Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Master of Science (M.S.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus

Program Overview

Statistics plays an important role throughout society, providing methodologies for advances in medicine, genetics and other research arenas, and for making decisions in business and public policy. Statistics is part of the natural, mathematical and biomedical sciences field in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.

The Ph.D. program offers faculty expertise in statistical genetics, inference, Bayesian statistics, robust inference, computational statistics, reliability, statistics in law and regulatory policy, and probabilistic analysis of algorithms.

To enter the Ph.D. program, graduate students typically have earned a master’s degree in statistics or a related discipline. Students need a strong background in mathematics, including courses in advanced calculus, linear algebra and mathematical statistics.

The M.S. program offers a combination of mathematical statistics, applied statistics and statistical computing tailored to each student. Use of statistical software packages, available in all University computer labs, is required for most courses. Before entering the program, students are required to take courses in multivariate calculus, matrix theory and at least two undergraduate statistics courses.


The Ph.D. and M.S. in Statistics are STEM-designated degree programs.


Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:
Fall Ph.D. - January 15 
           M.S. - April 1 (Applicants interest in being considered for funding should apply no later than February 1.)
Spring Ph.D. - October 1
             M.S. - October 1
Standardized test scores: 
GRE general test (institutional code 5246). Waived for applicants who hold a J.D., M.D., or Ph.D. only on a case-by-case basis.
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the PTE Academic is required of all applicants except those who hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a college or university in the United States or from an institution located in a country in which English is the official language, provided English was the language of instruction. 
Minimum scores for the PhD and M.S. program are:
  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 6.0 with no individual score below 5.0; or
  • TOEFL: 550 on paper-based or 80 on Internet-based;  or
  • PTE Academic: 53
Applicants to the Master’s program who do not meet minimum English language requirements may be eligible for our full-time Applied English Language program.
Recommendations required:
Two (2) recommendations
Prerequisite requirements:
M.S. - Course work in multivariate calculus, matrix theory, and at least two undergraduate statistics courses.
The M.S. program rarely admits students with scores below the following: 
  • Verbal GRE: 15th percentile
  • Quantitative GRE: 80th percentile
Ph.D. -A bachelor's degree or master’s degree in mathematics, statistics, or related discipline. The main requirement is strong background in mathematics including courses in advanced calculus, linear algebra, and mathematical statistics. Some deficiencies may be made up concurrently in the first year of the program.
Prior academic records:
Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.

If transcripts are in a language other than English, English language translations must be provided. The English translation alone should be uploaded into your application.
Statement of purpose: 
In an essay of 250 – 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in your chosen field. Include your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans. Also discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application. If you are applying for an assistantship or fellowship, you should also describe any teaching experience you have had.
International applicants only: 
Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW, and English language requirements.
For more information on the admission process, please visit the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Frequently Asked Questions page.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences – Graduate Admissions Office
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 215
Washington DC 20052
Contact for questions:
[email protected] ~ 202.994.6210 (phone) ~ 202.994.6213 (fax)
8:30 am – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday