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Master of Science (ScM)

The Johns Hopkins Department of Biostatistics ScM program is intended for individuals who have demonstrated excellence at the undergraduate level in quantitative or biological sciences and prepares them for a career as a professional statistician. Typically, ScM graduates assume positions in research or professional settings as scientific project coordinators and data analysts where they:

  • Design research studies of human health and disease.
  • Design and implement data management systems.
  • Design and implement tabular and graphical displays of quantitative information.
  • Draw inferences from quantitative data.
  • Use statistical reasoning and theory to deal effectively with non-standard statistical problems.
  • Perform major statistical analyses to address public health or statistical research questions.
  • Assist statistical researchers in the conduct of original, methodologic research.

More detailed information is available below, in the Department of Biostatistics Student Handbook, and in the School's Policies and Procedures Memorandum for the ScM degree.

Program Overview

The ScM program typically takes two years, with the first eighteen months spent in didactic coursework and the final six months spent working closely with a departmental faculty member in a master's thesis project.

Entrance Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Completed School of Public Health application
  • GRE score results
  • TOEFL results (if your most recent academic degree is from a university where English is NOT the primary language of instruction)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • Prior coursework in calculus and linear algebra

Incoming students without a strong background in basic biology are strongly encouraged to register for the course Introduction to the Biomedical Sciences (260.600), held in advance of the first term each year during the latter part of August. (Click here to search for course times and descriptions.)

For more information about admission requirements for the School of Public Health, please contact the School's Admissions Office.

You may be eligible for an application fee waiver. Learn about eligibility criteria and how to get a fee waiver here.

Student Evaluations

The Department is committed to providing every opportunity for its ScM students to successfully complete this academic program. To support students in progressing toward the degree, a comprehensive written examination is given at the end of the first year.


The Department offers a weekly seminar program featuring recent work by outstanding statistical scientists from around the world. Attendance is required for all graduate students. One seminar per month may be designated to be part of the Biostatistics "Grand Rounds" series, which features statistical analyses addressing important public health questions.

Recommended Curriculum


During their time in the program, ScM students may choose from a wide range of elective courses to meet their educational needs. Students specifically interested in clinical trials may want to consider the courses 140.642 (Design of Clinical Experiments), 390.612 (Design and Analysis of Clinical Trials), or 340.645 (Introduction to Clinical Trials). Students specifically interested in learning the SAS statistical package may want to consider the course 140.632 (Introduction to the SAS Statistical Package). Click here to search for course times and descriptions.

Academic Ethics

Students in the Bloomberg School of Public Health are expected to abide by the highest levels of academic and research integrity. Click here to view information on our standards and requirements for academic integrity.

All students are required to complete the course Academic & Research Ethics at JHSPH (550.860) during their first term of matriculation.

As stated in the Academic Ethics Code, "violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; violation of the rights and welfare of animal or human subjects in research; and misconduct as a member of either School or University committees or recognized groups or organizations."

For a Biostatistics student, abiding by the Academic Ethics code includes:

  • Completing work on one's own when an individual assignment or examination is given in a course.
  • Providing proper attribution to others' work by providing citations with quotations and giving proper references for all data analysis projects, research proposals and dissertations and theses.
  • Submission of Final Copies of Dissertations (Required for Completion of Degree)