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 use WinterSession as a helpful academic transition between the fall and spring semesters. Students could take official course credits during WinterSession, though most Master's students do not take course credits but instead develop an independent plan of study or project work that is equivalent. This could involve individual or group learning about software packages (such as SAS, R, or Python), review of fall course material, or reading ahead on spring course material. It may involve reading or thinking about new directions for spring course selection, exploring clinical trials, computational biology, health data science, or other areas of possible interest, or beginning or continuing to apply for summer internships or other part-time job opportunities. Some students talk with individual faculty members about possibly working on a project during WinterSession, though the short time frame does not always make that workable. Master's students are welcome to talk with their academic advisor, the Director of Master of Science Programs, or other faculty about possible options for WinterSession.

  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 16 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 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 WinterSession Plan, including signature, to Jelena Follweiler by December 15.

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

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

If you have any questions, please direct them to Paige Williams for PhD students, David Wypij for BIO SM students, or Jelena Follweiler for general questions.