PhD in Biostatistics

Admission Criteria

Any applicant who has a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree from an accredited institution and shows promise for successfully completing all the degree requirements will be considered for admission to this program.

In addition to satisfying general Indiana University Graduate School requirements for admission, applicants must have at least a B (3.00 GPA) average in courses taken during the last two years of their earlier degree studies, and a grade of B+ (3.50 GPA) in courses required as prerequisites for the program.

Students entering this program should have a minimal mathematics background consisting of an undergraduate course sequence in univariate and multivariate calculus (equivalent to MATH 16500, 16600 and 26100 at IUPUI) and a course in linear algebra (including matrix theory). In addition, applicants should have had a calculus-based undergraduate level course in probability or statistics. Prospective applicants who do not have this background must acquire it prior to admission to the program.

Applicants are required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test and those whose native language is not English must also take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and achieve a score of 570 (or 230 on the computer version of the test, or 79 on the internet-based test). Final admission decisions will be made by a faculty Admission Committee.

Supporting Documentation

In addition to completing the IUPUI application, you are also required to submit the following supporting documentation directly to IUPUI:

  • Statement of Purpose and Objectives– Provide an essay of approximately 750 words describing your past education, experience, and current professional career objectives. You are encouraged to comment on any or all of the following: plans you have to use your education and training; the needs and/or challenges you perceive as important in your field of study; and any personal qualities, characteristics, and skills you believe will enable you to be successful in your chosen field of study.
  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae (C.V.)
  • Official post-secondary transcripts must be sent directly from the institution attended to the Fairbanks School of Public Health: 
IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health
1050 Wishard Blvd, RG 6006
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Attn: Sarah Cadwell
  • Three letters of recommendationfrom persons qualified to assess your academic work, professional experiences, or leadership potential. These letters should be from professional sources that can provide an unbiased, current and critical assessment of your abilities, skills, strengths and weaknesses related to successfully completing a doctoral program.
  • GRE test scores- GRE scores are required for Biostatistics PhD applicants and should be sent directly from the testing service (ETS). The IUPUI code for the GRE is 1325.
  • TOEFL scores for applicants whose first language was not English. The IUPUI TOEFL code is 1325

Resume or CV

For each position on the resume or CV, provide the job title, employing agency, dates employed, and responsibilities held. Indicate any additional strengths or skills such as fluency in foreign languages, research experience, teaching experience, community service and demonstration of leadership skills. Include professional certifications, honors, and awards.

Resume or CV can be uploaded electronically to the IUPUI application

Review of Application

Completed applications will be carefully reviewed by the Biostatistics PhD Admissions Committee after the program deadline. The committee’s goal is to notify applicants of their admission status in March. The Admissions Committee will determine each applicant’s acceptance or non-acceptance to the Biostatistics PhD program by using the following selection criteria:

  • Scientific Leadership Potential: Assessed by the applicant’s resume / curriculum vita, personal statement, and personal interview.
  • Ability to Engage in Advanced Graduate Work:Assessed by the applicant’s evaluation of letters of recommendation, overall grade point average in prior graduate work, and scores from the GRE or other graduate entrance exams.
  • Learning Goals and Objectives:Assessed by the applicant’s personal statement and personal interview.


Three letters of recommendation are required from professional sources that can provide an unbiased critical assessment of your abilities, skills and strengths and weaknesses. Examples of professional and academic sources are academic advisors, professors, preceptors or immediate supervisors. Examples of sources that are not acceptable include coworkers, colleagues, classmates and relatives.

Resume or CV can be uploaded electronically to the IUPUI application


The interview are invited at the discretion of the Admission Committee.

The PhD in Biostatistics Admissions Committee conducts interviews using Skype video conferencing for applicants who are unable to travel to Indianapolis for the interview. Skype is a free software application that allows users to connect through the internet to communicate. Note that applicants will need access to a webcam and microphone for the interview.

Skype System Requirements (taken from Skype website)

  • PC running Windows® 2000, XP, Vista or 7. (Windows 2000 users require DirectX 9.0 for video calls).
  • Internet connection (broadband is best, GPRS is not supported for voice calls, and results may vary on a satellite connection).
  • Speakers and microphone - built-in or separate.
  • For voice and video calls we recommend a computer with at least a 1GHz processor, 256 MB RAM and of course a webcam.
  • For High Quality Video calls you will need a high quality video webcam and software, a dual-core processor computer and a fast broadband connection (384 kbps).

Proof of English Proficiency

Applicants whose native language is not English or whose academic study was done exclusively at non-English speaking institutions, must prove English proficiency by providing either official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores. Scores must be less than two years old.

The preferred minimum English language test scores for admission to the Fairbanks School of Public Health are:

  • Internet-based TOEFL: minimum score of 100
  • Computer-based TOEFL: minimum score of 250
  • Paper-based TOEFL: minimum score of 600
  • IELTS (total band score): minimum score of 7
TOEFL           IELTS

IUPUI Applicants

IUPUI applicants should use the following designations:

  • TOEFL – DI Code: 1325 – IUPUI
  • IELTS - DI Code: 1325 – IUPUI

English Language Test Waiver

The English Language test requirement may be waived if an applicant has earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from the U.S. or other English-speaking country. For more information, visit (

Apply Now

You may apply online via IUPUI to our PhD in Biostatistics. The application deadline for Fall admission is January 15. All required application documents must be submitted by the PhD program deadline. It is strongly recommended that all transcripts are submitted no later than December 15 to allow adequate time to verify transcripts.

We will let you know by e-mail once we receive your application. If you have questions about the application process, contact student services (317) 274-2000. If you have questions about the PhD Biostatistics Program, contact Shawne Mathis,

Start your application process today!