PhD Program Information

Overview

The Department of Statistics offers full-time programs at the PhD level in three fields

  1. Statistical Theory and Applications
  2. Probability, and
  3. Actuarial Science and Mathematical Finance.

All fields require (i) the completion of 3.0 full course equivalents (FCEs) – the analog of 6 one semester courses – (ii) passing three comprehensive examinations and (iii) completing and successfully defending a thesis constituting a significant contribution to the field of the study. Normally, this program takes 12 academic sessions (4 years) to complete. Course work and comprehensive examinations are normally completed in the first year of study; however, students are encouraged to continue taking courses suiting their interest throughout the remainder of their study. Thesis work normally begins at the end of the first academic year after completing the comprehensive examinations; though, students are highly encouraged to begin discussing ideas and topics with faculty members from the time they arrive.

Specific details on program requirements for the three fields, as well as the direct-entry program, are listed below.

Consult our Graduate Course Listings for course details. Please consult the graduate calendar for related and other issues.

For registration / enrollment forms, change in program status (e.g. going on leave), etc.. please consult the SGS forms website.

Statistical Theory and Applications Field and Probability Field

Course Requirements:

During the first year of study, students are required to complete the following 3.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs):

Comprehensive Examination Requirements:

At the end of the first year, students must attempt the following comprehensive examinations:

  • Probability
  • Theoretical Statistics
  • Applied Statistics

All three examinations must be passed by the end of the second year.

Thesis Requirements:

Conducting original research is the most important part of doctoral work. The thesis document must constitute significant and original contribution to the field. Students will have yearly meetings with a committee of no less than three faculty members to assess their progress. The completed thesis must be presented and defended within the Department of Statistics in addition to being presented and defended at the School of Graduate Studies (SGS).

Residency Requirements:

Students must also satisfy a two-year residency requirement as outlined in the Calendar of the School of Graduate Studies.

Actuarial Science and Mathematical Finance Field

Course Requirements:

During the first year of study, students are required to complete the following 3.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs):

1. All of:

2. One of:

  • STA 4246H: Research Topics in Mathematical Finance, or
  • STA 2501H: Mathematical Risk Theory

3. Either:

  1. STA 3000Y: Advanced Theory of Statistics;

OR

  1. STA 2101H: Methods of Applied Statistics I, and
  2. STA 2201H: Methods of Applied Statistics II

Comprehensive Examination Requirements:

At the end of the first year, students must attempt the following comprehensive examinations:

  • Probability
  • Actuarial Science / Mathematical Finance
  • Theoretical Statistics OR Applied Statistics

All three exams must be passed by the end of the second year.

Thesis Requirements:

Conducting original research is the most important part of doctoral work. The thesis document must constitute significant and original contribution to the field. Students will have yearly meetings with a committee of no less than three faculty members to assess their progress. The completed thesis must be presented and defended within the Department of Statistics in addition to being presented and defended at the School of Graduate Studies (SGS).

Residency Requirements:

Students must also satisfy a two-year residency requirement as outlined in the Calendar of the School of Graduate Studies.

Direct-Entry PhD Program Requirements:

The program requirements are identical to the regular PhD Program in the respective fields with the exception that students must complete an additional 2.0 FCEs at the graduate level. The additional courses must be approved by the Associate Chair of Graduate studies.

Students must also satisfy a three-year residency requirement as outlined in the Calendar of the School of Graduate Studies.

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