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The Statistics graduate programs consists of a general track MS program, Analytics Concentration MS program, Applied Concentration MS program, and a PhD program. The graduate programs provide advanced training in mathematical and applied statistics, exposure to statistics in a consulting or collaborative research environment and specialized coursework in a number of areas of emphasis, such as Data Science and Biostatistics. The graduate programs are intended to prepare students for careers as practicing statisticians and data scientists as well as to provide enhanced research expertise and professional leadership in the field of statistics and data sciences.


MS Fall Admission – April 1 (General Track, Analytics)
MS Spring Admission – September 15 (General Track, Analytics, Applied)
PhD Fall Admission - Dec 15 (Fall admit only)
*Application deadlines are the same for both domestic and international applicants

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*Fall 2024 Note*

The GRE is optional for admission consideration for the Spring 2024 and Fall 2024 admission cycles. This waiver applies to both the PhD and MS programs. 

Graduate Programs Prerequisites

All graduate programs in Statistics require an applicant to have obtained, or will have obtained by date of enrollment, a minimum of a 4 year post-secondary degree from an accredited institute as recognized by the Graduate College.

All applicants must have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale (or comparable for international institutions). The GPA for admission only considers the applicant's previous 60 semester hours of undergraduate study or your entire accumulative graduate level course work.

Students are expected to have a solid undergraduate mathematics background, but need not have an undergraduate statistics or mathematics degree. Students may be admitted with deficiencies, which are to be removed during the first year of graduate work. 

International applicants must also meet the admission requirements based on their country of citizenship as outlined by the Graduate College's Admission Requirement For A Country policies. 

MS General Track Program

Calculus through Vector (Multivariable) Calculus
Linear Algebra (similar to MATH 257 or MATH 415)
Calculus-based Statistics and Probability I (similar to STAT 400)

MS Analytics Concentration

General track prerequisites, plus the following: 
Experience with statistical computing software and interactive programming environments such as Python, R, C++, or Matlab.

MS Applied

General track prerequisites, plus the following: 
Currently enrolled doctoral student at the University of Illinois in a separate field of study. 

PhD Program

General track prerequisites, plus the following: 
Advanced Calculus (similar to MATH 347 or 380) or Real Analysis (similar to MATH 444 or 447)
Statistics and Probability II (similar to STAT 410)
Knowledge of a computer programming language such as Python, R, C++, or Matlab.


Graduate Minor in Statistics

The Graduate Minor in Statistics is designed for doctoral students pursuing degrees in other fields who wish to enhance their statistical knowledge and credentials. Students within the major cannot minor in the same program. The Minor is taken in conjunction with, and is intended to complement the student's work in their primary discipline.

Admission to the minor requires an application to the Department and admission to a PhD program (MS track to PhD cannot apply until they are in the PhD program) in another field at the University of Illinois. Applications for the Minor are submitted upon completion of the required courses. Approval is contingent on having grade point average of 3.0 or better in the Minor.

A total of three courses, constituting 12 graduate credit hours, are required for the minor in Statistics degree. At least 8 credit hours must be taken at the 500 level. No course substitutions are allowed.

4 Credit Hours in Statistics at the 400 level from approved departmental list 4
8 Credit Hours in Statistics at the 500 level from approved departmental list 8

Total Hours



STAT 424 (Analysis of Variance), STAT 425 (Statistical Modeling I), STAT 426 (Statistical Modeling II), STAT 428 (Statistical Computing), STAT 429 (Time Series Analysis), STAT 430 (Topics in Applied Statistics), STAT 432 (Basics of Statistical Learning), STAT 440 (Statistical Data Management), STAT 443 (Professional Statistics), STAT 448 (Advanced Data Analysis), STAT 480 (Big Data Analytics)


STAT 510 (Mathematical Statistics), STAT 511 (Advanced Mathematical Statistics), STAT 525 (Computational Statistics), STAT 527 (Advanced Regression Analysis), STAT 530 (Bioinformatics), STAT 542 (Statistical Learning), STAT 571 (Multivariate Analysis), STAT 575 (Large Sample Theory), STAT 578 (Topics In Statistics), STAT 587 (Hierarchical Linear Models), STAT 588 (Covariance Structures and Factor Models)

*In 400 level courses, be sure to register for the graduate section for 4 credit hours, not the undergraduate section if there is one.


