Admissions FAQ

Admissions FAQ

May I apply for the Hybrid Online/On-campus Program? 

The Hybrid Online/On-campus Program is not accepting applications.  


Q: Where is the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 and the Columbia University campus? 
Please keep reading all your emails from the Statistics Department, GSAS and Columbia University. 
Please regularly visit Columbia University's Resource Guide for COVID-19 and ISSO.
Check University Updates for the most recent communications to the Columbia University community.  


Q: What health and safety protocols do we have to follow? 

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.

Q: What is the Columbia Community Health Compact? 

It is the shared community pledge to the highest standards of health and safety. See here:  Columbia Community Health Compact

General Questions

Q: What are students, faculty and alumni saying about the MA Program? 
Here are: 

Enjoy a VIDEO from 2018 with our former Chair Richard Davis who continues as one of our influential faculty members.  

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.

Due to the large number of applications received, the MA in Statistics staff does not answer inquiries about specific applications.  We do not give advice or offer direction to applicants before they are admitted.  While we appreciate interest in the program, emails expressing this interest have no bearing on the outcome of an application. One's candidacy is decided upon by the application materials only. Any specific interest and rationale should be conveyed in the personal statement within the application.

Q: How many students are enrolled in the program? 

The number of enrolled students varies every year according to the number of qualified applications received.

Q: What is the application deadline? 

Please refer to the GSAS Admissions website for deadline information. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis

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: May I apply for more than one program? 

To apply to more than one program in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, please review the Frequently Asked Questions on the GSAS Website.   Note that besides applying to GSAS, it is fine to apply to other schools within Columbia University, like the School of Professional Studies or the School of Engineering

Q: May I pursue another degree when enrolled in the MA Program? 

No, you may not.  Here is some general information on Statistics on the GSAS Website

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 tours, including the self-guided tour.   HERE is more detailed information about Columbia University and visiting New York City. 

Thoroughly review the MA Website and the GSAS Website including the FAQs (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: Are TOEFL Scores required? 

GSAS requires a minimum score of 100 on the Internet-based TOEFL (600 on the paper-and-pencil test) or 7.5 on the IELTS test.  Please refer to GSAS Admissions for timing and more details on the English Proficiency Requirement.  Write to for specific questions. 

Q: How long does it take to complete the program? Is there a part-time option? 

The typical full-time schedule is three semesters (Fall, Spring, Fall) with summer courses as optional.  Students in F1 status are required to be full-time and may not extend beyond the three semesters, according to their visa.  There is no minimum number of courses taken per semester as long as all the program requirements are completed within a maximum of three semesters.   A small number of exceptional students are able to complete the program requirements within two semesters. 

Part-time domestic students complete the program in a maximum of four years.  

Q: Where can I find additional information about admission requirements and other GSAS policies? 
Q: What is the cost of attendance? 

When making your financial plans, it is necessary to consider tuition and fees as well as living expenses in estimating the overall cost of attendance (COA). 

Q: Are there any scholarship or funding opportunities available? 

Read HERE about scholarship and funding opportunities. 

Q: When do classes begin in the Fall, Spring, or Summer? What are important dates? 

You can find important dates on the Academic Calendar.  Choose the year, semester, and the school is the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.  

Visit the MA Program Events Calendar to see dates and deadlines relevant to the MA Program in Statistics. 

Q: What programming languages are used in the MA Program? 

Both R and Python are used.   A good website to have time to prepare in advance for programming options is located here.

Q: Do MA students take courses with PhD students? 

MA Statistics students who have demonstrated exceptional academic potential and  who plan to apply for a PhD program may submit applications to take selected PhD-level courses offered by the department. Applications will be reviewed by the Faculty Director of the MA program and faculty instructors of the PhD-level courses. Space will be limited, with a cap decided by the faculty instructors of the PhD-level courses.  

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: May I apply for the Hybrid Online/On-campus Program? 

The Hybrid Online/On-campus Program is not accepting applications.  

Q: Is there a Facebook page for the MA Statistics Program? 

 Yes, we have a Facebook page.

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 team 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. 
Students take a professional development course in which they learn how to navigate their career path. They also meet several employers and alumni during the classes.

Statistics Career Information

o   Graduate Placement

o   Alumni Profiles

o   Alumni speaking about their Statistics Careers

Decisions & Waitlists

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

If you have not heard back, it means your application is still under review.  There are no expedited reviews.  Once the decision-making process is under way, decisions will be made on a rolling basis. Since space is limited, prospective applicants are encouraged to submit all application materials as early as possible. 

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: 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. 

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: I was accepted. May I request an extension to the time I have to pay the deposit? 

An applicant should contact GSAS Admissions if they need an extension to pay the tuition deposit.  Otherwise, an applicant will forfeit their admission offer should the deposit not be paid by the deadline..