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Admissions

For application to either the MSc or PhD program for admission in September 2017, please note the following.  

  • We will begin accepting applications on Monday October 3 2016.
  • The deadline to submit your application and all documents, including letters, is January 15th 2017.  This deadline is firm.  Applications that are incomplete at that time will not be considered.
  • Please read the minimum requirements for admission to a UBC graduate program, as set by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
  • Please read the information posted on the Statistics Department site, including the additional requirements, as set by the Statistics Department, described below.  
  • Successful applicants must show evidence of their genuine interest in our discipline and have excellent grades in relevant courses and strong reference letters.  We receive over 200 applications each year and can only admit a small proportion of these.

Please also note that we only admit students for September enrollment.

After reading the department information and the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies information, if you have questions, please contact the admiss [at] stat.ubc.ca (subject: Query%20re%20program%3A%20%20MSc%20or%20PhD%20%20(specify%20one)) (Graduate Admissions Officer).   

MSc Applicants

Our MSc in Statistics program has two distinct options or areas of concentration, Statistics and Biostatistics, each with its own set of program requirements. In your on-line application, please clearly indicate  if you are applying to the Statistics option or to the Biostatistics option.   If admitted, you will not be able to switch between options.

Academic Background for the MSc

In addition to the minimum admission requirements enforced by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, the department's Admissions Committee has outlined the following requirements, along with other desired courses and skills.  Note that meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.   Note also that an applicant missing a course or two but with other strong attributes, such as work experience as a statistician, will be seriously considered.

MATHEMATICS COURSES

  • required: calculus (differentiation, integration, multivariable calculus) as obtained in UBC MATH 100, 200, 253
  • required:  linear algebra, as obtained in UBC MATH 221

In addition, the student should have some ability in constructing proofs, for instance concerning continuity and limits, such as acquired in UBC MATH 200.  

PROBABILITY COURSES

  • required: an intoductory course including axioms of probability, various common distributions, multivariate distributions and some limit theorems, as obtained through UBC MATH/STAT 302 or  via the text Introduction to Probability and Its Applications, 2nd edition, by R.L. Scheaffer.
  • recommended but not required: stochastic processes, as obtained through UBC MATH 303

COMPUTING SKILLS

  • required:  familiarity with R
  • recommended but not required: experience in coding such as C/C+ or Python

STATISTICS COURSES

  • required: an introductory course in statistical methods, such as UBC STAT 200 or via the text Statistics Data and Models, Pearson Canada, 2015, by De Veaux Velleman and Bock
  • required: a course in statistical inference/mathematical statistics: theory of estimation and hypothesis testing, such as UBC STAT 305 or via the text Mathematical Statistics and Data Analysis, Wadsworth & Brooks/Cole, 1988, by John Rice
  • required: either a course in regression analysis or a course in the design of experiments/ANOVA.  The regression course should cover the material in UBC STAT 306, with text Applied Linear Regression, Wiley, by S. Weisberg. The design/ANOVA course should cover the material in UBC STAT 404, with text Design and Analysis of Experiments, Wiley, latest edition, by D. Montgomery.

PhD Applicants

Background for the PhD

Successful PhD applicants typically have an MSc in Statistics or an MSc or PhD in Mathematics with strong evidence of interest in statistics.  A student with only a Bachelors degree cannot usually be admitted to our PhD program, but rather must first enter the MSc program, either first completing the MSc or applying for transfer to the PhD after one year.  If you have only had a few courses in statistics, your application to the PhD program will not be successful.

For admission to the PhD program, the Admissions committee requires the following, in addition to the requirements for admission to the MSc program.

  • a course in advanced statistical inference
  • courses in rigorous mathematics
  • at least 3 of the following courses at the graduate level: stochastic processes, advanced probability, mathematical statistics, linear models

The above requirements are in addition to the minimum admission requirements of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.  Please note that meeting our admission requirements does not guarantee admission.

The following background will strengthen the application.

  • courses in real analysis, and possibly measure theory, advanced probability (limit theorems, sigma fields);
  • a broad range of courses in statistical methods (e.g., some topics among statistical computing, Bayesian statistics, generalized linear models, time series, multivariate statistics);
  • undergraduate or graduate computer science courses;
  • research or work experience relevant to statistics;
  • solid programming experience (e.g., C, C++, Fortran, Python, R, SAS, Matlab).

Application Procedures

The application deadline is January 15th, 2017.

Before you begin your application: Please read all instructions and procedures thoroughly and carefully. If your application is incomplete or incorrect at the time of the deadline, you will not be considered for admission. Extensions to the deadline will not be granted for any reason, and failure to follow instructions or submit material on time will result in your application being disqualified.

1. Detailed application instructions can be found on the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies webpage. Please consult this webpage, and read our Frequently Asked Questions, before beginning your application.

2. Fill out and submit the online application form (interactive application, pay by credit card).

3. References: Ask three referees to upload reference letters online (They may also mail them directly to us). Detailed information regarding reference requirements and instructions can be found on the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies webpage. 
 
4.Transcripts: Scan and upload digital copies of all post-secondary transcripts to the online system. These are considered "unofficial documents". These uploaded copies of your documents will be used for initial evaluation of the applicant. Conditional admission offers may be made based on documents uploaded to the application system. You are not required to submit official hard copies of your transcripts unless you are made an offer of admission. Admission offers will not be finalized and applicants will not be allowed to register in a graduate program until one set of all required official academic records are received and validated by the University.

            If you are a domestic applicant, read and follow the instructions supplied by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
            If you are an International applicant, read and follow the instructions supplied by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

5. Request an English Proficiency Test score to be sent to UBC if applicable. Do not have your score sent directly to the Department. Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. You can find a great deal of information regarding whether you need to submit a score by visiting our FAQ page. Please note that scores expire two years after the test date. We are unable to accept expired scores.
    TOEFL: minimum score of 600 (paper version), 250 (computer version), or 100 (internet  version). Institution code:   0965
    IELTS: minimum overall band score of 7.5 with no component score less than 6.5.

When ordering your score, please specify the following details:
Name of institution: University of British Columbia
Institution code: 0965
Name of person/department: Graduate School Admissions
Address: 170-6371 Crescent Road, Vancouver, B.C. V6T-1Z2
 
6. Upload your CV and research proposal/personal statement onto the application system. Your statement may be a maximum one page for MSc. applicants, two pages for PhD applicants, minimum 9 point font. Please put your name on your statement. Your personal statement may include information on your areas of interest in the field, career goals, academic motivation, and any relevant information that is not covered in the online application or your CV.

7. Please do not send copies of your passport, visas, or any other personal identification documents. Please do not send any bank or financial documents. We do not require a GRE score. Please note that we are unable to print any extra material (ie. writing samples, certificates) for your file, however you may supply a link to such documents in your CV. There is no additional application for funding. All applicants are considered for funding.

The mailing address for the Department is:

Graduate Admissions Officer

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. Applications that are incomplete by the January 15th deadline will not be considered. 

Please direct any questions to the Graduate Admissions Officer: admiss [at] stat.ubc.ca (subject: Grad%20Query)
 

Application Tips

  • Please note that we are unable to provide pre-application evaluations/screening, either in person or via email or phone. Applicants are responsible for determining their eligibility
  • 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
  • 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. 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.
  • The Graduate Committee occasionally begins reviewing applications before the deadline, so completing your application early is in your best interest. We are unable to provide updates as to the status of your application. We will make every effort to inform applicants about the results of the evaluation as soon as possible, but please allow several weeks for the evaluation process to take place.

More questions?

Check out our Graduate Admissions Frequently Asked Questions.