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MHS Program

The Johns Hopkins Department of Biostatistics MHS program is intended for outstanding individuals with prior professional experience or a professional degree (ie, PhD or MD) seeking a one-year intensive course of study in biostatistical theory and methods. It is also open to students concurrently enrolled in a doctoral program at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.  MHS graduates:

  • 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.

Program Overview | Entrance Requirements | Student Evaluations | Seminars | Sample Curriculum | Concurrent School-Wide Master of Health Science Program in Biostatistics | Academic Ethics

Program Overview:

The MHS program involves one year of coursework (64 units) in biostatistics and other courses. Students are required to take a year-end comprehensive written examination. Students must demonstrate competence in material covered by the courses in biostatistics 140.651-654, 646-649, and Principles of Epidemiology (340.601). A culminating data analysis project, documenting the statistical ideas and skills developed in the coursework, is also required. To view the MHS program learning competencies click here.

Entrance Requirements:

  • Advanced degree in the health sciences (ie, MD, PhD, etc.)

  • 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

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

Student Evaluations:

The Department is committed to providing every opportunity for its students to successfully complete the academic program of their choice. To support students in progressing toward the degree and to further their educational experience, the Department offers a comprehensive written examination at the end of the academic year in which a student has completed both the introductory methods and introductory probability and theory sequences.


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. The seminar on the first Wednesday of each month is the "Biostatistics Grand Rounds," which features statistical analyses addressing important public health questions.

Sample Curriculum:

The curriculum is essentially the same as that for ScM candidates, with the exception that MHS students do not write a thesis but instead, prepare a culminating data analysis project

During their time in the program, MHS 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 schedules and descriptions

Concurrent School-Wide Master of Health Science Program in Biostatistics

The object of this program is to provide doctoral students in other departments with the opportunity to pursue an MHS program in Biostatistics concurrently with their doctoral program. The administrative requirements and certifications by the faculty as set forth in the existing Policy and Procedure Memoranda for the respective doctoral degrees apply to the doctoral degree requirements of the concurrent School-wide Doctoral/Master of Health Science program in Biostatistics.

Students must have been accepted into one of the doctoral programs at Johns Hopkins University. With the primary department's approval, the student may apply to the Master of Health Science program in Biostatistics. Students already in residence may also apply to the program. Specific details about sequencing of courses, etc., will be arranged in conjunction with the doctoral program involved. Core course requirements consist of successful (graded) completion of the 651 and 646 sequences; these classes should be taken over the course of the student's first two or three years in residence in the doctoral program. Three additional (graded) statistical electives are required (introductory statistics courses excluded; other quantitative courses may serve as substitutes upon approval of the graduate program).  Sixty-four total credits of coursework in Biostatistics or other areas are required.

Additionally, students must attend Biostatistics departmental seminars, take a written comprehensive examination, and complete a culminating data analysis project.  Upon satisfactory completion of these requirements, the student is then eligible for award of the Master of Health Science in Biostatistics degree.

Before they will be awarded the MHS degree, students whose primary department is NOT in the Bloomberg School of Public Health will also need to:  1) register and pay tuition for two credits of special studies research (140.840) as a School of Public Health student during a summer term; 2) complete a course on the responsible conduct of research (ie, 550.860 Research Ethics, or 306.665 Research Ethics and Integrity); and 3) complete the course 550.865 (Public Health Perspectives on Research), held during second term.

There is a brief (one-page) application that interested students will need to fill out and have approved by their advisor and department chair. Prospective students should wait to apply until they have completed one term of either the 651 or 646 sequences, but they must apply before they have completed one-half of the required coursework.

For further information about the concurrent school-wide Master of Health Science Program in Biostatistics, or to request an application, please contact Mary Joy Argo, academic administrator for the Department of Biostatistics.

The department may accept a few students who do not seek degrees (special students and postdoctoral fellows) for periods of at least one academic year. This provision is intended for mature students who wish to undertake specialized study or research.  

Academic Ethics

Students in the Bloomberg School of Public Health are expected to abide by the highest levels of academic and research integrity.   The Johns Hopkins Academic Ethics Code can be found at:

All students must complete an online module to familiarize themselves with this code. (See

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.


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