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PhD in Biostatistics


The Doctor of Philosophy in Biostatistics is a 90-credit hour program that prepares graduates to study advanced statistical methodologies and apply them to better understand health trends among populations. Biostatisticians interpret results of statistical analyses from public health studies and translate the information into easily understandable facts for scientific and non-scientific audiences. Graduates of the PhD Biostatistics program work in a variety of settings including local, state, and federal agencies such as health departments, academic health sciences centers, pharmaceutical companies, and contract research organizations. The Doctor of Philosophy in Biostatistics provides advanced biostatistical skills focused on research. At the conclusion of required coursework, the PhD candidate defends a dissertation which adds to the body of knowledge in the field. 

The Hudson College of Public Health is accredited by the Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH). The PhD in Biostatistics program may be completed by full or part-time students and is offered in Oklahoma City.

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The following are required:
  • The applicant must be in good standing with the college or university where currently enrolled or last attended.
  • Master’s degree (MPH or MS) in Biostatistics or a related field from an accredited institution. Up to 40 credit hours from the Master’s program may be counted toward the PhD with approval.
  • Graduate grade point average of 3.5 or above.
  • The following prerequisites:
    • Linear Algebra.
    • Calculus and Analytic Geometry I: Topics covered include equations of straight lines, conic sections; functions, limits and continuity; differentiation; maximum-minimum theory and curve sketching.
    • Calculus and Analytic Geometry II: Integration and its applications; the calculus of transcendental functions; techniques of integration; and the introduction to differential equations.
    • Calculus and Analytic Geometry III:  Polar coordinates, parametric equations, sequences, infinite series, vector analysis.
    • Calculus and Analytic Geometry IV:  Vector calculus; functions of several variables; partial derivatives; gradients, extreme values and differentials of multivariate functions; multiple integrals; line and surface integrals.
  • GRE test is required. Scores should be sent to SOPHAS by using the code 4244.
  • Career goal statement uploaded through SOPHAS.
  • Current CV/Resume uploaded through SOPHAS.
  • Three letters of academic or professional recommendation uploaded through SOPHAS by the recommender. Applicants must list recommenders’ contact information on the application and then upon submission, SOPHAS will send instructions to each recommender on how to submit their letter electronically through the online portal.
  • Transcripts:
    • U.S. Applicants: SOPHAS requires a separate official transcript from every U.S. and Canadian institution attended. Applicants must arrange for official transcripts from all prior undergraduate, graduate, and professional study institutions to be sent to SOPHAS. Instructions for sending your transcripts to SOPHAS can be found here. You will need to have a copy of your transcripts in hand so that you will be able to complete the coursework section of the application. Do not enter foreign courses taken at Universities outside the U.S. or Canada into the coursework section of the application.  
    • International Applicants: There are two options for transcript and degree certificate evaluation:     
      1. Submit transcripts and degree certificates to the World Education Services ( for a course-by-course evaluation, and designate SOPHAS to receive the evaluation; or 
      2. Submit transcripts and degree certificates to the Educational Credential Evaluators ( for a course-by-course evaluation, and designate results to be sent from ECE to or to the following address:
             OUHSC Office of Admissions and Records
             1105 N. Stonewall Avenue, LIB 121
             Oklahoma City, OK  73117
  • International applicants are required to demonstrate English proficiency by submitting TOEFL (score of 88 or above) or IELTS (score of 6.5 or above) that meet the minimum required score. TOEFL scores must be submitted to SOPHAS using the designation code #5688.


PhD in Biostatistics:

  • Spring: October 15
  • Fall: June 15



Application Instructions for Current OU Students and OU Alumni can be found here.



Submit a SOPHAS application and required fee (click here to review information regarding SOPHAS fees and fee waivers). The documentation identified in the ‘Admission Requirements’ section must be submitted in SOPHAS.


Applicants to the OU Hudson College of Public Health are required to submit a FREE supplemental application. The supplemental application is available via the OU Health Sciences Center website at: Applicants must select the same program(s) in the supplemental application as they did in the SOPHAS application. Please note that the PhD Biostatistics program will be listed under "Graduate College" in the online application (MS & PhD programs are listed under "Graduate College' but are taught by the Hudson College of Public Health).


Student support opportunities to offset costs include graduate research assistantships and public health scholarships. Students may expect additional costs that include, but are not limited to, a personal computer, textbooks, insurance, and supplies. For financial aid information, contact the Financial Aid Office at (405) 271-2118.

Financial support opportunities for students:

Estimated Costs

Financial Services (Bursar and Financial Aid)

Scholarship Opportunities


Required Coursework 30 credit hours minimum
Dissertation Research 20-25 credit hours
TOTAL REQUIRED HOURS 90 credit hours (includes maximum of 40 credit hours from Master's degree)

Prerequisites: Students applying to the PhD in Biostatistics must have completed a Master’s degree program (MPH or MS) in Biostatistics or a related field. Up to 40 credit hours from the Master’s program may be counted toward the PhD with approval. 

