The Master of Science in Biostatistics program provides an innovative curriculum to meet a range of professional needs and interests. The program trains students in study design, appropriate use of statistical and computational techniques, and interpretation of data analysis results arising from public health and biomedical research. Students learn both classical and modern statistical methods and apply their statistical skills and knowledge to solve "big data” problems. They have the opportunity to work with faculty on cutting edge research projects, such as discovering genetic causes of common diseases, developing statistical algorithms to monitor treatment efficacy, and reducing medical costs through electronic health record.

Please email to learn more about the MS in Biostatistics degree.

Admission Requirements 

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines vary by program, please review the application deadline chart for specific programs. Other important dates and deadlines can be found by using the One Stop calendars.


  1. An applicant must meet Graduate School requirements plus the following program requirements to be considered for admission to the program. These materials will be considered in a holistic admissions process with special attention to ensure a diverse student body.
    1. Three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant’s academic experience and potential for graduate work in biostatistics.
    2. CV or resume.
    3. Score report from the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), taken within the last five years.
    4. The admissions committee may consider GMAT, LSAT, MCAT scores in place of GRE scores. Students requesting this or any other exception should apply in writing for consideration by the Applications Review Committee.
    5. Address the following two Short Essay questions, limiting responses to no more than 500 words (approximately 250 words per question):
      • Describe how your professional, volunteer, and educational background has led you to seek a Master's of Science in Biostatistics.
      • How will an MS in Biostatistics help you reach your personal and professional goals?
    6. International applicants must also meet admission standards set and monitored by UWM's Center for International Education.
    7. All applicants must use SOPHAS to apply. When applying applicants must select the Master's of Science in Biostatistics.

Credits and Courses

The Master of Science in Biostatistics is a two-year program, preparing graduates to be effective collaborators in many settings, including the biomedical industry, academia, and public service at all levels of national and international government. Students will be trained to lead the design and data analysis of health research studies both in applied and academic settings. Coursework focuses on applied biostatistical methods, statistical consulting, computing, and the intersection of public health and statistical research. Students must complete 39 graduate credits beyond the bachelor's degree, plus an additional 3 credits dedicated toward thesis writing and research, for a total of 42 credits. Completion of a high-quality master thesis based on original research is a key indicator of the student’s capacity to integrate and apply various biostatistical methods and public health knowledge in real world problems.

Required Coursework
PH 702Introduction to Biostatistics3
PH 704Principles and Methods of Epidemiology3
PH 711Intermediate Biostatistics3
PH 712Probability and Statistical Inference 13
PH 715Applied Categorical Data3
PH 716Applied Survival Analysis3
PH 717Applied Longitudinal Data Analysis3
PH 718Data Management and Visualization in R3
PH 801Seminar in Public Health Research3
PH 813Practice of Biostatistical Consulting3
PH 895Research and Thesis for MS in Biostatistics3
Subject Matter S Electives6
Choose two:
Scientific Computing
Introduction to Machine Learning
Structural Equation Modeling
Theory of Hierarchical Linear Modeling
Statistical Genetics and Genetic Epidemiology
Introduction to Translational Bioinformatics
An Introduction to Bayesian Statistics
Design, Conduct and Analysis of Clinical Trials
Statistical Learning & Data Mining
Statistical Computing
Public Health & Biology Electives 23
Choose one:
Molecular Genetics
Environmental Health Sciences
Principles of Public Health Policy and Administration
Perspectives on Community & Behavioral Health
Total Credits42

Or other elective.


Other courses may be approved.

Additional Requirements

Applied Research Project

Near the end of their programs, students will consult with their academic advisor to identify a Biostatistics Track faculty member to be their master’s thesis advisor for the applied independent study project. This can be their assigned advisor or a different member of the Biostatistics Track Faculty.  Advising is by mutual agreement between student and faculty member. The Faculty member then supervises and approves the candidate’s master thesis. Every student must finalize the thesis advisor and prepare a brief thesis research plan no later than the start of the semester in which the student plans to graduate. It is highly recommended that each student speak to the potential thesis advisor and find the project of their interest as early as possible. The thesis research plan should include basic background, outline of specific aims and hypotheses, proposed analysis methods, draft timelines, and expected outcomes. Once the approved thesis research and write-up has been completed, the candidate will submit the work to the thesis advisor for review and approval. The candidate will present their thesis in a session that is open to the academic community. 

Time Limit

The student must complete all degree requirements within 5 years of initial enrollment.

Biostatistics MS Learning Outcomes

Master of Science students in Biostatistics can expect to:  

  1. Perform all responsibilities of a statistician in collaborative research; in particular: design studies, manage and analyze data and interpret findings from a variety of biomedical, clinical or public health experimental and observational studies.  
  2. Communicate statistical information effectively with individuals with varying degrees of statistical knowledge through written and oral presentations.  
  3. Use statistical, bioinformatic and other computing software to organize, analyze, and visualize data.  
  4. Review and critique statistical methods and interpretation of results in published research studies, presentations, or reports.  
  5. Understand and implement modern statistical approaches emerging in the literature to improve biomedical and public health.