Ph.D. students will usually register for 10 units in each of the autumn, winter and spring quarters. Most courses offered by the department for Ph.D. students are 3 units each, including the core courses of the first year program. In addition to regular lecture courses on advanced topics, reading courses in the literature of probability and the literature of statistics are available each quarter. Students working on their thesis may register for up to 10 units of directed research in each quarter. Finally, students may wish to register for selected courses outside the statistics department, in particular to fulfill the breadth requirement.
Equivalents of Math 113, Math 115; Stats 116, Stats 200; CS 106A.
Previous experience has shown that before starting the core courses students need to have active mastery of the material in the prerequisite courses (or their equivalents at other universities), as demonstrated by very good and relatively recent grades. Where this background is missing or not recent, admission to the Ph.D. program will involve designing (with the first year Ph.D. faculty advisor) an individual program to make up the necessary courses. This happens fairly often, and if necessary the four year guarantee of support will be extended according to the time needed to take these courses.
Statistics 300 systematically surveys the ideas of estimation and of hypothesis testing for parametric and nonparametric models involving small and large samples.
Statistics 305 is concerned with linear regression and the analysis of variance.
Statistics 306 surveys a large number of modeling techniques, related to but going well beyond the linear models of 305.
Statistics 310 is a measure-theoretic course in probability theory, beginning with basic concepts of the law of large numbers, and martingale theory.
Although the content of the first year core courses is specified by the department, the order in which topics are studied and details of the presentation are left to the instructor and will vary from year to year. Unusually well prepared students may place out of Statistics 305. Students who do not have enough mathematics background can take 310 after their first year but need to have their first-year program approved by the Ph.D. program advisor.
Stats 319 is a literature course in statistics and probability that is offered each quarter. The course is generally taken by students in their second and third years, and may be taken repeatedly. It serves two connected purposes:
All students who have passed the qualifying exams but have not yet passed the Thesis Proposal Meeting must take STATS 319 Literature of Statistics at least once per year.
The department offers advanced lecture courses on a number of topics including:
In any given year only a few of these courses will be offered. See also the Stanford Bulletin.
These courses are normally taken after the first year and may help students to find dissertation topics.
Students taking the consulting laboratory, Stats 390, provide a free consulting service to the Stanford community. Researchers from all areas of the University drop in to discuss their problems. This course allows students to assimilate the material from their first year courses, especially Stats 305/6.
The consulting is done by teams of students, in which inexperienced students are matched with the experienced. The course is offered each quarter and may be taken repeatedly. Students are encouraged to participate in the formulation of the consulting problems and in any data analysis which may be involved.