Doctor of Philosophy in Biostatistics

The PhD in biostatistics is an academic degree program for students with a background in mathematics and a strong interest in biology and public health. The program emphasizes statistical theory and methods so that students are prepared to be effective statistical collaborators in interdisciplinary studies; lead the design and execution of studies; and develop biostatistics methodology.


Recent graduates hold the following positions:

  • Data scientist, Google 
  • Senior research statistician, AbbVie Inc.
  • Biostatistics manager, Amgen
  • Senior biostatistician, Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Senior research investigator, Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Biostatistician, Duke Clinical Research Institute
  • Aassistant professor, Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Assistant professor, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Assistant professor, University of Florida
  • Postdoctoral associate, University of Pittsburgh
  • Mathematical statistician, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Recent Dissertation Titles

Browse titles in D-Scholarship, the institutional repository for research output at the University of Pittsburgh


Graduates will be able to:

  • Quantitatively address a novel or complex health problem by developing an innovative statistical methodology or adapting existing methods to a new problem
  • Demonstrate mastery of advanced statistical theory and applications
  • Understand and implement innovative statistical approaches emerging in the literature to biomedical and public health issues
  • Communicate the results of biostatistical analyses to individuals with varying degrees of statistical knowledge
  • Recognize strengths and weaknesses of proposed approaches, including alternative designs, data sources, and analytic methods
  • Determine the data best suited to address public health issues, program planning, and program evaluation
  • Contribute to the body of knowledge in the field of biostatistics by submitting an article for publication in peer-reviewed journal, or preparing a book chapter or book for publication


72 credits, including:

  • Coursework in fundamentals of statistical theory and applications
  • A statistical consulting practicum
  • Coursework in epidemiology and public health
  • Advanced dissertation research in an area of specialization

Full program information

PhD Degree Requirements Worksheet (PDF, 2022-23)
Student Handbook (PDF, 2022-23)


Statistical Genetics

Doctoral students interested in statistical genetics can pursue that training through either the biostatistics PhD program or the human genetics PhD program. Within the biostatistics PhD program, statistical genetics students take the usual requirements for a biostatistical major but their electives are appropriately selected genetics courses. Students interested in statistical genetics should state that in their application.

A partial list of faculty with interest in statistical genetics

Department of Biostatistics
Yan Lin
Yong Seok Park
Chien-Cheng (George) Tseng

Department of Human Genetics with secondary appointment in the Department of Biostatistics
Daniel E. Weeks
Eleanor Feingold