Accelerated Predoctoral Training Track

The MS in Biostatistics Accelerated Predoctoral Training Track (MS/APT) is a highly competitive degree program preparing students for PhD training in biostatistics and careers in biostatistical research, consultation, and teaching. As the Biostatistics PhD program at Columbia admits only those students who have already completed a master’s degree in biostatistics or statistics, the MS/APT Track offers exceptional candidates with bachelor’s degrees only fellowship support and a fast-paced pathway to qualify for PhD studies. 

The MS/APT differs from the Theory and Methods Track (MS/TM) in its accelerated pace (one year to completion of degree requirements) and highly focused curriculum. The MS/TM degree is designed differently and can be pursued as either a preparatory program for PhD studies or a terminal professional degree. Students who plan careers as biostatisticians but intend to terminate their studies with an MS degree should apply to the MS/TM Track. Students who are unsure as to whether they would like to begin PhD studies immediately after completing the master’s degree should also apply to the MS/TM track to maximize flexibility. 

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the MS/APT Track should have completed two years of college calculus, a course in linear/matrix algebra, and study of a programming language (e.g., Fortran, C, APL). A course in real analysis is also recommended. Excellent scores on the GRE (at least 700 on the quantitative portion and at least 600 on the verbal) are expected. International students must also submit TOEFL scores.

The length of this 30-credit program is one year, or 10–12 months (i.e., students may start their studies in the summer semester of their first year and continue for two more semesters—fall and spring; or they may start their studies in the fall semester and complete the program in the spring semester). Fellowship support is available, providing full tuition plus a stipend to the best applicants each year.

All students in the MS/APT Track who are in good standing as of December of their first year of study are expected to apply to the PhD program, administered by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). MS/APT applicants to the PhD program will be given special consideration by the applicant review committee and will be ranked with highest priority in the applicant pool. Fellowship support will be continued uninterrupted to all MS/APT graduates who are accepted and continue directly into the PhD program. As part of their fellowship training and duties, MS/APT fellows who are accepted to the PhD program are expected to serve as Course Helpers for one or two courses each year. 


Search the Columbia Directory to find current students in the program. 

Learn More

View competencies, course requirements, sample schedules, and more in our Academics section.