Doctor of Philosophy


For more information about applying to the PhD program, visit the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences website. Please choose "Public Health" as the program. Then select Biostatistics as the concentration.  

PhD Students

Doctoral students with a concentration in Biostatistics are prepared for conducting the following types of research in health or medicine:

  • The design of comprehensive investigations;
  • The novel employment of existing statistical methods to address meaningful scientific questions;
  • The development of new statistical methodologies with immediate application to studies of the cause or treatment of disease.

Applicants should have a knowledge of the principles of biology and a strong undergraduate record in mathematics, including course work in advanced calculus and linear algebra. A master’s degree is not required to apply for this program.

Core Competencies PhD

Upon receiving a PhD degree in Public Health, the student will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate public health and related literature.
  • Discuss and critically evaluate the broad literature of the student’s discipline.
  • Review in depth the background and research advances in the student’s specific research area.
  • Apply at an advanced level the research methodology of the student’s broader discipline and, in particular, the student’s specific research area.
  • Present research to colleagues and professionals on a national and international level at professional meetings.
  • Teach a course in the student’s broad discipline.
  • Explain the principles of research ethics and apply these principles to specific research projects.
  • Design and conduct an advanced, original research project in the student’s discipline.
  • Generate data to create publishable manuscripts that represent important contributions to the literature. 

Degree Requirements

PDF Version

Download the PDF version of the PhD course requirements.

The Ph.D. degree with a concentration in Biostatistics requires a minimum of 12 course units (not including Seminar, Public Health Forum and Summer Rotation). This Ph.D. program requires the student to complete the following courses. All “a” courses are offered in the fall term, “b” courses are offered in the spring term.



Course Units  

BIS 525a and b, Seminar in Biostatistics                      


BIS 557a, Computational Statistics   


BIS 628b, Longitudinal and Multilevel Data Analysis  


BIS 643b, Theory of Survival Analysis


BIS 646b, Nonparametric Statistical Methods and their Applications  


BIS 678a, Statistical Consulting           


BIS 691b, Theory of Generalized Linear Models                     


BIS 695c, Summer Rotation in Statistical Research


STAT 610a, Statistical Inference


STAT 612a, Linear Models


EPH 600b, Research Ethics and Responsibilities          


EPH 650 a and b, Public Health Forum


BIS 610b, Applied Area Readings for Qualifying Exams


Students must choose a minimum of four additional electives that will best
prepare them for dissertation work 





Students supported by training grants may be subject to additional requirements and should discuss this with the Principal Investigator of that grant to determine whether there are grant-specific requirements.

rev. 7.10.2014

Qualifying Exam

The qualifying examination has two parts, the first being a written examination that demonstrates facility with the use of statistical principles to develop methods of application.  A second part involves development of a written proposal and oral defense of a research protocol on a topic agreed upon by the candidate and the BIS faculty adviser that will be evaluated by a committee approved by the BIS faculty.

Research Experience

In a number of courses, especially the Statistical Consulting (BIS 578a) course students gain actual experience with various aspects of research including preparation of a research grant, questionnaire design, preparation of a database for analysis, and analysis and interpretation of real data. In addition, doctoral students can gain research experience by working with faculty members on ongoing research studies prior to initiating dissertation research, which includes but is not limited to BIS 695c. During the summer following each year of course work, candidates are required to take a research rotation that is approved by the department and communicated to the DGS.

The Dissertation

The Department strives for doctoral dissertations that have a strong methodological component motivated by an important health question. Hence, the dissertation should include a methodological advance or a substantial modification of an existing method motivated by a set of data collected to address an important health question. The dissertation must also include the application of the proposed methodology to real data. A fairly routine application of widely available statistical methodology is not acceptable as a dissertation topic. Candidates are expected not only to show a thorough knowledge of the posed health question, but also to demonstrate quantitative skills necessary for the creation and application of novel statistical tools.

Research projects carried out by recent Biostatistics PhD graduates

  • Bayesian Design and Monitoring of Clinical Trials
  • A Latent Variable Model for Linkage Analysis
  • Statistical Methods for Haplotype Analysis in Genetic Studies
  • Statistical Design and Analysis for Post-Marketing Studies of Rare Adverse Events
  • Spatio-Temporal Modeling of No)2 in the Presence of Multiple Data Sources with Missing Data by Design
  • Estimating Density of Nymphal Deer Ticks (Lyme Disease Vector) using a Novel Dynamic Spatiotemporal Zero-inflated Regression Model
  • Covariate-adjusted Response-adaptive Randomization Procedures in Multi-arm Clinical Trials with Continuous Response Variables
  • Topics on Analyzing Recurrent Event Data with Sparsely Observed Longitudinal Information

Funding Opportunities

Many faculty have grants which can be supplemented to provide training related expenses and stipends to students. In addition, there are some opportunities for University fellowships and for NIH traineeships for those interested in studying statistical methods with applications in Mental Health Epidemiology.

Research Training In Mental Health

Document Links

Sampling of positions alumni have taken:

  • Statistician - Wyeth Research
  • Asst Professor Medicine, Vanderbilt University
  • Abbot Labs - Biostatistician Asst
  • Professor - Rush Institute for Health Aging - Rush University Medical Center - Internal Medicine Dept.
  • Asst Professor at Columbia University
  • Co-Director, Data Management & Statistical Analysis - Yale Univeristy - CIRA
  • FDA - Biostatistician
  • University of Nebraska - Asst Professor of Biostatistics - Department of Preventive and Societal Medicine
  • Asst Professor - University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • Biostatistician II for Medimmune Inc. Oncology Group
  • Associate Research Scientist Yale University and Yale Center for Analytical Sciences
  • Asst Professor Duke University
  • Global Project Leader, Global Health Economics & Outcomes, Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals
  • Biostatistician for Yale New Haven Hospital Outcomes Center
  • JP Morgan Chase - consultant in NJ
  • Pfizer - Director of Clinical Evaluations
  • University of Minnesota, Biostatistics Department, Asst Professor
  • Asst Professor - University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • Consultant for Boston Consulting Group in China
  • Asst Professor, WPI, Dept of Mathematical Sciences
  • Staff Affiliate at Yale University; Internal Medicine Cardiology