Ph.D. Program

CSC_0050Graduate Programs for a Ph.D. in Statistics

Graduate Student Handbook

Contact Zhiliang Ying, Professor, Director of Graduate Studies / Email: zying at stat dot columbia dot edu / Office: 1033 SSW

Degree Requirements The requirements listed below for the Ph.D. in Statistics, which include obtaining MA and M.Phil degrees, are special to this department and must be read in conjunction with the general requirements of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

For the M.A. Degree Students are required to take 7 courses (as specified below) from the core curriculum:

STAT GR6101, GR6102, GR6103 (Applied Statistics)

STAT GR6201, GR6202, GR6203 (Theoretical Statistics)

STAT GR6301, GR6302, GR6303 (Probability Theory)

STAT GR5264 (Stochastic Processes)

STAT GR6104 (Statistical Computing)

In the first semester, students typically take GR6101, GR6301, GR6201. In the second semester students take any three of GR6102, GR6302, GR6202, and GR6104. In the third semester, students must take at least one of GR6103, GR6203 and GR5264. Students wishing additional preparation before embarking on the Probability sequence (STAT GR6301-GR6302) may take MATH W4061-W4062 (Introduction to Modern Analysis) first. Before the beginning of the second year students take qualifying exams in two of probability, theoretical statistics, and applied statistics. Every student must pass two qualifying exams before the start of the third year. A student who fails a qualifying exam may re-take that exam only once. Upon successful completion of the qualifying exams, the MA is awarded. After completing the required courses and written qualifying exams, a Ph.D. student takes a variety of advanced courses offered by this and, in some cases, related departments. While there are no formal requirements as to the number of points of courses taken for a letter grade, it is expected that students will take all core courses for a letter grade.

For the M.Phil. Degree Length of program: Six Residence Units Two semesters of STAT GR6105 (Consulting) and attendance in at least one of the departmental seminar series (GR9201 and GR9302) are required each semester. Students must take at least one 8000-level seminar or an approved substitute each semester. Students are strongly encouraged to take classes outside the department in areas relevant to their research interests. Students participate in the instructional activities of the department, including seminars, consulting, independent study, and advanced research. An oral comprehensive exam is taken during the third or fourth year. Upon successful completion of the comprehensive exam, the M.Phil.degree is awarded.

For the Ph.D. Degree The Ph.D. degree is awarded upon successful oral defense and deposit of an approved dissertation according to the rules of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Facilities The department maintains two high-speed Linux servers, and students have full access to the campus instructional network (which has a wide range of statistical software). Mathematics/statistics, science, and social science libraries are located on campus. The library system also has many useful online resources, including Jstor, Nexis, Current index to Statistics, and Datagate.

Financial Aid All students in the Ph.D. program receive, for up to five years, a funding package consisting of tuition, fees, and a stipend. These fellowships are awarded in recognition of academic achievement and in expectation of scholarly success; they are contingent upon the student remaining in good academic standing. Summer support, while not guaranteed, is generally provided. Teaching and research experience are considered an important aspect of the training of graduate students. Thus, graduate fellowships include some teaching and research apprenticeship. Ph.D. students are given funds to purchase a laptop PC, and additional computing resources are supplied for research projects as necessary. The Department also subsidizes up to $750 of travel expenses for students who make presentations at scientific meetings. Additional matching funds from the Graduate School Arts and Sciences are available to students who have passed the oral qualifying exam.

Admissions Requirements P.h.D. students are admitted only in September. Admissions decisions are made in late February of each year for the Fall semester. A student admitted to the Ph.D. program normally has a background in linear algebra and real analysis, and has taken a few courses in statistics and probability. Familiarity with computing and programming is desirable. Students who are quantitatively trained or have substantial background/experience in other scientific disciplines are also encouraged to apply for admission. Prospective Ph.D. students must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test. The GRE Advanced Subject Test in Mathematics is also highly recommended. Department Admissions FAQ Placement of Recent PhDs GSAS Application Admissions and Procedures FAQ Application Applications for the Ph.D. degree are entirely on-line.

Contact For more information please contact Dood Kalicharan at dk@stat.columbia.edu.