Established in 1983, the Department of Statistics at UBC is internationally renowned for its excellence in research and the high calibre of its faculty members. Graduate students are a vital part of our Department. They participate actively in our research, teaching and consulting activities, and enjoy a wide variety of opportunities for interaction with other researchers and students on- and off-campus. These opportunities are facilitated by the involvement of our faculty members in various collaborative and interdisciplinary research projects. In addition, our graduate students run their own statistical consulting service, which provides them with professional (paid) experience even before they finish their program.
Our programs offer our students different options for pursuing their interests and professional goals. We currently have programs at both the Masters and PhD levels. At the MSc level we offer a MSc in Statistics and a MSc in Statistics with a Biostatistics option (in collaboration with the School of Population and Public Health). Students can choose to do a thesis, a final project or an 8-month full-time co-op placement (internship) outside the Department. For more information please click here and here. Our MSc program has an expected completion time of less than 2 years. With appropriately selected courses during their MSc program, our students can prepare themselves for a successful career in biostatistics, bioinformatics / genomics, data mining, statistical computing, among others. Students with an interest in bioinformatics, please note the training program in bioinformatics. Our alumni can be found in a number of different professional roles (alumni link).
Students completing our PhD program will be well-prepared for a job in industry, government or academia. During their program our students develop important professional skills that include: effective communication skills for both technical and non-technical audiences, creativity and originality, and grant writing skills, among others. They also acquire a broad knowledge of modern statistical methods, including computing and data management. The PhD in Statistics program has an expected completion time of 3 to 4 years. We have recently introduced a highly innovative qualifying process – instead of writing an exam, first year PhD students register in a reading and research course where they work on research papers proposed by individual faculty members. The comprehensive exam on the proposed thesis research is typically taken before the end of the second year in the PhD program.
Graduate students in our Department enjoy a very collegial and inclusive environment. We are very proud of our graduates' achievements, and try to provide them with many opportunities to develop professionally. We value highly the opinion of our graduate students and keep them actively involved in the life of the Department. They are represented in departmental meetings and participate in many our decisions.
Our graduate students manage two series of student-focused seminars (a weekly student seminar usually followed by a pizza lunch, and another one organized jointly with the students at SFU usually held twice a year). Furthermore, thanks to a generous gift from our Honorary Professor Constance van Eeden, every year our graduate students select a prominent statistician of their choice to give a seminar in the department. The students invite the visitor and organize the visit. We also encourage our graduate students to participate in the case study competition held during the annual meeting of the Statistical Society of Canada