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University of Pittsburgh    
2017-2018 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jun 16, 2024
2017-2018 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Department of Biostatistics

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Biostatistics is an innovative field that involves the design, analysis, and interpretation of data for studies in public health and medicine. Biostatistics experts arrive at conclusions about disease and health risks by evaluating and applying mathematical and statistical formulas to the factors that impact health.

Students at Pitt Public Health benefit from collaboration with UPMC, Pennsylvania’s largest academic medical center, and have access to extensive University computing facilities. Through rigorous courses, students gain a comprehensive understanding of statistical methods in the context of public health and medical problems; work with faculty on developing new and innovative methodologies and analytical techniques; and have the opportunity through both research and service to apply these methods to current and pressing concerns in biomedicine and public health.

Contact Information

General Inquiries

PhD Program
Abdus S. Wahed, PhD
Director, Biostatistics PhD Graduate Program
7136 Parran Hall
130 DeSoto Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

MS & MPH Programs
Ada O. Youk, PhD
Director, Biostatistics MS & MPH Graduate Programs
7129 Parran Hall
130 DeSoto Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Faculty & Administration

GSPH Primary Faculty  

Department Student Services Staff  


In addition to the school-wide admission requirements , admission to all Biostatistics degree programs requires two semesters of calculus, a course in biology, and a basic computing course. In some cases, course deficiencies can be satisfied the first term. The MPH degree also requires 6 credits in biology, 6 credits in social science and a professional degree and/or background in health.

Applying for Admission to Pitt Public Health  

Early Admission

University of Pittsburgh undergraduates may apply for early admission to the Biostatistics MS Program. Students must have completed the number of undergraduate credits required by their school before they can become a Biostatistics MS student.

3+2 Accelerated Master’s Program   

3+2 Accelerated Master’s Program Admission Requirements  

Financial Aid

The Department of Biostatistics provides full financial aid for approximately 55 PhD students per year. The most common form of financial aid is as a graduate student researcher (GSR). A GSR is expected to work on one of the many funded research projects maintained by either the Department of Biostatistics or their collaborators in other departments. Currently the stipend is $1975.00 per month and includes a tuition waiver and medical benefits. A limited number of Teaching Assistantships (TA) are also available. The current stipend for a TA is $2238.00 per month and includes a tuition waiver. To be eligible for a TA position, a first year student must pass the oral English competency exam given by the University of Pittsburgh.

The department does not provide funding for MS or MPH students except in rare circumstances. Many MS/MPH students obtain jobs in the University or surrounding area performing data analysis and other statistical tasks. The department circulates job advertisements when available to all students.

Tuition and Billing  

Tuition & Financial Aid  

Advanced Standing and Credit Transfer

Acceptance of a maximum of 12 credits taken as a non-degree student at Pitt Public Health is at the discretion of the department and program.

Students enrolled at Pitt Public Health may take credits in another school or institution, providing that their department has approved application of those credits to the degree requirements. In all cases, any combination of advanced standing credits and credits taken from another school or institution during enrollment at Pitt Public Health may not exceed the limits established by the University or the Regulations Governing Graduate Study at the University of Pittsburgh .

Students with previous graduate experience in Biostatistics or a related field may apply to transfer credits for graduate-level coursework successfully completed with a grade of B or better.  PhD Students may apply to transfer up to 24 credits, MS students 6 credits, and MPH students 12 credits. The course credits to be transferred must be reviewed by the student’s academic advisor and approved by the Department Chair and Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. Students who receive transfer credits for GSPH Core Courses must complete the GSPH Core Course Exemption Form in addition to the credit transfer paperwork to exempt out of those classes. Students who receive transfer credits for BIOST 2087 must complete the BIOST Course Exemption Form in addition to the credit transfer paperwork to exempt out of those classes. All transfer credit paperwork must be complete by the end of a student’s first term.






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