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Masters Option for NU PhD Students

The Department of Statistics and Data Science offers an Ad Hoc Master of Science in Applied Statistics Non-Terminal Degree Program for Northwestern PhD Students

Students admitted to Northwestern PhD programs can obtain this optional Ad Hoc MS in Applied Statistics degree en route to their PhD.

Since 2017, over 70 students have been accepted into the Ad Hoc MS in Applied Statistics program. The program is open to students enrolled in any TGS PhD program at any school at Northwestern. To date, about two thirds of the students accepted into the MS in Applied Statistics program have been in PhD programs in the social sciences - including psychology, sociology, political science. The remaining third have been enrolled in PhD programs throughout the university. This includes the natural and physical sciences within Weinberg, as well as the School of Communications, Feinberg School of Medicine, Kellogg School of Management, McCormack School of Engineering, the School of Education and Social Policy, and the Bienen School of Music.

The 9 course + culminating project Ad Hoc combined degree MS in Applied Statistics program is intended for PhD students who wish to establish qualifications in statistics and quantitative research methodology and is pursued as the doctoral student completes the requirements of their PhD program.

The 9 courses must be letter graded (ABC, not P/NP) course units authorized by TGS for graduate credit and may not be double counted with the 9 courses that TGS will count toward the student’s PhD. See TGS Ad Hoc combined degree requirements and the Ad Hoc MS in Applied Statistics Degree Program Application for more information about this TGS policy.

Students must apply for the Ad Hoc MS in Applied Statistics program using the department’s application process and be approved to pursue the degree by their advisor, home department, the Department of Statistics and Data Science, and TGS. In the application, students will be expected to submit an explanation for why they wish to pursue the degree and a plan of study outlining the courses they anticipate taking to complete the Ad Hoc MS. There are 3 Plan of Study options that students will chose from to help guide their course selection for their plan of study. These are detailed on the Program Requirements page and on the application.

Students are expected to submit their application for the MS in Applied Statistics program prior to or shortly after starting courses in the Statistics and Data Science department. To keep in compliance with TGS policy, no more than two STAT classes should be taken prior to submitting the application for the program. First year doctoral students should meet with their advisor or DGS prior to beginning the application process.

Students must be in a PhD program funded through The Graduate School (TGS) to apply to pursue an Ad Hoc MS degree. Once approved, PhD students may pursue an Ad Hoc MS degree in conjunction with their PhD without additional tuition fees as long as the course requirements for both degrees are completed before their funding is depleted. Any coursework taken after funding is depleted will be paid by the student.

The MS is awarded simultaneously with the PhD. Students may apply for their MS degree in Applied Statistics degree when all their PhD degree requirements have been completed. The TGS policy for an Ad Hoc Degrees is: “The master’s degree outside of the approved PhD program may not be conferred before the PhD is conferred. A student who departs (withdraws, is dismissed, or otherwise discontinued from) the PhD program to which the student was originally admitted becomes ineligible for the secondary master's degree.”

This Ad Hoc combined degree MS program is only available to Northwestern doctoral students enrolled in a PhD program.

Read more about the Ad Hoc MS in Applied Statistics combined degree program requirements