Applying to the Graduate Minor in Statistics

Candidates for the Graduate Minor in Statistics should not submit an application until all requirements outlined above have been met. Once the requirements have been met, candidates may submit an application through the following link: Graduate Minor in Statistics Application


Application Materials for All Graduate Applicants

  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE): Required for admission consideration to all graduate programs in Statistics - there are no exceptions to this policy. We do not accept the GMAT in substitution for this requirement. GRE scores are valid for approximately 5 years from the date of the test, scores must be valid at the time of the first day of class for the semester admitted to. Waived for the 2024 admission cycles for MS and PhD applicants. 
  • Letters of Recommendations: A minimum of 3 (three) letters of recommendation should be submitted on your behalf. Letter writers can be instructors, advisors, co-workers, employers, etc., anyone who can speak of your character, strengths, and abilities to be a viable candidate to join our program.
  • Transcripts/Academic Records (diplomas, certificate of degree, etc.): Unofficial transcripts and/or other academic records must be uploaded for consideration for admission. Do not send your official transcripts unless an offer of admission is made.  If you are an international applicant, your transcripts must be translated to English through the school issuing the transcript or through a verification program like WES.
  • Academic Statement of Purpose: Please use the Academic Statement of Purpose to describe (within 1000 words): (1) your academic interests, (2) your academic background, preparation, and training, including any relevant professional experiences, (3) your reasons for pursuing graduate studies in this specific program, and (4) your professional goals
  • Personal Statement: The University of Illinois strives to cultivate graduates and future alumni to be responsible citizens and leaders who value knowledge, creativity, global awareness, and social and cultural understanding. We invite applicants to describe their potential contribution to the institution and alignment with our strategic priorities to create “an institution committed to excellence in discovery, teaching, and research, and a climate where all can achieve their highest aspirations in a safe and welcoming environment.” 
    • Please use the Personal Statement to describe (within 500 words) how your personal background and experiences influenced your decision to pursue a graduate degree. Provide insight on your potential to contribute to a community of inclusion, belonging, and respect in which scholars with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, abilities, and experiences can learn and collaborate productively and positively together.
  • Resume/CV: There are no restrictions for the length or format of either the Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV). 
  • English Proficiency Tests: International students must submit either a TOEFL or IELTS score report unless they qualify for an exemption based on the English Proficiency Requirement for Admission policy of the Graduate College. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for approximately 2 years from the date of the test, scores must be valid at the time of the first day of class for the semester admitted to. 


English Proficiency and Waivers for International Applicants


  • All applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit the results of the TOEFL or IELTS as evidence of English proficiency.
  • Official scores are required to be submitted directly from TOEFL/ETS or IELTS.
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores must be valid at time of the first day of class of the admitted term.

The following chart provides Graduate College minimum score requirements for admission:

English Proficiency Test

Minimum for Limited Status Admission with English as a Second Language Placement Test Required*

Minimum for Full Status Admission**
TOEFL iBT 79-102 greater than 102
TOEFL CBT 213-253 greater than 253
TOEFL PBT 550-610 greater than 610
IELTS (academic exam) 6.5-7.0 greater than 7.0

If the scores on the TOEFL or IELTS are acceptable, but indicate the need for further English study, an English as a Second Language Placement Test (EPT) will be required upon arrival at the University. On the basis of the ESL EPT results, applicants are generally required to enroll in non-credit "English as a Second Language" courses and take a reduced academic load beginning the first semester at the University.


  • Graduate applicants may be exempt from providing a TOEFL or IELTS score if one of the following criteria is met:
    • Completion of at least two years of post-secondary full-time study, as defined by the home institution, in a country where English is the primary language and at an institution where English is the primary medium of instruction, within five years of the proposed term of initial enrollment at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
    • Completion of at least two years of professional work experience in a country where English is the primary language within five years of the proposed term of initial enrollment at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
    • Completion of a post-secondary degree in a country where English is the primary language and at an institution where English is the primary language of instruction, within five years of the proposed term of initial enrollment.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this exemption is for admission purposes only. This may not necessarily provide an exemption for international teaching assistants. For more information, please see the English Proficiency Requirement for International Teaching Assistants.


How to Apply

Submitting An Application
Potential applicants ready to begin their application to one of our graduate degree programs in Statistics should begin by either creating an account or logging back in to a previously created account through the Choose Illinois application page through the Graduate College's website. Applicants are encouraged to review the Graduate College's Application Checklist prior to beginning their application. 

Be sure to read through the entirety of the instructions presented at the start of the application process. Information on applying to multiple programs, application status, application fees, and other resources are presented. 

Application Review
Applicants should complete the entire application and upload all additional materials to the best of their ability before submitting it for review consideration. Applications are reviewed only during certain time periods of each admission cycle, generally in rolling batches, and the admission committees will typically only review completed applications (some exceptions include applications marked incomplete due to a missing letter of recommendation). Incomplete applications may be reviewed preemptively after a period of time has passed based on the materials available. Reconsiderations are generally not guaranteed if new or updated materials are uploaded after a decision has been made. The admission review committee members or admission staff are not permitted to discuss application decision outcomes. 

