Information for Applicants Directly to the PhD Program

This page gives information for PhD applicants who are not already OSU Statistics students. Students enrolled in OSU's MS program in statistics who wish to apply for the PhD program should follow the procedure described in Section C.4 of the Graduate Student Guidebook.

Applicants to the PhD program from outside OSU must have earned a master's degree in statistics from another university before enrolling in classes at OSU. A master's degree in mathematics is not sufficient preparation for the statistics PhD program. Please also note that the degree in statistics should be comparable to our own MS degree. A one-year professional master's degree would not provide an adequate foundation for PhD coursework and research at OSU. If you have such a professional degree, please apply to our MS program.

Applications should be for fall term only.

Make sure you have all requirements for admission, including advanced calculus.

We accept only the top applicants to the PhD program. The evaluation criteria include all application materials. We also determine whether one or more of our faculty would be a suitable PhD research advisors. You have an opportunity to state potential mentors during the application process. Please use this opportunity to list any faculty members you are interested in working with. It is not necessary to contact these faculty members directly.

If accepted into the PhD program, you will have provisional status during the first year. The provisions are:

  • Obtain a high score on the two comprehensive exams, administered immediately before classes begin each fall. Details about these are given in Section D of the Graduate Student Guidebook. Most provisional PhD students take the comprehensive exam in Statistical Theory before their first term at OSU and take the comprehensive exam in Statistical Methods the following year after taking ST 551-2-3, the first-year MS Methods course.
  • By the end of your first year, you will identify a faculty member who is willing to supervise your PhD research.