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Graduate Programs Overview

Department of Statistics and Data Science Graduate Programs Overview

The Department of Statistics and Data Science at Northwestern University offers a standalone program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD), a terminal Master of Science (MS) in Statistics, and a non-terminal Ad Hoc Master of Science (MS) in Applied Statistics for Northwestern graduate students enrolled in PhD programs in other departments at the University.

Both the doctoral and terminal MS programs robust and demanding curricula meticulously crafted to provide students with a comprehensive training in theory, methodology and applications of statistics and data science. The PhD program prioritizes the cultivation of skills necessary for successful careers as university educators, researchers, as well as research statisticians or data scientists in industry, government, and the non-profit sector. In contrast, the MS program aims to train students for a career as a professional statistician or data scientist in industry, government, and the non-profit sector, or for pursuing doctoral studies in statistics, data science, or related disciplines.

The non-terminal Ad Hoc MS in Applied Statistics program presents more flexibility for PhD students in other programs at NU to personalize their MS curriculum in applied statistics and data science to maximize the benefits for their PhD research and future career prospects.

The department is distinguished by faculty’s profound interest in theory and methodology in statistics and data science, along with their practical applications across a diverse array of domains including public policy, law, medicine and life sciences, engineering, and social sciences. Interest in cross-disciplinary work has always been strong - when the department was formed, in the 1980s, all the founding members of the department had appointments in other departments including from management, engineering, mathematics, education and social policy, sociology, and psychology.

In the recent years the Department has experienced substantial growth in both faculty team and educational programs with a particular focus on data science. The Department now has 21 faculty members among which 17 are tenured or on tenure-track and 5 on teaching-track. The department now offers a significantly enriched selection of graduate courses, covering a wide spectrum that encompasses classic statistics theory and methodology, advanced inference methods, and cutting-edge data science and machine learning techniques.

Financial aid in the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and fellowships is widely available for well-qualified students in the PhD program. Financial aid is typically not available for master's degree students.

The Department of Statistics and Data Science is located on Northwestern University's 240-acre campus in Evanston, 12 miles north of downtown Chicago. Northwestern, a private university, is one of the nation's outstanding educational and research institutions. With its quiet suburban setting and proximity to the scientific and cultural activities of Chicago, Northwestern is an excellent environment for the student and scholar.

Director of Graduate Studies: Beth Andrews,

Director of MS in Statistics: Hongmei Jiang,

Director of Ad Hoc MS in Applied Statistics: Elizabeth Tipton,