Please note these instructions are subject to change, based on guidelines we receive both from the university and the government.
New Students On-Campus Program FAQ
New Students On-Campus Program FAQ
- Students who prefer to take their classes 100% online are encouraged to register for the "online only" sections.
- Students who enroll in hybrid sections are expected to participate in all planned in-person components of these classes.
- Remote participation options are available in all classes to accommodate individual students who encounter health needs during the semester.
We are trying to be as flexible as possible, given university guidelines and considering campus public health safety regulations. All core classes will have a hybrid option. Students who enroll in hybrid sections are expected to participate in all planned "in person" components of these classes. In-person components for hybrid courses are designed by course instructors, which is different from course to course. Students should check with their course instructors close to the beginning of the semester, as the planning of these in-person components is still very fluid given the uncertainty caused by the pandemic.
Remote participation options are available in all classes to accommodate individual students who shall encounter health needs during the semester.
THIS is an example of a hybrid class for Fall 2020. The "Method of Instruction" is circled.
- Please review expectations and processes for the online exam. Follow the guidance of your TA, Professor, and your Course Syllabus.
- In order to best prepare for virtual exams, please review this Virtual Technology Guide .
Campus health policy will require that people wear a face covering at all times while on campus, unless they are in a private room with the door closed. Physical distancing will be enforced throughout campus.
A detailed overview of public health protocols on Columbia’s campus includes symptom screening, mandatory and periodic testing, contact tracing, face covering, social distancing, and quarantining.
It is the shared community pledge to the highest standards of health and safety. See here: Columbia Community Health Compact
- Arrive in the US before the end of change of program period (Sept 18th). Take a full-time course load in the Fall and Spring. Summer = Fieldwork/CPT
- Take classes virtually Fall A, arrive in the US by Fall B (Oct 26th). Take a full semester in the spring, take two classes (6 units) in Summer A. Then Summer B = fieldwork/CPT
International students must arrive no later than the start of the Fall B semester which is Oct 26th, 2020. Students must complete 2 full semesters in active F1 Status to qualify for GR5399 Statistical Fieldwork (required for CPT eligibility). If a student arrives by the start of Fall B, this would be met by Fall B, Spring and Summer A -- all in active F1 status.
HERE is a diagram that illustrates possible arrival times.
Always check with ISSO regarding visas or international status.
The option to defer to the Spring is available only for 2020, given the unprecedented circumstances.
The deadline to request a spring deferral is August 15th, 2020. Read more on the GSAS Website.
We have included a robust list of courses available in the spring, including all of our core classes. Additionally, we are proactively preparing summer opportunities and workshops for our students to take advantage of. If you start in Spring 2021 and take courses in Summer 2021, you can still graduate by Dec 2021. Here is a DIAGRAM that illustrates different start and arrival times.
We will also continue to honor one year deferrals until next fall with a deadline of August 15th. For more information on a one year deferral process, please read HERE.
Please read the details about deferral on the GSAS Website HERE.
If after a deferral request, you find you are able to attend in Fall 2020 after all, you may cancel your deferral and join the incoming cohort in Fall 2020 by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line, “CANCEL MY DEFERRAL.” We understand that, depending on current location, you may have additional challenges in attaining a visa on short notice. We will work with you so that you may join us for the earliest semester possible.
This option is available for this exceptional year only.
Yes. Registration can occur from any location.
Newly incoming students will not be able to register until the end of August. When Registration is open, each student will receive an assigned appointment time in SSOL. All MA Statistics Students will register at the same time. Please review the Registration Guidelines on the MA Statistics Website. The Office of the University Registrar is helpful.
All students must complete a minimum of ten approved classes and two Residence Units (RUs) to graduate.
For the 10 minimum classes:
- Three are core classes:
- Probability GR5203
- Inference GR5204
- Linear Regression GR5205
- One capstone course is required from the two options below:
- Advanced Data Analysis GR5291
- Advanced Machine Learning GR5242
- Three of the remaining six electives must be from within the Statistics Department. If both capstone courses are taken, then one of them will count as a Statistics Elective.
Students can keep track of their courses in the MA Program Course Checklist.
- All students must graduate in Good Academic Standing.
- More information can be viewed on our website.
The majority of students take three semesters to complete the program. Some well-prepared students complete in two semesters. The faculty adviser can offer guidance and recommendations. Full-time international students may not stay longer than three semesters.
A part-time, domestic student has up to four years to complete the program.
All students are subject to the CONTINUOUS REGISTRATION rule.
