Feb 27, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin 
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Statistics, PhD

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The Department of Statistics offers programs of study leading to the degrees of Master of Science (Plan A or B available), Doctor of Philosophy, and Master of Applied Statistics (Online). The M.S. degree is professionally oriented for the student who plans a career in government, business or industry and is preparatory for the Ph.D. The Ph.D. program offers a broad training in both statistical theory and methods while affording options to suit the student’s interests. The statistics Ph.D. is well-suited for academic, business, government and industrial positions. In addition to formal course work and research training, the advanced student has opportunities to gain valuable practical experience by participating in consulting activities under faculty supervision. Master of Applied Statistics is an innovative online professional graduate degree which is designed to train professional, practice-oriented statisticians who have both data analytic and computing skills.

Both, the M.S. and the Ph.D. program offer a Mathematical Statistics track, as well as a Biostatistics track. The latter tracks are designed for students who envision a future at the interface of Statistics and the Life Sciences.

Course work is available in areas associated with statistics such as biological modeling, probability, inference, experimental design and analysis, computational statistics, nonparametric methods, Bayesian analysis, mixed modeling, multivariate analysis, survival analysis, clinical trials, and many other selected topics of the student’s choice.

The University of Kentucky is represented on the Committee on Statistics of the Southern Regional Education Board.


Admission Requirements

Students with an undergraduate major in any of the mathematical, physical, biological, social or applied sciences are encouraged to apply.  The minimum GRE and GPA admissions requirements for the M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Statistics are the same as for the Graduate School. However, the number of admissions is limited and admissions decisions are made on a competitive basis. All M.S. applicants must have successfully completed a three or four semester sequence in calculus and a course in linear algebra and have good communication skills. In addition, all Ph.D. applicants must have mastered the equivalent of MA 471G. All Master of Applied Statistics applicants must have completed two semesters of calculus and a course in statistical methodology. Students wishing to apply for teaching assistantships and/or fellowships must submit three letters of recommendation.  Applicants wishing to be admitted directly to the Ph.D. program must have an M.S. in Statistics and the permission of the Director of Graduate Studies.

Please see the departmental website for up-to-date information and answers to frequently asked questions about the admissions process.

Degree Requirements

The core curriculum in statistics is designed to provide doctoral candidates with a firm foundation in probability theory, inference, and classical methodology. In addition, the theory and application of computational statistics, biostatistics, and state-of-the-art inferential procedures are an integral part of the core curriculum.

Students in the doctoral program in statistics will choose one of two areas of specialization, 1) mathematical statistics/probability or 2) biostatistics. The requirements for these areas of specialization are:


Mathematical Statistics/Probability




All students must take an additional six elective courses chosen by the student and approved by the DGS. These courses must be chosen from among STA 612  , STA 616, STA 621  , STA 624  , STA 626  , STA 630  , STA 635  , STA 643  , STA 644  , STA 653  , STA 661  , STA 662  , STA 665  , CPH 631, CPH 636, and CPH 664. STA 695   will also be considered on a case-by-case basis. If a student completes both STA 702   and STA 709  , the student may choose their official track and count the non-required course as an elective. Note that STA 715   (reading course) may not be used to satisfy elective requirements. Students must successfully complete a common written exam over STA 701   and STA 703   plus respective prerequisites.  A student who takes both STA 653   and CPH 664, may only receive credit towards the degree for one of these two courses.

Students must pass a uniform written exam over STA 701   and STA 703   plus respective prerequisites. This exam will normally be offered in January and students will usually sit for the written examination at the beginning of the Spring semester in the third year of the program. The uniform exam can be repeated once. After completion of tract course requirements and successful completion of the written exam, students must also successfully complete an oral qualifying exam which is scheduled through the Graduate School and administered by the student’s advisory committee. A significant part of this exam is to be a dissertation proposal.

Areas of current research interest can be found by going to the Department of Statistics faculty web page https://stat.as.uky.edu/.

All students, master’s and doctoral, will be required to take part in an internship program. This will usually consist of teaching (three or six semester hours) or an equivalent amount of work in a research assistantship working with researchers across campus.

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