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Biostatistics Training Program FAQ

Does Stanford offer a graduate degree in Biostatistics?

There is no Biostatistics MS or PhD program at Stanford. Students in the Statistics PhD program can choose a concentration in Biostatistics incorporating specialized training in a wide array of biostatistics tools and techniques. US citizens who pursue this concentration may be eligible for support from the Personalized Medicine Training Grant, which outlines a program of courses and rotations similar to the laboratory internships conducted in a traditional science PhD.

Statistics master’s level students with an interest in Biostatistics should note that there are a number of courses related to Biostatistics — examples appear below — that may be taken for elective credit, although there are no opportunities for specialized training or any related funding.

  • Biology 244, 283
  • Biomedical Informatics 214, 228, 233
  • Genetics 211, 244, 245, 344A, 344B
  • Health Research and Policy 206, 224, 226

What is the difference between the Statistics PhD with a concentration in Biostatistics and the Biomedical Informatics Training Program?

Both programs involve interdisciplinary research between statistics, data science, computer science, and biology, and allow students to choose an advisor in any related department. The most substantial difference is that the PhD in Statistics has a strong focus on statistics courses, while the interdepartmental BMI program has a core curriculum of bioinformatics-related subjects.

What kind of academic background is most relevant in preparation for the Biostatistics concentration?

Applicants should review the information about prerequisites for the general Statistics program available on the PhD FAQ page. There are no specific prerequisite courses for those interested in Biostatistics, though an undergraduate major in statistics with some exposure to genetics and molecular biology may help strengthen a prospective student’s application.