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Admissions FAQs

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  • GRE institution code: 1832
  • GRE department code: 0705
  • TOEFL institution code: 1832
  • TOEFL department code: 59

General

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?

No.

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.

 

Application fee

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.

 

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 admissions@galton.uchicago.edu 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 admissions@galton.uchicago.edu 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 admissions@galton.uchicago.edu 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.

 

GRE

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 admissions@galton.uchicago.edu 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 admissions@galton.uchicago.edu to tell us what department code you used.

 

TOEFL, IELTS, and the English-language requirement

Do I need to take the TOEFL, the IELTS, or neither? Will you waive the requirement?

If you are a native of the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand, you do not need to take the TOEFL or the IELTS. If you are a native of Canada, South Africa, or any other country, look at our flowchart to determine whether you need to take the TOEFL or IELTS.

What is your minimum TOEFL or IELTS score? Will you waive my requirement if I scored below the minimum?

Our TOEFL minimum is 90. Our IELTS minimum is 7.0. We do not have minimum scores for each subsection. If you scored below our minimum, you may submit a waiver request here.

Will you conditionally admit me if I am qualified for your program, but need a higher TOEFL or IELTS score? Can I take ESL at the University of Chicago?

We do not offer conditional admission. You may take ESL at the University of Chicago. However, you must meet our minimum English-language requirement prior to applying.

Do you require official score reports? Should I submit my application even if I don’t have official TOEFL or IELTS 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 the testing agency before we make a final decision on your application.

How long are my TOEFL or IELTS scores valid? Do you accept expired scores?

You must take the TOEFL or IELTS no more than two years before our application deadline of December 31. We do not accept expired scores.

How do I send my official TOEFL or IELTS score report to you? What are your codes?

You may send TOEFL scores through the ETS website. Our institution code is 1832 and our department code is 59.

 

You may send IELTS scores through your test center. If at all possible, have your test center send an electronic report to the University of Chicago. (IELTS does not use institution or department codes.) If your test center will not send an electronic report, have it send a paper report to the University of Chicago, Department of Statistics Admissions, 5747 S. Ellis Avenue, Jones 222A, Chicago, IL 60637.

I already sent an official TOEFL or IELTS 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. 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 TOEFL 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 admissions@galton.uchicago.edu 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 TOEFL or IELTS score reports multiple times?

If you are using electronic score reports, you probably do not need to send them multiple times. Check whether we have received your official score report. After three weeks, if we still have not received your scores, email admissions@galton.uchicago.edu to tell us what department code you used.

 

If your IELTS test center does not offer electronic score reports, you will need to request a separate paper report for each program at the University of Chicago.

 

Transcripts, grades, and GPA

What is your minimum GPA requirement? What is the average?

We do not have a minimum GPA requirement. We receive applications from hundreds of schools in dozens of countries, each with its own system of calculating GPA. We do not convert GPAs on to a standard scale or calculate an average.

What do you look for in a transcript?

We look at your transcript as a whole, in the context of the rest of your application. We do not look at grades or GPA in isolation. For example, we are interested in whether your grades rose or fell over time, not just your overall average. A low grade in a difficult class may be more impressive than a high grade in an easy class. We are most interested in your grades in statistics and mathematics classes. We are also interested in your grades in disciplines with a strong mathematical component, such as computer science, economics, and physics. Grades in qualitative classes, such as literature and history, are rarely a major factor in admissions decisions.

I got a few low grades. Should I address them in my application?

In most cases, no. If you got low grades under unusual circumstances, such as a medical emergency or a family tragedy, you may wish to submit a short explanation on the “Statistics Supplement” tab of the online application.

Do you accept transcripts that are not in English?

All application materials must be in English or be accompanied by an English translation. Whenever possible, provide an official translation from your school.

Do I need to send my official transcript?

During the application process, we require only unofficial transcripts. If you join our program, we will ask for official transcripts, including verification of any English translations, the summer before you arrive on campus.

Which transcripts do you require? Do you need transcripts from study abroad, non-degree work, or work I did in a program I did not complete?

We need transcripts covering all your university coursework. In most cases, we need a transcript from each university you have attended, even if you transferred out or did non-degree work. The only exception is study abroad programs; if your grades from study abroad are listed on your transcript from your home university, we do not need a transcript from the university where you studied abroad.

How do I submit an updated transcript?

Submit the most up-to-date transcript available at the time you apply. If your transcript will change before our application deadline of December 31, you may want to delay your application in order to include a more recent transcript. However, you may provide an updated transcript at any time after applying through your "Application Status" page. Most materials, including transcripts, should be marked "Miscellaneous".

What if my current and/or future courses do not appear on my transcript yet?

There is space in the application to list your current courses. (On the "Education" tab, after you add an institution, an option will appear to add current and future courses at that institution.) You may provide further details in a transcript supplement, which you may upload on the "Statistics Supplement" tab of the online application.

