General Statement
The Mathematical Statistics Program offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in statistics and probability theory with areas of faculty specialization including stochastic processes, statistical decision theory, biostatistics, stochastic modeling, nonparametric inference, multivariate analysis, categorical data, time series analysis and large sample theory. Students may pursue a program of study emphasizing either theory or applications by appropriate choice of coursework and research topics. The program has been designed with sufficient flexibility to accommodate the student's background and interests.
Academic matters relating to the Mathematical Statistics Program are determined by the Statistics faculty of the Mathematics Department. The Department administers graduate programs in Mathematics (MATH) and Mathematical Statistics (STAT), and also cooperates with the program in Applied Mathematics and Scientific Computation (AMSC). Administrative support for the STAT program is provided by the Department's Office of Graduate Studies. In particular, all teaching assistantships and most fellowships for students in the three programs are handled by the Mathematics Graduate Office.
Some general regulations of the Graduate School are listed on this web page, as well as specific policies of the STAT Program and the Mathematics Department. These policies should be carefully considered by all graduate students in planning their work towards an advanced degree. Additional information is available in the Office of Graduate Studies and in such publications as the Graduate Catalog, the Graduate Student Life Handbook, the Graduate Assistant Handbook, and the Schedule of Classes.
Advising, Registration and Maintenance of Graduate Standing
Every student is expected to meet with an advisor each semester. Upon admission new students should follow the advising directions of the Departmental letter of admission (except those who will be graduate teaching assistants). The new teaching assistants complete advising and registration during the one week mandatory orientation program that takes place in August, the week before the start of classes. For currently enrolled students, registration takes place either electronically or through the Office of Graduate Studies every fall and spring for the following semester.
All Statistics Program faculty members can advise graduate students on their program and selection of courses. However, for the purpose of coordination and course planning it is expected that graduate students in Statistics will consult with the Statistics Program Director about their plans for immediate course selection and expected registration for following semesters. New graduate students will usually be advised by the Statistics Program Director.
The advisor and the student cooperate to formulate the appropriate course of study. The program should combine core material in statistics and probability, supporting material in mathematics and/or areas of application of statistics, and more specialized study in areas of particular interest to the student. There are no specific course requirements. However, a narrow, overspecialized program is undesirable, since statisticians must be able to apply their knowledge to a variety of problems and must have a wide range of skills at their disposal. The program is subject to the approval of the Director of the Statistics Program.
Core Courses: All students should plan to take STAT 650, STAT 700701 and STAT 740741. In addition, those with a weak background in probability and statistics should take STAT 410 in their first semester at Maryland.
Master’s  Thesis Option: In addition to the core courses, students elect other courses in statistics, mathematics or areas of application. This enables the student to set up an individualized program of study in applied statistics, mathematical statistics or applied probability. The student should plan on beginning thesis research in the second year.
Master’s  Non Thesis Option: These students take the departmental written comprehensive examination in statistics, probability, and a third area of statistics or mathematics. The program of study should include the core courses, a course sequence for the third part of the written examination, and other courses in statistics, mathematics or applied areas to complete the program. In addition, candidates choosing the nonthesis option for the M.A. must prepare a scholarly paper.
Doctorate: The doctoral student's program usually includes STAT 600601650, STAT 700701 and a mathematics sequence. This is the core material for the three part Ph.D. written examination. In addition, doctoral students should plan on taking some more advanced courses, usually at least some subset of STAT 740741 (Linear Statistical Models), STAT 710 (Advanced Statistics), and STAT 750 (Multivariate Analysis). Advanced students often take independent reading courses in their areas of research in addition to or instead of formal course work. Participation in the probability and statistics seminar and statistics workshop is required of all who plan to write a Ph.D. dissertation. In addition, these students must give a presentation in some area of current research in the field.
Any course may be repeated and the grade in the repeated course replaces the original grade in determining the overall average. As long as the overall average is at least B at the time of receiving the degree, grades of D, F and I may stand, but D and F count as 0 quality points in computing averages, and courses in which these grades are received cannot be used to fulfill degree requirements.
The Schedule of Classes should be consulted for pertinent dates for adding and dropping classes.
A full time graduate student must carry a combination of courses that adds up to at least 48 units each semester (excluding the summer sessions). For graduate assistants this requirement is reduced to a minimum of 24 units. A unit is defined as follows:
 All 400 level courses: 4 units per credit hour.
 All 600/897 level courses: 6 units per credit hour (except 799).
 799: 12 units per credit hour; 898 and 899: 18 units per credit hour
Each professor has an individual section number for a reading or research course. This section number is available in the Office of Graduate Studies. Students registering for an RIT (STAT 689), a reading course (STAT 698 or 798) or any 799/899 course should obtain the correct section number from that office.
Students are expected to make steady progress toward their degrees. For the M.A. degree, all requirements must be completed within five years from the date of admission. A student admitted to a Ph.D. program must be admitted to candidacy within five years from the date of admission. After admission to candidacy all requirements for the Ph.D. degree must be completed within four additional years. Minimal continuous registration is required of all students who have been admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree.
Graduate Student Financial Support
Graduate teaching assistantships offered by the Mathematics Department constitute the main form of financial aid. In addition to a stipend, graduate assistants receive a tuition scholarship for up to ten credits per semester and are eligible for health care benefits. See here for further information on duties of graduate assistants and renewal policies for fellowships and assistantships.
Requirements Applicable to All Master’s Students
A student who receives a Master's degree in Mathematical Statistics should demonstrate a general understanding of the main branches of the subject and must have shown a high level of scholarship and ability. Two options are available for this degree: the M.A. with thesis and the M.A. without thesis.
Residence Requirements: A fulltime student must have two semesters in residence, a parttime student four semesters. All requirements for the M.A. degree must be completed within a period of five years.
Transfer of Credit: Up to six credits of graduate level work taken at another regionally accredited institution is permitted under the following provisions:

