Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to prospective students' common questions about our program.

 When is the application deadline?

The deadline is December 15th for all applicants.

See the How to Apply page for more information.

 Can I begin classes in winter, spring or fall?

The MS in Biostatistics begins in summer (mid-June) and runs through mid-June the following year.  Part-time students begin in summer and usually complete the degree in mid-June two years later.

 What are the prerequisites for admission?

The MS in Biostatistics requires a year of college-level calculus. Linear algebra is recommended for students in the statistical methods and practice concentration. See the Requirements page for more information.

 Do I need letters of recommendation?

We ask for two letters of recommendation. They should be from individuals who know you well in a professional capacity and who can speak to your ability to do graduate level work and/or your interest in public health/biostatistics. Full application information is on the How to Apply page.

 Do I need work experience?

Professional experience after college graduation is not required but it is a plus when considering applicants for admission.

 Are the GRE or MCAT required?

The GRE is required. MCAT is not accepted in lieu of the GRE. See the Requirements page for more information.

 Are TA/RA opportunities available to students?

No, we typically do not allow MS-Biostatics students to serve as TAs. In unique circumstances, some students obtain temporary or part-time positions or internships while in the program. These setups typically occur under faculty supervision for students in the latter half of the program.

 What kind of financial aid is available?

Full information on financial aid is listed on our Tuition & Financial Aid page.

 Does Northwestern offer concentrations?

Students in the MS program may choose a concentration in Population Health Analytics, Statistical Bioinformatics or Statistical Methods & Practice. In some cases, students may change concentrations or not make a choice of concentration until after summer quarter. See the Curriculum section to learn more.

 Does Northwestern offer any distance or online degree programs?

No. We do not offer an online or executive-model degree program, although classes have been online during the pandemic.

 Can I take courses at other Northwestern schools?

Yes, students may enroll in courses offered by one of the other Northwestern schools on a “space available” basis. Obtaining credit for cross-registered courses is possible if a similar course is not available in the Program in Public Health. This requires pre-approval by the Program in Public Health’s curriculum committee.

 I only have an undergraduate degree. Am I eligible for admission?

 Are you located on Northwestern University's Evanston campus?

No, we are located on Northwestern's Chicago campus. We are conveniently situated near Michigan Avenue in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood, in close proximity to Feinberg School of Medicine, as well as myriad community partners and local resources.

 Is the MS in Biostatistics a STEM degree?

Yes, the MS in Biostatistics qualifies international graduates for the OPT (Optional Practical Training) visa extension permitted to graduates of programs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

 Do you offer a doctoral degree?

Northwestern offers the Health Sciences Integrated PhD Program. This program is projected to include a Biostatistics PhD track in the coming year(s). Visit the program’s site for more information.

 Where can I pursue a career with a master’s degree in Biostatistics from Northwestern?

Our former students have gone on to have successful careers with pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions, tech/biotech companies, government agencies, and PhD programs.