Requirements & Curriculum

Master of Arts in Statistics

The Master of Arts (MA) in Statistics is earned as part of working toward the PhD. Candidates for the MA degree must complete 30 semester hours of approved course work and must either complete an original thesis and defend it in a public oral examination or perform satisfactorily on the PhD comprehensive examinations and complete a major project.

PhD in Statistics

The PhD program in statistics is designed around a three-year course of study from a bachelor’s degree, or two-year course of study from a master’s degree in statistics. Comprehensive exams cover master’s level material and must be taken at the end of the first year of study or upon entering the program.

It is expected that the first year in the program will be spent mostly on courses, but by year two students should be integrated into a research program. By the end of the third year, successful students will have completed courses and started on full-time research.

PhD students are required to take 36 hours or 12 approved courses of non-thesis credit. With approval four of these twelve courses may come from outside the department or from a selection of masters-level courses* within the department, including some joint courses*. The student’s plan of study must be approved by the department graduate advisor.

*Master’s Level Courses: 518, 519, 605, 606, 615, 616, 682, 684, 685. Joint Listed Courses: 503, 509, 510, 610, 611


For the definitive source for graduate program requirements, visit General Announcements.

Course Curriculum

The core curriculum for the PhD program in Statistics includes a 2-semester sequence on the foundations of statistics, at least one course in advanced probability and one course in computing. Specifically the courses required are:

  • STAT 532/533, Foundations of Statistical Inference
  • STAT 581, Probability Theory or STAT 552 Applied Stochastic Processes
  • Demonstrated proficiency in computing such as STAT 605 or an approved course outside the department.**

Formally, candidates for the PhD degree in statistics must complete at least 90 semester hours of approved coursework, perform satisfactorily on preliminary and qualifying examinations, and complete an original thesis with a public oral defense.

**Courses taken to fulfill this requirement will be counted toward courses from outside the department or Master’s level.

Professional Development Courses

Outside of the 12 courses, our PhD students are required to participate in professional development graduate seminar in statistics (STAT 600 or 601) for 6 semesters (or 6 credit hours).

All statistics graduate students are assigned a limited amount of teaching and other departmental service as part of their graduate education.

Interinstitutional Biostatistics Graduate Program

The Department of Statistics has established formal agreements and programs with the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine to create the Interinstitutional Biostatistics Graduate Program.

The goal of the program is to create the to develop the technical, practical and leadership expertise of students in this important area of biostatistics, thereby enabling students to contribute significantly to the improvement of human health throughout the world.

Learn more about the Interinstitutional Biostatistics Graduate Program.