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Course Requirements - PhD

Core Requirements

The core of the PhD degree consists of two parts: A First-Year core, for students who have not had previous equivalent training elsewhere, and a Second-Year core.

First Year Core

The First-Year core is in fact one of the options that you may choose for the MS degree outlined in the chapter immediately preceding this one. That First-Year core provides training in

Linear Models:

For students who entered in Spring 2018 or after: STAT 6430 and STAT 8260 For students who entered in Fall 2017 or before: STAT 6420 and STAT 8260


Probability and Inference: STAT 6810 and 6820.

From Fall 2018, the department has introduced three 1-credit hour supplemental study sessions, STAT 6811, STAT 6821, and STAT 8261, one for each of the respective core courses, STAT 6810, STAT 6820, and STAT 8260. In each case, enrollment in the session will be optional for students in the corresponding core course, but students will  not be able   to enroll in the problem session (e.g., STAT 6811) without being in the corresponding 3- hour course (STAT 6810). That is, STAT 6810 will be a co-requisite for STAT 6811, but not vice versa. The co-requisite relationship will hold for STAT 6820-21 and STAT 8260-61.

The Second-Year core covers:

For students who entered in Spring 2018 or after:

  • STAT 8060 Computing Techniques in Statistics I, STAT 8170 Probability Theory,
  • STAT 8350 Bayesian Data Analysis, and STAT 8530 Advanced Inference.

For students who entered in Fall 2017 or before:

  • STAT 8170 Probability Theory, STAT 8530 Advanced Inference,
  • STAT 8620 Categorical Data Analysis and Generalized Linear Models, and STAT 8700 Stochastic Processes.

Sub-Core Requirements

For Spring 2018 or later entrance: No Sub-Core Requirements

For Fall 2017 or before entrance: You are required to choose two of the following sub- core courses.

Elective Requirements

You may choose:

6 for Spring 2018 or later entrance 4 for Fall 2017 or before entrance

for electives from among all 8000-level courses, except 8040, 8200, 8250, and any other 8000-level course aimed at students who are not in Statistics; 8910 and 8920; and any 8000-level course cross-listed with Biostatistics and Bioinformatics (e.g., 8050, 8220, 8440,…).

Research Skills Requirements

To pursue research effectively you must develop a facility with certain research skills   and tools such as reading research papers and effectively communicating results to an audience. Toward this goal, the Department requires  all  supported students to enroll in STAT 8910 (1 credit) from second to sixth semester. In Semester 2, students will attend talks by departmental faculty; in semesters 3-6 students will be required to attend departmental colloquia. The Department also strongly encourages all students to take STAT 8920. These courses are designed to help you develop the habit of attending research talks, understand the research that is on the cutting edge of statistics, learn about professional development as a research scientist, and get a head-start on your dissertation research. More about these courses may be found in the chapter on Research Skills Requirements.

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