The PhD in Statistics program is a four-year degree that focuses on training future researchers on the theory and methods of statistics. Major emphases are placed on probability models and modern computational statistical tools. Throughout the program, students are exposed to central ideas of both Bayesian and classical approaches to inference. 

The degree consists of 52+ hours of coursework, distributed as follows:

1. 22 hours of required courses in statistical theory and methods
2. 18 hours of electives (research, free, and/or substantive area)
3. 12+ hours of dissertation (minimum, one semester reading and one semester writing)

The PhD in Statistics is expected four years to complete.

Recommended Course Sequence (starting Fall 2017)

Year 1

Fall Spring
SDS 384 Mathematical Statistics I
  SDS 384.11 Theoretical Statistics
SDS 383C Statistical Modeling I
  SDS 383D Statistical Modeling II
SDS 387 Linear Models   SDS 386D Monte Carlo Methods
SDS 190 Readings in Statistics   SDS 190 Readings in Statistics
    ***Preliminary WRITTEN EXAM***

Year 2

Fall Spring
Elective (research, free, or substantive)   Elective (research, free, or substantive)
Elective (research, free, or substantive)
  Elective (research, free, or substantive)
Elective (research, free, or substantive)   Elective (research, free, or substantive)
SDS 190 Readings in Statistics   SDS 190 Readings in Statistics
    ****Candidacy ORAL EXAM***

Year 3

Dissertation (reading)

*****SDS Seminar Presentation*****

Year 4

Dissertation (writing)

 

Candidacy/Dissertation

Students in the doctoral program in Statistics will be required to satisfactorily complete a written preliminary exam at the end of the first year and an oral candidacy exam at the end of the second year to advance to candidacy.

The preliminary examination will be given at the end of the student’s fourth full semester in residence. The examination has two purposes: to assess the student’s strengths and weaknesses and to determine whether the student should continue in the PhD program. The exam will cover the core material covered in courses SDS 384.2, 384.11, 383C, 387, 383D, and 386D. Students who pass the exam will be encouraged to begin research on potential dissertation topics while they complete their second year of required coursework.

At the end of the second year, students are expected to present their plan of study for the dissertation in an oral candidacy exam. During this exam, students must demonstrate their research proficiency to their PhD committee members. Students who successfully complete the candidacy exam can apply for admission to candidacy for the PhD once they have completed their required coursework and satisfied departmental requirements.

Students who are admitted to candidacy will be expected to complete and defend their PhD thesis before the PhD committee to be awarded the degree. The final examination, which is oral, is administered only after all course, research and dissertation requirements have been fulfilled. It is expected that students will be prepared to defend by the end of their fourth year in the doctoral program.

Application for Candidacy