Statistics, Ph.D. (Ithaca)

Field of Study

Program Description

The PhD program is intended to prepare students for a career in research and teaching at the University level or in equivalent positions in industry or government. A PhD degree requires writing and defending a dissertation. Students graduate this program with a broad set of skills, from the ability to interact collaboratively with researchers in applied fields, through the formulation and computational implementation of novel statistical models and methods to demonstrating mathematically that these methods have desirable statistical properties. Cornell's PhD alumni have gone on to high profile positions in all of academia, industry and government.

Statistics does not offer admission for those interested a terminal master's degree, but we do offer admission for those interested in pursuing a master's leading to a Ph.D.


Contact Information

Phone: 607 255-8066

301 Malott Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  14853

Concentrations by Subject

  • biometry
  • decision theory
  • econometrics
  • engineering statistics
  • experimental design
  • mathematical statistics
  • probability
  • sampling
  • social statistics
  • statistical computing
  • stochastic processes


2015-2016 $20,800

Application Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadlines:

Fall, Jan. 1; no spring admission

Requirements Summary:

In their transcripts applicants must show strength in the mathematical sciences. Applicants must also demonstrate strong motivation for advanced study in statistics. Submission of GRE general test scores is recommended.


  • all Graduate School Requirements, including the TOEFL Exam for Non-Native English Applicants
  • two letters of recommendation required, but four allowed
  • GRE general test for M.P.S., and Ph.D.



In the broadest possible terms, the purpose of the graduate program in the Field of Statistics is to prepare its students for a career in Statistical Science, with coverage that is sufficiently deep in its coverage of core principles and methods and sufficiently broad in its coverage of application areas to prepare its students for future employment and success in a diverse array of environments. Specific program goals include the following:

  • Attract the best possible graduate students and provide those admitted to the program with the financial and research resources necessary for achieving their educational goals.
  • Provide advanced training through coursework and mentored research to help graduate students gain the skills and experience needed to successfully pursue a career as a statistician in academia, government or industry.
  • Prepare graduate students for future leadership in research and scholarship, challenging those students to reach the highest possible level of achievement.
  • Facilitate completion of graduate degrees in a timely manner.


The PhD program requires coursework, completion of an Admission to Candidacy Exam and a Thesis Defence. Depending on a coursework performance, students may also be required to sit a qualifying exam.

Upon completion of the Ph.D. degree, students will have

  1. Demonstrated mastery of statistical theory and methods;
  2. Achieved breadth and diversity of knowledge through elective coursework and research/teaching experiences;
  3. Demonstrated the ability to work collaboratively across disciplines, communicating statistical principles, methods and results to a lay audience;
  4. Demonstrated a high level of proficiency in oral and written communication skills appropriate for a career in either (i) advanced research and/or teaching at a college or university; or, (ii) advanced research in government and industry;
  5. Demonstrated the ability to independently conduct, document and defend original research contributions having the potential to advance the field of statistical science.