Frequently Asked Questions (TEST)

You will find frequently asked questions about our department's application process. If you have further questions, email us at Please only send questions that are not answered below.

I want to take a course with a STAT code. Do I need to apply to the Department of Statistics?

We handle course registration only for our own M.S. and Ph.D. students. If you are a student in another program at the University of Chicago, you may register for STAT-coded courses through your home department. If you are not a student at the University of Chicago, you may register for STAT-coded courses through the Graham School.

Should I apply to the M.S. program, the Ph.D. program, or both?

Read our discussion here. If you are unsure of which program is a better fit for you, you can apply to the Ph.D. program and ask to be considered for the M.S. program if you are not admitted. Once you have created a Ph.D. application, go to the "Statistics Supplement" tab; answer "Yes" to othe question in the third section. Please note that there are steps required to finalize consideration for the M.S. program, including paying an extra application fee, completing a form, and submitting the additional M.S. application. If you complete all required steps, we will then consider you for the Ph.D. program, and if we decide you are not a good fit for the Ph.D. program, we will then consider you for the M.S. program.

How do I apply to the College, to earn a B.A. or B.S.?

We handle only M.S. and Ph.D. applications. College Admissions handles all undergraduate applications.

Do I apply to the department as a whole, to a specific degree program, to a specialization, or to work with a specific professor?

You apply to a degree program, M.S. or Ph.D. You may apply to both using a single application. You are welcome to discuss your interest in a particular specialization or professor in your application, but that does not bind you to pursuing that specialization or working with that professor if you enroll.

Can I apply to multiple programs at the University of Chicago?

Yes. You may apply to both our M.S. and our Ph.D. program using a single application. You may apply to other programs within the Physical Sciences Division using multiple applications within the same application account. You may apply to programs outside of the Physical Sciences Division, though you will need to create an application account for each division or school.

Do you offer degrees in computation, applied math, biostatistics, financial mathematics, economics, business, computer science, or any other field?

We offer an M.S. in Statistics and a Ph.D. in Statistics. In either program, you can specialize in a specific type of statistics, such as biostatistics, but your degree would still be in statistics. We do have the Computational and Applied Mathematics Initiative (CAMI), for which we are actively recruiting students and faculty. CAMI students still earn degrees in statistics; however, if you are interested in a CAMI field, you should discuss your interest in your candidate statement. If your interests are primarily in another discipline with a strong statistical component, you are welcome to apply to the Department of Statistics, but you may also want to consider additional University of Chicago programs, such as Public Health Sciences, Financial Mathematics, Economics, Business, Computer Science, and others.

What is the application deadline? Can I apply after the deadline?

The application opens in September. The deadline for the application and all supporting materials, such as score reports and letters of recommendation, is December 31. You may not apply after the deadline.

Do you have rolling admissions? Are all applications considered together?

We do not have rolling admissions. All applications are due December 31. We consider all applications together; we do not give special consideration to application that are submitted early.

Can I start classes at any time during the year, or just in autumn?

Because of the structure of our course sequences, all students begin in autumn.

Can I study part-time?

All Ph.D. students must study full-time. It is theoretically possible for an M.S. student to study part-time, but due to the scheduling of classes, it is very unusual. We are not able to sponsor visas for part-time students. If you are interested in part-time study, you are welcome to apply. If admitted, you should discuss with us how the program would fit into your schedule.

Do you have evening, weekend, or online programs?


When do classes begin and end?

Autumn classes begin in late September. First-year students must be on campus before classes begin for orientation. The University of Chicago is on a quarter system (four terms per year). In most cases, M.S. students do not need to be on campus for Summer Quarter, but Ph.D. students do. The full academic calendar is available online.

How long does it take to graduate?

The M.S. program takes between one and two years, depending on a student’s level of preparation and choice of electives. The Ph.D. program takes between three and five years. Read our discussion here.

How will I know which classes to take? Will classes be too easy or too hard for me?

