Biostatistics - MPH






The mission of the GW Master of Public Health (MPH) Biostatistics program is to guide students toward developing the necessary skills to successfully apply statistical methods to the biological, biomedical, and health services sciences. After graduating from the Biostatistics master’s program, students are prepared to conduct epidemiologic research, undertake evaluation studies, and monitor population health status in academic, government, private sector, and community health settings. Our research helps drive understanding of how infectious diseases, such as Zika, Ebola, and HIV/AIDS spread. Our graduates work with those communities that are most vulnerable to better treat patients and prevent future outbreaks.

In addition, the MPH in Biostatistics degree coursework helps enhance students' capacity to think critically and creatively. At the George Washington University, we are proud to educate students who are committed to improving public health, and engaging in and promoting public service. We emphasize these qualities in the MPH Biostatistics program because they are essential for future biostatisticians and public health practitioners. In addition, we’re certain that Biostatistics graduates can:

  • Understand and adhere to high scientific standards for research.
  • Understand how to apply statistical methods to biological/biomedical sciences and health services.
  • Understand and follow guidelines for ethical treatment of research participants.
  • Effectively communicate research findings to a lay audience.
  • Respect cultural diversity while doing all of the above.

Flexible Programming

To help students fit graduate school into their daily life, Milken Institute SPH provides flexible course offerings, which allows Biostatistics students to take up to 15 credits online.

The MPH degree program in biostatistics consists of 45 credits. These credits are based on a series of required MPH core and program-specific coursework and choice elective credits. The total 45-credit program also includes a zero credit Applied Practice Experience (APEx) where students apply their didactic education in a real-world setting, an interprofessional education experience and finally, a culminating experience/project to cap off the program requirements.  Students can enroll full time or part time.  

It is highly recommended to begin planning your APEx during Year 1.

Program Prerequisites

Before joining the MPH Biostatistics degree program, students must complete (a) two semesters of college level calculus through Calculus II with a grade of B or better or (b) one semester of college level calculus with a grade of B or better and enroll in a calculus refresher short course before or during the first term to be considered for admission. 

MPH Core Requirements

PUBH 6000 | MPH Applied Practice Experience (0 credits)
PUBH 6003 | Principles and Practice of Epidemiology (3 credits)
PUBH 6007 | Social and Behavioral Approaches to Public Health (2 credits)
PUBH 6009 | Fundamentals of Program Evaluation (2 credits)
PUBH 6011 | Environmental & Biological Foundations of Public Health (3 credits)
PUBH 6012 | Fundamentals of Health Policy (2 credits)
PUBH 6021 | Essentials of Public Health Practice & Leadership 1: Leading Self and Teams in Public Health (1 credit)
PUBH 6022 | Essentials of Public Health Practice & Leadership 2: Managing Organizations & Influencing Systems in Public Health (1 credit)
PUBH 6023 | Interprofessional Education Experience (IPE) (0 credits)
PUBH 6015 | Culminating Experience (2 credits)



Required Departmental Courses

PUBH 6850 | Introduction to SAS for Public Health Research (1 credit)
PUBH 6851 | Introduction to R for Public Health Research (1 credit)
PUBH 6852 | Introduction to Python for Public Health Research (1 credit) 
PUBH 6853 | Use of Statistical Packages: Data Management and Data Analysis (3 credits) 
PUBH 6862 | Applied Linear Regression Analysis for Public Health Research (3 credits) 
PUBH 6864 | Applied Survival Analysis for Public Health Research (3 credits) 
PUBH 6865 | Applied Categorical Data Analysis for Public Health Research (3 credits) 
PUBH 6866 | Principles of Clinical Trials (3 credits) 
PUBH 6868 | Quantitative Methods (3 credits)
PUBH 6869 | Principles of Biostatistical Consulting (1 credits)


SPH Course Descriptions

Biostatistics Electives

7 credits - any SPH (PUBH, HSML, EXNS) graduate level course

For a sample list of applicable electives, please reference the program guide and SPH course descriptions.


Non-Academic Requirements

Professional Enhancement

Students in degree programs must participate in eight hours of Professional Enhancement. These activities may be Public Health-related lectures, seminars, or symposia related to your field of study.

Professional Enhancement activities supplement the rigorous academic curriculum of the SPH degree programs and help prepare students to participate actively in the professional community. You can learn more about opportunities for Professional Enhancement via the Milken Institute School of Public Health Listserv, through departmental communications, or by speaking with your advisor.

Students must submit a completed Professional Enhancement Form to the student records department [email protected].

