How do I apply to the Biostatistics Program? 

The School of Public Health is transitioning to the SOPHAS online application service for the 2017-18 admissions year.  A link to the application portal will be made available in early Fall 2016.

Deadline: Applications are due by February 1

Are GREs required?
Results from a recent GRE general test (within five years) are required. Subject tests are not required, but may be submitted. MCAT and other related tests for professional schools cannot be substituted for the GRE.

What is the average GRE score of applicants/What GRE scores are you looking for?

There is no minimum GRE score required.  Scores are interpreted in the context of the entire application. However, many of our applicants have scored above 160 on the math section. Scores on the verbal and written portions are often lower, but are important for students applying for the ScM degree that requires a thesis. If scores on one or more parts is unusually low, it may be worth a brief explanation in the personal statement. The GRE Math Subject Test is NOT needed; coursework in math, especially multivariable calculus, linear algebra, and probability and statistics (if taken) is looked at instead. Applicants should send all score reports to the Graduate School; the GRE reporting code for Brown is 3094. NOTE: for the Department of Biostatistics there is no Department Code required.

Do I need to send my official documents (GRE, TOEFL, transcript) or are self-reported scores acceptable?

We highly recommend that you send your official documents if at all possible, because they are required by the Graduate School if you are admitted to our program.  However, if they are not available when you submit your application, you may provide us with self-reported scores/documents for our initial review of your application.

What GPA are you looking for?

As with the GRE, the GPA is interpreted in context. We are looking for demonstrated excellence in courses, particularly those related to the proposed field of study.

What type of coursework preparation do I need?

We typically want students to have good mathematical preparation, including multivariable calculus, linear algebra, and mathematical probability using calculus. While these are not required for application, it is recommended that you take them before you start our program so that all courses will be open to you. Successful applicants lacking this preparation will need to learn this material before starting the program.

What are the requirements for foreign applicants?

No special requirements for foreign applicants other than what is required by the Graduate School – that information can be found here: http://www.brown.edu/academics/gradschool/application-information/international-applicantsAlthough not required, it may be helpful if one of your letters of recommendation is from a native English speaker who can comment on your spoken and written English proficiency.

Are TOEFL scores required? Do TOEFL scores expire?

TOEFL scores are required of international students, unless a student has or is expecting to receive a BS or MS from a U.S. university or from an institution where the primary language is English. TOEFL or IELTS scores submitted should be from within the last two years. For more detail, see the Graduate School policy: http://www.brown.edu/academics/gradschool/application-information/international-applicants/language-proficiency-toefl-or-ielts. Brown requires a score of at least 90 for admission.

How can I get a TOEFL waiver if I have attended a US University/Institution? 

If you are an international student that has or are expecting a degree from a US University/Institution you will have to email the Graduate School (Admission_Graduate@brown.edu) after you submit your application and request a waiver.

How many applications do the programs receive? How many students to you expect to enroll in the program this coming school year?

The number of applications received varies from year to year.  The department aims to have about 15 students in each incoming class

What type of undergraduate degree do I need?

We do not require a specific type of undergraduate degree, and indeed we encourage applications from students with a variety of academic backgrounds.

Should I apply to the ScM or AM program?

Both programs require the same courses, but the ScM program also requires completing a thesis, described on the program website.  The ScM degree therefore indicates to prospective employers that the student has carried out and written up a research project which may be advantageous in some circumstances. Students with writing difficulties may be required to switch to an AM. 

Is it possible to switch from the ScM to the AM program or vice versa after enrollment?

Yes, this is possible, with the consent of the Program Director.

Should I apply to the PhD or ScM program?

Admission to the PhD program is much more selective. Successful candidates usually have demonstrated strong quantitative skills and often have a prior baccalaureate or Master’s degree in statistics or a related field. 

Are there any circumstances under which the application fee can be waived?

Any U.S. citizen who demonstrates verifiable financial need may apply for an application fee waiver. To request a waiver, a student should be sure to submit their application at least 14 days before the deadline and should send an email to: Graduate_Fee_Waiver@Brown.edu, explaining his or her financial circumstances. If the request is denied, the application will be kept on hold until the application fee is paid. Please note: international applicants are not eligible for application fee waivers

Do my letters of recommendation have to be written by professors?

Not necessarily, but the letter writers must be in a position to evaluate your academic performance in courses relevant to the proposed field of study. In addition, we like to see letters of support from those who can attest to your interest in and aptitude for quantitative work related to biostatistics as well as those who have supervised you in a biostatistics related job or internship. 

Can students be admitted to Biostatistics for the spring semester? 

Not generally, because course sequencing assumes that students will start in the fall semester. In exceptional circumstances, or when course requirements have been satisfied, a spring entry can occur.

Is it possible to pursue a part-time program?

Yes, but most of our students are full-time, and the possibility of part-time study would need to be discussed with the Graduate Program Director. 

How and when will I know if I am admitted?

Upon review by the Admissions Committee, suitable candidates will be notified informally by the department as their application is reviewed (usually in February). This is not a binding offer. Only the graduate school is allowed to make a formal offer, and these are sent out typically in the beginning of March. 

What financial support is available to incoming students?

All students who apply will be considered for partial tuition scholarship. You will be notified of this upon receiving your decision letter. Additional Master’s funding options can be found here on Brown’s Graduate School website: http://www.brown.edu/about/administration/financial-aid/graduate-overview-facts-tips-and-tools

Some employment and internship opportunities will be available via the department’s partnerships with Brown hospitals and local employers, but job and internship opportunities are not guaranteed.  

May admission to a graduate program be deferred?

Yes, a request for deferral of admission based on personal circumstances is considered on a case-by-case basis. Your place in the next year's entering class is reserved.

What does it cost to attend?

Tuition and fees vary from year to year, but fees are charged by course. More detailed information on tuition costs and fees can be found on the Graduate School website:  http://www.brown.edu/academics/gradschool/courses-manual/tuition-fees (Note: that these figures are based on a 4-course-per-semester schedule and ScM Master's Course load is usually 3-2-2-2, over the course of 4 semesters and AM course load is 3-2-2-1) Students are also responsible for Health Services Fee, Student Activity Fee, and Student Recreation Fee and Health Insurance costs.

What statistical software is most emphasized in the program? 

Most courses use R for instruction. Stata is also commonly used. Training in SAS is also available, from the School of Public Health. Facility in any of these programs is a plus, but is not required, as it is introduced in the curriculum.

May I schedule a visit to learn more about your program?

We normally invite all admitted students to a Masters Recruiting Day in early March. On that day, faculty and administrators are available to meet with students. Candidates who cannot attend that day can arrange to come another day, but are not guaranteed to be able to speak with all faculty.