PhD in Statistics

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program in Statistics prepares students for careers in industry, research institutions, and universities. The students initially undergo a sound training in theory and applied statistics, followed by advanced courses and dissertation research. Statistics faculty in the department work in diverse areas of research topics and are also actively involved in interdisciplinary research collaboration. This provides our PhD students a wide array of research topics to choose from for their PhD dissertation.

All PhD students have the opportunity to work as paid interns in the nearby industries and research institutions, such as Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Proctor & Gamble, and Medpace, after they finish a set of core applied statistics courses.  The internships are coordinated by the Department. The Department is consistently successful in placing most of our students with an internship of student’s interest. The internship offers the students experience in applying statistical methods they learn to real-world problems under the mentorship of experienced statisticians and researchers, while they pursue their PhD degree. Students also have the opportunity to choose a PhD dissertation research topic related to their internship work.  

The multifaceted training of our students, through course work, research, and the wide range of interdisciplinary experience through internship, sets our PhD program apart from other PhD programs in statistics. Our past students have had an extremely high success rate of employment in industries, research institutions, and universities after graduation.

Admission Requirements

Students applying for the program should have or be expecting to obtain a bachelor’s degree in statistics or a related area. Specifically, all students should have taken: 

  • Three semesters of calculus up to and including multivariate calculus
  • A semester course in linear algebra
  • A semester course in calculus-based probability and statistics
  • Courses in pure and applied statistics similar to STAT 6021-6022 (Mathematical Statistics I and II) and STAT 6031 (Applied Regression Analysis) and STAT 6032 (Design and Analysis of Experiments).

An official GRE score is not required for admission, but a quantitative score of 160 or higher is recommended.

Proficiency in English is required of international students whose native language is not English.  The minimum scores required for admission and to be considered for an assistantship are as follows:






IELTS (overall band)









The English proficiency requirement is met for applicants with degrees earned in English from accredited universities and colleges in the US or other English-speaking countries.

Financial Support

Most of our PhD students receive full financial support (tuition remission and a Graduate Assistantship, a fellowship, or an internship), and most are supported through their entire UC career.  Travel support is available for students to attend or present their work at conferences.  

All applicants for the PhD program are automatically reviewed for graduate assistantship eligibility at the time of application. 

Application Instructions

Applicants will need to meet the minimum requirements to be considered for the program. Completed applications will be reviewed beginning February 1. We will continue to receive applications until all positions are filled.

All application materials from international students requiring a US visa must be received prior to April 1 (but sooner is better) in order to allow time for the necessary paperwork to be processed. The visa application process can often take 90 days or more to complete.

How to apply: 

1. Create an online application

2. Include these documents in your application:

  • Three letters of recommendation. The application system will automatically send an email to each of the recommenders with a link to submit their letters. 
  • Unofficial copy of transcript (official transcript will be required if you are admitted to the program). 
  • GRE general test score
  • Statement of purpose/cover letter 
  • English Proficiency for international students.

3. Pay the application fee

UC’s CEEB college code is 1833, as established by The College Board. CEEB codes are used to ensure that test scores are sent to the correct institution. 

Program Description

The credit-hour requirement includes a minimum of 90 graduate credits beyond the bachelor's degree or a minimum of 60 credits beyond a master's degree, including 7 hours in dissertation research, with a GPA of 3.3 or higher. 

All incoming PhD students are required to take the qualifying exam before the beginning of their first semester. Students who do not pass this exam at the PhD level are placed in the appropriate 6000 - level courses. The Statistics Qualifying Exam is based on the two two-semester sequences Mathematical Statistics STAT6021-6022 and Applied Statistics STAT6031-6032.

All PhD students must pass the preliminary examination by the end of their second year.  The Statistics Preliminary Exam is based on the two courses Linear Models and Multivariate Analysis II STAT 7024 and Statistics Theory STAT 7031.

After the preliminary examinations, an advanced examination in the area of examination of the student is required. An advanced exam may either be a written exam, a presentation or a series of presentations. The exam will be administered by a committee. Generally, this committee will form the students’ dissertation committee.

Visit the curriculum guide to learn more about the required courses. More details concerning the requirements of the program are explained in the Mathematical Sciences Department’s Graduate Handbook. See the course descriptions for information on the content.

About Cincinnati

Cincinnati is a big city with a small-town feel. The cost of living is low, but the quality of life is high.  Forbes named Cincinnati the #5 most affordable city and the #9 best city for raising a family. Cincinnati has ranked the best place to live in Ohio by U.S. News & World Report, also the fourth-best city in the country for parks. UC is home to over 10,500 graduate students, 20% of which are international students.


For further information, please contact the Graduate Program Director, Dr. Robert Buckingham:

See the full list of our graduate programs