CITI Training requirement 

All students in the GWSPH are required to complete training regarding human subject protection regulation and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). To fulfill this requirement, a student must complete the Collaborative IRB Training Initiative (CITI) Course in The Protection of Human Research Subjects. All GWSPH students are required to complete the CITI module Social and Behavioral Researchers or the Biomedical track which can be found under Human Subjects Research Training. CITI coursework must be completed before the end of their first semester/two modules. Students must complete the CITI course before they are approved to begin the Applied Practice Experience and/or Practicum (MPH students) or any other field or research-related activities. This course is available online. Students should print out the certificate of completion for the CITI course and keep a copy for their records. Students will need this documentation for any IRB submission package. Documentation of completion is also required for graduation clearance. Students will submit these documents to the Office of Student Records, [email protected]. Additional training requirements exist for students who plan to conduct some types of research (e.g., clinical research). Students are strongly encouraged to complete the Biomedical Investigators module.

To get started:

  1. Go to
  2. Click: Register for the CITI course
  3. Select Institution (GW is under All Others, a drop-down list)
  4. Create a new username and password.
  5. Enter contact information 

For a quick video tutorial on how to access CITI click here

Academic Integrity Quiz

All Milken Institute School of Public Health students are required to review the University’s Code of Academic Integrity and complete the GW Academic Integrity Activity.  This activity must be completed within 2 weeks of matriculation. Information on GWSPH Academic Integrity requirements can be found here.

Program Guides from prior Academic Years

Students in the MPH in Biostatistics program should refer to the guide from the year in which they matriculated into the program. For the current program guide, click the  "PROGRAM GUIDE" button on the right-hand side of the page.


Students in the GW MPH programs gain practical skills and knowledge through their practice experiences. It is important for MPH Biostatistics graduates to feel confident in their skills and gain real-world experience during their studies. Students in the Biostatistics MPH program complete both an Applied Practice Experience (Practicum) and a Culminating Experience to practice their knowledge and skills in real-world settings.

Your Practicum

In the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, the Practicum is designed to engage students in a Practice Activity—a planned, supervised, and evaluated experience in a public health organization. The Practice Activity can be related to either primary research or public health practice. It might include activities such as conducting literature reviews, writing proposals, or collecting and analyzing data.

The Practice Activity for the MPH Biostatistics degree may not be directly related to the student's day-to-day work. This is to ensure that students learn and apply new skills in the context of public health. If the student does conduct the Practice Activity at his/her place of employment, it must be work for which the student is not remunerated.

Your Culminating Experience

The Culminating Experience (CE) integrates the knowledge and skills students acquire through their academic work and the Practice Activity. The CE requires students to identify and define a specific public health issue and formulate hypotheses to address that issue. Students work with data obtained through either primary research or from an existing dataset. The process of proposal development, data analysis, interpretation, and extrapolation of the results culminates in a written report or manuscript and an oral presentation.

Some previous CE research topics in the MPH Biostatistics program include:

  • Cancer
    • Inflammatory Breast Cancer
    • Disparities in Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
    • Associations between Behavioral Factors and Cancer
    • Use of Technology in the Care of HIV
    • Infected Individuals
    • Care of Pediatric and Adolescent HIV-Infected Patients
    • Adherence to Antiretroviral Medications
    • Development of Resistance to Antiretroviral Medications
  • Infectious Disease
    • Listeria at Meat Packaging Plants
    • Food Contamination and Surveillance
  • Other
    • Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Low Birth Weight
    • Use of Standardized Case Definitions in Adverse Events following Immunization Surveillance


There are numerous opportunities for Biostatistics program graduates. Governmental organizations, private sector employers, and educational institutions are always looking to hire students who have completed an MPG Biostatistics degree program. Graduates with an MPH Biostatistics degree find careers in teaching, research, and consulting. Many MPH Biostatistics graduates also continue their education and pursue a Biostatistics PH.D.
Jobs You Will Be Prepared For

Analytical Epidemiologist
Clinical Research Coordinator

Patient Centered Medical Home Program Consultant
Research Statistician

Senior Quality Improvement Analyst

Specialist, Public Health Preparedness and Response

Organizations You Are Prepared To Help

ICF International
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield

Walter Reed Army Institute of Research
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Association of Public Health Laboratories


Program Director

Heather Hoffman

Practicum Directors

Joseph Schmitthenner (Last name A-L)
Ann Goldman (Last name M-Z)

Advisors & Advising Info


Students pursuing a MPH in Biostatistics have access to a world-class faculty with relevant expertise and diverse experience in all sectors of public health and medical research. Some of the areas of interest and research experience for professors and lecturers in the Biostatistics Master of Public Health degree program include: clinical trials, statistical modeling, mental health, computing and software development, survival analysis, and finite population sampling.