The normative time for the PhD in Biostatistics is five years; a student
must have advanced to candidacy by the end of 11 quarters. A student is
eligible for support for a maximum of five years. The final thesis
defense must have been conducted by the end of the 5th year.
Students must pass two written qualifying exams at the PhD
level by the end of their second year. At least one of the exams must
be completed with a provisional PhD pass or better by the end of the
first year. In the second year, a student begins Biostatistics Rotations
so that they become familiar with the process of doing research and
familiarize themselves with a number of faculty members who may serve as
their advisor. Optimally, a student advances to candidacy sometime in
their third year; a student must have advanced to candidacy by the end
of 11 quarters. This allows for the fourth and fifth year to concentrate
on research and produce a thesis. In contrast to coursework, research
is an unpredictable endeavor, so it is in the interest of the student to
have as much time as possible to produce a thesis.