The Ph.D. program in Biostatistics is designed to train independent investigators who will develop new quantitative methods and underlying theory, and make innovative applications to substantive and demanding scientific problems in public health, medicine, biology and the social sciences.

In addition to completing core courses in theory and methods of biostatistics, Ph.D. students are required to develop expertise in a cognate area (e.g., epidemiology, economics, molecular biology, etc.).

The Ph.D. program is administered by an active, expanding and highly interdisciplinary faculty in the Department of Biostatistics. Major areas of research activity include Bayesian inference, analysis of biomarkers and diagnostic tests, causal inference and missing data, time series and functional data analysis, modeling of social networks, bioinformatics, longitudinal data, and multilevel modeling. Faculty collaborate actively with investigators in the areas of cancer prevention and screening, behavioral sciences, HIV/AIDS, health care policy, genetic epidemiology, neuroscience, and genomics. Biostatistics faculty are members of the Center for Statistical Sciences (CSS) or the Center for Evidence Based Medicine. CSS hosts the Biostatistics Center for NCI–funded American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN), the Biostatistics Core for Brown's Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), and the Biostatistics Core for Brown's multidisciplinary Alcohol Research Center for HIV (ARCH).

Brown's rapidly expanding School of Public Health housed in newly renovated space at 121 South Main Street in the heart of downtown Providence, just blocks from the main green and walking distance to several of Brown's research centers. Its educational programs include both masters and doctoral programs in Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Health Services Research, an MPH program, and undergraduate concentrations in both Community Health and Statistics. The School of Public Health is home to several world–class research centers, such as the Center for Gerontology and Health Services Research, the International Health Institute, and the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies. Our faculty also collaborate with researchers at Brown's Center for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine, Center for Computational Molecular Biology, Center for Genetics, Genomics and Proteomics, and the Population Studies Training Center.

Additional Resources

All Ph.D. students are provided with office space in the School of Public Health building at 121 South Main Street. Ph.D. students in Biostatistics also have access to the CSS computing infrastructure, a high–end, continuously updated computing environment featuring both Unix and PC networks, with access to all major software for data analysis and numerical computing. CSS also maintains a biostatistics library housing a considerable collection of statistics texts and journals.

Admission Information

MCAT or LSAT tests cannot be substituted for the GRE. Applicants to the Ph.D. program should have taken courses in calculus (three semesters), and advanced undergraduate courses in linear algebra and probability. Experience with numerical computing is also recommended. Applications from students in applied fields such as biology, biochemistry, economics, and computer science are strongly encouraged, with the understanding that necessary mathematical coursework may have to be completed before or soon after enrollment in the program.

Applicants to this School of Public Health program should apply through SOPHAS, a centralized application service for accredited schools and programs in public health. The application opens in mid–August each year. The Department of Biostatistics will waive the requirement of the GRE results for the 2021-2022 application cycle. Applicants who submit results will not be penalized, nor will applicants who do not submit results. Brown University School of Public Health GRE reporting code: 7765.

Admission Requirements

  • GRE General: Not required for the 2020-2021 application cycle
  • GRE Subject: Not required

Application Deadline: December 15

The application for fall 2022 admission will open in late August.

Admission Inquiry Form

Ph.D. Completion Requirements

For all Ph.D. students, 24 credits are required of students matriculating in the program without a master's degree; 16 are required beyond the master's. For those with a related master's degree, up to eight units can be transferred. Both written and oral exams, plus a dissertation comprising an original contribution to the field, also are required. Students are expected to participate in academic activities such as the Statistics Seminar and faculty–organized working groups.

Department of Biostatistics
Brown University
Box G-S121-7
[email protected]

Visit the Department of Biostatistics


Department Chair: Joseph Hogan

Director of Graduate Studies: Zhijin (Jean) Wu