Basic minimum preparation for the program should include one semester of linear algebra with an in-depth coverage of relevant topics including matrices, vector spaces, linear transformations, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, canonical forms and their applications, and advanced calculus. Experience in theoretical or applied probability and statistics is advantageous.  Familiarity with computer programming, including some proficiency in SAS, R or Python is also helpful.  Any lack in the prerequisites should be made up before applying.     

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. 

Letters of Recommendation

A minimum of two academic references is required for all applicants. If you choose to include for the third reference a recommendation from an internship supervisor, the MA program in Statistics strongly prefers that this reference be related to an in-person internship that lasted at least 2 months.

Exam Scores and GPA

The admissions committee looks at the overall application, not just one particular area such as GPA or GRE scores.  We do not publish average scores of any kind.  Nor do we provide details on the numbers or applicants of our students. 

The GRE Exam is recommended BUT not required.  The GRE Exam cannot be substituted with the GMAT.  There is no minimum score. 

For information about the TOEFL/IELTS requirement for international students, see Information for International Students.

Statement of Academic Purpose

The statement of academic purpose should consist of approximately one thousand words. Describe your background and past work in statistics, your plans for graduate study at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and your future professional goals.

Personal Statement

The personal statement should consist of approximately one thousand words. The personal statement should explain how your personal experiences and history will allow you to contribute to the wealth of perspectives in the entering class of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and in the Columbia community at large.