About the Ph.D. Program in Applied Statistics

The Ph.D. program in Applied Statistics is dedicated to preparing students for careers in higher education as well as industry. The Applied Statistics faculty support students interested in a diverse range of statistical topics, including

  • Linear Models
  • Data Mining
  • Statistical Process Control
  • Statistical Computing
  • Nonparametric and Robust Methods
  • Change and Anomaly Detection
  • Statistical Network Analysis

We seek to admit, train and graduate students who have initiative, enthusiasm and a desire to become scholars at major academic institutions. Read stories about how our alums are making a difference in educating the next generation of accounting professionals.

Admission Requirements

All students, both international and domestic, with relevant preparation in calculus, linear algebra, and statistics are welcome to apply. Prospective students without an M.S. degree in statistics or without proper preparation at the similar level are required to apply to our Master of Science program. We prefer that students begin their program in the fall semester. Application materials for consideration for Fall enrollment with financial support must be received by January 15. Applications without requests of financial assistance must be submitted by November 1. A complete application package must be submitted at the Graduate School web-page and should include the following items:

  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Previous transcripts from undergraduate and graduate institutions
  • TOEFL/IELTS (for international students only) and GRE/GMAT test scores
  • Three letters of recommendation from professional references
  • Application fee

GRE Exam Requirement:

Students may choose to take either GRE or GMAT. Students are expected to achieve the overall GRE score of 310, including at least 160 on the quantitative reasoning section.

TOEFL Exam Requirement:

All students whose first language is not English must submit an official TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS score. The minimum required iBT TOEFL score is 90 (575 in paper-based TOEFL). The language requirement may be waived for students with a US degree.

Phone/Skype Interview:

For a small group of selected applicants, short individual phone or Skype interviews will be conducted by Applied Statistics faculty.

Financial Support

Financial support is available on a competitive basis. A typical Teaching Assistantship provides a full tuition waiver, paid medical insurance, and at least $19,000 stipend for 9 months. It assumes a weekly 20-hour teaching/recitation load. Additional summer support of at least $3,000 is available for qualified candidates. Research Assistantships may be available on a competitive basis.

Coursework & Examination

Students are expected to finish the Ph.D. program in four years. They are required to take at least 48 credit hours of approved coursework and at least 24 dissertation hours. During the summer months, students are expected to enhance their research skills under the supervision of their academic advisors. Subject to evaluation, some coursework (but no more than 24 credit hours) may be transferred from previous graduate programs.

Required first-year courses:
ST 552 Applied Regression Analysis
ST 553 Applied Multivariate Analysis
ST 554 Mathematical Statistics I
ST 555 Mathematical Statistics II
ST 560 Satistical Methods

Required second-year courses
ST 603 Advanced Statistical Interfernce
ST 610 Advanced Linear Models

ST 521 Statistical Data Management
ST 522 Advanced Statistical Data Management
ST 531 Knowledge Discovery & Data Mining
ST 532 Advanced Data Mining II
ST 561 Applied Design of Experiments
ST 570 Time Series Analysis
ST 575 Statistical Quality Control
ST 635 Nonparametric Statistics
ST 640 Statistical Computing
ST 675 Advanced Statistical Quality Control
ST 697 Statistical Learning (or other special topics)

Qualifying Exam
At the end of the first academic year, Ph.D. students are required to take a qualifying examination. The exam is usually administered in the end of a spring semester based on the required MS level courses including ST 552, 553, 554, 555, and 560. The qualifying exam requirement may be waived for students holding an MS degree in statistics.

Comprehensive Exam
At the end of the second year or upon the completion of 12 credit hours at 600 level (ST 603, ST 610 and two statistics electives), students must take a comprehensive exam. The goal of the comprehensive exam is to assess the potential of a student to conduct independent research.
By the time of the comprehensive exam at latest, students are expected to find an advisor and form a dissertation committee.

Proposal Defense
Within a year after passing the comprehensive exam, students must present and defend their dissertation proposal.

Dissertation Defense
Dissertation defense is the final test that usually occurs at the end of the fourth year. A dissertation must present some original contribution to the statistics literature. A Ph.D. candidate must present a written document acceptable to the dissertation committee and Graduate School and pass dissertation defense.

Annual Interviews
Every year, Ph.D. students meet with Applied Statistics faulty to discuss their academic performance and progress in the program. Students who fail to meet the program requirements such as passing the qualifying exam, comprehensive exam, proposal and dissertation defenses, will be required to resolve all academic issues during the next semester. The failure to do so over the next semester leads to either the disruption of financial support or immediate dismissal from the Ph.D. program, subject to a faculty decision.