Admissions FAQ

How can I be a competitive applicant? What are my chances of being admitted?

Please see our minimum requirements and criteria to be considered a competitive applicant. Generally, our competitive applicants are very strong in all components of their application, including grades, test scores, statement of purpose, and recommendation letters. Most competitive applicants have additional advanced math courses beyond the listed prerequisites, as well as a quantitative GRE score above 90%. Note, however, every year we decline admission to many highly qualified applicants due to the competitiveness of the applicant pool and number of available spots. As such, we are unable to respond to requests to estimate an applicant's chance of being admitted to our program. 

May I visit the department and meet with an adviser or faculty member?

If you are admitted to our program, you will have an opportunity to visit our department in the spring. Due to our small staff and time constraints, we regret that we are unable to accommodate individual visits to provide general advising or tours for prospective applicants.

How may I contact you with questions?

If you have general questions about the graduate program or the admissions process that are not answered on our website, the best method to contact us is by email. If you have program-specific questions regarding our master's programs, please indicate which program you are interested in (MS Thesis, MS Capstone, MPH).

Do you accept graduate-level transfer credits from other U.S. institutions?

No. However, we do offer a placement exam for newly-admitted students who believe they can pass the first-year theory coursework (Statistical Inference, taught at the UW as STAT 512 and 513), and a few other required courses may be waived at the discretion of the Graduate Program.

May I enroll part time?

Due to the rigor of our program, part-time study is discouraged. The PhD program requires full-time enrollment. For master’s programs, some exceptions have been made for students involved in other complementary training. If admitted, plans must be discussed with the Graduate Program Director for approval. UW employees interested in utilizing tuition exemption should note that the exemption does not cover thesis or other independent study credits.

Can any portion of the program be completed online?

Our degree programs are fully residential except the MS Capstone program's Data Science pathway has an option to take the second year courses online. Individuals interested in distance learning may consider the Certificate in Applied Biostatistics offered by UW Professional and Continuing Education (PCE). Please contact PCE for questions regarding this certificate.

How different are the MS Thesis and PhD programs aside from the thesis/dissertation and credits?

There is some overlap of courses during the first year, but begins to vary more in the second year. Additionally, PhD students are required to complete and pass more exams than MS students.

Is there a fast-track from the MS to PhD if a student shows promise?

MS students have the opportunity to apply to the PhD program depending on their performance on a theory exam they take the summer after their first year courses as well as grades in the courses. If they apply and are accepted, students may begin second year PhD coursework in their second year.

Can students tailor their program to their needs?

MS Thesis, PhD, and MPH students will have the opportunity to take electives to support their specific research interests. MS Capstone students will take courses based on their selected pathway.

Are applicants expected to have selected a supervisor before applying?

No. Applicants are not expected to have a supervisor selected before applying. Having general or specific research interests is sufficient, and those may change by the time you select your research advisor while you are in the program. In addition, applicants should not contact faculty to inquire whether they can be accepted as their mentee. Applicants are selected for admission by our admissions committee only.