Effective since May 1, 2006
Last update: June 2, 2011
These rules apply to the standard M.S. program of the
Statistics Department. Special arrangements apply to the
joint B.S.-M.S. program, to M.S. or M.A. degrees that are offered
to current Ph.D. students in this or other departments, and to
Students are in the standard program unless otherwise stated
in the letter of admission.
1. General Requirements:
- Course Requirements—At Least Nine Courses in Total:
- The theoretical statistics sequence
- The applied statistics sequence (STAT34300-34500-34700)
- Three regular elective courses (see 2d below)
- Up to nine other elective courses (see 2d-2e below)
- A master's paper with a half-hour oral presentation.
- Regular participation in the departmental Consulting Program.
2. Course Regulations:
- The required sequence STAT24400-24500-24600 must be taken in the first year.
- The required sequence STAT34300-34500-34700 may be taken in the first or second year depending on each student's
background. Well-prepared students are strongly recommended to take this sequence in the first year. The Departmental
Master's Advisor (DMA) must approve the decision of whether to take the sequence in the first or second year,
or any hybrid solution.
- With permission from the DMA, the Ph.D. level theoretical
statistics sequence (STAT30400-30100-30200) may be substituted for 24400-24500-24600.
- Elective courses fall into the following categories:
- Regular elective courses. Ordinary courses, level 300 or above, which may not be seminars, reading
courses, etc. These courses must be in the Statistics Department or on the DMA's current list of regular graduate
electives in other departments. These courses count towards the minimum of three elective courses required by
the degree. (Past courses that
have been accepted as electives.)
- Preparatory courses. If the DMA
determines that the
student is not ready for the required sequences or for
electives, the DMA may permit the student to take more
ordinary courses. Such courses can only count among the
elective courses" in Article 1 above.
- Special-permission elective
that are desirable for in-depth study of an applied area may
by the DMA. Such courses can only count among the "nine
elective courses" in Article 1 above.
- Research training courses. Students may
take up to
two quarters of STAT 40100, or (when offered) STAT 39900 or
must in each case be approved by the course instructor and
the DMA. The
two courses can only count among the "nine other elective
Article 1 above.
- For the purposes of these regulations, a
is one that is either required, regular elective, or
In the first Autumn Quarter of the program, students must
take standard courses only. The following Winter and Spring
students must take at least two standard courses. Students
for further quarters must take at least one standard course
- If prior to admission to the M.S.
a student has already taken some of the required
courses under a different University
of Chicago program (as an undergraduate, as a
student in another department, or as a graduate student
at large), and if these courses cannot be
the master's degree, other
may be substituted in order to fulfill the
mimimum requirement. The choice of such courses must be
the DMA. The same rule applies to regular
elective courses. For
suppose a student has taken 244-245 and one regular
course before entering the program. The student will then
to take STAT24600, the STAT34300-34500-34700 sequence, and
elective courses. To get up to nine courses, the
student may then take any three standard elective courses
subject to the rules in
2d-e, and with the approval of the DMA.
- All course programs must obtain the signature of
faculty advisor and the DMA.
- All courses, except research training
courses, must be
taken for a letter grade. If a student takes at least 12
of reseach training courses (2d4), one course may be taken
- All Ph.D. level courses, as specified in
below, must have received a grade in the C range or above in order to be counted towards the
- All other courses counted towards the degree
have received a grade in the B range or above.
- For the purpose of counting grades, a course
considered a Ph.D. level course if it satisfies
one of the following:
- 300 level or above in
Mathematics, or Computer Science;
- 400 level or above in
School of Business if approved by the DMA
as a Ph.D. level
- 300 level or above in
department or school approved by the DMA
as a Ph.D.
- The Master's Paper must be completed, at the latest,
by the end of Summer Quarter of the second year.
- Students may ask any faculty member of
Department of Statistics
to be their master's paper advisor. Advising is by mutual
agreement between student and faculty member.
This faculty member then supervises
and approves the candidate's master's paper.
Faculty outside the
department may also serve as advisors but then a DOS faculty
is needed to sign off
on the final paper. The choice of non DOS faculty as
needs the approval of the DMA.