How should I report my GPA in my application?

You should report your GPA exactly as it appears on your official transcript. If your transcript does not include a GPA, you should leave the GPA fields of the application blank. Do not calculate your own GPA. Do not convert your GPA to a new scale.

 

Letters of recommendation

How many letters of recommendation are required? Can I submit more?

We require three letters of recommendation. You may submit up to two additional letters if you think the circumstances warrant it. Do not submit additional letters just for the sake of having more letters.

Whom should I ask for a recommendation? Do my referees have to be professors? Can my TA, boss, or anyone else write a recommendation for me?

You should select referees who know your work well and will write about your ability to succeed in our graduate statistics program. If possible, your referees should comment on your mathematical or statistical abilities, any special experience you have (such as in statistical applications), or your potential to do research. Choose your referees based on how well they know your work, not based on their job titles. We would rather read a letter from a teaching assistant who knows you well than a professor who does not know you. Letters from supervisors or other professional contacts are fine, especially if you have been out of school for several years.

Can I use a letter service to deliver my recommendations? Can I send you my recommendations myself?

Yes, you may use a letter service. No, you may not send letters yourself. However you send your letters, we need to be able to verify their authenticity.

One of my referees is having trouble submitting a letter of recommendation. What should I do?

Have your referee check his or her junk mail folder for an email from our application system. Your referee may also send a letter directly to us as a PDF attachment at admissions@galton.uchicago.edu. In this case, your referee must use an institutional email address (@uchicago.edu, for example). We cannot accept letters from personal email addresses (@gmail.com, for example).

 

Prerequisites

What are the prerequisites for the M.S. program?

You should take calculus through the Jacobians and multivariate intervals, linear/matrix algebra, and elementary probability or statistics. For your reference, here is an example of an academic history that would satisfy our prerequisites.

MATH 15100-15200-15300: Calculus I-II-III
MATH 19520: Mathematical Methods for the Social Sciences
MATH 19620: Linear Algebra
STAT 23400: Statistical Models and Methods

If you have met some but not all of the prerequisites, you are still welcome to apply, provided you are willing to stay in the program longer in order to take some background courses.

What are the prerequisites for the Ph.D. program?

You should have completed the M.S. prerequisites. Additional course work in mathematics, especially real analysis, and facility with computer programming are helpful. Substantial background, through study or experience, in some area of science or other discipline involving quantitative reasoning and empirical investigation may be considered in lieu of the specific course prerequisites. An applicant’s background in mathematics and in science or another quantitative discipline is more important than his or her background in statistics.

Do I need to have experience in programming? Do I need to know S, R, S-PLUS, STATA, SAS, SPSS, Python, Perl, C/C++, Java, or any other software or language before applying?

We do not have any particular programming or software prerequisites. As long as you have met our course prerequisites, you are welcome to apply. For Ph.D. applicants, some facility with computer programming is definitely helpful, but we do not check for a background in any particular program or language.

Do I need to have research or work experience before applying?

No, most of our students come directly from college.

Do I need to have a M.S. in order to apply for the Ph.D. program?

No, most of our students come directly from college.

Do I need to have majored in statistics, math, or a related field to apply?

No, you may come to us from any major. As long as you have met our course prerequisites, you are welcome to apply.

I graduated from a three-year bachelor’s program. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes, you may apply as long as you will have a bachelor’s degree prior to beginning our program.

 

Costs and financial aid

What is the cost of attendance?

Current tuition and fee rates are available on the Bursar’s website. Please keep in mind that these rates are likely to rise each year.

Is financial aid available? Is funding available for international students?

Our Ph.D. students generally receive full support, including tuition, fees, health insurance, and living expenses. Our M.S. students generally receive a partial tuition scholarship of 25%. Departmental support is the same for domestic and international students. Read our full discussion here.

Beyond basic support, do Ph.D. students ever receive additional funding?

Yes, we do occasionally offer additional funding to outstanding applicants. All Ph.D. applicants are considered for McCormick Fellowships, which provide supplemental funding during the first two years of study. Ph.D. students may apply for additional funding, such as the Harper Dissertation Fellowship, which provides several thousand dollars to assist in the final phases of dissertation writing. The David Wallace Award for Applied Statistics is given to two students each year who are working on applications of statistics in scientific domains. Other funding opportunities are often available. All applicants are considered for all funding opportunities for which they are eligible with no additional application materials. Current students receive word as funding opportunities arise throughout the year.

Can I fund my study by working as a teaching assistant, research assistant, or through a fellowship? Can I fund my study through off-campus and/or summer work?

Paid teaching and research assistantships within the department are guaranteed to Ph.D. students as part of their full funding and also as part of their professional training. Occasionally M.S. students may work in these positions but more often work as graders in the department or pursue similar on-campus jobs, including research assistantships, in other departments. However, if you are applying to the M.S. program, you should not rely on potential departmental work as a significant source of funding. International applicants in particular should not expect significant funding through work, as U.S. visa regulations prohibit students from working off-campus during the academic year and place serious limitations on summer work.

