STA 621 Theory of Statistical Inference
  • STA 622 Limit Theory
  • STA 641 Theory of Linear Models
  • STA 642 Topics in Advanced Modeling
  • STA 782 Departmental Seminar (0 credits) Held weekly
  • CHB 550 Public Health and Population Well-Being *

*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 to request a waiver of this course requirement.


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.

  • STA 609 Advanced Statistical Genetics
  • STA 612 Advanced Clinical Trial/Design Analysis
  • STA 617 Advanced Categorical Data Analysis
  • STA 661 Advanced Topics in Large Sample Theory
  • STA 667 Advanced Bayesian Inference
  • STA 671 Advanced Special Topics in Statistics
  • STA 675 Advanced Survival Analysis
  • STA 681 Multivariate Theory
  • STA 745 Topics in Design and Analysis of Observational 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. Register for STA 700 Thesis Guidance each semester. Learn more about the dissertation requirements.

Questions about program requirements or curriculum?

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