Recommended BackgroundAdmission success depends on excellent grades, and a good selection in undergraduate/graduate courses in areas most relevant to graduate courses in statistics. The PhD program requires a thesis consisting of original research, so also very important are (a) problem solving skills (and background in math and/or computing to solve problems), (b) ability to learn, read statistical literature and work independently.
Successful Ph.D. applicants typically have an M.Sc. in statistics, or an M.Sc. or Ph.D. in mathematics with strong evidence of interest in statistics. A student with only a Bachelors degree cannot usually be admitted to our Ph.D. program, but rather must first complete an M.Sc. degree. However, a student with an honours Bachelors degree from a Canadian university can be considered for admission directly to the Ph.D. program.
Academic Background/Checklist for AdmissionThe Admissions Committee has identified the following requirements for admission,
- a course in advanced statistical inference;
- a course in regression analysis;
- courses in rigorous mathematics;
- at least 3 of the following courses: stochastic processes, advanced probability, mathematical statistics, linear models;
- preferably other undergraduate computer science courses or graduate courses in statistics.
- courses in real analysis, and possible measure theory, advanced probability (limit theorems, sigma fields);
- courses in mathematical statistics, plus a broad range of courses in statistical methods (e.g., some topics among statistical computing, Bayesian statistics, generalized linear models, time series, multivariate statistics);
- solid programming experience (e.g., C, C++, Fortran, Splus/R, SAS, Matlab).
Please note that if your background is limited to a few courses in statistics (for example, applicants with degrees in accounting, business, engineering, etc.) and you do not meet the requirements above, your application may not be successful. We receive over 200 applications to our graduate programs each year and can only admit a very small proportion of them.
For detailed University procedures for admission, please see the Faculty of Graduate Studies Home Page at http://www.grad.ubc.ca. To apply, you must fill out a Faculty of Graduate Studies application and submit three letters of reference to the Statistics Department. All applicants are automatically considered for teaching and/or research assistantships. The following forms are available on-line:
- Faculty of Graduate Studies application form at http://www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/application-admission/apply-online (interactive application, pay by credit card). On-line applications will be accepted starting in early October of 2013
- Reference Letter Form (print and send in only if your referees are NOT submitting an online reference). Letters need not be submitted on the form.
Admission to our graduate programs is competitive. Only complete applications will be considered. To assist the Graduate Admissions Committee in reaching a decision, please complete and submit the following documents directly to the Graduate Secretary well BEFORE the January 15th deadline.
- Online application form for Admission to Graduate Studies.
- Application fee of $90 CDN for Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents, and $150 CDN for most international applicants (see http://www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/application-admission/online-application-fee for countries with waivers). The fee is non-refundable and is valid for only one academic year. Fee is paid online at the time the application is submitted.
- Three references, either on the official online form or in a letter (send in only if your referees are NOT submitting an online reference). References must be received by us in envelops that have been sealed and endorsed by the sender, or uploaded by the referee using the online system. We do not accept references via email.
- Two official transcripts (photocopies not acceptable) from ALL colleges and universities previously or currently attended. This includes exchange semesters. Transcripts must be sealed and endorsed from the issuing institution. Applicants from China must provide official, sealed copies of degree certificates.
- Statement of interest/statement of purpose: maximum two pages to be mailed or sent via email attachment. For PhD applicants: your statement could include (a) career goals, (b) topics of particular interest in previous/current courses, (c) experience with writing and reading research papers, (d) specific topics that you want to learn about more deeply.
- Please note that we do NOT require a GRE score
- Please do not send financial or bank statements to the Department
- Futhermore, for international students only:
- If your transcripts are in a language other than English or French, you must include official certified English translations. If your transcripts are from a university in the People's Republic of China, you must include an official degree certificate in both English and Chinese.
Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must present evidence of competency to pursue studies in the English language. Acceptable English language proficiency tests for applicants to graduate studies are:
- TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): minimum score of 600 (paper version), 250 (computer version), or 100 (internet version); Institution code: 0965 Department code: 59
- IELTS (International English Language Testing Service): minimum overall band score of 7.5 with no other component score less than 6.5.
The mailing address for reference forms and official transcripts is:Graduate Secretary
Department of Statistics
3182 Earth Sciences Building
2207 Main Mall
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4 Applications cannot be processed until all the required documentation has been received.
- From our experience, it can take up to six weeks from the time you order for your TOEFL score to arrive from ETS. Your score must be received by the January 15th deadline, so make sure you order it by the beginning of December at the latest
- Even when sent via courier, documents from overseas can take quite a long time to reach the Department. From time to time, documents do get lost in the mail. Make sure you order your transcripts with enough time that you can order another set should yours get lost. Unless you are absolutely confident that your transcripts will arrive before the deadline, don't wait for your first semester scores to become available before ordering your transcripts.
- Make sure you give your referees plenty of warning and time to supply you with a reference. Referees need time in order to supply you with a detailed and effective letter. And remember that they are probably writing reference letters for many other students!
- You can monitor the status of your application and documents online. Your application is updated as your documents are received. Because of the volume of applications we receive, we are not able to monitor each application for completeness, and doing so is the responsibility of the applicant. The earlier you submit your application and materials, the more favorably it reflects upon you as a potential graduate student.