Ph.D. Program

CSC_0050Graduate Programs for a Ph.D. in Statistics

Graduate Student Handbook (PDF)

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 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.

Data Science Specialization 

The PhD specialization in Data Science is an option within the Statistics Department’s PhD program.  PhD students in Statistics can choose to do this specialization.  To participate, students need to fulfill the requirements of the specialization in addition to the usual Statistics PhD program requirements, including all the regular course requirements.  Students should discuss this specialization option with their PhD advisor.  Further questions about the specialization requirements should be directed to Professor David Blei (CS and Stats).  Click here for detailed information about the specialization requirements.

GRE Exams Waived for Fall 2022

In recognition of the significant disruptions caused by COVID-19, the Department of Statistics is not accepting GRE or General GRE scores for applications received for the academic year starting in Fall 2022.  In addition, we will respect decisions regarding the adoption of Pass/Fail and other grading options during this period of COVID-19 disruptions, whether those decisions were made by institutions or by individual students.

The English Proficiency Test requirement (TOEFL) is a Provost’s requirement that cannot be waived. 

Frequently Asked Questions

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. Note: Due to COVID-19 the GRE requirement has been waived for Fall 2022 admissions. Department Admissions FAQ Placement of Recent PhDs GSAS Application Admissions and Procedures FAQ Application Applications for the Ph.D. degree are entirely on-line.



For more information please contact Prof. Arian Maleki, Director of Graduate Studies,, or Dood Kalicharan at

Application Deadline 

January 6, 2022


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.