Ph.D. FAQs

Applicants to the Biostatistics program should apply through SOPHAS, a centralized application service for accredited schools and programs in public health. For more information on how to apply please visit the SOPHAS application instructions. If you have any questions, please contact SOPHAS. 

Sophas Customer Service Phone:  (617) 612-2090 Open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm EST. 

Customer Service E-Mail: [email protected]

Apply through SOPHAS


All Ph.D. students (including international students) are admitted with full aid and are eligible for continuing aid pending satisfactory academic progress. This financial aid includes tuition, stipend and health insurance. You do not need to separately apply for financial aid.

We do not require a specific type of undergraduate degree, and indeed we encourage applications from students with a variety of academic backgrounds. Course work in advanced calculus, linear algebra, and probability using calculus are expected.  

The faculty within Biostatistics are involved in several major areas of research activity including analysis of biomarkers and diagnostic tests, causal inference and missing data, time series and functional data analysis, spatial data and network analysis, bioinformatics, longitudinal data, meta-analysis, multilevel modeling, and statistical learning.

For detailed information on our faculty, their research activity, and methodological expertise, visit our Biostatistics Research page and the Faculty Contact page.

The GRE is not required.

TOEFL scores are required of international students, unless a student has or is expecting to receive a bachelor's or master's degree 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. Brown requires a score of at least 90 for admission. Official TOEFL scores should be sent to both SOPHAS (TOEFL reporting code 5688) and Brown University Graduate School (reporting code 3094).

If you are an international student that has or is expecting a degree from a U.S. university or institution you will qualify for a TOEFL waiver through SOPHAS. There is no need to email to request a waiver - you will automatically qualify once your application is submitted. 

The number of applications received and offers made varies from year to year. On average we have 4 students in each class.

Students interested in pursuing a career in research should generally apply to the Ph.D. program, although many of the applicants to the Ph.D. program already have a master’s in Biostatistics or related field. Those interested in pursuing a non-academic career may find that a master’s degree is sufficient, although increasingly directors of statistics programs in industry and government have doctoral degrees.

Yes, there is a box to check on the SOPHAS application if you would like your application considered for the master's program. 

Unfortunately not. We review in the context of the other applications.