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PhD Admissions Requirements and Procedures

Requirements

Thank you for your interest in applying to the doctoral program offered by the Department of Statistics. Applicants interested in Biostatistics should apply to the Statistics Ph.D. program and note the information below in the Statement of Purpose section.

Contact: stat-admissions-PhD@lists.stanford.edu

All graduate applications are reviewed at the department level. Please read the following information and the Admissions FAQ page carefully. We have made a great effort to provide detailed, thorough and relevant information regarding the application process and hope that it will provide answers to your questions.

APPLICATION DEADLINE - Tuesday, December 1, 2020 (11:59PM PST) 

The deadline for all graduate application forms to be submitted online for the Department of Statistics for matriculation in Autumn Quarter 2021 is Tuesday, December 1, 2020. We do not matriculate students in any other quarter. The online application fee is $125 for all applicants, both domestic and international. Click here for details regarding the Application Fee Waiver.

Self-reported (unofficial) test scores that could not be included with the online application should be emailed to stat-admissions-PhD@lists.stanford.edu and must be received by the above deadline.

IMPORTANT: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the GRE Math Subject test has been waived for the 2020-21 application cycle. 

Recommenders must submit online recommendation letters by the above deadline. All copies of official transcripts must be received (not postmarked, but actually in our office) by Tuesday, December 1, 2020.

Applicants who do not have a bachelor's degree from a university based in the U.S. should review the information for international student eligibility to apply to graduate school at Stanford. The applicant should be sure that the bachelor's degree or equivalent will be conferred before the intended program start date.

Offers of admission cannot be made without receipt of official test scores and transcripts.


Procedure

WHAT DO I NEED TO SUBMIT?

  1. Application Form
  2. Statement of Purpose
  3. BioStatistics
  4. Transcripts, GPA, Converting International GPA
  5. GRE Scores - General and Math Subject
  6. TOEFL Scores
  7. Letters of Recommendation
  8. Résumé (and optional papers), Notification of Received Application Materials
  9. Consideration for the M.S. Program

1. APPLICATION FORM

Applicants can access the online application and all accompanying information beginning in mid-September. Any problems that you encounter while completing or submitting the application must be addressed by contacting the support desk as indicated on the application website. Since the Stanford application software is not Stanford-based, we cannot help with technical issues.

2. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

Explain the nature of your interest in one specific program in the department and reasons for wanting to study at Stanford. In the first sentence of your statement of purpose, indicate the name of the specific program to which you are applying. Include details about your preparation for this field of study, your future career plans, and any other aspects of your background and interests which may aid the admissions committee in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for graduate study. Your statement should be typed, single-spaced, and no longer than two pages, ensuring that your full name and the program to which you are applying is on each page. If you are applying to Stanford together with another person (siblings, couples, etc.) and would not accept admission if both were not admitted, please let us know. Note that once your application has been submitted, we cannot accept any revised statements of purpose, résumés or transcripts.

Do not upload academic papers, theses, or dissertations as part of your statement of purpose. These items are not required. If you wish to submit them, please do so separately by uploading them in the ‘document uploads - additional information’ section of the application. We do not accept materials submitted via email or mail.

3. BIOSTATISTICS

Applicants interested in biostatistics should make this clear early on in the statement of purpose, and should also list biostatistics in the Additional Academic Interests section of the application.

4. TRANSCRIPTS, GPA, CONVERTING INTERNATIONAL GPA

As part of the online application, applicants are required to upload scanned copies of transcripts (either official or unofficial) from all postsecondary institutions attended as a full-time student for one academic year or longer. If you have participated in a study abroad program or transferred courses to your home institution, and the individual courses and grades are reflected on the transcript of the home institution, then you do not need to submit transcripts from the study abroad/transfer institution. Multiple page uploads are allowed for all transcripts. All official transcripts must be RECEIVED in our office (not postmarked) by the application deadline.

