Normative Time to Degree

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.​