Depending on student’s background, the student may also be required to enroll in additional elective courses that cover topics students ordinarily complete in their MS or MPH curricula that are prerequisites for doctoral level courses. These may be completed after enrolling in the PhD program, and include the following courses: 

BSE Required Courses (19 credit hours)

  • BSE 5001 Problems in Biostatistics and Epidemiology
  • BSE 5013 Applications of Microcomputers to Data Analysis
  • BSE 5113 Principles of Epidemiology
  • BSE 5163 Biostatistics Methods I
  • BSE 5173 Biostatistics Methods II
  • BSE 5193 Intermediate Epidemiologic Methods
  • BSE 5663 Analysis of Frequency Data 

Any MS or PhD student who has not previously completed the core MPH courses or earned an MPH degree will be required to complete an overview course in public health. At the first opportunity students should enroll in: 

  • BSE 5033 Foundations and Overview of Public Health (3 credit hours)
The student must earn at least 30 credit hours in coursework at the University of Oklahoma after admission to the PhD program. The student is required to take the following courses as either a PhD student or in completing the MS or MPH degree:
Graduate College: Responsible Conduct of Research Training
     BSE 5111 Scientific Integrity in Research
1 credit hour
NOTE: Further training in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) is required after four years, so students in their 5th year are required to enroll in the Advanced RCR course:
     BMSC 6011 Integrity in Scientific Research II


General/Epiemiology Courses (5 credit hours)
BSE 5153 Clinical Trials
BSE 6192 Grant Writing
Theory Courses (6 credit hours)
During first year of doctoral coursework:
BSE 5703 Principles of the Theory of Probability
BSE 5733 Principles of Mathematical Statistics I
Theory Courses (6 credit hours)
Following the first year of doctoral coursework:
BSE 5743 Principles of Mathematical Statistics II
BSE 6553 Linear Models
Applied Biostatistics (12 credit hours)
BSE 5653 Non-Parametric Methods
BSE 6563 Longitudinal Data Analysis
BSE 6643 Survival Data Analysis
BSE 6663 Multivariate Biostatistics

Elective Courses: at least 6 credit hours total

The student must complete at least six additional credit hours of elective coursework in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology. This coursework must be approved in advance by the student’s advisory committee. The following courses do not satisfy this requirement: BSE 5980, 6950, or 6980. 

Dissertation: 20 – 25 credit hours total 

The student must enroll for at least 20 credit hours in Research for Doctoral Dissertation (BSE 6980). No more than 25 credit hours in BSE 6980 may be applied toward the minimum 90 credit hours required for the degree. 

Other Requirements:

  • Students are required, prior to initiation of doctoral research, to complete training in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) and Protection of Human Research Subjects. The training includes completion of the CITI course for Human Subjects Research (Social-Behavioral-Educational Basic module) and successful completion of a one credit course in RCR approved by the Department. 
  • Students are required to attend all departmental and Hudson College of Public Health seminars during the spring and fall semesters.
  • Students are required to enroll in a minimum of six credit hours during the spring and fall semesters.
  • Students are required to achieve a working knowledge of methods, programming, and applications of computers as used in Biostatistics and Epidemiology. This knowledge may be acquired by formal class work or by experience acquired either before entering or during the course of the program. Completing BSE 5013 with a passing grade constitutes the minimum level of knowledge associated with this requirement.
  • Students are required to achieve a basic knowledge of the biomedical sciences as they relate to human health and disease. This requirement may be satisfied in one or more areas. Any coursework needed to satisfy this requirement may be taken at this or another institution, either before or after entering the program. One example of an applicable course is Principles of Pathobiology (PATH 6024).
  • Tools of research that increase research proficiency are required. Research tools include competence in the use of computerized databases, and in the oral and written presentation of research data. The faculty will validate students’ acquiring of tools of research as they assess students’ performance on (1) the written qualifying examination, (2) the general and oral examinations, and (3) the dissertation.
  • Students must pass a written qualifying examination at the end of the first year of doctoral coursework, which must include BSE 5703 and BSE 5733. The qualifying examination will consist of two parts, each roughly four hours long. One part will focus on knowledge of statistical theory and mathematical statistics, and the other will assess ability to process, analyze, and interpret data collected to answer a research question.
  • Students must pass a General Written and Oral Examination.
  • Students must complete the defense of the dissertation within five years of the end of the semester within which the General Written and Oral Examination was successfully completed. If the time expires before the dissertation is completed, the coursework must be revalidated by retaking and passing the General Written and Oral Examination. 



Students are required to participate in at least 40 hours of agreed teaching activities.

Teaching experiences must be obtained in teaching epidemiology or biostatistics. The exact experiences and potential opportunities for teaching experiences should be discussed by the student and their advisor and/or advisory committee. Under the guidance of the course instructor or the faculty mentor, teaching experiences may include:

  • Teaching graduate level courses in epidemiology or biostatistics.
  • Developing course material.
  • Delivering lectures.
  • Leading review and discussion sections.
  • Writing and grading homework assignments.
  • Writing and grading exams.

Participation in teaching activities will be documented on the Annual Graduate Student Progress Report. Students are required to identify available teaching opportunities and to contact the instructor of record to arrange for their participation in the teaching activity. The total 40 hours of teaching activities may include participation in the activities listed above as well as preparation for these activities.


This degree program is subject to the policies and procedures printed in Hudson College of Public Health Bulletin.



The PhD in Biostatistics program is considered a STEM-designated degree program.

A STEM-designated program is an academic program that falls under at least one of the approved categories from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). These categories are recognized by the government for their focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) topics. DHS's updated STEM-designated degree list can be found here:



Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology
Hudson College of Public Health
The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
801 NE 13th Street, Suite 165
Oklahoma City, OK  73104

Office of Student Services
Phone:  (405) 271-2308

OUHSC Office of Admissions and Records: (405) 271-2359
OUHSC Office of Financial Aid: (405) 271-2118


Click here to schedule a virtual, phone, or in-person prospective student appointment with one of our Advisors.

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