The Department of Statistics offers a rich variety of courses and seminars in almost all branches of statistical theory and applications. The Ph.D. program provides excellent training in the modern theory, methods and applications of statistics and prepares students to become independent researchers. Graduates are prepared for positions in academia, business, or government. The median time to degree is five years.

The Ph.D. program also has an option in biostatistics with slightly different course requirements, but students can freely switch between options after enrollment. The admissions process pools together all applicants to the Ph.D. programs regardless of option, so there is no need to apply to both programs.

The department strives to support students in the Ph.D. program as teaching, research, or project assistants.

The Statistics Department provides extensive computing facilities, both hardware and software, to support instruction and research. Several computers and advanced graphic workstations are available for use in advanced courses enabling students to pursue the latest research directions in statistical computing and graphics. Common statistical packages and libraries are available on a variety of machines.

The department may be consulted for specific career information. See the department website for application materials and deadlines. 

Students apply to the Ph.D. in Statistics through one of the named options:

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.


Prospective students should see the program website for funding information.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements


Minimum Credit Requirement 51 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 32 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement Half of degree coursework (26 credits out of 51 total credits) must be completed graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements A grade of B or better must be received in any course used to fulfill the required and elective course requirements.
Assessments and Examinations Students must pass the Ph.D. qualifying examination, an oral preliminary examination on a topic selected with the approval of the student's advisor, and a dissertation defense.
Language Requirements No language requirements.
Doctoral Minor/Breadth Requirements See Named Options for policy information.

Required COURSES 

Select a Named Option for courses required.

Named Options

A named option is a formally documented sub-major within an academic major program. Named options appear on the transcript with degree conferral. Students pursuing the Ph.D. in Statistics must select one of the following named options:

Students should refer to one of the named options for policy information:

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

  1. Articulates research problems, potentials, and limits with respect to the theories, methodologies, and/or applications of statistics.
  2. Formulates ideas, concepts, designs, and methods beyond the current boundaries of knowledge within statistics.
  3. Creates research that makes a substantive contribution to theoretical and/or applied statistics.
  4. Demonstrates breadth in the theories, methodologies, and applications of statistics.
  5. Advances contributions of statistics to society.
  6. Communicates complex ideas in a clear and understandable manner.
  7. Fosters ethical and professional conduct.

Faculty: Professors J. Zhu (chair), Ane, Chappell, Chien, Keles, Larget, W-Y Loh, Newton, Shao, Y. Wang, Yandell, C. Zhang, Z. Zhang; Associate Professors P-L Loh, Raskutti, Rohe; Assistant Professors Garcia Trillos, Kang, Patel, Raschka, M. Wang, A. Zhang