The faculty advisor and Program Director agree that the specific credits are acceptable in the student's program.

The grade of B or better was earned in the course offered. No courses with pass/fail grades will be accepted.

The credit was earned within the five year limit imposed for completing the Master's degree at the University of Maryland.

The course received graduate credit at the institution where it was taken, and has not been used to meet the requirements for any degree previously earned.
Diploma Application: Application for diploma/graduation can be made online through Testudo, early in the semester in which the degree is expected. The deadline for the application can be found here.
Approved Program Form: A student who has applied for a diploma must complete the Approved Program form obtained from the Office of Graduate Studies before the deadline listed in the Schedule of Classes. This form is returned to the Administrator of the Graduate Program who will forward it to the Graduate School.
Grade Point Average: The student must maintain an average of B (3.0) or better in all courses taken, not just those listed in the Approved Program. For this purpose, the grades of D, F, and I count as 0 quality points, and courses with these grades cannot be used for degree requirements.
Incomplete: Any grade of incomplete in a course listed in the Approved Program must be removed.
Minimum Requirements for M.A. with Thesis
In addition to satisfying the requirements applicable to all M.A. candidates, the student must have:
 taken a total of 24 hours of courses carrying graduate credit of which at least 15 are at the 600/700 level and at least 12 hours are at the 600/700 level in statistics and probability (STAT);
 taken at least 6 hours of STAT 799 (Research) in addition to requirement (1);
 written a satisfactory thesis;
 passed a final oral examination.
Thesis: The M.A. thesis should represent a meaningful piece of independent work which has some novel features, for example, the detailed working out of the application of a general theory or method to some particular case or cases of interest. It must be prepared in the form required by the Graduate School. Each member of the final oral committee must receive a legible typed copy at least one week before the final oral examination. Two copies of the thesis must be delivered to the Graduate School after the final oral examination and before the deadline specified in the Schedule of Classes.
Nomination of Thesis or Dissertation Committee Form: This form, obtained from the Office of Graduate Studies, must be completed two months prior to the date of the final oral and in keeping with the deadline listed in the Schedule of Classes. It should be completed in conjunction with the student's thesis advisor and returned to the Administrator of the Graduate Program who will forward it to the Graduate School. This will generate the Report of Examining Committee form sent from the Graduate School to the Statistics Director to be taken to the final oral examination. It should be signed by all members of the thesis committee and returned to the Graduate School. There is also an equivalent internal form. The student will be examined on the thesis and related topics at the discretion of the examiners. All pertinent information concerning this oral examination should be given to the Office of Graduate Studies two weeks prior to the examination. The information will then be posted, as the examination is open to the public.
Minimum Requirements for M.A. without Thesis
In addition to satisfying the requirements applicable to all M.A. candidates, the student must:

Take a total of 30 hours of courses carrying graduate credit, of which at least 18 are at the 600/700 level and not less than 12 hours are at the 600/700 level in statistics and probability (STAT).

