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- Prospective Students
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1. Does the department have "letter of recommendation" forms for applicants to give to their references?
No. Please use the Graduate School's on-line system for letters of recommendation. Approximately two business days after the Graduate School receives and processes your application, both you and your references will receive an e-mail about using the online reference system. If your letter-writers are unable to use the online system, please ask them to send letters directly to the Graduate School.
2. What are my chances of admission and of receiving financial assistantship?
We cannot provide an answer to this question prior to review of the full application packet. To succeed in our programs, students need strong math and language skills. However, since we look at each application on its own merits, we do not have any absolute cutoffs for GRE scores, GPA, or other numerical information. It would be much better for you to ask this question of a college advisor who knows you and your work. We offer assistantships to the top applicants whose applications are complete by the deadline. The number of available assistantships varies from year to year, so we cannot predict how many assistantship offers we will make in the future.
3. Is it possible to begin studies in a term other than Fall?
No. Applications are accepted for fall term admission only. The main sequences for first-year MS students begin in the Fall term. If you were to begin in Winter or Spring then you would not have many classes available to you and you wouldn’t finish your degree any sooner than if you began the following Fall. Students who already have a Master’s degree in Statistics and are admitted to the PhD program must pass two comprehensive exams before beginning PhD coursework. These exams are administered just prior to Fall term.
4. Is there a biostatistics program?
Note: “biostatistics” refers to statistical methodology for medical studies; “biometrics” refers to statistical methodology associated with biological sciences. There is a Masters of Public Health with a Biostatistics track offered at OSU. The Statistics Department does provide training in the appropriate statistical tools associated with biostatistical analysis and offers an emphasis in biostatistics. Many of our graduates take (and do quite well in!) biostatistics jobs in cancer research institutes and pharmaceutical companies. We do offer full training in what would be called biometrics.
5. Can the application fee be waived or deferred?
The Graduate School collects the application fee to cover their processing effort and will rarely waive the fee. Please see here for more information.
6. Can I enter without the mathematical statistics prerequisite?
Provisional admission may be granted to students who have scientific maturity and exposure to statistics but who have not taken a course in mathematical statistics. Once the introduction to mathematical statistics has been completed their status is changed to one of full admission. Often, students who are granted provisional admission fulfill the requirement by taking ST 421 and ST 422 as a non-degree-seeking student at OSU during the summer, so that they have full graduate status at the beginning of Fall term. International students may not be able to obtain a visa to allow them a non-degree-seeking student status.
7. Will a financial certification (for international students) hurt my chances of receiving aid?
No. Our decisions about financial assistantships are based on our assessment of the applicant’s prospects for graduate studies and for fulfilling the duties associated with the assistantship, and not on need. We do not review the financial certification, and this form is not required in the application. If we accept your application, the Graduate School will request the financial certification form.
8. Should I check the MS or PhD box for desired degree?
If you will not have an MS degree in Statistics before beginning our program, check the MS box, even if you have a masters degree in Mathematics or a related field. Upon completion of the MS degree you would then apply for admission to the PhD program. This is the way it works at most graduate departments, even if you are nominally in their PhD program. You must complete the MS before advancing to the PhD program. If you already have a MS degree in Statistics, check the PhD box. More information about applying directly to the PhD program is here.
9. Where should I send my application materials?
All application materials should be sent to the OSU Graduate Admissions Office in order to be attached to your application. The Statistics department is not equipped to receive any application materials.
10. When will I learn about admission and financial assistantship?
We make our first set of financial assistantship offers in mid-February. At that time, we will notify all applicants (whose applications were complete by the deadline) whether they have been accepted and whether we are offering them financial aid. We make notifications by email, so make sure that your email address is entered correctly in the online application system and that you check your email regularly. We recommend adding oregonstate.edu to your trusted email recipient list. Since some of the candidates who are made offers will decline, we will continue to make financial offers until all assistantship positions are filled. In the past, we have often still had positions to fill in April and May, and sometimes as late as June.
11. How will I know that all my application materials have been received?
This can be accomplished through the online system you used to apply. After submitting your application, the Graduate School will send you information for logging onto the system. It is your responsibility to check this system to make sure all documents have been received by the deadline.
12. How easy is it to get provisional status if I don’t have the mathematical statistics prerequisite?
The provisional admission is intended for students who have had calculus, linear algebra, exposure to statistics, and some scientific maturity (for example, a degree and some research in biology).
13. What is the average (or minimum) GRE, TOEFL, or GPA of applicants to your program?
We do not keep data on these numerical criteria. We consider each application on its own merits. Applicants should satisfy the Graduate School's Minimum Academic Requirements. International applicants must satisfy the Graduate School's English language proficiency requirements for regular admission.
14. How many applications do you receive, and how many do you accept?
The number of applicants and acceptances varies from year to year. Our policy is to accept all MS applications that demonstrate a high likelihood of success in our program. We are not able to offer financial aid to all accepted students.
15. I am an international student, and my TOEFL speak score is less than 22 and/or one or more of my reading, listening, and writing scores is less than 19. Do I have a chance to receive financial aid?
To be considered for a teaching assistantship, the Statistics Department requires a TOEFL score of at least 22 on the speaking portion and 19 on the other three subtests. Because teaching assistantships comprise nearly all of the financial aid in our department, if you do not meet this standard, it is unlikely that we would be able to give you an assistantship.
16. How do I apply for financial assistance?
Answer "yes" when the online application system asks if you wish to be considered for a Graduate Teaching Assistantship and Graduate Research Assistantship. The Statistic Department has no additional application process.
17. Where do I upload documents like a CV or transcripts?
After you submit your application via the online system, wait for an e-mail from the Graduate School containing information about uploading documents.