MS to PhD Admissions

Biostatistics MS students interested in the PhD degree program have the opportunity to apply to the program in the summer after their first year if eligible. The MS to PhD admissions process is as rigorous as the regular admissions process. While there is no set number of slots for admission, on average, approximately one or two students are admitted from the MS to the PhD program each year. Current MS students interested in applying to the PhD degree program should see preparation tips, admission requirements, and instructions below.

Preparing for PhD Level Work

Admittance to the PhD degree program is based whether the student is considered to be prepared to do PhD-level work. Ways that an MS student can demonstrate being prepared to do PhD-level work include:

  • Mastery of first year knowledge and skills as evidenced by engagement in class, class exam scores, and overall course grade.
  • Research experience such as through doing an Independent Study with a faculty member and completing a research project.
  • Engagement with the field including attending Department Seminar and Student Seminar, talking with/learning from faculty and fellow students, and communicating with course instructors about the class material and/or other aspects of the field.

Application eligibility requirements

  1. Pass the First Year (MS) Statistical Theory Examination at the PhD level.
  2. Earn a grade that is no lower than 3.0 in STAT 512 & 513 and BIOST 514 & 515.

Application process

  1. The student must submit a revised Statement of Purpose and a Letter of Recommendation from a Biostatistics faculty member. The material must be submitted to, shortly after the First Year (MS) Statistical Theory Exam; a deadline will be provided to eligible students in the exam results letter.
  2. The Admissions Committee will review the above materials along with the student's UW transcript and respond by the end of July before the beginning of the student’s second year.