Satisfy the Master’s qualifying requirements.

Write a satisfactory scholarly paper.

Pass a final oral examination
Scholarly paper: The student must complete an acceptable scholarly paper of an expository nature. Normally, the topic shall be related to an advanced course or seminar taken in partial fulfillment of the course requirements for the degree. The topic shall normally be agreed upon with the professor in the course, who shall become the student's advisor. If the paper is not written in connection with a course, some other appropriate faculty member may approve the topic and become the advisor. A second reader shall be appointed by the Statistics Program Director and both readers must approve in order for the paper to be accepted. A printed copy of the final approved version shall be filed with the Office of Graduate Studies. The scholarly paper shall be based on substantial use of at least two sources, including one journal article. The paper must include an abstract and references to all literature used.
Final Oral Examination: The final oral examination shall consist of a presentation of the material in the scholarly paper, plus questioning by the examiners based on the paper and whatever material in the approved M.A. program that has not been covered by the written examination. The examining committee shall consist of the two readers of the scholarly paper.
The Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
To receive the Ph.D. degree in mathematical statistics a student must display a high level of scholarship shown by the ability to do original research and should possess a broad knowledge of major fields of the subject. It is not necessary to obtain a master's degree before obtaining the doctorate.
Residence Requirements: The equivalent of at least three full years of graduate study is required, of which at least one must be in residence at the University of Maryland campus. At least 18 hours of course work must be taken at the University of Maryland, plus 12 hours of research at the Ph.D. level.
Minimum Requirements: In order to receive a Ph.D. degree, the student must:

Take at least 36 hours of formal course work (at least 27 at the 600/700 level) with an average of B or better. Courses used as part of a Master's program may be used to fulfill this requirement. At least 18 hours must be taken in statistics and probability (STAT). Grades D, F, and I count as 0 quality points, and courses in which they are obtained cannot be used to fulfill degree requirements.

Take at least 12 hours of STAT 899 (Dissertation Research)

Satisfy the Ph.D. qualifying requirements.

Give an acceptable Doctoral Candidate's Presentation in an area of current research;

Pass a reading competence examination in a foreign language.

Participate in the probability and statistics seminar and statistics workshop. This participation will be checked and enforced by the thesis advisor.

Be admitted to candidacy no later than the year previous to the one in which the degree is granted.

Prepare a dissertation representing an original contribution to existing knowledge of statistics, probability or related areas.

Pass the final oral examination.
Doctoral Candidate's Presentation: As a condition for Ph.D. candidacy, the student must make an oral presentation in an area of current research. The level of the presentation should demonstrate depth of knowledge, familiarity with research literature, and ability to write a doctoral dissertation on a topic related to the subject of the presentation. The subject matter will be determined by the student with the help of his prospective thesis advisor. An examining committee of three statistics faculty members is appointed by the Program Director. At the conclusion of the presentation, the committee judges the presentation as acceptable or unacceptable. The committee may question the student on other material, if they deem such questioning necessary to reach a judgement.
Approved Program: The entire course of study must constitute a unified program, approved by an advisor in the field of the student's major interest and by the Program Director.
Admission to Candidacy: Before petitioning for admission to candidacy, a student must:

Complete half of the residence requirements.

Maintain a B (3.0) average in his or her formal course work.

Satisfy the Ph.D. qualifying requirements.

Give an acceptable Doctoral Candidate's Presentation.

