Welcome to the Graduate Program in Statistics at the University of Missouri! We hope that your graduate years are productive and successful!

The graduate program provides opportunities for graduate study and thesis direction in various areas of probability and statistics, both theoretical and applied. A variety of consulting and collaborative opportunities allow both faculty and graduate students to conduct cooperative research with people in other areas.

Information about deadlines, application forms and admissions requirements can be found in the Graduate Admissions section. Information about assistantships can be found in the Graduate Assistantship section. Details about required courses and the degree program can be found in the Maters and PhD program details section.

What is Statistics?

Statistics is a modern science concerned with making decisions and inferences from empirical data subject to random variability and error. It deals with designing experiments, sample surveys, summarizing numerical information, building and analyzing statistical models, prediction and choosing between alternate actions. Statistics can tell us how much safer it is to fly than drive, the odds of winning the lottery, our life expectancy, and who is likely to win the next election.

Good News: Statistics also tells us there is a growing demand for statisticians

Because of its importance as a scientific method, the demand for trained statisticians has grown in education, medicine, government, business and industry as well as in the biological, social and physical sciences. The Department of Statistics at MU is committed to train undergraduate and graduate students to meet this demand and develop careers in teaching and research.

Our Strengths

The Faculties of MU's Department of Statistics are recognized internationally for their contribution to statistical theory and application. Few small departments have as many distinguished faculty members as MU's statistics department. Of the 18 tenured, tenure track, and teaching faculty members, four are Fellows of the American Statistical Association, two are Fellows of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, three are elected members of the International Statistical Society, and one William T. Kemper Fellow for Teaching Excellence. These accomplishments put them at the frontier of modern statistics, which is being shaped by collaborative research of teams of scientists using computer-intensive statistical methodology.

Personal Attention

The collaborative nature of research and teaching in the department constantly brings students and faculty members together in class and in the computer lab. They know each other by first names, and they see each other so regularly that questions rarely wait long for answers.

Participation and Assessment

Our graduate students are expected to take a full and active part in all departmental activities. Participation in research programs, departmental lectures and colloquiums are considered an integral part of a graduate program.

Departmental Advisors

Overseeing the progress of all graduate students in the Department is the Director of Graduate Studies, who have the responsibility to advise all newly incoming students. On the basis of the student’s background and interests, they determine what courses are necessary to meet the needs of the student and the departmental requirements.

In due course (within 6 months of passing the Qualifying Examination), a research adviser must be selected to supervise a student’s research program leading to a Master’s or Doctoral Degree. The research adviser becomes the permanent adviser who assesses the individual student’s needs and helps set up a program of courses that makes each student’s progress through the graduate program as smooth as possible. The adviser, together with the student’s thesis committee, has the responsibility of overseeing the student’s progress in preparing for advancement to degree candidacy and completion of research requirements for the degree.

Degree requirements

The Department’s expectations of graduate students are simple – progress toward your degree goal. Your goals are best met by close cooperation between you, your adviser, and the rest of the faculty. The detailed requirements for obtaining an M.S. or Ph.D. degree in Statistics are given in the links to the left of this page. More details and useful information can be found in the Graduate Catalog. Depending on the degree pursued, the requirements may include:

  • specific required courses,
  • passage of evaluation examinations,
  • completion of research and a thesis based on research, as well as
  • filing various application forms with signatures of departmental advisers and other faculty.

While this process sounds intimidating, it actually is not: with proper attention to details, your graduate work will go smoothly, and you will proceed quickly to your desired goal.