Admission Requirements

PhD Degree




Full-Time Master's Degree

Part-Time/Concurrent Master's Degree

Departmental procedures for graduate student evaluations and funding/enrollment continuation

The purpose of this document is to communicate to students the procedures by which their academic progress is assessed by faculty, how funding decisions are made by the faculty, and how these decisions should be communicated to students.
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On this page there are resources for both graduate students and those who work with graduate students. This will include Minority, Master's, and Ph.D. students, as well as Graduate School policies that govern and guide graduate education in general at the University of Washington.
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Our View

Statistical thinking is pervasive in all disciplines engaged in empirical inquiry. The purpose of Statistical Science is to develop methods for designing and analyzing such inquiries, and to disseminate this methodology through teaching and scholarly communication.

Development of useful statistical methodology cannot take place in a vacuum. To be scientifically relevant this development should be problem-driven, motivated and guided by applications of scientific importance. Identifying and understanding important applications requires interaction with other disciplines that acquire and analyze data. Collaborative research is therefore essential to the viability and growth of Statistics.

While mathematics provides the machinery for theoretical analysis of statistical procedures, Statistics is not a subfield of Mathematics. In the last 20 years, data collection and data analysis have been transformed by the computer revolution. Computers have made it feasible to collect large data sets (gigabytes of information). The pervasiveness of computers in daily life brought on by services such as the Web and Internet shopping is giving rise to entirely new data sources and data types. Computers also have tremendously expanded the range of statistical tools that can be implemented in practice. The Bootstrap, nonparametric prediction methods like CART and Neural Networks, the Cox model for survival analysis, The Grand Tour and scatterplot painting for data visualization, Bayesian networks and graphical Markov models, and Markov Chain Monte Carlo would have been unthinkable without the advances in computing.

Demand is rapidly increasing for new data analytic tools, and for individuals trained to invent, evaluate, and apply them. The increasing importance of computers in both data collection and data analysis has made expertise in computing an important prerequisite for creating and applying new and innovative data analysis tools. Computer Science is approaching a position on par with Mathematics as a foundation for Statistics. In order to live at the cutting edge of data analysis, statisticians must account for this paradigm shift in their research and teaching.

At the time of the establishment of the Department of Statistics at the University of Washington in 1979, the Departments of Mathematics and Biostatistics already had strong and thriving programs in probability theory, mathematical statistics, and statistical applications. The Statistics Department dedicated itself to further strengthening these areas while developing new expertise in the emerging and important area of computer-intensive statistical methodology. Collaborative, cross-disciplinary research was also emphasized and continues to be a distinguishing feature of its academic program. The recently established Northwest Research Center for Statistics and the Environment (NRCSE), the Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences(CSSS), and the Statistical Genetics (StatGen) program provide exciting new research opportunities for both faculty and graduate students.

General Information

Graduate Programs
Program ListStat. PhD (pre 2012)  |  Stat. PhD (post 2012)  |  Part-Time MSc  |  Full-Time MSc 
ExamsPhD |  Part-Time MSc |  Full-Time MSc
Procedures and GuidelinesPhD Supervisory Committee | Dissertation | General Exam | Reading Committee and Final Exam 
Optional PhD Tracks: Statistical GeneticsStatistics in the Social SciencesMachine Learning and Big Data

The PhD program in Statistics at the University of Washington recruits enthusiastic, capable students, pursuing careers that involve research in Statistics and Probability, both the theory and applications thereof.

The Department of Statistics currently (2008-2009 ) has forty-two faculty members and fifty graduate students. Additionally, a continuous flow of visiting faculty and postdoctoral fellows contributes greatly to the academic environment.

By means of joint faculty appointments and joint research projects we maintain active academic contact with the departments of; BiostatisticsComputer ScienceEconomicsGeneticsGeological SciencesGeophysicsMathematicsPsychology,RadiologySociologyBiologythe Center for Quantitative Science in Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife (CQS), the College of Engineering, the School of Business Administration, the Applied Physics Laboratory, the Applied Statistics Division of the Boeing Company, and Insightful Corp. (formerly known as the Data Analysis Division of Mathsoft).

Recently, Statistics faculty have been involved in several major interdisciplinary research initiatives. These provide exciting research opportunities for our graduate students and faculty, as well as attracting many stimulating visitors:

Other important UW interdisciplinary programs involving Statistics faculty and graduate students include:

The graduate programs in Statistics, Biostatistics, and QERM are closely coordinated. The program of study emphasizes both statistical theory and methodology, and includes probability theory, mathematical statistics, computing, data analysis, and scientific applications. Students in the three programs take many of their courses together and also participate in the statistical consulting program. This affords the opportunity to learn the practical application of statistics by consulting with researchers from the various colleges of the University. Activities range from providing statistical advice for doctoral students in various disciplines to collaborative involvement in major research projects under the supervision of the faculty.

