PhD Program Overview
The doctoral program in statistics is designed to provide students with comprehensive training in statistical theory and methodology and in the application of statistical methods to problems in a wide range of fields. The program is flexible and may be arranged to reflect students' interests and career goals. Cross-disciplinary work is encouraged. The PhD program prepares students for careers as university teachers and researchers and as research statisticians in industry, government and the non-profit sector.
Students are required to fulfill the Department requirements in addition to those specified by The Graduate School (TGS).
From the Graduate School’s webpage outlining the general requirements for a PhD:
In order to receive a doctoral degree, students must:
- Complete all required coursework.
- Meet the minimum residency requirement.
- Gain admittance to candidacy.
- Submit a prospectus to be approved by a faculty committee.
- Present a dissertation with original research. Review the Dissertation Publication page for more information.
- Complete the necessary teaching requirement
- Submit necessary forms to file for graduation
- Complete degree requirements within the approved timeline
PhD degrees must be approved by the student's academic program. Consult with your program directly regarding specific degree requirements.
The Department requires that students in the Statistics PhD program:
- Complete the following courses:
- Regression Analysis (STAT 350)
- Design and Analysis of Experiments (STAT 351)
- Introduction to Statistical Theory and Methodology I, II, III (STAT 420-1,2,3)
- Sampling Theory and Applications (STAT 425)
- Probability I, II (Math 450-1,2) OR Probability I (Math 450-1) and Stochastic Processes I, II (IEMS 460-1,2)
- Six additional 300/400 graduate-level Statistics courses, at least two must be 400-level.
Students generally complete the required coursework during their first two years in the PhD program.
- Pass the Qualifying Exam. This comprehensive examination covers basic topics in statistics and is typically taken in fall quarter of the second year of residence.
Pass the Prospectus presentation/examination and be admitted for PhD candidacy by the end of year 3. The statistics department requires that students must complete their Prospectus (proposal of dissertation topic) before the end of year 3, which is earlier than The Graduate School deadline of the end of year 4. The prospectus must be approved by a faculty committee comprised of a committee chair and a minimum of 2 other faculty members. Students usually first find an adviser through independent studies who will then typically serve as the committee chair. When necessary, exceptions may be made upon the approval of the committee chair and the director of graduate studies, to extend the due date of the prospectus exam until the end of year 4.
- Successfully complete and defend a doctoral dissertation. After the prospectus is approved, students begin work on the doctoral dissertation, which must demonstrate an original contribution to a chosen area of specialization. A final examination (thesis defense) is given based on the dissertation. Students typically complete the PhD program in 5 years.
- Attend all seminars in the department and participate in other research activities. In addition to these academic requirements, students are expected to participate in other research activities and attend all department seminars every year they are in the program.
Optional MS degree en route to PhD
Students admitted to the Statistics PhD program can obtain an optional MS (Master of Science) degree en route to their PhD. The MS degree requires 12 courses: Regression Analysis (STAT 350), Design and Analysis of Experiments (STAT 351), Introduction to Statistical Theory and Methodology I, II, III (STAT 420-1,2,3), Sampling Theory and Applications (STAT 425), and six additional 300/400 graduate-level Statistics courses, at least two of which must be 400-level. Students are also required to pass the department qualifying exam.Back to top