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PhD in Biostatistics

World map made of 0s and 1s, big data blue and white

The PhD program in Biostatistics educates advanced students in the theory and application of biostatistics and data science methods and prepares them to be on the forefront of leadership in these areas. Education in the advanced theory of probability and statistical inference is combined with applied methods in complex study design and analysis.

Graduates from the PhD program typically pursue careers as academic researchers and teachers; in industry, such as the pharmaceutical and biomedical fields; and in other research pursuits, both public and private. Typical roles include teaching, collaborative research and independent research in statistics, biostatistics, bioinformatics methods, design, and data analysis. 

Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the school's admission and application requirements for entrance into doctoral programs at SPHTM. All candidates must have completed a master's degree in biostatistics or a closely related field.

The Department of Biostatistics requires the following from prospective doctoral students: one year of college level calculus, including multivariate calculus; one formal course in linear algebra.

Degree Program Requirements & Competencies–48 credit hours

Degree requirements revised for Fall 2022


  1. Develop new biostatistical and data science methods for application to biomedical and public health research problems.
  2. Assess the performance of advanced statistical methods applied to biomedical and public health research.
  3. Design a statistical analysis plan to analyze complex data.
  4. Design teaching and learning experiences grounded in pedagogical best practices in a chosen area of expertise.
  5. Develop a grant proposal for a public health research study with a compelling scientific narrative, description of investigator capacity, timeline, and budget.


Students must complete 48 credit hours of coursework and doctoral studies beyond the baccalaureate, with a minimum of 30 didactic hours at Tulane in the doctoral program. Up to 18 Credits can be transferred from Master’s degree.

PhD Foundational Requirements - 18 credits

  • SPHL 6020 Foundations of Public Health (3 credits)
  • SPHL 6060 Epidemiology for Public Health (3 credits)
  • BIOS 7040 Statistical Inference I (3 credits)
  • BIOS 7050 Statistical Inference II (3 credits)

Select two of the following three (for six credits):

  • BIOS 7060 Regression Analysis (3 credits)
  • BIOS 7080 Design of Experiments (3 credits)
  • BIOS 7150 Categorical Data Analysis (3 credits)
PhD Core Courses–21 credits
  • SPHL 7500 Public Health Grant Writing (3 credits)
  • SPHL 8080 Public Health Pedagogy (3 credits)
  • EPID 7120 Epidemiological Methods II (3 credits)
  • BIOS 7300 Survival Data Analysis (3 credits)
  • BIOS 7380 Bayesian Inference (3 credits)
  • BIOS 8350 Clustered & Longitudinal Data Analysis (3 credits)
  • BIOS 8820 Multivariate Methods (3 credits)

Elective Courses (minimum 9 credits)

9 credits minimum; Additional credits as needed to reach 48 credit graduation requirement and fulfill PhD Foundation Course requirements.

Educational teaching assistant experience

All PhD students at SPHTM are required to serve as a teaching assistant (TA) for two SPHTM courses while enrolled in the PhD program. Students should register for Teaching Assistantship Educational Experience (0 credits) during the terms they complete each TA requirement. 

All other program requirements (e.g. research ethics, comprehensive exam, prospectus, and dissertation) remain the same across the old and revised programs, as outlined in the SPHTM PhD Handbook.

Degree Program Requirements & Competencies–72 credit hours

NOTE: Students entering 2022 will be the last class with the option to graduate with 72 credit hours.

Please visit the university course catalog for:

    Contact Us

    Department Chair: John Lefante, PhD

    Program Director: Sudesh Srivastav, PhD

    Administrative Program Coordinator: Farhana Chaudhry


    Phone: (504) 988-2042

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