Ph.D. Program

Admission Requirements

Visit Admissions Requirements for more information.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements 

  1. Theory: Pass MS Theory exam (unless waived; see note 1a) and satisfactory performance (see note 1b) in STAT 581-582-583.
  2. Methodology: Satisfactory performance (typically 3.0) in STAT 570-571 (see note 2).
  3. Math: Satisfactory performance (typically 3.0) in MATH 574-575-576 OR STAT 559 OR equivalent.
  4. Computing: Satisfactory performance (typically 3.0) in STAT 534 OR equivalent (see NOTE 4).
  5. Seminar: Attendance at the statistics seminar (one credit of STAT 590 per quarter).
  6. Consulting / Applied: Satisfactory performance in 3 credits of STAT 599 and a consulting project. Here are the full details of the requirement.
  7. Elective classes: Satisfactory performance in a minimum of four approved 500-level classes which, together with STAT 581-582-583 and 570-571, form a coherent Statistics program. (see note 3).
  8. PhD students must serve as a Teaching Assistant for at least one quarter.
  9. Qualifying Exam: Pass the Research Paper Prelim Ph.D. exam - here are the details
  10. Dissertation Credits: Three quarters (27 credits total, over three quarters) of STAT 800.
  11. General exam: Successful presentation of a dissertation proposal (normally to be completed after 1-8). Must be scheduled at least three weeks in advance.
  12. Final exam: Successful defense of the dissertation. Must be scheduled at least three weeks in advance.


  • Note 1a: The MS Theory exam is waived for students bypassing 512-513 if at least an average 3.3 grade is achieved in 581-582-583.
  • Note 1b: Satisfactory performance is here a minimum 2.7 grade and average 3.0 grade over the three classes.
  • Note 2: STAT 502 and STAT 504, or equivalent, are prerequisites for 570-571.
  • Note 3: Suitable courses in Statistics include 516-517, 535-538, 521-522-523, 519-520-530, 542, 544. Suitable courses offered by other departments include BIOST 533, EE 512, GENOM 562, MATH 516, SOC 533. This is not an exhaustive list. Many other classes, both in STAT/BIOST and in other departments, are also suitable. Students should consult the graduate program coordinator and their advisor regarding appropriate sets of four or more classes.
  • Note 4: All PhD students should take 534 in Spring of their first year unless it is specifically waived.

 See here for PhD requirements for students who entered prior to Autumn 2012.

Optional PhD Tracks

Statistical Genetics (StatGen)

Statistics in the Social Sciences (CSSS)

Machine Learning and Big Data