Every student is assigned a faculty advisor, who helps with course selection. Some students find it useful to take introductory courses before certain required courses. Other students are guided directly to advanced courses. Faculty advisors work with students to find appropriate courses.

I am enrolled in another graduate program. Can I transfer?

You are welcome to apply. In your candidate statement, please explain why you are interested in transferring. We do not award transfer credit. However, your experience in another program may allow you to take more advanced classes in our program.

Are most of your students from outside the United States? Are most of them from China?

Though the numbers vary from year to year, generally about 80% of our students are from outside the United States and about 50% of our students are from China.

What is your admission rate?

Our admission rate is usually between 10% and 20%. It varies depending on the size and strength of our applicant pool. The Ph.D. program always has a lower admission rate than the M.S. program.

How much does it cost to apply?

The application fee is $90.

If I apply to multiple programs, do I have to pay multiple fees?

You may apply to multiple programs, but you must pay an application fee for each program.

How do I apply for a fee waiver?

There is a fee waiver request within our application.

I applied to the University of Chicago or began an application before. How do I reactivate my old application?

Try logging in with your existing credentials. If this does not work, email for help. Do not create a new account unless instructed to do so.

I made a mistake in my application. Should I start a new application? Should I create a new account?

No, this can cause serious problems in your application. Most mistakes can be fixed without creating a new application or account. If you cannot fix your mistake, email for help.

How should I send my application materials? Can I mail or fax them?

Our entire application process is online. We do not accept materials by mail or fax. If you have paper materials, please scan and upload them to your online application. If we need any paper materials from you, such as official transcripts, we will request these the summer before you enroll. If your referee is having trouble uploading a letter of recommendation, please have him or her email for help.

How do I submit my resume or CV?

Use the "Resume/CV" tab in the online application.

How long should my candidate statement be? What should I write about?

Your statement should be one or two pages, roughly 250-500 words. Read our full discussion here.

I have special circumstances to explain, such as low grades on my transcript or a disciplinary matter. Should I write about these in my candidate statement?

Write a separate, short explanation. You may upload this and any other supplemental documents on the "Statistics Supplement" tab of the online application.

Will you waive the GRE requirement?

No, all applicants are required to take the GRE.

What is your minimum GRE score? What is the average? Do you weigh all three sections equally?

We have no minimum for the GRE. Most applicants score above the 90th percentile of the quantitative section of the GRE. We are less concerned about the verbal and analytical writing sections.

Do you require any GRE subject tests?

We do not require any GRE subject tests. We strongly recommend that applicants to the Ph.D. program take the math subject test. We do not expect applicants to the M.S. program to take any subject tests.

Do you accept the GMAT or any other tests in lieu of the GRE?

You are welcome to submit other test scores to supplement your application. However, we require the GRE. No other test may be used as a substitute for the GRE.

Do you require official score reports? Should I submit my application even if I don’t have official GRE scores yet?

You may self-report your scores in your online application. Please do not delay your application submission just to wait for an official score report. However, we must receive your official score report directly from ETS before we make a final decision on your application.

How long are my GRE scores valid? Do you accept expired scores?

GRE scores are valid for five years, as determined by ETS. ETS does not send expired score reports. We will not consider any scores without an official score report from ETS.

How do I send my official GRE score report to you? What are your codes?

You may send your official score report through the ETS website. Our institution code is 1832 and our department code is 0705.

I already sent an official GRE score report. How long will it take for you to receive it? How will I know when you have received it?

It usually takes two to three weeks for us to receive your official score report from ETS. After you have submitted your application, you may log in to view your "Application Status" page, which includes a checklist of all your application materials. There will be a green check mark next to any item we have received. There will be a red ex next to any item we have not received.

I sent my GRE score report to the wrong department code. Do I need to send it again?

Probably not. Check whether we have received your official score report. After three weeks, if we still have not received your scores, email to tell us what department code you used.

I am applying to multiple programs at the University of Chicago. Do I need to send my GRE score reports multiple times?

Probably not. Check whether we have received your official score report. After three weeks, if we still have not received your scores, email to tell us what department code you used.