- Semester One: RU (Residence Unit)
- Semester Two: RU (Residence Unit)
- Optional Summer Classes: See Summer Registration
- Semester Three: ER (Extended Residence Unit)
Registration for one full RU or ER satisfies the requirement for full-time status. One full RU or ER both allow up to 20 points maximum per semester,* and a minimum of one class to count for graduation.
No additional semesters are allowed for the international student.**
New students should not take more than four classes in the first semester, as these classes are challenging and a student must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0. After a successful first semester, any number of courses are permitted (up to 20 points), as long as all graduation requirements are met by the end of the last semester.
The Faculty Adviser must approve the course schedule during registration each semester.
*Note: Extra fees will be charged if greater than 20 credits are taken at any time, even if classes are dropped later on.
**Always consult ISSO for issues on international status and visas.
Yes, with the approval of your Faculty Adviser. Once you are a student on campus, you will have a variety of approved electives to choose from.
Students may also take classes that are not required for the degree, as long as they do not interfere with required course work and the minimum 3.0 GPA is maintained.
A student registered for a full RU (Residence Unit) or ER (Extended Residence Unit - required after completing two RUs in GSAS) may take up to and including 20 points. Extra fees will be charged if more than 20 points are taken at any point, even if classes are dropped later on.
The course GR5206 Statistical Computing and Introduction to Data Science will be using R programming language.
- Complete KEY TASKS for new students.
- Review the GSAS NEW STUDENT CHECKLIST.
- Activate your UNI and begin to use your Columbia email.
- IMMUNIZATION requirements must be met in order to register for classes.
- FINAL TRANSCRIPTS Instructions. Please contact email@example.com for questions.
- Complete PRE-ARRIVAL TUTORIALS.
- Apply for ON-CAMPUS HOUSING.
- Research OFF-CAMPUS HOUSING.
- Apply for your I-20 – International Students.
- All international students must sign-up for the Columbia Student Medical Plan once they are on campus.
Please read carefully about this on the GSAS New Student Checklist and submit as soon as possible, or you may receive a hold on your registration. You can email questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the emails from the Department. To avoid delays, submit a photo HERE today.
You will be notified of your Faculty Adviser assignment via email towards the end of August - just before registration for incoming students.
Your Faculty Adviser is the primary person to go to in terms of your academic needs.
Your Faculty Adviser must approve your course selection before each semester and affirm that you are making adequate progress towards graduation. The approval may be in person or email. Make sure to provide adequate time in advance to meet with your Faculty Adviser (a week is reasonable).
Contact and visit your Faculty Adviser if you are having difficulty in your classes or if you need advice on what courses to take.
The Statistics Department only offers credit for courses taken at Columbia University provided the credits were not used towards any other degree program. A maximum of four courses may be approved for the MA Degree, and a maximum of three courses may be approved for the BA/MA degree.
All advanced standing credits must be verified by our Program Director before formal approval by GSAS. Submit the Application for Transfer Credit Form (PDF) to the MA Program Coordinator Jill Forger (email@example.com). This form will not be processed by GSAS until the beginning of the Fall Semester. More information about receiving transfer credits can be found here.
Once you accept your offer of admission into the MA Program and pay your deposit, a space is reserved for you to register for classes in late August/early September. Here is information about tuition and fees which are based on Residence Units.
When you register for classes, you will also register for a full RU or a partial RU, depending on if you are full-time or part-time. Once you register for RU, you can expect to be billed.
Please consult Student Financial Services for complete instructions on billing and payment (including E-Billing, payment options, refunds, and withdrawals). There is also information about payment and billing deadlines through the GSAS page. Finally, you may refer to this guide to making your online payment.
Payment is due by the date listed on the Student Account Statement, which is available in Student Services Online (SSOL). In general, payment for each term is due before the end date of the University’s official Change of Program period, as noted on the academic calendar.
Courses taken in Statistics at Columbia University prior to entering the M.A. program may count toward the M.A. degree if approved by the Program Director and upon final review by the Graduate School. According to the policy of the Statistics Department, no more than 4 classes (and a maximum of 1 RU), taken at Columbia prior to admission in the M.A. program may be applied towards the M.A. degree. No Columbia course may be applied to more than one degree.
Transfer credit may be awarded after the student registers for the first semester. When transfer credit is granted, concomitant Residence Units may also be credited toward fulfilling the two RU requirement for the M.A. Degree. Here is more information about transfer credit.
A student may receive Transfer Credit by following this procedure (after registering for classes):
- There is a Transfer Credit form on the GSAS Website. The top of this form must be filled out with student signature on the appropriate line.
- The courses should be listed in the blank area provided.
- “Previous Institution” should be Columbia University, i.e., where the courses were taken.