Applicants who have not paid their application fee will not have their applications reviewed for consideration. Applicants who are potentially eligible for an application fee waiver should proceed with submitting their application and selecting the Application Fee Waiver option. Upon review it will be determined if you are eligible for an application fee waiver and your application will proceed to the admission consideration process.

Applicants who participated in the Stat-MS Prep Track program are eligible for an application fee waiver and will want to indicate as such during the application process for approval. 

Domestic applicants who are part of the listed programs here are eligible for an application fee waiver or exemption and can indicate so on the online application. International applicants are not eligible for an application fee waiver unless coming under a valid exchange agreement that has an approved application fee waiver.

Applying to Multiple Statistics Graduate Programs
Applying to both the General Track MS and the Analytics Concentration programs will not increase your chances of admission and will result in paying two application fees. Applicants should apply only to one MS: Statistics program. If at anytime an admitted applicant wishes to transfer from the Analytics Concentration to the General Track or vice versa, they may do so with program approval. 

Applicants are permitted to apply to both the MS and the PhD program for consideration to both programs. This will result in having to pay two application fees. Alternatively, PhD applicants who are not admitted to the PhD program will be given an option to have their application considered for admission to the General Track MS: Statistics program without the penalty of an additional application fee. Please keep in mind, PhD applications recoded to the MS program typically do not happen until late in the admission cycle for the MS program. 


Financial Support for MS Students

The Department of Statistics is able to offer financial support to a limited number of MS students. This is typically by way of Graduate Opportunities in Statistics scholarships described below. In some years, the Department may also be able to offer Teaching Assistant positions to a limited number of MS students. Students are eligible to accept an assistantship with other departments if one is offered. MS students are encouraged to contact the department they desire to work with directly to seek information about available assistantships. The Statistics Department does not keep a database on available assistantships across campus nor does the department know of the application processes. Some departments do post their available assistantships to the Graduate College’s Assistantship Clearinghouse .

Hourly Grading
Students are eligible to apply for hourly grader or course assistant positions. These position does not come with a tuition waiver. Student graders are expected to work no more than 20 hours a week and are responsible for reporting their hours for their course instructor approval.

State Farm MAGNet and Research Park
Domestic students admitted to the Department of Statistics are eligible for an opportunity at the State Farm Research Center. Admitted MS students in our program who are interested in careers in the financial and insurance industries will be given the opportunity to apply and compete for the State Farm Research Center's Modeling and Analytics Graduate Network (MAGNet) program. Please consult with the Director of the MS program for further details. Successful applicants will be able to start their professional careers with tuition support for the MS degree and concurrent employment at the State Farm Research and Development Center, which is located in the University of Illinois Research Park. State Farm is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Graduate Opportunities in Statistics Scholarship
The Department of Statistics at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign administers the Graduate Opportunities in Statistics Scholarship program  with the aim of increasing the enrollment of outstanding students from populations that are underrepresented in graduate studies in Statistics. There will be a limited number of awards granted each academic year, and all students from these populations who apply for the MS in Statistics and the MS in Statistics with concentration in analytics are considered for this award, and no separate application is required. Thus, deadlines for applying for the scholarship are the same as the deadlines for applying for admission.

  • Eligibility: This competition is intended for students who are admitted with full status at the University of Illinois in either the MS: Statistics or the MS: Statistics - Analytics Concentration program. Priority consideration is given to domestic underrepresented minorities of U.S. citizenship.
  • Selection Criteria: Awardees are selected based on the strength of their application for the chosen MS in Statistics program. This is determined by their academic performance in the most relevant mathematics and statistics courses, overall grade-point average, GRE scores (waived), and the letters of recommendation included in the MS application. Scholarships may be offered before the application deadline based on ongoing application reviews. 
  • Terms: A limited number of awards covering the student's full tuition fee each semester the award is held, whether the student is out of state or an Illinois resident, will be available to outstanding students from underrepresented populations. A number of partial tuition scholarships are also available for domestic applicants in general. It will be continued until graduation or a maximum of 4 semesters, provided the awardee maintains a grade point average of at least 3.00 in courses counting for their students MS program, and remains in full standing making adequate academic progress in every respect.


Financial Support for PhD Students

PhD students in Statistics are guaranteed a tuition-waiver-generating assistantship for up to 5 academic years pending satisfactory progress and acceptable performance reviews in relation to their assistantship duties. Tuition and a majority of campus fees are waived for students with a 25-67% appointment. 

Most waiver-generating appointments include coverage of the service fee, health service fee, AFMFA fee and the Library/Technology fee, along with partial payment of the health insurance fee, and full payment by the University for the University vision insurance and dental insurance plans. The following table represents an example of the remaining fees that student's are responsible for after their assistantship has been applied. The amounts shown are just an example and do not reflect the current total of fees. 

