Biostatistics/Bioinformatics is an important research field in Statistics with immensely broad applications in public health, medical, and biological research. Bioinformatics is an emerging field with rapid development and has significant overlap with Biostatistics. The Bioinformatics/Biostatistics (STAT-BB) concentration addresses the increasing research opportunities and the educational needs of this burgeoning field.

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The STAT-BB Concentration offers a Ph.D. degree for graduate study and research concentrations in Biostatistics and Bioinformatics. The Concentration is administered by the Statistics (STAT) Program within the Mathematics Department. Its faculty includes professors in the STAT Program, in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (EPIB) and in the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (CBCB) at UMCP. The program also includes participation of Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics (DBB) faculty at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (SOM). STAT faculty and EPIB faculty collaborate on program admissions decisions, academic policies and creating qualifying exams.

Students may select with advisement an appropriate sequence of courses and a research area to form an individual plan of study under the guidance of a faculty member from STAT, EPIB, or CBCB at UMCP or from the DBB/SOM at UMB. The program has the flexibility to accommodate student’s individual background and interests, and offers the opportunity to select courses to supplement the core coursework. Students in this program have opportunities to work on research projects directly with the faculty from the participating programs.

STAT-BB is administratively affiliated with the Department of Mathematics, which maintains the records of all students in the STAT-BB Concentration and handles correspondence with those applying for admission. Applicants for admission must indicate that the student wishes to enter the STAT-BB Concentration and the appropriate specialization, e.g., STAT-BB with (sub-) specialization STAT or (sub-) specialization EPIB. All participating faculty will be listed in all materials describing the STAT-BB program.

An Advisory Committee, consisting of STAT and EPIB faculty, with a representative from DBB, will advise the Statistics Program Director on all matters of program policies and operational decisions. STAT and EPIB faculty will also comprise an Admissions Committee and will collaborate on administering qualifying exams. The EPIB specialization will have a designated lead faculty member who will coordinate for the EPIB faculty. Students admitted to a (sub) specialization will normally matriculate in that (sub) specialization, and all student selections of advisor will require the approval of the Advisory Committee and the Statistics Program Director. Faculty from the participating programs will be eligible to advise dissertations and theses.  

How to Apply - University of Maryland's Graduate Application Process

Applicants interested in the Biostatistics/Bioinformatics concentration must apply to the STAT Program through the University of Maryland's on-line application system, described below.  Be sure to indicate your interest in STAT-BB.  Do not apply through SOPHAS.

The University of Maryland's Graduate School accepts applications through its TerpEngage application system. Before completing the application, applicants are asked to check the Admissions Requirements site for specific instructions and additional requirements (select your program of interest).

As required by the Graduate School, all application materials are to be submitted electronically:

    • Graduate application
    • Transcripts
    • Statement of purpose
    • Letters of recommendation (3)
    • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
    • TOEFL/IELTS (International students only - required even if eligible for waiver)
    • Program/Department supporting documents (as applicable)
    • Non-refundable application fee ($75) for each program to which an applicant applies
    • Please check the Admissions Requirements site for additional requirements

The electronic submission of application materials helps expedite the review of an application. Completed applications are reviewed by an admissions committee in each graduate degree program. The recommendations of the committees are submitted to the Dean of the Graduate School, who will make the final admission decision. Students seeking to complete graduate work at the University of Maryland for degree puposes must be formally admitted to the Graduate School by the Dean. To ensure the integrity of the application process, the University of Maryland authenticates submitted materials through TurnItIn for Admissions.


Ph.D. Requirements for Statistics BB

A Master’s degree is not required for admission to the Ph.D. program. A doctoral student must complete a minimum of 36 hours of formal courses (at least 27 at the 600/700 level) with at least a B average (3.0 on a 4.0 scale); at least 18 of the graduate credits must be taken in Statistics. In addition, the University requires at least 12 hours of STAT 899 or EPIB 899 (Doctoral research) given by any participating faculty member as the major advisor.

  1. Students must pass at least two written qualifying exams at the Ph.D. level from the following list:
              • Statistics (based on STAT 700-701)
              • Applied Statistics (based on STAT 740-741)
              • Applied Probability (based on STAT 410-650)


          • These examinations will take place twice a year in January and August at the same time as the usual qualifying exams of the STAT program. The problems required for STAT-BB students in these exams will come from and be graded by the relevant faculty members who have taught those courses. A student may take one or more examinations at a time.

  2. Students who choose to take only two written qualifying exams must take four semesters of coursework from the list below:
              • STAT 650* (Applied Stochastic Processes)
              • STAT 700, STAT 701* (Mathematical Statistics I, II)
              • STAT 740, STAT 741* (Applied Statistics I, II)
              • STAT 702 (Survival Analysis)
              • STAT 705 (Computational Statistics)
              • STAT 770 (Categorical Data Analysis)
              • EPIB  652 (Applied Categorical Analysis)
              • EPIB  653 (Applied Survival Analysis)
              • EPIB  655 (Longitudinal Data Analysis)
              • CMSC 701 (Computational Genomics)
              • CMSC 702 (Computational Systems Biology)


            1. The grade in each of the four courses must be B (3.0) or better, and students must attain a GPA of at least 3.3 for the courses used to satisfy this requirement.  Each of the courses used to satisfy this requirement must have serious assessments (graded homeworks, projects, etc.)  There should be an assessment which can only be completed by the student, ( for example, in-class exams or oral presentations but not homework). 

  3. Courses marked with * may not be used to satisfy this requirement if the student has taken the corresponding written qualifying exam.  For example, a student who passes the Applied Statistics exam may not use STAT 741 to satisfy Requirement 2.

Policies on Dissertation Advisors and Candidacy Exams:

      1. Before taking the candidacy exam, each student must officially declare his/her dissertation advisor(s) by informing the Statistics Program Director. Each student will have an internal (co)advisor from either STAT or EPIB and may also have an external participating faculty member as (co)advisor. The STAT or EPIB (co)advisor will chair the dissertation committee. The Advisory Committee will advise the Statistics Program Director on the suitability of faculty as participating advisors.
      2. Due to the vast breadth of this STAT-BB program, if a student passes the oral candidacy exam under one advisor and later wishes to change to a different dissertation advisor, upon the advice and decision of the Advisory Committee and Statistics Program Director, it may be required that the student first study under the new advisor, then re-take the candidacy exam.

The participating faculty will include members of the STAT and EPIB programs and certain members of the Computer Science Department (those specializing in bioinformatics). There will also be an association with faculty members of the Medical School at the U-M Baltimore campus.