- The form may be given or emailed to the Program Coordinator (Jill Forger firstname.lastname@example.org) who will pass it to the Director for approval.
- The Program Director will determine the number of points and RUs to be credited.
- Once the form has been approved and signed by the Director, it can be submitted to GSAS in 107 Low.
If you have any concerns about your academic performance due to any reason (personal, professional, academic) make sure to reach out to someone in the program as soon as possible. Appropriate contacts could include anyone on the MA Team, the Program Director, and/or your Faculty Adviser. Most important is that you do not delay seeking guidance. The earlier you reach out, the more options you will have.
Access detailed course information in the Columbia University Directory of Classes.
According to the 3 semester academic calendar, the fall schedule will entail:
- “Fall” term courses will run the full 14-week term: Tues., Sept. 8, 2020 – Wed., Dec. 23, 2020
- “Fall A” courses will run during the first half of the term: Tues., Sept. 8, 2020 – Fri., Oct. 23, 2020
- “Fall B” courses will run during the second half of the term: Mon., Oct. 26, 2020 – Wed., Dec. 23, 2020
GSAS is strict with these deadlines and does not allow exceptions!
Last Day of the Change of Program Period - Last day to add or drop without penalty. You may add classes directly via SSOL until this day. Wait lists end on this day. Make sure you are not registered for over 20 points or you will be charged extra tuition.
Last Day to Drop a Class - Talk to your professor before this date if you are experiencing academic challenges. Not all classes can be changed to Pass/Fail, so make sure you know this before you decide to not drop the class. IMPORTANT NOTE: Dropping a class is a two-step process. You must complete both steps in order to drop the class. If you are having difficulty, please contact the Student Service Center: email@example.com. You must officially drop a class or you will receive a grade in the class, even if you have stopped attending.
Last Day to Drop a Half-Semester Class - These dates are different from the date to drop a full semester class. Please make note of the dates.
Last Day to change to Pass/Fail or R Credit - Understand the difference between Pass/Fail & R Credit.
Newly incoming students will not be able to register until September 1. When Registration is open, each student will receive an assigned appointment time in SSOL. All MA Statistics Students will register at the same time. Please review the Registration Guidelines on the MA Statistics Website. The Office of the University Registrar is helpful.
Registration at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is a two-part process:
- Register for courses.
- Register for a full or partial Residence Unit (RU).
MA Statistics Courses begin with GR52xx. Do not register for the GU42xx version of the same class.
The Columbia Course Directory:
- Reveals when a student is restricted from taking a course. The class must be “open to” GSAS.
- Shows how many students have already signed up and how many slots are still open (time-delayed from the evening before).
- Reveals if there are any “Approvals Required.”
- Lists prerequisites.
Read carefully all informative emails from the Department, especially the MA Newsletter which will be available for new MA students in September. Special announcements of courses opening up or waitlists will be found in the MA Newsletter.
The recommended full-time course load in the first semester is:
- Probability – GR5203—Core Course
- Inference – GR5204—Core Course
- Linear Regression Models– GR5205—Core Course
- Stat Comp & Intro Data Science—GR5206—This is the first offering in the popular Statistics Data Science Sequence.
Part-time students should review their schedule needs with their Faculty Adviser.
Students with a background in probability and inference should take the half-semester versions of these courses. This allows for more advanced studies in the second semester.
Students without a strong background in probability and inference should consider taking the full semester versions of these courses. They should confer with their faculty adviser as to how to balance their schedule.
More information will be available in the August Welcome Webinar.
Most students, with a strong mathematics background and previous exposure to probability and inference, should take the half-semester version of GR5203 and GR5204.
The half-semester courses move very quickly at the beginning, so it is important to keep up. In the Welcome Emails, there will be a link to the PROBABILITY PREVIEW to get a feel for the pace of this course.
Those with less exposure to probability should take GR5203 in a full semester format and then GR5204 the following semester. It is recommended to have a strong background in probability and inference in order to do well in the MA Program. All students should consult with their Faculty Adviser regarding course choices.
No. Each student is guaranteed to get into the required core classes in the first semester (Probability, Inference and Linear Regression). However, you are not guaranteed to get into your first choice section for each class. Please do not reach out to the Department asking to be switched into any sections.
No. If you sign up for multiple sections you are holding up seats for your peers who need to get into a class. Students found registered for multiple sections will be contacted and penalized appropriately.
Registration is based on a first-come-first-serve basis. If a section is full for a particular class then you may apply for the next section or you will be placed on an electronic waitlist. If you are on a waitlist, you must wait to find out if there will be room in a class. Since there is no guarantee that you will be allowed into the class, consider signing-up for a second choice.
You should not sign up for multiple wait lists of the same class.
