You are here

How to Apply

All applications for statistics graduate programs are completed online using SLATE. The graduate program in statistics ordinarily grants admission for entry in the fall semester, entry in spring and summer is rare and only considered under special circumstances.

Any student applying for a PhD or MS in Statistics is also eligible to apply for the Data Science in Multi-Messenger Astrophysics training program. If you are interested, send an email to nrtmma_info@umn.edu and tell us in your personal statement why you are interested in the program. More information can be found at https://dsmma.umn.edu/apply.

We will begin accepting applications for admission to the MS program in Fall Semester 2021 on October 15, 2020. Applications for admission to the PhD program in Fall Semester 2021 open November 10, 2020. Covid 19-related financial strictures require that we admit a very small PhD cohort for Fall 2021, restricted to the following subsets of students:

  • Statistics PhD students who are also in the Data Science in Multi-Messenger Astrophysics program.
  • Statistics PhD students who have been awarded a multi-year external fellowship (for example, NSF Graduate Fellowship, Fulbright-Hayes Fellowship, home government fellowship).
  • Statistics PhD students who can be supported on a current research grant with an open assistantship.

The priority deadline for applications is December 15, 2020, although applications received after December 15 will be reviewed on a space available basis. The final application deadline is March 15, 2021.

The School of Statistics is pleased to provide graduate application fee waivers for entry in Fall 2021 to the first 90 applicants who are US citizens or permanent residents. Detailed instructions can be found at the link under “Application Fee” below. You must apply for this fee waiver ahead of time as we are not able to reimburse the fee once you have paid it.

No individual faculty has the authority to admit a student directly into the PhD program.  All applicants should go through the formal application process to be reviewed by the admission committee. After joining the PhD program, students find their thesis advisors under mutual agreement, which typically occurs during the first or the second year of the study.

To apply to our graduate programs, you must complete the SLATE online application. Materials to upload include:

  • Application fee 
  • Transcript
    • An unofficial transcript is required.
  • 3 Letters of recommendation
    • Acceptable recommendations will come from current or former professors who can assess your potential for graduate work. Other recommenders, such as employers, are also acceptable.
    • Paper copies are not accepted. 
    • Applications without three letters of recommendation may be rejected without review.
  • GRE scores
    • The School of Statistics will not require GRE scores for applications submitted in 2020 for admission in Fall 2021.
  • TOEFL (for non-native English speakers):
    • Our institution code is 6874. 
    • A TOEFL score of at least 100 is required.
    • IELTS may be substituted for the TOEFL. 
      • An IELTS of at least 7 with a writing subscore of 6.5 is required.
    • The internet-based TOEFL is required for all applicants for whom English is not their native language, which includes all non-US citizens with the exception of those graduating from an English speaking university. 
    • Please review the complete information regarding the TOEFL requirement.
  • Statements
    • Personal and description of research statements are required.
  • CV/Resume
    • A CV or resume is required.

Contact Information

Questions about your application should be directed to the office of graduate admissions, which can be reached by email at gsquest@umn.edu or by phone at 612-625-3014.

Further inquiries for the School of Statistics may be directed to apply@stat.umn.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you require a minimum test score or GPA?

We do not require a minimum GPA for applicants, though students are required to maintain a 3.0 or higher.
We do not require a GRE score for fall 2021 admission.
The School of Statistics requires a minimum TOEFL score of 100.
IELTS may be substituted for the TOEFL. 
An IELTS of at least 7 with a writing subscore of 6.5 is required.

What is your deadline for admissions?

The priority deadline for applications is December 15, 2020, although applications received after December 15 will be reviewed on a space available basis. The final application deadline is March 15, 2021.

What materials do you require?
  • Application fee, but be sure to investigate the options available to have your fee waived 
  • Transcript
  • 3 Letters of recommendation
  • TOEFL or IELTS (for non-native English speakers):
  • Statements
  • Description of Research
  • Personal Statement
  • CV/Resume
I’m applying to the MS program. Do I still need to submit a Research Statement?

Yes, both statements are required for the MS and PhD programs.

The application website has a slot for a Diversity Statement, among other things not listed here. Do I need to submit additional materials?

You do not need to submit any additional materials that are not listed here on the statistics website. 

What are the required parameters for the statements?

We have no required parameters regarding content or format for either statement.

What are the prerequisites for admission?

We do not have any formal prerequisites. Nearly all successful applicants have familiarity with linear regression and multivariable calculus. Additional background in statistics, mathematics, computer science, or some other related area is also common. 

How many letters of recommendation do I need?

You need three letters of recommendation.

Do I need to submit my transcripts?

Yes, you need to submit an unofficial transcript.

I don’t have a background in statistics or mathematics, what are my chances of admission?

A strong mathematics background, especially in probability, statistics and linear algebra, is important in the admission process. However, it is not the only factor that determines which applicants are admitted. If such is the case, it is strongly suggested that prospective applicants consider strengthening their math skills and apply later.

Can I send you my materials to determine my chances of admission?

We will be unable to determine your chances of admission outside of the application system. 

How many applicants do you admit each year?

We matriculate approximately 20 students to the MS program and 8-10 PhD students each year.

Is financial support available for MS students?

We may have a few teaching and research assistantships available each term, but please do not apply based on this, as we cannot guarantee support.