2016-2017 Examinations

If you matriculated between 2012 and 2016, please visit the 2012-2016 Examinations webpage.

2016-17 Examinations

In addition to required coursework, students in the Biostatistics PhD program must pass examinations as described below.

None of these examinations may be taken more than twice.

1. Qualifier I: This written examination covers material from the first year of coursework. This exam is the same for both the Statistics and Biostatistics PhD programs. After passing Qualifier I, the student will elect to follow either the Methodology or the Public Health specialization by completing the Specialization Declaration Form

2. Qualifier II: This written examination tests knowledge acquired in the common core courses and the ability to integrate and apply such knowledge. It may not be attempted until Qualifier I has been passed. The exam will consist of one in-class session and two computer lab sessions, administered by the Interdisciplinary Biostatistics Program.  Sample exams are under development.

After passing the Qualifier II, the student chooses a dissertation adviser, who must be a Category P Biostatistics graduate faculty member. The student also forms a candidacy examination committee, consisting of the advisor and three other graduate faculty, of which at least two must be Biostatistics graduate faculty. This committee is responsible for approving a Plan of Study Form to be filed with the Graduate Studies Committee within two semesters after passing Qualifier II.

3. Candidacy Examination: In accordance with Graduate School policy, and when the candidate’s candidacy examination committee deems a student sufficiently prepared, the candidate's candidacy examination committee will administer and grade a candidacy examination.  The typical form of this exam is under development.
After passing the candidacy exam, the student forms a dissertation committee, consisting of the advisor and two other graduate faculty, of which at least one must be Biostatistics graduate faculty.
4. Final Oral Examination/Thesis Defense: Once the student has made sufficient progress (as judged by the dissertation committee) on his/her dissertation to warrant holding the Final Oral Examination, the student electronically submits an Application for Final Examination to the Graduate School at least two weeks prior to the actual Final Oral Examination (Dissertation Defense). The final examination committee, consisting of the dissertation committee and a graduate faculty representative, then conducts a two-hour oral examination in which the candidate discusses/defends his/her dissertation. The student must electronically submit the Application to Graduate to the Graduate School by the published deadline. Students should consult the Graduate School website for the appropriate deadline.


Students must pass the Final Oral Examination and submit a final, approved copy of the dissertation to the Graduate School within five years of being admitted to candidacy.