Guidelines For Winter Session


Department of Biostatistics

Policy for Student Activities During the Winter Session Period

  1. Master's Students: No specific requirements, although Master's students are encouraged to take 2.5 credits of course work during WinterSession or to develop an independent plan of study or project work that is equivalent. Master's students are welcome to talk with their academic advisor, the Director of Master of Science Programs, or other faculty about possibly working on a project during WinterSession. All Master's students should prepare a WinterSession Plan.


  2. PhD students: All PhD students are expected to be at full-time status for the Fall and Spring semesters. Although WinterSession courses count toward spring semester credits, PhD students are expected to take 20 credits of coursework during the Spring semester (late January through May), plus any additional credits for WinterSession courses they may take. PhD students are welcome to talk with their academic advisor, training grant director (if appropriate), the Director of Graduate Studies, or other faculty if they have any questions.

    1. Students who have passed their Written Qualifying Examination are expected to work full-time on their dissertation work during WinterSession, but can also register for WinterSession courses. Such students do not need to register for dissertation credits during WinterSession, and do not need to submit a WinterSession plan.

    2. Students taking the Written Qualifying Examination in January are not required to take coursework during WinterSession, but they are welcome to if they so choose. Such students do not need to submit a WinterSession plan.

    3. Other PhD students should take 2.5 credits of course work or, alternately the student could be engaged in a project with the approval of their faculty advisor (and the approval of the training grant director, if the student is funded by a training grant) for 30 hours/week for 3 weeks (or the equivalent if spread over 4 weeks). Students engaged in a WinterSession project do not ordinarily register for course credits. If a student takes 1.25 credits of course work, then he/she should also have an approved project for 15 hours/week for 3 weeks. All such students should prepare a WinterSession Plan.

    4. Students funded by research assistantships must make sure that their RA supervisor also approves his/her WinterSession activities.

WinterSession Plan: Students in categories 1 and 2.C above should prepare a brief (1/2 page) proposal of how they plan to spend the WinterSession period and then discuss it with their advisor(s) and obtain their approval before December 15. Please give copies of your plan, including signature, to Jelena Follweiler by December 15. The fillable PDF proposal form is linked on this page.


See the HSPH wintersession website for more detail on the offered courses.

If you have any questions, please direct them to Nan Laird, David Wypij, or Jelena Follweiler.