Is there a separate application for financial aid, scholarships, fellowships, or assistantships?

No, all applicants are considered for departmental funding opportunities.

 

After you have applied

I submitted my application. What else do I need to submit? How do I know whether you have received my materials?

Your file is not complete until we have received your application, your application fee or fee waiver, your transcript(s), your letters of recommendation, your official GRE score report, and, where applicable, your official TOEFL or IELTS score report. 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 submitted the wrong application materials. Can I send a new version?

You may not delete or replace materials we have already received. You may submit updated materials, such as a transcript with new grades listed, on your "Application Status" page. When in doubt, use the "Miscellaneous" label for uploads.

I have updated application materials, such as autumn grades. How do I submit these?

You may submit updated materials, such as a transcript with new grades listed, on your “Application Status” page. When in doubt, use the “Miscellaneous” label for uploads.

My application is complete. When will I receive a decision?

We release Ph.D. decisions throughout February and M.S. decisions throughout March.

I have heard that some applicants have already received decisions. Does this mean I will not be admitted?

We consider applications in batches. For example, one week we may consider all the applicants who are interested in a particular specialty or who are from a particular part of the world. We release decisions throughout February and March. If you have not received a decision from us, we are still considering your application.

I am on the waitlist. When will I receive a decision? Should I send additional application materials?

It is difficult to predict when you will receive a decision, as it depends on how quickly admitted applicants accept or decline their offers. When you receive a letter offering you a place on the waitlist, all you need to do is log into your application account to accept a place on the waitlist. If you have new grades on your transcript or new items on your CV, you may submit updated versions of those documents. Otherwise, you do not need to do anything. You may not submit other new materials, such as letters of recommendation or essays.

I was admitted. Can I defer my admission?

We rarely allow admitted applicants to defer admission. If you feel you have special circumstances, email admissions@galton.uchicago.edu to explain.

I was not admitted to the Ph.D. program. Will you consider my application for the M.S. program?

If you asked to the considered for the M.S. program in your Ph.D. application and completed all steps to submit your M.S. application, we will consider you for both programs. Otherwise, we will consider you only for the program to which you applied by the application deadline.

I was not admitted. Can I apply again next year?

Generally speaking, applicants who are not admitted one year will not be admitted in future years. We recommend that you apply again only if your experience has changed significantly, for example, if you have gotten a new degree.

 

Visits and interviews

Should I contact faculty or staff before I have received a decision?

Due to the volume of applications we receive, we ask that you not contact faculty or staff. If you have something to tell us, include it in your application. If you have a question not answered here, email admissions@galton.uchicago.edu. If you are admitted, we will provide contact information for faculty and staff, and we welcome you to get in touch at that time.

Should I visit campus before I have received a decision?

If you happen to be in Chicagoland, you are certainly welcome to come see campus and go on a tour. However, due to the volume of applications we receive, we are not able to interview or meet with prospective students. After you are admitted, you are welcome to schedule a visit with us to meet with faculty, staff, and students.

 

Visas

I am not a US citizen or permanent resident. Will you sponsor my visa for part-time study? Will you sponsor my visa for ESL?

No, we are only able to sponsor visas for full-time students in the Department of Statistics.

When should I apply for my I-20 or DS-2019?

We will contact you in May with instructions for obtaining an I-20 or DS-2019. We will guide you through the entire visa process. You do not need to take any action prior to hearing from us. For a broad range of information about the visa process and international student life at the University of Chicago, visit the Office of International Affairs website.

 

Earning an M.S. while enrolled in B.A., B.S., or Ph.D. program at the University of Chicago

I am a current Ph.D. student at the University of Chicago. Can I simultaneously enroll in the Statistics M.S. program?

Yes. Prior to applying, you should meet with your advisor and your Dean of Students. You will need permission from your home department to enroll in a second degree program. You will also need space in your schedule to complete your M.S. in Statistics in no more than three years, including taking the required courses, participating in our consulting program, and writing and presenting your M.S. thesis.

I am a current student in the College. Can I simultaneously enroll in the Statistics M.S. program?

Yes. Interested student should meet with Professor Mary Sara McPeek early in third year. Applications are due no later than June 1 of third year, though you should apply earlier if at all possible. The online application closes December 31; if you are applying after that date, just email admissions@galton.uchicago.edu for instructions on submitting your application. You do not need to take the GRE. All other application requirements are the same for you as for external applicants. See our full discussion of the joint-degree program here.

 

Further questions

  • What if I have questions that are not answered above?

What if I have questions that are not answered above?

Email us at admissions@galton.uchicago.edu. Please only send questions that are not answered above.


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