Master of Science in Biostatistics

The University of Nevada, Reno offers a Master of Science (MS) degree with a specialization in Biostatistics. Accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), the MS in Biostatistics program offers small class sizes an opportunities to work with faculty and practicing in diverse areas across the public health field. The MS degree in Biostatistics is a 36-credit program preparing students to become biostatisticians.

Biostatistics concentration

The biostatistics concentration guides students through the branch of statistics responsible for proper interpretation of health sciences data. Biostatisticians use mathematical theory to work with study data to make inferences about associations and causations seen in the study population. Students in this concentration gain expertise in public health data analysis and result interpretation.

Admission procedures and requirements

The Admissions Committee seeks candidates from diverse backgrounds who have the qualifications and credentials to succeed in public health practice. The multi-faceted nature of the public health profession now demands students from diverse educational and professional backgrounds. We welcome inquiries and applications from anyone who has a passion for improving the health of our communities. Therefore, while we seek students who meet both University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) and School of Community Health Sciences (SCHS) requirements for graduate status, we consider other important attributes such as volunteer and professional experiences, career objectives and potential to contribute to the public health profession.

Prospective students must meet the graduate admission requirements of both the University of Nevada, Reno and School of Community Health Sciences, per the following guidelines:

  • Regular fall admission: The application deadline for the MS program is April 15. However, to receive full consideration for graduate assistantships, fellowships and merit graduate student awards, applicants are encouraged to submit their application by February 1. Only one graduate cohort is admitted each year. If you miss the deadline and would like to discuss enrolling in graduate special coursework that could be applied to the MS program, please contact Kristen Clements-Nolle, Director of Graduate Studies, at
  • Undergraduate degree: Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher learning, with an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on a 4-point scale. If your undergraduate GPA is below 3.0 but higher than 2.75 your application will be considered if your GPA in the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework is 3.0 or higher. If you graduated from an international college or university, please contact The Graduate School for approval of your undergraduate degree for graduate studies at the University of Nevada, Reno.
  • GRE Scores: Competitive Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores on verbal, quantitative and analytic measures. GRE scores of accepted students are typically above the 60th percentile on quantitative. However, scores are assessed relative to other applicants in the pool and considered in the context of the overall application package. The exam must have been taken within the last five (5) years.
  • Calculus coursework: Completed the courses of Calculus I & II (before the program starts)
  • TOEFL Scores: English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores are required for applicants from non-English speaking nations. The minimum threshold is 550 for the TOEFL paper exam, 80 for the internet-based exam, and 6.5 for International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
  • Three letters of recommendation: Letters of recommendation from individuals who can evaluate the applicant's motivation, academic capability, scholarship potential, and personal goals for graduate study.
  • Statement of Purpose: The essay should be approximately 500 words in length, outlining the student's interest in graduate study in public health, potential research interests, career objectives, and specifying the MS emphasis of interest (Biostatistics; Epidemiology; Health Administration and Policy; Social and Behavioral Health)
  • Resume or CV: Current resume or curriculum vitae (CV) that demonstrates professional and/or educational health-related experience.

MS in Biostatistics prerequisite coursework

Completion of an undergraduate or graduate course in statistics.

Application process

Two separate applications are necessary for admission to the Master of Science program: One application package is submitted directly to SOPHAS; The second application package is submitted to The Graduate School of the University of Nevada, Reno. Before applying for admission, please note the admission requirements above.

SOPHAS application

The following materials should be submitted directly to SOPHAS:

  • Transcripts. One official copy of transcripts from ALL undergraduate and graduate institutions attended.
  • GRE Scores. Submit OFFICIAL GRE scores by using the University of Nevada, Reno SOPHAS code 7828.
  • Other Standardized Test Scores. Submit OFFICIAL standardized test scores other than the GRE, including the TOEFL, IELTS (for international students) and MCAT or GMAT (if substituting for the GRE). TOEFL scores can be submitted using the University of Nevada, Reno SOPHAS code 7828.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Resume or CV

Graduate School application

A very short application to the University of Nevada, Reno Graduate School is also required, but you will not need to re-submit the other materials submitted to SOPHAS. Fees for the University of Nevada, Reno application will be covered by the School of Community Health Sciences.

To complete the University application, follow these steps:

  • Access the online application.
  • Use the "Sign Up" page to create a username and password.
  • Log in and begin the short application.
  • At the end of the application, there is an "Application Fee Waiver" section with instructions. The coupon code to use is CHS2020. Enter the coupon code and click the "Save and Review" link.
  • After you finish reviewing click the "Save and Pay" link.
  • On the next page, select "Request a Waiver" and then "Submit Waiver Request". This can take a few minutes, but please wait for it to finish. You should get a congratulations page when it is complete.

Please be aware that you will not be considered for admission until you have submitted a completed SOPHAS application and the University of Nevada, Reno Graduate School application.

Want to know more about the Master of Science in Biostatistics?

If you have program-specific questions about the about the Master of Science in Biostatistics, please contact Kristen Clements-Nolle, Director of Graduate Studies, at

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