Currently we support two different formats

A target dataset in PLINK binary format must consist of three files: .bed, .bim, and a .fam file - where bed contains the compressed genotype data, bim contains the SNP information and fam contains the family information. Currently we only support a SNP major PLINK input (default output of the latest PLINK program).

The .bed and .bim file must have the same prefix.

If you want to use a .fam file with a different prefix from the .bed and .bim file, you can do

--target <bim bed prefix>,<fam file>


You MUST ensure the fam file contains the correct number of samples


-9 will NOT be considered as missing for quantitative traits

If your binary file is separated into individual chromosomes, then you can place an # in place of the chromosome number. PRSice will automatically substitute # with 1-22

i.e. If your files are chr1.,chr2.,...,chr22., just use

--target chr#


If an external fam file is provided, the substitution will not be performed on it. This is because all chromosome should have the same fam file. fam file from any of the chromosome should be ok


We will incorporate a new function in next version where we allow different number of autosomes to be specified. This should allow users to use PRSice on other organisms. However, due to complication in handling non-diploid chromosomes, we will only support diploid organisms (and exclude all sex chromosomes), i.e. Mouse


We also support BGEN v1.2. To specify a BGEN file, you simply add --type bgen or --ld-type bgen to your PRSice command

As BGEN does not store the phenotype information and sometime not even the sample ID, you must provide a phenotype file (--pheno-file) for PRSice to run. Or you can provide a sample file using

--target <bgen prefix>,<sample file>


We will still require this sample file even if you are doing --no-regress as we do want the sample ID. we might loosen this requirement later on.

With BGEN, a number of other PRSice options become effective: - --hard: Normally, with BGEN format, we will calculate the PRS using the dosage information. But you can ask for hard-thresholding by using the --hard option. Then we will code the SNP as the genotype with probability larger than threshold specified by --hard-thres. If no such genotype is presented, the SNP will be coded as missing - --hard-thres: The genotype probability threshold. SNPs with no genotype having a probability larger than this threshold will be treated as missing


Similar to PLINK files, you can use the # substitution for BGEN files that are separated into different chromosomes

Phenotype files

PRSice also support an external phenotype file as in input using the --pheno-file This file should contain the FID and IID (or just IID if --ignore-fid is set) and the target phenotype.

You can specify the target phenotype name using --pheno-col. Multiple phenotype can be provided using a comma separated list. e.g.

  --pheno-col A,B,C

will cause PRSice to perform the analysis on phenotype A, B and C.


When multiple phenotype is provided, PRSice will generate a set of results for each phenotype with the prefix of <Prefix>.<Pheno> where <Prefix> is the parameter provided to the --out option

Target File Related Commands

  • --binary-target

    Indicate whether the target phenotype is binary or not. Either T or F should be provided where T represent a binary phenotype. For multiple phenotypes, the input should be separated by comma without space.

    Default: T if --beta is set and F otherwise

  • --geno

    Filter SNPs based on gentype missingness. Must be a value between 0.0 and 1.0.

  • --info Filter SNPs based on info score. Only used for imputed target. The INFO score is calculated as the MaCH imputation r-squared value. The pseudo code is represented as follow:

    m=Mean of expected genotype
    v=variance of expected genotype
    p_a = 2p(1-p)
    INFO = v/p_a
  • --keep

    File containing the sample(s) to be extracted from the target file. First column should be FID and the second column should be IID. If --ignore-fid is set, first column should be IID Mutually exclusive from --remove

  • --maf

    Filter SNPs based on minor allele frequency (MAF)


    When perform MAF filtering on dosage data, we will calculate the MAF using the hard-coded genotype

  • --nonfounders

    By default, PRSice will exclude all non-founders from the analysis. When this flag is set, non-founders will be included in the regression model but will still be excluded from LD estimation.

  • --pheno-col

    Headers of phenotypes to be included from the phenotype file. When multiple phenotypes are provided, the phenotype name will be used as part of the file output prefix

  • --pheno-file | -f

    Phenotype file containing the phenotype(s). First column must be FID of the samples and the second column must be IID of the samples. When --ignore-fid is set, first column must be the IID of the samples. Must contain a header if --pheno-col is specified

  • --prevalence | -k

    Prevalence of all binary trait. If provided, PRSice will adjust the ascertainment bias of the R2.


    When multiple binary trait is found, prevalence information must be provided for all of them (Either adjust all binary traits, or don't adjust at all). For example, if there are 3 traits A, B and C, where A and C are binary traits with population prevalence of 0.1 and 0.2 respectively. The correct input should be --binary-target T,F,T --prevalence 0.1,0.2

  • --remove

    File containing the sample(s) to be removed from the target file. First column should be FID and the second column should be IID. If --ignore-fid is set, first column should be IID Mutually exclusive from --keep

  • --target | -t

    Target genotype file. Currently support both BGEN and binary PLINK format. For multiple chromosome input, simply substitute the chromosome number with #. PRSice will automatically replace # with 1-22. You can also specify a separate fam/sample file by --target <prefix>,<fam/sample file>

  • --type

    File type of the target file. Support bed (binary plink) and bgen format. Default: bed

Dosage Related Commands

  • --hard-thres

    Hard threshold for the dosage data. SNPs with be coded as the genotype with probability higher than the threshold specified here. If no such genotype is presented, the SNP will be treated as missing.


    If dosage data is used as a LD reference, it will always be hard coded to calculate the LD

    Default: 0.9

  • --hard

    When set, will use hard thresholding instead of dosage for PRS construction. Default is to use dosage.