If you receive a “Pending” status, this means that the instructor will allow you in the class if there is room. There is no need to email the professor or the Department. Review this GUIDE to Waitlists or email firstname.lastname@example.org for questions.
Yes, you may add/drop classes (without penalty) in SSOL until the end of the Change of Program Period (first two weeks of classes). Check the academic calendar for specific dates.
You may drop classes using SSOL until the last day to drop classes. Check the academic calendar for the specific date. You will not be able to drop a class after the Drop Date. This deadline is strictly enforced.
Read the MA Weekly Newsletter as key dates will be announced.
If you plan to make changes to your schedule it should be done in consultation with your Faculty Adviser. Changes may affect RU registration.
The deadlines for half- semester courses are in proportion to the deadlines for full-semester courses:
- Half-semester courses must be dropped within the first two weeks.
- The deadline for Pass/Fail or for R credit is the first day of the fifth week. Core classes may not be taken for Pass/Fail or R credit. Nor may they be taken over to receive a higher grade.
Courses taken for R or Pass/Fail do not count towards the MA Statistics degree. Core classes cannot be taken for R or P/F.
The last day to change a course to Pass/Fail or R Grade is listed in the Academic Calendar. This deadline is strictly enforced.
Cross Registration is always at the discretion of the school, the program and the course instructor. The Statistics Department does not have any influence on allowing you into a cross registered class. Before attempting to cross register, MA Students must check in with their Faculty Adviser to ensure that it is a class they can take for credit.
Some graduate schools have their own cross registration processes. Please review the links below for information on how to cross register for those graduate schools. For schools not listed below, reach out to the specific department and inquire about their cross registration options and process.
Admittance into any course is not guaranteed. All courses are subject to availability.
Below are links for how to cross register into the following schools:
- Computer Science .
- Industrial Engineering and Operations Research .
- Columbia Business School
- Most courses have a prerequisite of Capital Markets “FINC B8306/ MATH G4076” or “waiver exam”.
- Email email@example.com.
- Data Science Institute, please email firstname.lastname@example.org regarding course access through their internal lottery and survey process.
MA students may register for courses at TC, as long as they get permission from TC and their adviser.
For schools with no special procedure, fill out a Registration Adjustment Form, obtain the signature and UNI of the appropriate administrator of the other school and your faculty adviser, and bring the form to 107 Low Library for processing or email email@example.com.
Sometimes a new course needs to be evaluated for inclusion. If a course is not on our list, but...
- It relates to your studies in Statistics, obtain a syllabus and review it with your Faculty Adviser. Your Faculty Adviser can approve your particular course schedule.
Since new courses are coming up all the time, the MA Program has a procedure to request a new Approved Elective for all MA Statistics Students.
- The first step is to obtain the syllabus.
- The second step is to fill out and submit the ELECTIVES APPROVAL FORM.
Please do not assume you can receive credit for an elective just because you can register for the course.
In order to graduate you must have both a:
- Cumulative GPA of 3.0, which includes all the courses you take.
- 3.0 GPA in the ten courses which will count for graduation. Only approved electives will count toward graduation.
It is possible to take courses that will not count for graduation, as long as they do not interfere with your required studies. You should review all electives with your adviser each semester. Make sure you remain in Good Academic Standing.
There are no courses in the winter break.
Summer Session: Classes are offered to students in the MA Statistics Program through SPS (School of Professional Studies).
- Please see SPS Registration and Calendars for dates and deadlines.
- Find classes in the Columbia University Directory.
Classes that Count for Graduation
- Require registration of ER (full-time student).
- Require registration of the appropriate RU fraction (part-time student with fewer than 2 RUs completed).
- May be approved electives from the Statistics Department or other schools or departments. Please read about cross-registration.
Career Development & Other Classes
- Statistical Fieldwork GR5399: Required for a student seeking an internship through CPT.
- Professional Development GR5391: Offered at no cost (0 credits). If this is your only class, you do not need to register for ER or RU.
- HERE is summer tuition information.
Questions about registering for Summer courses in SPS can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To drop the last class of Summer, fill-out the withdrawal form.
The Statistics Department does not hire an MA student to be an RA or TA.
There are “Grader” opportunities available for MA students, but not in the first semester. You may apply in the second semester based upon your qualifications. You will be informed of these opportunities via email.
Read the MA Weekly Newsletter (the communication email) to find new internship and job opportunities. The MA program has its own Career Development team, which 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.
The MA Program has a dedicated LinkedIn group for MA Statistics students and alumni where job leads are posted.
Review further details of employment at ISSO.
* Please note these instructions are subject to change, based on guidelines we receive both from the university and the government.