PhD in Statistics


To receive the Ph.D. degree in mathematical statistics a student must display a high level of scholarship shown by the ability to do original research and should possess a broad knowledge of major fields of the subject. It is not necessary to obtain a master's degree before obtaining the doctorate.

Residence Requirements: The equivalent of at least three full years of graduate study is required, of which at least one must be in residence at the University of Maryland campus. At least 18 hours of course work must be taken at the University of Maryland, plus 12 hours of research at the Ph.D. level.

REQUIREMENTS: In order to receive a Ph.D. degree, the student must:

    1. Take a total of 30 hours of courses carrying graduate credit, of which at least 18 are at the 600/700 level and not less than 12 hours are at the 600/700 level in statistics and probability (STAT).
    2. Satisfy the qualifying exam requirements in one of the two following ways:
          • Method 1Pass all 3 qualifying exams in statistics:
                • Applied Statistics – topics covered in course sequence STAT 740/741
                • Statistics – topics covered in course sequence STAT 700/701
                • Probability – topics covered in course sequence STAT 600/601
          • Method2:
                • Pass any 2 of the 3 qualifying exams:
                        • Applied Statistics – topics covered in course sequence STAT 740/741
                        • Statistics – topics covered in course sequence STAT 700/701
                        • Probability – topics covered in course sequence STAT 600/601
                • Complete course sequence of the exam you choose not to take
                • Complete two additional courses from the list below:
                        • STAT 650 (Applied Stochastic Processes)
                        • STAT 702 (Survival Analysis)
                        • STAT 705 (Computational Statistics)
                        • STAT 730 (Time Series)
                        • STAT 750 (Multivariate Analysis)
                        • STAT 770 (Categorical Data Analysis)
                • Note: All courses completed must be at least B (3.0) and the overall GPA must be at least 3.3 for the courses used to satisfy this requirement.
    3. Give an acceptable Doctoral Candidate's Presentation (oral presentation) in an area of current research to be admitted to candidacy (see Doctoral Candidate's Presentation information below)
    4. Participate in the probability and statistics seminar and statistics workshop (STAT 689)
    5. This participation will be checked and enforced by the thesis advisor
    6. Pass the final oral examination (see Final Oral Examination information below). This includes the following:
        • Be admitted to candidacy no later than the year previous to the one in which the degree is granted.
        • Prepare a dissertation representing an original contribution to existing knowledge of statistics, probability, or related area

Doctoral Candidate's Presentation: As a condition for Ph.D. candidacy, the student must make an oral presentation in an area of current research. The level of the presentation should demonstrate depth of knowledge, familiarity with research literature, and ability to write a doctoral dissertation on a topic related to the subject of the presentation. The subject matter will be determined by the student with the help of his prospective thesis advisor. An examining committee of three statistics faculty members is appointed by the Program Director. At the conclusion of the presentation, the committee judges the presentation as acceptable or unacceptable. The committee may question the student on other material, if they deem such questioning necessary to reach a judgement.

Final Oral Examination: The final oral examining committee must consist of five members, one of whom is a regular member of the graduate faculty of a department other than mathematics. Each member of the committee must be given a copy of the dissertation at least two weeks prior to the examination

Progress expected of full-time students:

By end of:Ideal ProgressTo Maintain SupportTo Remain in Program
1st Year Prepare for and pass 2 qualifying exams Pass 12 credit hours with at least a 2.75 GPA Pass 24 units each term with at least a 2.75 GPA
2nd Year Finish the 4 courses and choose field/advisor Pass 1 exam by January, and pass 24 credit hours, at least 15 of which are at 600 level, with 3.0 GPA Pass 24 units each term with at least a 3.0 GPA
3rd Year Advance to candidacy, start working on dissertation Pass all exams and course requirements by January of 3rd year Pass all exams and course requirements by January of 3rd year
4th Year Make good progress toward dissertation Reach candidacy by March 1 Pass 24 units each term with at least 3.0 GPA
5th Year Finish dissertation, publish paper(s) and apply for jobs Make good progress toward finishing dissertation Pass 24 units each term with at least 3.0 GPA and reach candidacy
6th Year --- Last year of suppport eligibility Have a further 4 years to complete PhD

 

To convert credit hours to units:

  • 899, units = 18 × credits
  • 799, units = 12 × credits
  • 600 level, units = 6 × credits
  • 400 level, units = 4 × credits

Additional Notes: 

  1. The time limits for support by the Mathematics Department apply even if the student is not supported by the Mathematics Department for some intervening period.
  2. In the absence of exceptional circumstances, students who do not pass all of their written qualifying exams by the end of the January cycle of their THIRD year will be dropped from the program.
  3. In some cases, upon admission, the Graduate Director can negotiate a slower timetable. Examples include part-time students, and students that would benefit from taking 400-level courses in their first year.
  4. Since the requirements in the Scientific Computation concentration of the AMSC program are somewhat different, there is a separate set of charts for students in this concentration.
  5. For students in the Applied Mathematics concentration of the AMSC program, "qualifying exam" may in some cases be replaced by its equivalent in other departments. In BMGT, this may mean two written examinations (since they only cover one semester of material each), and in CMSC this may mean "qualifying requirement".
  6. Please note that it is a University requirement that a student be registered during the semester that they plan on completing their degree/graduating.