Summers are active at the University of Washington: Many visitors are attracted by our academic and recreational opportunities, so the Department has frequent summer seminars. Recreation is important all year around; hiking, climbing, and skiing possibilities abound, and the Department usually has pickup soccer games and intramural teams.

Most students receive full financial support in the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, or fellowships throughout their graduate careers. Summer support is generally available for students wanting to continue their studies during the summer months. The current (2008-2009 ) TA or RA minimum stipend is $15,462 for the nine-month academic year.

If you are thinking about becoming a statistician, wondering what it is a statistician even does, or curious what you might end up studying as a graduate student in the field of statistics, please check out our website Studying Statistics at the UW. For more information about going to graduate school, check out Tips for Graduate School.


Admission Requirements

Applications for Autumn 2018 may be submitted online at the Graduate School Application website. We ONLY accept applications for Autumn quarter.

The deadlines for COMPLETED applications are:

  • December 1, 2017 - PhD applications (For PhD applicants, a limited number of teaching assistantships will be available beginning Autumn 2018). We are no longer accepting PhD applications for Autumn 2018.

  • Accepted Ph.D. applicants will be invited to attend the Department's Visitation Day, to be held in March 2018. They will have the opportunity to see the campus, meet the faculty, staff, and students, learn more about the academic program, and experience the Seattle social scene. Accommodations for visiting students for the night preceding and the night following Visitation Day will be provided, mainly by our current graduate students, and the department will cover the cost of airfare for Visitation Day up to a maximum of $500. Accepted applicants who wish to visit on a different date will be welcomed but Departmental support will not be available.

  • April 15, 2018 - Concurrent MS applications 

  • December 31, 2017- Full-time fee-based Statistics Master's applications deadline for Autumn 2018 admissions. We are no longer accepting MS full-time applications for Autumn 2017.


All applicants for graduate studies in Statistics are required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test and are strongly encouraged but not required to take the GRE Mathematics Subject Test. All applicants should arrange to have three letters of recommendation submitted online. Unofficial transcripts are required from all previous schools attended. A statement of purpose is also required. Application instructions, including how to apply to the UW Graduate School electronically, are posted at Application for Graduate Admission

All international and immigrant status applicants-including transfer applicants-whose native language is not English are required by the Graduate School to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Almost all of our graduate students are supported through teaching assistantships. To be eligible, you need to satisfy the above and also have either:

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited US institution
  • A score of at least 26 on the speaking section of the TOEFL-iBT or 7.0 on the speaking section of the IELTS.

If you have a score of 23-25 on the speaking section of the TOEFL, then if you are admitted, you may take the VERSANT test after you arrive. With a sufficiently high score, you are qualified to teach. Otherwise, you will be required to enroll in and pass English 105.


ALL MATERIALS (INCLUDING TRANSCRIPTS) SHOULD BE SUBMITTED ONLINE. Please do NOT mail any materials to the department unless you are unable to submit them online. A complete application consists of:

  1. Online application and payment of $85 non-refundable application fee (or $75 for Graduate Non-Matriculated applications, subject to change without notice)
  2. Online submission of Statement of Purpose
  3. Submission of official GRE score (all applicants via ETS - institution code 4854) and online submission of self-reported GRE score (all applicants) and TOEFL score (most international applicants*)
  4. Online submission of three letters of recommendation**
  5. Online submission of unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  6. Online submission of resume/vitae
  7. Optional: online submission of GRE Advanced Mathematics Subject Test score
  8. Optional: online submission of Assistantship & Fellowship application (PDF document), if financial assistantship is desired

All of the above materials should be submitted using the Graduate School application website.

OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS ARE NOT REQUIRED. You may send unofficial transcripts via the online application system. If you are unable to submit them online or choose to submit hard copy materials (transcripts, letters), please mail them to:

Standard postal mail:
University of Washington
Department of Statistics – (PhD, or MS (full-time), or MS (part-time)) Admissions Committee
B-313 Padelford Hall, Campus Box 354322
Seattle, WA 98195-4322

Express or courier service (FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc.):
University of Washington
Department of Statistics – (PhD, or MS (full-time) or MS (part-time)) Admissions Committee
B-313 Padelford Hall
Seattle, WA 98195-4322

If you have further questions, the Stat admissions FAQ may be of help, or your questions may be answered below.

