Doctoral Curriculum

This program is designed for students who desire academic research careers. The foundation is a sequence of courses in probability, mathematical statistics, linear models and statistical computing. The program also encourages study in a cognate area of application.

Up to four courses per semester may be counted toward the overall requirement of 13 courses. Six of the seven core courses are usually taken in the first year.


Sample Program Sequence

Years 1 and 2
  • Coursework
  • Examination
  • Research Papers
  • Research Activities
  • Completion of Other Requirements by Field
Year 1

Fall: STAT 930, STAT 961, STAT 970
Spring: STAT 927, STAT 931, STAT 971,
Summer: Qualifying Exam and First-Year Paper

Year 2

Fall: STAT 972, Two Electives
Spring: Three Electives
Summer: Second-Year Paper

 Year 3
  • Directed Reading & Research
  • Admission to Candidacy
  • Formulation of Research Topic
Fall: Independent Study Course, Two Electives, Oral Exam/Thesis Proposal
Spring: Electives or Directed Study Units
 Year 4
  • Continued Research
  • Oral Examination
  • Dissertation
Independent Study and Dissertation Research

Electives must include suitable courses numbered 900 and above, when offered.


The Program for the PhD Includes Seven Core Courses in the 2019-2020 Academic Year

STAT 927 Bayesian Statistics
STAT 930 Probability
STAT 931 Stochastic Processes
STAT 961 Statistical Methodology
STAT 970 Mathematical Statistics
STAT 971 Introduction to Linear Statistical Models
STAT 972 Advanced Topics in Mathematical Statistics

More advanced students choose from among various elective courses offered by the faculty of the Statistics Department and other departments at the University. There is also considerable opportunity to take individually-structured reading courses with faculty in the department.


Student Involvement in the Department

In addition to formal coursework, the student is expected to participate in the informal intellectual life of the Statistics Department. This includes attendance at Statistics colloquia, where visiting speakers describe current research, plus participation in informal seminars investigating current topics of interest in a non-course setting.

Department of Statistics

The Wharton School,
University of Pennsylvania
400 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3615

Phone: (215) 898-8222
Fax: (215) 898-1280