4 to 5 years
Study mode
Tuition fee (entire course)
Local students
Foreign students
Other costs
Other costs apply

About this course

Biostatistics involves the theory and application of statistical science to analyze public health problems and to further biomedical research. The faculty includes leaders in the development of statistical methods for clinical trials and observational studies, studies on the environment, and genomics/genetics. The department’s research in statistical methods and bioinformatics and its interdisciplinary collaborations provide many opportunities for student participation. The Department of Biostatistics offers the PhD through GSAS and the Master of Science through Harvard School of Public Health.

Current departmental research areas include Bayesian inference, bioinformatics, causal inference, computationally-intensive methods, decision sciences, design and analysis of clinical trials, experimental design, high dimensional data analysis, machine learning, measurement error, missing data, multivariate and longitudinal studies, network analysis, quantitative genomics, semiparametric methods, sequential methods, spatial statistics, statistical computing, statistical genetics, stochastic processes, surveillance methods, and survival analysis, among other areas. Areas of application include biology, cancer, clinical research, computational biology, the environment, epidemiology, genetics, health disparities, health policy, HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases, neurology, and psychiatry, among other areas. Collaborative research activities include coordination of national and international clinical trials, participation in studies of potential environmental hazards, collaboration on novel genetic and genomic studies, evaluation of health interventions and medical technologies, consultation with federal, state, and local agencies, and working with biomedical scientists in other Harvard-affiliated institutions.

Entry Requirements

No one is admitted as a candidate for the AM, only for the PhD. Nevertheless, the requirements for the master’s degree must be satisfied by all students as they move toward the PhD and are expected to be completed by the end of the fourth term. The AM degree may be granted when these requirements are fulfilled. In addition, the department may confer a terminal AM on students who will not be completing the requirements for the PhD.

For the AM degree, four terms of course work with a minimum average grade of B is ordinarily required. With the department’s approval, students with a previous graduate degree in a medical, scientific, or statistical field and with prior sufficient prior statistical training may qualify for the AM degree with two terms of course work. The specific requirements for the AM in Biostatistics are outlined in the Biostatistics Graduate Student Handbook. Upon fulfilling the AM requirements, students should submit an application for the master’s degree.