Biostatistics Graduate Program

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Thesis Committee/Graduation requirements

Students who successfully complete their first-year course work and who pass their first-year comprehensive examination at the MS or PhD level may select a thesis advisor and thesis committee. The thesis advisor, who will chair the thesis committee, must hold a PhD in Biostatistics or Statistics and be a member of the Biostatistics Graduate Program faculty. The thesis committee consists of two Vanderbilt faculty members, one of whom is the (Biostatistics) thesis advisor. PhD candidates in other departments (not Biostatistics) are strongly encouraged to enlist a faculty member from their home department for the other committee member. The thesis committee is responsible for guiding the student in their production of a thesis that provides evidence of original investigation in theoretical or applied biostatistical methods. This may be as brief as a publishable paper detailing the biostatistical investigation accompanied by an introductory chapter.
Details regarding intent to graduate and thesis submission can be found at: Vanderbilt University Graduate School Thesis Guide

Biostatistics Requirements

  1. The Department of Biostatistics requires that you email one PDF copy of your thesis to Linda Wilson.  You must also request and submit payment for two hardbound copies of your final thesis, one copy to be given to your thesis advisor and one copy to be filed in the student library.   You may submit these with payment to:  (322-6849) with a request to send final copies to: Linda Wilson, Dept. of Biostatistics 2525 West End Avenue, Suite 1100
  2. Review your student account on the student accounts website.  Information is located on this site regarding your health insurance.  You will want to know when it will end, if you have to complete a waiver and if there is a deadline for this.

Upon successful presentation of thesis – turn the following items in to Linda Wilson:

  1. Your student ID badge
  2. All department keys and access badges
  3. If you have parking, please notify the parking garage to stop payments.
  4. Please inform us of your future plans and let Linda know if we may include this information on the website. 

 Thesis Submission and Preparation for Graduation

You must complete the following six steps when submitting your master’s thesis to the Graduate School:

  1. Complete an Intent to Graduate Form for the semester you plan to graduate. See Graduate School Calendar for pertinent deadline dates.
  2. Obtain final approval of your document content from your thesis/dissertation director and committee members.
  3. Follow the Guidelines set forth in the Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines for assistance with formatting. You can access this at the following link:
  4. Schedule an appointment with one of the two format editors for final discussions and approval from the Graduate School: Liz Leis at 322-3934 ( or Linda Harris at 322-3943 (
  5. Following Graduate School format approval, submit final document in one of the two methods, electronic or hardcopy:

For electronic submission: 

    • Revise title page as shown on page 16 of the Guidelines.
    • Create an account with the Electronic Theses and Dissertation library.
    • Convert the thesis or dissertation to PDF format, name file with your last name, and upload it on the ETD website.

For hardcopy submission:  

    • Print two (2) sets of the entire thesis or dissertation with original faculty signatures, and one (1) abstract, on 8½ X 11 inch, white, acid-free, quality bond paper of at least 20-lb. weight and not less than 25% cotton.
    • Print one (1) abstract with original signature of advisor(s) on the same bond paper.

Submit both sets, including abstract, along with all other required documents, forms, and fees, to the Graduate School by the deadline indicated on the Intent form. *Refer to Checklist on page 10 of the Guidelines at the following link:

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