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Biostatistics - MS


The mission of the GW Master of Science (MS) 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 MS 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.

The MS Biostatistics degree program is a joint venture between the Department of Statistics in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences (CCAS) and the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics in the Milken Institute School of Public Health (SPH).

The MS 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 Master of Science Biostatistics program because they are essential for future biostatisticians and public health practitioners. In addition, we’re certain that Biostatistics graduates will:

  • Understand the theory and principles behind statistical methods most commonly used in biomedical research (contingency tables, survival analysis, mixed models, and missing data).
  • Understand and apply the underlying principles and methods to design, plan, and conduct biomedical studies.
  • Provide biostatistical advice as a member of a team engaged in a biomedical research project, including manipulation management and analysis of data.

Program Prerequisites

Before joining the MS Biostatistics degree program, students must have completed at least two semesters of college-level calculus, through at least Single-Variable Calculus II, and one semester of Regression Analysis. The Supplemental Course Summary form must accompany all applications to the MS, Biostatistics program.  Applications that do not include the Supplemental Course Summary will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed until complete.

In addition, applicants should have successfully completed the following courses:

  • Multi Variable Calculus III
  • Linear Algebra I
  • Intro to Computing or Intermediate Statistical Laboratory: Statistical Computing Packages or Use of Statistical Packages: Data Management and Data Analysis

If these courses haven’t been completed, admission to the program is conditional with the expectation that they will be taken within the first two semesters of the program. Credits from these courses do not count toward graduation requirements, nor are the grades factored into the overall GPA.


Biostatistics Requirements

Required Statistics Courses

STAT 6201 | Mathematical Statistics I (3 credits)
STAT 6202 | Mathematical Statistics II (3 credits)
STAT 6210 | Data Analysis (3 credits)
STAT 6227 | Survival Analysis (3 credits)
PUBH 6265 | Design of Medical Studies (3 credits)
PUBH 6266 | Biostatistical Methods (3 credits)


Statistics Course Descriptions

Required Public Health Courses

PUBH 6003 | Principles and Practice of Epidemiology (3 credits)
Choose from: PUBH 6262, 6263, 6268 or 6282 | Programming related courses in Public Health: Choose 2 courses from this list (all 1 credit classes) for a total of 2 credits; prerequisites apply. See Program Guide.
PUBH 6299 | Topics in Epi/Bio (2 credits)


Public Health Course Descriptions

Consulting Requirements

PUBH 6283 | Master’s Biostatistical Consulting Practicum (1 credit)
PUBH 6258 | Advanced Topics in Biostatistical Consulting (1 credit)


MS Biostatistics Electives

Select 6 credits from approved list of Statistics and/or Public Health Electives found in the program guide.

Public Health Elective Course Descriptions

Statistics Course Descriptions


Professional Enhancement

Students in the MS Biostatistics degree program 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 Biostatistics MS 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 Office of Student Records.

Remember to submit your documentation of eight hours of Professional Enhancement before you apply to graduate.

Program Guides

Past Program Guides

Students in the MS 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 red "PROGRAM GUIDE" button on the right-hand side of the page.


While students in this joint, collaborative program are advised by faculty in the GW School of Public Health and the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences (CCAS), the program is officially administered by the CCAS.  All admissions, administrative transactions, graduation clearance, and commencement actions are completed by CCAS and the Department of Statistics.  The Master of Science in Biostatistics degree is officially conferred by CCAS.

Comps & Careers

Comprehensive Exam

After completing the PubH 6266- Biostatistical Methods course, MS Biostatistics students will take a written comprehensive examination. The test is administered by the faculty of the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics in the SPH.


There are numerous opportunities for Biostatistics program graduates. Governmental organizations, private sector employers, and educational institutions seek students who have completed a MS Biostatistics degree program. Graduates with an MS Biostatistics degree find careers in teaching, research, and consulting. Many MS Biostatistics graduates also continue their education and pursue a Biostatistics PhD.


Students pursuing an MS 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 Science degree program include: clinical trials, statistical modeling, mental health, computing and software development, survival analysis, and finite population sampling.