The DMA may approve papers on instructions of
the advisor if
the latter is not available in person.
- Every student must have a master's paper
advisor by the
end of the
Autumn term of the second year. Once an advisor has been
student must immediately inform the DMA and the Student
Administrator of the choice. The advisor then also takes
over the course
advising role previously performed by the departmentally
initial advisor. In the case of advisors outside the
role falls to the departmental co-advisor.
- It is highly recommended that each student
potential faculty advisors as early as possible. An
require you to have taken certain courses or read certain
before starting research. For example, you do not want to
yourself asking someone to be your advisor in Autumn of your
year, only to find that s/he requires advisees to have taken
course in Spring.
- Approval of the master's paper is deemed to
place when a final copy
of the paper, signed by the advisor
(or the DMA), is filed by a faculty member with
Student Affairs Administrator.
- In any quarter, there will be a deadline by
be approved if the student wishes
to graduate in that quarter. The deadline varies
quarter to quarter, and it is the student's responsibility
to keep informed of the date. The Student
will provide this information.
- The paper must be presented in a 1/2 hour
seminar before the end of the quarter
in which the student graduates. A student who
present in a particular week must inform his/her advisor
(or DMA if the advisor is not available) two
advance of the presentation. Upon the approval by the
advisor (or DMA),
seminar will be scheduled by the DMA. The
seminar is open to
- All Master's students, except those exempted
below, are required to participate in the Consulting
Program for at least a year.
- Students who are also Ph.D. students in an
(any field which is not Mathematics
or Computer Science) may be exempted from
with the approval of the DMA. Exemptions may also be
granted by the Director of the Consulting
Program AND the
DMA for justifiable causes (e.g., unavoidable schedule
conflicts) on a quarter-to-quarter basis.
6. Length of the
We estimate that the program takes between three and six
complete, plus up to two summer quarters. The length of the
depends on which year the student takes the required
STAT34300-34500-34700, but also on other factors. Depending
background and maturity, students are recommended to stay
for at least
part of a second year, so as to gain as much proficiency in
as possible. For example, more sophistication is usually
core computational skills, as taught in STAT 309-310. Also,
as a field is becoming more diverse, with ever new
applications ranging among
medicine via biology, engineering, image- and
environmental science, social sciences and finance. Many of
applications require more in-depth study, in the form of
courses, often in other departments. The overall effect of
is that incoming students often need to take more courses
to firm up
their degree. Other activities that may take time and
maturation are the
consulting program of the department and developing the
skills needed to write the master's paper.
In principle, the program can be completed in three quarters
most students stay for at least four quarters. It will not
to extend the program beyond 24 months (six quarters and the
after each academic year).
Amendments, and Transition Rules:
- All the rules listed above will be strictly
no individual faculty member can grant any waiver
or exemption to any candidate. A waiver requires
majority approval of the entire voting faculty body.
However, the faculty may, at its discretion,
delegate to the
DMA the power to grant or deny waivers in cases
for which a precedent has been established, or
clearly pre-specified circumstances.
- To petition for a waiver, a candidate must
request with clearly documented supporting material
to the DMA. The DMA may deny the petition if the
that there are not enough grounds to submit it to
the voting faculty. In such cases, a candidate
the DMA's decision to the DGA (Departmental Graduate
whose decision on whether to allow the petition
submitted is final.
- The whole voting faculty body has the right
to amend any
of the rules by a simple
- Any new rule goes into effect immediately
once it is
approved by the voting faculty. A candidate
who is enrolled in the master's program prior to
establishment of that rule may, unless otherwise specified,
choose to follow the new
rule or the old rule, if it existed, as long as
graduate by the end of the next academic year (not
counting the year in which the new rule is
that, the new rule is in effect.
8. Officers of
The Department Chairman is Yali
Amit, the Student Affairs
Administrator is Matt Johnston, the DGA (Departmental Graduate
Advisor) is Per
Mykland, and the Department Master's Advisor
Mei Wang. All approvals from any of the officers of the
be in writing or e-mail.