Obtain the consent of a faculty member who will accept the responsibility of directing a dissertation.
After fulfilling these requirements, the student should complete the Admission to Candidacy form available in the Office of Graduate Studies. This will be forwarded to the Graduate School.
Dissertation: The dissertation must represent an original contribution to existing knowledge in mathematical statistics or probability. It must follow the format given in the "Style and Policy Manual for Theses and Dissertations" written by the Graduate School and available in the Office of Graduate Studies. It is expected that the dissertation or some modification thereof will be submitted to a statistical, mathematical or scientific journal for publication.
Final Oral Examination: The final oral examining committee must consist of five members, one of whom is a regular member of the graduate faculty of a department other than mathematics. Each member of the committee must be given a copy of the dissertation at least two weeks prior to the examination.
The Nomination of Thesis or Dissertation Committee form is obtained from the Office of Graduate Studies and must be completed and returned to that office three months prior to the final oral and in accordance with the deadline listed in the Schedule of Classes. Details governing the structure of the committee are on the back of this form. This will generate the Report of Examining Committee form sent from the Graduate School to the Statistics Director which must be taken to the final oral, signed by all members of the committee and returned to the Graduate School. There is also an equivalent internal form.
All pertinent information concerning the oral examination should be given to the Office of Graduate Studies two weeks prior to the examination. The information will then be posted as this examination is open to the public.
No final oral may be scheduled until the language examination has been passed.
The final oral examining committee will examine the candidate on the research work incorporated in the dissertation, review attainments and then vote on the candidate's qualifications for the degree. In order to justify a finding of failure, at least two negative votes must be cast.
Qualifying Requirements for Ph.D. Students

Students must pass at least two qualifying exams from the following list:

Applied Statistics (based on STAT 440, 740, 741)
 Statistics (based on STAT 700, 701
 Probability (based on STAT 600, 601)
2. Students may either take a third qualifying exam or take four semesters of coursework from the list below.

STAT 600, STAT 601 (Advanced Probability I & II)*

STAT 700, STAT 701 (Mathematical Statistics I & II)*

STAT 740, STAT 741 (Linear Statistical Models I & II)*

STAT 650 (Applied Stochastic Processes)

STAT 702 (Survival Analysis)

STAT 705 (Computational Statistics)

STAT 730 (Time Series)

STAT 750 (Multivariate Analysis)

STAT 770 (Categorical Data Analysis)
The grade in each course must be at least B (3.0) and the overall GPA must be at least 3.3 for the courses used to satisfy this requirement. Students need not complete an entire two semester sequence to satisfy this requirement. Each course used to satisfy this requirement must have serious assessment methods (graded homework, projects, exams, and/or similar). There should be some significant assessment that is guaranteed to be done solely by the student (e.g., an inclass exam or oral presentation, not only homework).
3. Students who do not take the qualifying exam in Probability must take STAT 600601 as part of the coursework used to satisfy Requirement 2 above.
4. Courses marked with * which support a qualifying exam passed by the student may not also be used to satisfy Requirement 2 above. For example, if a student passes the Ph.D. exam in Applied Statistics, then STAT 740741 may not be used to satisfy Requirement 2.
5. A student may take an additional qualifying examination instead of completing one of the two semester sequences in Requirement 2 above.
Qualifying Requirements for Nonthesis Master’s Students

Students must pass at least two qualifying exams at the M.A. level from the following list:

Applied Statistics (Ph.D. exam, based on STAT 440, 740, 741)

Statistics (Ph.D. exam, based on STAT 700, 701)

Probability (M.A. exam, based on STAT 410, STAT 650)
2. Students must take three semesters of coursework from the list below.

STAT 600, STAT 601 (Advanced Probability I & II)

STAT 700, STAT 701 (Mathematical Statistics I & II)*

STAT 740, STAT 741 (Linear Statistical Models I & II)*

STAT 650 (Applied Stochastic Processes) *

STAT 702 (Survival Analysis)

STAT 705 (Computational Statistics)

STAT 730 (Time Series)

STAT 770 (Categorical Data Analysis)
The grade in each course must be at least B (3.0) and the overall must be at least 3.3 for the courses used to satisfy this requirement. Students need not complete an entire two semester sequence to satisfy this requirement. Each course used to satisfy this requirement must have serious assessment methods (graded homework, projects, exams, and/or similar). There should be some significant assessment that is guaranteed to be done solely by the student (e.g., an exam or oral presentation, not only homework).
3. Courses which support a qualifying exam passed by the student may not also be used to satisfy Requirement 2 above. For example, if a student passes the M.A. Probability exam, STAT 650 may not be counted toward Requirement 2.
4. A student may take an additional qualifying examination instead of completing one of the two semester sequences in Requirement 2 above.