Q: What do you look for in an applicant? 

The Admissions Committee looks for applicants with a compelling background and strong grades in quantitative and related fields such as statistics, mathematics and computer science. Applicants need a thorough knowledge of linear algebra and advanced calculus. Successful candidates have experience in theoretical or applied probability and statistics.  Familiarity with computer programming is highly recommended. 

Interested applicants lacking background in these areas should make up the deficiency before applying. We do not offer conditional acceptance into this program.

Due to the large number of applications received, the MA in Statistics staff does not answer inquiries about specific applications nor give advice or direction to applicants before they are admitted. Although we appreciate interest in the program, please note that emails sent to the department expressing interest have no bearing on the outcome of your application being reviewed. Your candidacy is decided upon by your application materials. Any specific interest and rationale should be conveyed in your personal statement within the application. 

Q: My application was placed on waiting list, when will I receive a final decision? 
Typically most decisions for applicants on waiting list will be communicated by the middle of May.
Q: May I submit additional materials to improve my application while placed on the wait list? 

No. If you are on the waitlist, you must simply wait to see if available slots open. You will be contacted if there is an open spot available for you. 

Q: What is my number on the waiting list? 

We do not have a number system for our wait list, nor do we share where you rank.  Interested applicants must wait. 

Q: What are the minimum GPA/GRE Scores for a successful applicant? 

There are no minimum GPA or GRE scores set by the Department. The Admissions Committee looks competitively at the overall application including the grades received in relevant coursework, the prerequisites needed for the program, recommendation letters, test scores, and other supporting documents. 

Q: My application was rejected. May I receive feedback? 

We appreciate the time and commitment you put into your application; however, we are unable to offer individual feedback on why you did not gain admission. This is a highly selective program and decisions are competitively based upon a thorough review of all application materials.

Q: How many students are enrolled in the program? 
The number of enrolled students varies every year according to our admission needs and the number of qualified applications received.
Q: I got admitted to the hybrid program. Can I change my status to the non-hybrid program? 
Unfortunately we are not able to transfer your application to the regular on-campus program.
Q: Are TOEFL Scores required? 

GSAS requires a minimum score of 100 on the Internet-based TOEFL (600 on the paper-and-pencil test) or 7.0 on the IELTS test.  Please refer to GSAS Admissions for timing and more details on the English Proficiency Requirement.  Write to gsas-admissions@columbia.edu for specific questions. 

Q: Do MA students take courses with PhD students? 

Generally, MA students may not take PhD-level courses. However, a well-prepared student may be permitted to take a certain PhD-level course with the approval of their Faculty Adviser and the  course instructor.

Q: Are there TA or RA opportunities for MA students? 

You may apply for a grader position after you complete your first semester in the MA Program.  Keep reading the MA Newsletter and checking your emails as this opportunity will be announced.     We do not offer RA or TA positions within the Statistics Department for Master's students, but there may be TA opportunities available outside the Department. 

Q: Where do graduates work? 
Our graduates pursue careers in diverse areas including but not limited to the following:  the pharmaceutical industry, education, finance, insurance, market research, public health, government, academia and consulting. To get a sense of where our recent graduates have landed, please click HERE.  International students should consult with ISSO counselors about eligibility to work in the US.
Our career development officer provides individual and group guidance to help students find jobs. This includes resume and cover letter reviews, training through mock interview sessions and networking events with employers and alumni. We typically offer over 40 events per semester.
Q: May I arrange for a personal interview or visit the Columbia University Campus? 

Due to the number of applicants we do not meet with prospective students.   An interview is not part of the Admissions Process.   Nor do we provide tours or interviews with faculty or students. 

You may visit the Columbia Campus Visitor Center (213 Low Library).  HERE is a link for visiting the Columbia Campus.  HERE is a link for the self-guided tour. 

Thoroughly review the MA Website including the FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions). If questions remain and you are on campus, visit the GSAS Admissions Office (107 Low Library) between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

Q: I applied a while ago and still haven’t received my decision. When will I hear back about my status? 

The majority of M.A. decisions are not communicated until the end of April.  Applicants on the waitlist have to wait until they are contacted directly by the school for updates. 

Although the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences begins accepting applications to the M.A. program in September, the decision-making process will not begin until March.  Once the decision-making process is under way in March, decisions will be made on a rolling basis.  Prospective applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible.