Graduate Group in Epidemiology & Biostatistics

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Biostatistics Application and Admission

Students are admitted into the MS and PhD degree programs in Biostatistics for the fall term only. General admission informatiion, as well as a link to the online application system, can be obtained from the Biomedical Graduate Studies (BGS) Website. BGS accepts electronic applications only. We will begin accepting applications for Fall 2017 on October 1, 2016. Applications will be due on December 1, 2016. Announcements of admission and fellowship awards to successful candidates are typically made by April 15. See application Frequently Asked Questions for more details.

Admission Requirements: Prior Coursework

Entering students in both the MS and PhD programs must have completed:

Previous experience with data analysis and statistical packages is desirable but not required. Advanced courses in mathematics are highly encouraged, particularly for students in the PhD program.

All candidates must submit:

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must complete an online application and submit only three letters of recommendation. The admissions system will give you an option to have your recommender submit your letter online or via postal mail. The application and letters should identify personal attributes, experiences, and accomplishments relevant to success in the program. Applicants who are currently enrolled in a degree program must arrange for at least one letter of recommendation to be sent from a faculty member at their current department.


All BGS applicants are required to upload up-to-date unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended. For students currently enrolled in programs, transcripts must include Spring 2016 semester grades and Fall 2016 semester course enrollment. Transcripts from completed programs should show proof of degree conferral. A final, official transcript showing conferral of degree will be required of all accepted students prior to matriculation.

Where do I send application documents?
Most documents will be uploaded through the online system, but if you need to provide additional documents (offline letters of recommendation), please send them to one of the following addresses. Please mail hard copy materials to:

Admissions Coordinator
Biomedical Graduate Studies
160 BRB II/III - 421 Curie Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6064

Once the application is submitted, applicants may login to ApplyWeb to see whether transcripts and recommendation letters have been received. Please allow at least two weeks following the deadline for items to be posted to the application.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

All applicants must take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General Test. We do not require the GRE Subject Test. GRE scores are valid for five years from the date of the exam. We must receive an official score report from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) by the application deadline. Students who have completed graduate or professional degrees at other schools are not exempt from the GRE requirement. Visit the GRE website for registration information. On the drop-down window our ETS Institution Name is University of Pennsylvania Bmed Grad St, code 2900. You do not need to enter a separate department code.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

All applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the TOEFL, scores for which are valid for two years from the date of the exam. We must receive an official score from ETS by the application deadline. We will waive the TOEFL for applicants whose native language is not English but who have or will obtain a degree from a U.S. or other approved English-instructed institution. There are no minimum score requirements.Our ETS institution code is 2900.

Financial Obligations and Support

Students accepted to Biomedical Graduate Studies’ Ph.D. programs receive a fully funded fellowship—including tuition, fees, health insurance, and a competitive stipend—regardless of financial need. Funds for these fellowships are derived from reserves provided by the School of Medicine and the University Provost, NIH training grants and individual fellowships, research grants, and other funding sources.

In general, students accepted into Biomedical Graduate Studies are awarded financial support for the anticipated five to six years required to attain the doctoral degree. The annual stipend for students entering in Fall 2017 is $32,000. In addition, as of Fall 2014, BGS provides new students with a $1,000 relocation award, to help cover start-up costs such as moving expenses and apartment security deposits.

Students who receive full-time support are expected to accept no additional employment during the same time period. Support for MS students depends on the availability of funds; priority is given to full-time students.

Research Assistantships and Teaching Assistantships are available for qualified students.

Financial Aid

The Office of Student Financial Services provides students with information on student expenses and billing, processes financial aid applications, awards financial assistance, and administers the Penn Plan payment programs. The Office address is:

Room 100 Franklin Building
3451 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6270

Tuition costs for future years have not yet been determined. The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania reserve the right to increase tuition and fees and to otherwise amend the regulations concerning tuition and fees at any time and to make such changes applicable to students in the University at that time.

Diversity Statement

The Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics values diversity and seeks talented students from diverse backgrounds, including individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. Further, the CCEB does not discriminate on the basis of color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or status as a disabled or Vietnam Era veteran in the administration of its educational policies, programs or activities, admissions policies and procedures, and scholarship programs. Women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds are especially encouraged to apply to the CCEB's educational programs.

How can I find out if my application and materials have been received?
Applicants may log into the online application to check whether letters of recommendation and transcripts have been received. The admissions office will post your documents to your application page as soon as possible. Please note that this may be up to two weeks after you submit your application. We request that you please do not call or email the admissions office to check on the status of your application. BGS receives over a thousand applications to process and unfortunately we cannot sort through them to find individual documents.

Frequently asked questions about the BGS application process

Frequently asked questions about the Biostatistics Program


For additional information, please contact:

Catherine Vallejo
Coordinator, Graduate Group in Epidemiology and Biostatistics
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
627 Blockley Hall
423 Guardian Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6021
Tel: 215-573-3881