IMPORTANT: In addition, ONE official print copy or official e-transcript of each uploaded version must be submitted directly to our department (regardless of whether the transcript includes individual course listings or grades).

e-transcripts are strongly preferred to facilitate and expedite processing of applications and should be sent to stat-admissions-PhD@lists.stanford.edu. (Please note: this differs from the instructions for sending transcripts on the online application and on the general Graduate Admissions Office website where it indicates two copies should be sent). e-transcripts must be sent either directly from the issuing institution's digital credential service or from the third-party service used by that institution. e-transcripts forwarded in emails from the applicant or individual university administrator, or attached as a PDF, cannot be accepted. Official paper transcripts may be sent either directly from the issuing institution or by the applicant, providing that the envelope containing the transcript(s) bears the seal/signature of the issuing institution representing its validity. Transcripts that are received opened are considered unofficial and void, and will not be used in the review process. Applicants whose transcripts are not in the English language must submit the originals plus two notarized copies translated into English. Applicants who submit e-transcripts that are digitally signed and certified by the institution, or the third-party organization used by them, do not need to submit official paper transcripts. See the Stanford Graduate Admissions transcript page for more information.

Applicants from Chinese institutions are encouraged to submit CHESICC authenticated transcripts. This service is eco-friendly and provides validated documents to the department to which you are applying. Applicants submitting CHESICC authenticated transcripts do not need to submit official paper transcripts.

Stanford University's Graduate Admissions Office does not accept any third-party transcript credential service such as WES, with the exception of CHESICC.

Applicants currently in school should send the most recently available versions of their transcripts (even if no grades are listed) until complete versions can be submitted. GPAs of at least 3.5 are strongly recommended.

Applicants must include GPAs for all current and completed degree programs. If the applicant's school does not use any scoring system or only provides grades at the end of the degree program, please note this in the Additional Educational History section of the application. Applicants whose school's scoring system does not use the 4.0 scale MUST provide the original score, original system (eg a scale of 1-30 or 1-100), and a converted GPA based on the 4.0 scale. Stanford University does not convert the GPA for you. It is the applicant's responsibility. Example: if your school uses a 1-100 point system, divide by 25 to get the 4.0 equivalent. If you feel this method of conversion does not accurately reflect your grades, please use the Additional Educational History section to provide more details.

5. GRE SCORES - GENERAL AND MATH SUBJECT

GRE Math Subject Test  Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the Statistics Department has waived the GRE subject test in mathematics for 2020 applicants (including those interested in biostatistics) who would matriculate in 2021-22. Future year applicants should note that this requirement may be reinstated. 

IMPORTANT: Please note that it can take 2-3 weeks for your official test scores to arrive from ETS. In addition, the department cannot see or access these scores until approximately two weeks after you have submitted your online application. Finally, the test score status in your checklist (viewable after submission of the application) may take an additional 10 business days to change from 'Received - Not Official' to 'Received - Official'. Applications will be considered complete with unofficial scores, although no offers of admission can be made without official scores.

GRE General Test (gre.org) Applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Applicants who already hold a Ph.D. degree from an accredited institution may request a waiver for the general test (see below). ETS has introduced a solution for students impacted by the COVID-19 crisis by temporarily offering a GRE General Test at home option until test centers can reopen. For more information please visit the ETS website

Applicants wishing to submit an application for matriculation in 2021 must be able to provide at least self-reported (unofficial) test scores for the GRE general test by the December 1, 2020. application deadline. All official score reports must be sent electronically by ETS to Stanford University. Our institution code number for ETS reporting is 4704. No department number is required. Test scores may be no older than 5 years, dating back from December 1, 2020. The GMAT is not accepted as a substitute for the GRE. No other subject test is accepted in lieu of the mathematics subject test.