Student Fees (Fall/Spring)
Based on Registration of 12+ Hours

Amount Amount Waived Student Portion
Service Fee $294 Fully Waived $0
General Fee $293 $0 $293
Health Insurance Fee $696 $605.52 $90.48
Health Service Fee $238 Fully Waived $0
Transportation Fee $62 $0 $62
Student Initiated Fees $66 $0 $66
AFMFA $346 Fully Waived $0
Library & Information Technology Fee $244 Fully Waived $0
Total $2239 $1,727.52 $511.48

*Student fees are for example only and are subject to change; for up to date fee rates and explanations of fees, please see the Office of the Registrar: Tuition & Fees.

Teaching Assistant: The student will grade homework and exams, work in the computer lab tutoring introductory statistics students and/or more advanced undergraduates taking statistics courses. After the student has attended the Graduate Academy he/she may teach a stand-alone section of STAT 100 or 200, or discussion sections of STAT 107, 207, or 400.

Research Assistant: Advanced students often receive research assistantships working with one of the professors, typically closely related to their thesis topics. The duties of this assistantship include analyzing data, performing literature reviews, statistical computing and research methodology. In addition, students who have successfully completed STAT 427, Statistical Consulting, are eligible for assistantships in the Illinois Statistics Office. These appointments give students experience with statistical consulting and applied research projects such as designing experiments, constructing survey plans, analyzing data, developing theoretical and empirical models, using computers for statistical computations, and preparing statistical sections of research proposals. Clients include members of the university community, government, and industry.


Admission Process for Domestic and International Applicants

Admission Offer
If an admission offer to join the Department of Statistics is made, you will receive a notification email from first that indicates the department is recommending you for admission to the Graduate College. Based on the program recommendation, the Graduate College will process the admission file and pending review will issue the official admission offer via email. This email will come from This email will contain your official offer or "Notification of Admission" (NOA). You must accept the Graduate College’s admission offer through the link provided in the admission offer email in order to begin the student onboarding process. 

  • International applicants who receive admission recommendation from the department must provide additional documents before the Graduate College will process the admission file. International applicants must provide an upload of their passport, proof of funding documentation, and evidence of English proficiency (unless eligible for waiver). Proof of funding can be uploaded after an admission offer is made. Proof of funding will also be required for those who are admitted to the PhD program. The amount to provide proof of funding for will be at a reduced rate of those admitted to the MS program due to the tuition waiver generating assistantship. 
  • SEVIS and International Student Visas: International applicants who are admitted to the Graduate College and are requesting an I-20 or DS-2019 must provide their passport and proof of funding documentation before the SEVIS check can be completed and a new I-20 or DS-2019 issued. If documentation is provided after an admission offer is made, please notify the program at so the SEVIS check can begin. Once the SEVIS check is completed and the I-20 or DS-2019 is made available to the program, it will be mailed out via UPS within 1-3 business days of receiving. Applicants will receive a notification from UPS at that time with a tracking number for their visa document.

Limited Status Admission

In order to be admitted without deficiencies, an applicant should have earned, at a minimum, credit for the prerequisite course work described above. Prerequisite courses listed above in parentheses are the University of Illinois courses that fulfill these requirements.

A student may be admitted on limited status if his or her pre-admission grade-point average (GPA), which is based on the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate work, is below the Graduate College minimum of 3.0 (A=4.0), or if the academic record shows other deficiencies or nontraditional academic qualifications. After the student has satisfied the conditions imposed, his or her major department will request that the Graduate College change the student from limited status to full graduate standing. No advanced degree will be awarded to a student who has not qualified for, and been granted, full graduate standing.

Admission Rejection
Unfortunately, not everyone who applies will be admitted to the Statistics program. If your application is denied admission to the program you will receive notification via email from the department. Due to the nature of our highly competitive program and the increased number of applications we receive each admission cycle we unfortunately cannot discuss or comment on reasons your particular application was denied admission to the program.

You are permitted to re-apply at a later time.

Admission Deferral
If you are granted admission to the MS program, you are permitted to defer your enrollment for up to one academic year. Meaning, if you are admitted to the upcoming fall term, you can defer to the following spring term or the next fall term. If you wish to defer beyond the one year limit you will forfeit your admission and have to submit a new application if you wish to rejoin the program.

For PhD deferrals, you will not automatically be eligible for admission if you defer to a different term. Your application will be recoded to the following admission cycle and be reviewed along with any new applications to the program.


Tuition and Fees

The Department of Statistics Graduate Programs follow the Graduate base rate for tuition and fees as outlined by the Office of the Registrar.

Use the Illinois Cost Calculator if unsure of a program’s tuition rate category.