Typically, candidates have a master's degree in public health or a master’s degree in biostatistics, epidemiology, economics, or other discipline with quantitative training. Typically, students entering the PhD program have one year of graduate level biostatistics and one year of epidemiology or other research methods training. While no minimum grade point average is required, students applying for admission must have demonstrated superior academic performance. Although we use a holistic approach to evaluating the entire student dossier, GREs exceeding the 70th percentile are preferred. Experience in research settings is preferred. 
Students with clinical degrees (e.g. PharmD, MD) may also be competitive for admission. Typically, such students should have demonstrated academic excellence and ability to successfully engage in quantitative research. 


Satisfactory completion ("B" or higher) of introductory coursework in epidemiology and biostatistics is required of all students. Strong applicants without these courses may be considered for admission. Full matriculation will be conferred only when the prerequisite courses have been satisfactorily completed. 

Application for Admission 

The online application system is open in mid to late September each year. A complete application for admission includes:

  • An official admission application through ApplyYourself
  • A personal statement of two pages describing:
    • educational expectations
    • career aspirations
    • research experience
    • special qualifications or experience
    • which faculty or research programs at UMMS you would like to engage with
  • A current resume or CV
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who are able to assess past academic performance, research experience and prospective success in doctoral-level work
  • GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores in verbal, quantitative and analytical areas taken within the last five years. The UMMS code number for the GRE is 3936. No department code is needed*
  • Transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended*
  • Foreign applicants must also submit TOEFL scores*
  • An application fee of $80

*Applicants are required to upload transcripts (official or unofficial) within the application process.  GRE and TOEFL (or IELTS) scores should be entered on the application.  Official transcripts and score reports are required only if and when applicants matriculate as students.

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences recognizes the power of a diverse student body and encourages applications from individuals with varied experiences, perspectives and backgrounds.

The University provides equal opportunity and access to all applicants and students. The University adheres strictly to all applicable state and federal regulations relating to nondiscrimination and equal opportunity. 

Yendelela Cuffee

“The coursework provided me with an understanding of the social and behavioral factors that influence health and health-related decision making and inspired my research which examines social factors among vulnerable and underserved populations. Through the doctoral program I have gained real-world experience assisting with interventions designed to reduce disparities among these populations.” 
- Yendelela Cuffee, MPH, PhD 2013 


February 15, 2016
(for Fall 2016)



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