Applications will be processed using the self-reported (unofficial) test scores. If you submit your online application before you have taken the test(s), please email your scores to stat-admissions-PhD@lists.stanford.edu as soon as you have them and no later than the December 1, 2020. application deadline.  Offers of admission are contingent on receipt of the official scores from both tests. While we have not established any particular GRE score necessary for admission, the average General GRE percentile scores of recently admitted applicants are Verbal 90%, Quantitative 95% and Analytical Writing 74%. If you submit results from more than one eligible test date we will consider the higher of the scores.

If you have already earned a Ph.D. degree, or your Ph.D. studies are in progress when you apply and your degree will be conferred prior to your intended start quarter, you may request a GRE General Test waiver by emailing stat-admissions-PhD@lists.stanford.edu with the following information: full name, institution attended, degree earned, and degree conferral date. Use the subject heading 'GRE General Test Waiver Request'.

Note: To bypass the entry of GRE General Test scores in the application, enter a future test date. In the additional information section of the application you can note that you have received a waiver from Graduate Admissions.

6. TOEFL SCORES (TOEFL.ORG )

IMPORTANT: Please note that it can take 2-3 weeks for your official test scores to arrive from ETS. In addition, the department cannot see or access these scores until approximately two weeks after you have submitted your online application. Finally, the test score status in your checklist (viewable after submission of the application) may take an additional 10 business days to change from 'Received - Not Official' to 'Received - Official'. Applications will be considered complete with unofficial scores, although no offers of admission can be made without official scores.

Adequate command of spoken and written English is required for admission. Applicants whose first language is not English must submit an official test score from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Stanford accepts only ETS (Educational Testing Service) scores.  Our institution code number for ETS reporting is 4704. No department number is required. Test scores may be no older than 18 months, dating back from December 1, 2020

ETS has introduced a solution for students impacted by the COVID-19 crisis by temporarily offering a TOEFL iBT test at home option until test centers can reopen. For more information please visit the ETS website. Students in China who are further affected by the suspension of TOEFL iBT testing should review the Graduate Admissions temporary TOEFL accommodations being made by Stanford University.  

Exemptions are granted to applicants who have earned (or will earn, before enrolling at Stanford) a U.S. bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a college or university accredited by a regional accrediting association in the United States, or the international equivalent degree from a university of recognized standing in a country in which all instruction is provided in English. Therefore, applicants with degrees from the U.S., Australia, Canada (except Quebec), New Zealand, Singapore, Ireland, and the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales) are exempt from taking the TOEFL and do not need to submit the TOEFL Waiver Request form.

Applicants with degrees from institutions in countries other than those listed above and in which English was the only language of instruction must submit the TOEFL Waiver Request form in order to be evaluated for a waiver to the TOEFL requirement. If you receive confirmation from the Graduate Admissions Office that your TOEFL waiver request has been approved, you must forward this notification to stat-admissions-PhD@lists.stanford.edu. Note that U.S. citizenship does not automatically exempt an applicant from taking the TOEFL if the applicant’s first language is not English. Stanford does not accept IELTS scores.

A minimum TOEFL score of 100 on the Internet based test (iBT) is required by Stanford University for all Ph.D. applicants. Evidence of adequate English proficiency must be submitted before enrollment is approved by Graduate Admissions. The average TOEFL score of Ph.D. applicants admitted to the Department of Statistics is 112. The Test of Written English (TWE) portion of the TOEFL is not required.

Applications will be processed using the self-reported (unofficial) test scores. If you submit your application before you have taken the test, please email your score to stat-admissions-PhD@lists.stanford.edu as soon as you have it. iBT test-takers will be able to access their scores online approximately 10 days after the test date. Therefore, we recommend that you take the test no later than mid-November 2020 to ensure that you meet the December 1, 2020. application deadline. Offers of admission are contingent on receipt of the official scores.

Note: To bypass entry of TOEFL scores in the application, enter a future test date. You can add in the additional information section of the application that you have received a waiver from Graduate Admissions.

Additional information about required exams can be found at Graduate Admissions/Applying.

7. LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION

Three letters of recommendation are required. Letters of recommendation are handled via an online recommendation system, which is part of the online application. Applicants will be required to register the contact information of their recommenders who will then receive an email with directions on how to proceed. Online applications must be submitted by the December 1, 2020. deadline. We do not accept emailed or paper recommendations. However, we do accept letters submitted by your university's letter service. If this applies to you, you will still need to enter information for each recommender in the online application, including e-mail addresses which will automatically generate the email to each recommender requesting a letter. It is your responsibility to contact them to let them know to disregard this email and to use the university's letter service.

Your letters should be written by those who have supervised you in either an academic or employment setting. If possible, at least one should be from a university professor familiar with your academic work. Your recommendations should directly address your suitability for admission to the Statistics department. We pay extra attention to the potential for future excellence, as indicated in letters of recommendation. The most important factors we look at are: quantitative and analytic strength, communication skills in English, leadership, maturity and focus. 

Note: If you have any concerns that one of your recommenders will not be able to submit their letter by the deadline, you may want to consider requesting letters from a total of four recommenders. This will increase the likelihood that three letters will be submitted by the deadline and that your application will be marked as complete.

8. RÉSUMÉ (AND OPTIONAL PAPERS)

Applicants must upload a résumé/CV into the 'additional information' section of the application. Applicants may also upload additional papers such as samples of your academic or published works in this section. These will be included in your application file, though there is no guarantee that they will be reviewed by the admissions committee. With the exception of the required official transcripts, do not send any duplicates of materials that you have submitted online; they will not be added to your file.

All official hard copy transcripts should be mailed to:

Statistics Ph.D. Graduate Admissions
Statistics Department
Sequoia Hall, Room 222
390 Jane Stanford Way
Stanford University
Stanford, CA  94305-4065


Notification of Received Application Materials

Do not send any materials to Graduate Admissions in the Registrar’s Office.

Between December 5th and 19th, and January 6th and 10th, files will be marked as complete if the following have been received:
1) Official transcripts (note that checklists are only updated with transcript information during these dates, regardless of earlier receipt)
2) Three letters of recommendation
3) GRE test scores (general test and math subject test), and TOEFL test scores (where applicable). While applications will be considered complete with unofficial scores, no offers of admission can be made without official scores.

There is no need to contact us to check on this. Doing so significantly delays the application process and our ability to confirm your application status. Decisions are usually announced in late February/early March. Please do not contact us prior to this date to check the status of your application.

9. Consideration for the M.S. Program

Applicants who indicate that they would like to be considered for the Master’s program in the ‘Application Options’ section of the online application must confirm this by submitting a written request within three business days of receiving the Ph.D. admissions decision email. Note that it is not a guarantee that the M.S. Admissions Committee will accept your application for review. You will be notified via email whether your request has been granted.

Financial aid

Please note that requesting financial aid on the application form will not affect your chances of being admitted to one of our graduate programs. All prospective students should review the estimated expenses associated with graduate study at Stanford.


All students accepted to the Ph.D. program are offered financial support. All tuition expenses are paid and there is a fixed monthly stipend determined to be sufficient to pay living expenses. Financial support can be continued for five years, department resources permitting, for students in good standing. During this time students typically receive both a teaching and research assignment each quarter, which do not exceed 20 hours total.

Students are strongly encouraged to apply for outside scholarships, fellowships, and other forms of financial support. Students with outside support enable the department to stretch its own resources. The department will supplement outside awards to the level set for departmental support. More information about financial support can be found in the Academic Programs section of our site.

For more information

For more information, please review the Stanford Graduate Admissions web site. If you still have questions, please contact us at stat-admissions-PhD@lists.stanford.edu; type "Admissions: LAST NAME, First Name" in the subject line of your message, specifying your first and last names. Given the large number of requests for information, we appreciate your understanding in the event that there are delays in receiving a response.

Good luck! We look forward to receiving your application.