Important Note for International Applicants: 

* The following are exempt from taking the TOEFL or IELTS (We are phasing out usage of IELTS. IELTS with a test session date after May 30, 2017 will not be accepted): Applicants who hold either a bachelor's, masters or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or from an institution in Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, or the United Kingdom. While enrolled at the degree-granting school, the student must be in residence on campus. OR applicants who can provide documentation verifying that their undergraduate degree is from an institution (in a country other than those listed above) where all instruction is in English. For all others, a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is required. Test scores are valid for two years and must be valid on the date the application is submitted. For more information on English language requirements, please see the Graduate School's Memorandum No. 8. PLEASE NOTE: We are phasing out usage of IELTS. IELTS with a test session date after November 1, 2016 will not be accepted.

** If your recommenders prefer to send hard-copy letters, they should be addressed to the Department at: the University of Washington, Department of Statistics -- (PhD or MS (full-time)) Admissions Committee, B-313 Padelford Hall, Campus Box 354322, Seattle WA 98195-4322. We STRONGLY encourage recommenders to use the online submission for letter. 

NOTE: International Applicants - When you receive notification that you have been recommended for admission by your graduate program, you must then submit official transcripts and additional application materials to the Graduate School.

NOTE: Domestic Applicants - When you accept your formal offer of admission, you must then provide an official final degree transcript to the Graduate School. 

Standard postal mail: 
University of Washington
Graduate Enrollment Management Services
Box 353770
Seattle, WA 98195-2191

Express or courier service (FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc.):
University of Washington
Graduate Enrollment Management Services
301 Loew Hall
3920 Stevens Way
Seattle, WA 98195-2191

  • Deadline: All PhD application materials for the graduate school and the department must be received by December 1st.


Information for Non-Matriculated and Graduate Non-Matriculated Students

This information is for people who are not UW students, and who want to take one or more Statistics courses. There are two options available depending on your educational goals:

  • Non-Matriculated ("NM") student status should be obtained by people who want to take courses for personal or professional enrichment.
  • Graduate Non-Matriculated ("GNM") student status should be obtained by people who intend to apply to our graduate program at a later date and who wish to apply up to 12 credits of coursework to a possible future degree.

Students in either category who are faculty or staff members at the University of Washington may use their tuition exemption benefit. Information on this benefit may be found at the Human Resources Tuition Exemption benefit page.

Non-Matriculated students should:

  • follow the registration procedures at the Non-Degree Enrollment site
  • obtain permission from the course instructor
  • bring registration forms to the department for signatures after the instructor has signed

Graduate Non-Matriculated students should:

  • apply online through the Graduate School Application  
  • a complete online application consists of:
    1. online application and payment of $75 application fee
    2. online submission of a brief Statement of Purpose listing courses you plan to take and your future goals
    3. online submission of GRE score
    4. online submission of three letters of recommendation
    5. online submission of unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
    6. online submission of resume/vitae

Graduate Non-Matriculated: application deadlines are September 1 for Autumn quarter; December 1 for Winter quarter; March 1 for Spring quarter; and May 15 for Summer quarter.

Please send GNM transcripts and statement of purpose to:

Standard postal mail:
University of Washington
Department of Statistics - GNM Admissions Committee
B-313 Padelford Hall, Campus Box 354322
Seattle, WA 98195-4322

Express or courier service (FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc.):
University of Washington
Department of Statistics - GNM Admissions Committee
B-313 Padelford Hall
Seattle, WA 98195-4322

Visiting Graduate Students should:

  • Submit a Graduate School application form to the Graduate Admissions Office
  • Apply online at: Apply online.

For more information:


Contact us

If you have any further questions, or if you intend to visit the campus, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to meet with you and to answer your questions. The Stat admissions FAQ may answer some questions you have about the application process. Otherwise please address them to the following:

(Updated August 2014)

Graduate Guide

This guide was written by past/present graduate students. We hope it will help in easing the transition to grad life here or in your decision to apply. It contains information on the department, coursework, requirements and on the university and community. You should check out the official Statistics department pages for course requirements etc (i.e. we might have things slightly wrong and don't want you to blame us!). The links below will often include a link to the official page.

Also check out the Graduate School's portal for grad students.

Common Acronyms
Who's Who in the Department
Before You Arrive
Money Matters
General Stuff
Courses & Prelims
PhD Exams & Committees
Getting a Job
Funding & Advisors
Departmental & UW Activities
Seattle Information
Stat. Orgs with Membership Deals for Students