New Student Placement Exam

If you are a new PhD student and have mastered the material in STAT 512 and 513, you may take the New PhD Student Placement Exam in the week before autumn quarter begins.  A strong performance on the placement exam will allow you to waive STAT 512 and 513 and the First Year Theory Exam. New PhD students who choose this path would then proceed with second-year theory coursework (STAT 581, 582, 583).

First Year Theory Exam

The First Year Theory Exam covers the basic elements of statistical inference as taught in STAT 512 and 513.  This exam is usually held the first Tuesday after Spring quarter ends.  The exam typically offers six questions. Students choose to be graded on five of the six questions.  If you are an MS student, you must pass this exam at least at the MS level. MS Students passing at the PhD level are eligible to apply to the PhD program, but not guaranteed entry.  PhD students who take STAT 512 and 513 must take this exam, but are not required to pass at any level (the exam is advisory).  

PhD Theory Exam

The PhD Theory Exam is given to PhD students in late August. This comprehensive exam covers theory material learned in both the first and second years of the program. The exam usually offers seven questions of which the test taker chooses five to complete.

PhD Applied Exam

The PhD Applied Exam is given to PhD students in late August of the second year in the program. The exam covers Applied and Data Analysis coursework. In addition to courses, RA work and internships can provide opportunities which help you prepare for the exam. The exam consists of two parts: an online written exam and an in-person oral exam.  Starting with the cohort entering in 2022, the PhD Applied exam is eliminated and replaced with the Applied Requirement.  PhD students in the cohort entering 2021 can opt out of the Applied Exam and choose to complete the Applied Requirement instead. 

General Exam

The General Examination enables your Doctoral Committee to assess whether the you have sufficient background of study and preparation of topic to merit commencement of your dissertation. Passing the General Exam means that you are formally a PhD Candidate.

Final Exam

The purpose of the Final Examination is to enable your Doctoral Committee to assess whether you have produced a dissertation that is a significant contribution to biostatistical knowledge and yourself  have PhD-level training in biostatistical research.