Apply for a PhD in Biostatistics


The application for the Doctor of Philosophy program in Biostatistics is administered by the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. The application deadline is December 1st.

Apply for a PhD in Biostatistics

Those applying for the Doctor of Philosophy program should complete the following:

  • online application form
  • a non-refundable application fee
  • official transcripts for all previous undergraduate and graduate work
  • three letters of recommendation (submitted online)
  • a statement of purpose
  • a personal statement
  • International students whose first language is not English must also submit TOEFL scores.

GRE scores are not required for applications to any of our Michigan Biostatistics graduate programs for fall 2021 admissions owing to the difficulty in taking the exam during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will ignore these test scores even if they are submitted. This decision will be revisited for subsequent academic years once testing is again more generally available.

The application deadline for the Ph.D. program is December 1st.

Applications received after December 1st will be considered if space and funding remain available. We encourage you to contact the department at 734-615-9817 or if you are considering submitting a late application.

A special note to international students: because obtaining a visa for study in the USA from abroad can take a long time, we strongly recommend that international applicants apply as early as possible, and preferably no later than March 15. Please keep in the mind that the deadline for funding is December 1st.

Minimum Requirements

  • Applicants for the doctoral program would usually have a relevant master's degree (i.e. a graduate degree comparable to our MS in biostatistics), although strong candidates with a bachelor’s degree will be considered for Ph.D. admissions.
  • Mathematics prerequisites for the MS:
    • three semesters of calculus
    • a course in matrix or linear algebra
    • an introductory course in statistics or biostatistics
    • students with less preparation in mathematics or statistics may be conditionally admitted.
  • Applicants whose native language is not English are required to present evidence of competency in English (TOEFL or MELAB scores) with their application or to have been granted a degree in an English speaking institution.
    • Please refer to the Admissions page for international applicants for details on English proficiency requirements and other requirements specific to international students.
    • The code for the TOEFL is 1839
  • Transcripts
    • Submit Academic Records/Transcripts to Rackham Graduate School Admissions
    • You must provide your official final undergraduate and/or graduate academic records/transcripts, with your degree posted. Official documents must be provided from the institution awarding the degree and sent to Rackham Graduate School Admissions. It is your responsibility to request the release of any such records from the institutions involved.

Transcripts can be accepted electronically or by mail. 

Email transcript: 

Submit the official transcript to Rackham Graduate School via a secure electronic transcription system from my institution to

Mail transcript:

Rackham Graduate School Admissions
Attn: Transcripts
915 E. Washington Street
Ann Arbor MI 48109-1070

Your completed online application and supporting documents (including academic records/transcripts and letters of recommendation) should be submitted early enough to arrive two to three weeks prior to the deadline (December 1). The deadline is the date by which all application materials must be received by both the graduate program and Rackham. Early submission may avoid unnecessary delays.

Note: All credentials submitted for admission consideration become the property of the University of Michigan and will not be returned in original or copy form.

Ph.D. Application Fee Waiver

Based on the following criteria, if you believe you qualify for an application fee waiver, contact In a brief e-mail, provide proof and explain your qualifications for a fee waiver. Fee waivers are limited and are reviewed on a rolling basis.

Application Fee Waiver Criteria:

The applicant must be a US citizen or permanent resident AND must meet one or more of the following:

  • Come from an educational, cultural or geographic background that is underrepresented in a graduate study in the discipline in the United States or at the University of Michigan,
  • Have demonstrated a commitment to diversity in the academic, professional, or civic realm through work experience, volunteer engagement, or leadership of student or community organizations. By diversity, we mean efforts to reduce social, educational or economic disparities based on race, ethnicity or gender, or to improve race relations in the U.S.
  • Have experience financial hardship as a result of family economic circumstances;
  • Be a first generation U.S. citizen or first generation in the family to graduate from a four-year college.
  • Member of one of the following organizations:
    • Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP)
    • Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC)
    • Post-Baccalaureate Research and Education Program (PREP)
    • Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Institute (PPIA)
    • Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE)
    • Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program (McNair)
    • Drew Scholars Program
    • Bonner Scholars
    • UM Blavin Scholars

Please keep in mind race, ethnicity, gender, or national origin may not be used a criteria for requesting an application fee waiver.

One fee waiver is allowed per applicant. Additional applications submitted by the applicant will require payment of the application fee.
If you pay the application fee and are approved to receive a fee waiver at a later date, the fee cannot be refunded.

Contact Information

Ph.D. Program Coordinator: Nicole Fenech
Telephone: 734-615-9817

Department of Biostatistics
School of Public Health
University of Michigan
1415 Washington Heights
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029
Fax: 734-763-2215