Fall Deadline December 1
Spring Deadline The program does not admit in the spring.
Summer Deadline The program does not admit in the summer.
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Required. *
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (https://grad.wisc.edu/apply/requirements/#english-proficiency).
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

Students holding a bachelor's degree with a natural science, social science, or engineering major and strong mathematical background are encouraged to apply for admission to the graduate program in statistics. Students are advised to undertake graduate work in statistics only if their undergraduate grades in mathematics were uniformly high.

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.

Named Option Requirements


Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions


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 (http://my.wisc.edu/CourseGuideRedirect/BrowseByTitle).
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 For BDO students, the breadth requirement is satisfied by:(1) the biological sciences course and (2) the collaborative research experience.

Required COURSES

Required Courses:
STAT/​B M I  641 Statistical Methods for Clinical Trials3
STAT/​MATH  709 Mathematical Statistics4
STAT/​MATH  710 Mathematical Statistics4
STAT/​MATH  733 Theory of Probability I3
or STAT 771 Statistical Computing
STAT 849 Theory and Application of Regression and Analysis of Variance I3
STAT 850 Theory and Application of Regression and Analysis of Variance II3
STAT 998 Statistical Consulting3
Additionally four elective courses (12 credits) numbered 642 or higher must be taken, EXCLUDING above and STAT 609, STAT 610, STAT 699, and STAT 990: 12
The chosen electives must contain AT LEAST two of three Biostatistics specialized courses:
Statistical Methods for Epidemiology
Survival Analysis Theory and Methods
Statistical Methods for Molecular Biology
A twelfth course is required (3 credits) from an approved list of Biological Sciences courses.3
Principles of Genetics
Cell Biology
Principles of Population Health Sciences
Approval of other biological sciences courses is at the discretion of the BDO Committee.
STAT 992 may only be used once for the same topic
Sufficient credits from any UW Madison courses including STAT 990 to reach the 51-credit minimum13
Total Credits51

Collaborative Research Experience: 

This unique aspect of the BDO program provides the student with experience in interdisciplinary collaborative research under the supervision of a faculty trainer.  Students can accomplish this requirement by rotating through directed study/research credits with various faculty trainers. 

  • Lab rotations should be completed during the first three years of the program
  • Lab rotations need to be established at the beginning of the semester, plan accordingly!
  • Students must give a presentation of their research at the end of the same semester

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Named OPtion-Specific Policies

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 9 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions toward the graduate degree credit and graduate coursework (50%) requirements. Coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

With program approval, up to 6 statistics credits from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree at the 600 level or above are allowed to count toward minimum graduate degree credits. Coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison University Special

With program approval, up to 15 statistics credits completed at UW–Madison while a University Special student at the 300 level or above are allowed to count toward minimum graduate degree and graduate residence credit requirements. Of these credits, those at the 700 level or above may also count toward the minimum graduate coursework (50%) requirement. Coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.


Three consecutive reviews in which a student fails to meet the minimum criteria for satisfactory progress will result in the student being dropped from the program. Contact the program for more information.


Students are required to meet with their advisor near the beginning of each semester to discuss course selection and progress.


15 credits

Time Constraints

Students must pass the Ph.D. qualifying examination within six semesters from the first fall semester of registration as a graduate student in the department. Students who complete a master's in the department and then are admitted to the Ph.D. program must pass the Ph.D. qualifying examination within four semesters after entering the Ph.D. program.

Grievances and Appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

Students should contact the department chair or program director with questions about grievances. They may also contact the L&S Academic Divisional Associate Deans, the L&S Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning Administration, or the L&S Director of Human Resources.


Students pursuing the general statistics and biostatistics options are considered for department financial support and may seek a dual degree if desired.

Graduate School Resources

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

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