Registration FAQs


All Epi students are required to complete introductory coursework in biostatistics. The UW Biostatistics Department offers two intro biostatistics course sequences from which you must choose; BIOST 511-513 or BIOST 517-518. These are typically taken during the first year of your degree program. The Biostatistics Department website provides information about each of those course sequences that can be helpful as you decide which is the best option for you. If you have previously taken graduate level biostatistics coursework it is possible to petition for a partial or complete waiver of the intro biostatistics requirement.

  • Partial Waiver (waiving either 511 or 517 in the Fall quarter in order to start with 512 or 518 in Winter quarter): This requires taking the Biostatistics Department administered placement exam.
  • Complete Waiver (waiving the entire sequence): This requires submission of a Waiver Form, transcripts showing completion of previous coursework, syllabus from previous course(s). Approval from the Biostatistics Department is not required for a complete waiver.

A fundamental knowledge of mathematical notation, algebra, functions, and manipulation of expressions with exponents and logarithms is helpful as you prepare for the statistics courses you will take as a part of your degree program. An introductory knowledge of statistics and R (the statistical software most often used on UW Biostats courses) is also helpful. The UW School of Public Health typically offers an epidemiology and biostatistics preparatory workshop for incoming students in the autumn quarter to assure your success in learning biostatistics. Students can take a self-diagnostic math test to help them decide to attend the workshop. Students who score below 75 percent are encouraged to attend.