Skip to main content

Click "Menu" to toggle open, click "Menu" again to close

MS/PhD Biostatistics Admissions Criteria

Overview

  • Bachelor's degree with GPA of 3.2 or higher required for MS applicants
  • Master's degree in Biostatistics, Statistics, or a similar field with GPA of 3.2 or higher required for PhD applicants
  • Strong quantitative skills
  • At least three semesters of college-level calculus through multivariable/vector calculus and one semester of linear algebra
  • Documented experience with a computer programming language (C/C++, Fortran, Java, Python or equivalent) is strongly recommended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume or CV
  • Statement of purpose and objectives
  • Writing sample submitted via SOPHAS (PhD applicants only)
  • GRE scores (combined verbal and quantitative score of 1200 on the old test or 310 on the new test considered competitive)
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores for international applicants

More Information

Academic Background

Applicants to the MS must have a prior Bachelor's degree. Applicants to the PhD program must have a prior Master's Degree in Biostatistics, Statistics, or a similar field.

A competitive applicant to the MS or PhD in Biostatistics will have a strong quantitative background, including:

  • At least three semesters of college-level calculus through multivariable/vector calculus and one semester of linear algebra
  • Documented experience with a computer programming language (C/C++, Fortran, Java, Python or equivalent) is strongly recommended

A minimum grade point average of 3.2 is required for a competitive applicant. GPA is calculated based on the last 60 undergraduate units, or if the applicant has 12 or more graduate units, the GPA will be based on graduate units.

Please send official transcripts from any college or university you have ever attended to SOPHAS (PO Box 9111; Watertown, MA 02471).

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must provide a minimum of three letters of recommendation that demonstrate the applicant's quantitative abilities and the extent of experience or interest in the biological or health sciences. Letter of recommendation may be written by academic advisors, professors, supervisors, mentors or anyone else familiar with his or her academic and/or professional ability. Letters are submitted electronically to SOPHAS.

Resume or CV

Applicants are asked to submit a resume or CV outlining his or her academic and professional experience and achievements.

Statement of Purpose and Objectives

The statement (maximum of 1500 words) should include:

  • Why you are interested in the MS or PhD in Biostatistics program
  • Specific areas of interest in biostatistics
  • Reason for selection of this program
  • Academic and professional background, including experience/expertise with statistics and public health related topics
  • Future goals and objectives

Please note that some schools of public health use software to detect plagiarism in statements of purpose. It is important to ensure that an applicant’s statement is written in his/her own words and, when appropriate, that quotations and citations/references are used for a direct quote.

GRE Scores

Applicants must submit official scores of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Combined verbal and quantitative GRE scores of 1200 (old test) or 310 (new test) or higher are considered competitive. The analytical writing portion of the GRE is required. GRE scores may be reported directly to the University of Arizona College of Public Health/SOPHAS, which is code #4253. For more information about the GRE, visit the GRE website.

GRE Exceptions

Applicants who have a prior doctoral degree from a US institution or a prior MPH or MS degree from the Zuckerman College of Public Health are not required to submit GRE scores.

Writing Sample (PhD applicants only)

The writing sample may be a paper, article, or report written for work or school that highlights the applicant's research and writing abilities. Applicants may submit their writing sample electronically via SOPHAS.

Mission and Values Statement

In 500 words or less (2500 characters), applicants will submit a statement regarding how s/he would embrace and support the Mission and the Values of the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

  • Our Mission: The Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health is dedicated to promoting the health of individuals and communities in the southwest and globally with an emphasis on achieving health equity through excellence in education, research, and service.
  • Our Values: The Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health acts with respect and integrity to continuously advance health and well-being for all through knowledge, collaboration, empowerment, advocacy and sustainability. Our core values are: Fairness, Trust, Equity, Social Justice, Excellence, Innovation, Commitment, Collegiality, Diversity, Open Communication, Participation, Consensus, and Enhancement.
Other Factors

Preference is given to those with a strong mathematics background or strong quantitative experience.

Further Information

For more information about the Biostatistics program, please visit the MS Biostatistics page or the PhD Biostatistics page. If you have additional questions, please contact Amy Glicken, Director of Admissions, at coph-admit@email.arizona.edu or 520.626.3201.

The University of Arizona