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Prospective Graduate Student FAQs

Q: For what terms are students admitted to the Department of Statistics?
A: Applied Master students are admitted for Fall only.

Q: May I complete a paper application?
A: All applications must be submitted online.

Q: What is the deadline to apply for admission?
A: The deadline for admission is February 1st. More information is on the How to Apply section of our website.

Q: Is there a minimum GPA required to apply, and what are my chances of being admitted if I have a low GPA?
A: No. All applications are reviewed and evaluated relative to other applications submitted in the same year. Applicants with relatively low GPAs may be admitted based on other factors (e.g. GRE scores, research accomplishments, etc). Also, grades in relevant courses (math, stats, computer science, etc.) are much more relevant than the overall GPA.

Q: Do you require both General GRE scores and the Advanced Math Subject score?
A: Only General GRE scores are required. The Advanced Math Subject score is not required.

Q: How long are GRE scores valid?
A: GRE scores are valid for 5 years.

Q: Is there a minimum GRE score required for admission?
A:  There is not a minimum GRE or GPA requirement. All applications are reviewed and evaluated relative to other applications submitted in the same year. Applicants with relatively low scores may be admitted based on other factors. The admission committee looks at GRE scores, overall GPA, as well as grades in relevant courses (math, stats, computer science, etc.), research accomplishments and letters of recommendations.  

Q: What are the average GRE scores for Applied Master's applicants? 

A: We do not keep track of GRE averages.

Q: Do I need to take the TOEFL?
A: Non-native speakers have to take the TOEFL or IELTS unless English was the official language of instruction at the institution where they received their undergraduate degree. Applicants can qualify for an exemption from taking an English proficiency examination if one of the following criteria are met:

  • You are a native speaker of English.
  • You completed all four years of your undergraduate education at an institution in the United States and earned a degree from that institution.
  • You completed all of your undergraduate education and earned an undergraduate degree in one of the following countries, Australia, English speaking Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom.
  • You completed all of your undergraduate education and earned an undergraduate degree at an institution where all classes are taught exclusively in English.
  • You completed all of your graduate education, a minimum of two years duration, and earned a graduate degree in one of the following countries, the United States, Australia, English speaking Canada, Ireland, New Zealand or the United Kingdom. Graduate education includes Master's, Ph.D., and professional degrees. Graduate degrees that are exclusively research based are excluded.
  • Current U-M student. 

Q: How long are TOEFL scores valid?
A: TOEFL scores are valid for 2 years. We accept TOEFL scores expiring in late fall or early winter as long as the official report from ETS is received before the deadline.

Q: What is the minimum TOEFL score required?
A: The minimum TOEFL total score required is 84 on the Internet based test.

For more information, see Required Tests for Non-native English Speakers on the Rackham Website.

Q: My TOEFL score is below the minimum, but I have other evidence of English proficiency.  Will my application be considered?
A: The only acceptable evidence of English proficiency is a score on a University-approved English test, see Required Tests for Non-native English Speakers on the Rackham Website. If your score is below the minimum required by the University, your application will be automatically rejected. The department cannot waive this requirement.

Q: Do I send Official Transcripts to the Department?
A: No, unofficial transcripts or scanned copies of official transcripts should be uploaded with the application online. Official transcripts from degree-granting institutions only should be mailed directly to Rackham Admissions; see Instructions for Submitting Transcripts. Use the Academic Records/Transcript Submission Form to submit your official transcript so that it is quickly associated with your application. Be sure to include your University of Michigan ID number on all documents.  If there is anything you wish to explain about your transcript, please do so in the Statement of Purpose.

Q: What types of financial aid or funding does the Department of Statistics offer to Applied Master’s students?
A: We offer a small number of guaranteed Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) positions to Applied Master’s students at the time of admission (about 2 per year). These positions provide a stipend, a tuition waiver, and health insurance. A few additional GSI positions may become available to Applied Master’s students in late August, and additional offers of aid on a term-by-term basis may be made. 

Q: Is there any financial aid or scholarships available for international students?
A: A very small number of international students may be nominated for an English course ELI 994 that makes them eligible for a GSI position in the second year. Completing the course does not guarantee that such a position will become available. All students must come prepared to cover all expenses for the entire course of study as receiving financial aid is very unlikely.

Q: Is there a separate application to complete to be considered for financial aid?
A: There is no separate financial aid application. All eligible applicants are considered for financial aid (see more on eligibility above).

Q: Can I apply for both the Applied Master’s program as well as the Ph.D. program?
A: Yes. On the Ph.D. application you can check that if you are denied admission you would like your application to be transferred to the Master's program. Applicants to the Ph.D. program who are not offered admission are not considered for the Master’s program unless they indicate this on the Ph.D. application.

Q: What are the prerequisites needed to apply to the Applied Master’s program?
A: It is strongly recommended that prospective students have a good background in calculus and linear algebra and have taken at least one course each in probability and in theoretical statistics. 

Q: If my undergraduate major was not in Statistics, what are my chances of being admitted to the Applied Master’s program in Statistics?
A: Applicants from various academic backgrounds are welcome and encouraged to apply. Applicants who have not completed an undergraduate major in statistics will not be penalized, but may need to enroll in some extra classes before taking the core courses necessary for a Master’s degree.

Q: Must all of the letters of recommendations be academic?
A: No, but the majority should be academic.

Q: How many students are admitted to the Applied Master’s program each year?
A: Both the number of applicants and the size of the entering class have increased substantially over the past few years. On average we receive about 475 applications per year and make about 100 offers of admissions, of which about half was accepted.  

Q: What is the proportion of international students in the Applied Master’s program?
A: About 75% of the students in this program are international.

Q: What is the length of the Applied Master’s program?
A: Most students take 3 or 4 semesters to complete the program.

Q: Can I have credits transferred towards my Applied Master’s degree?
A: Please see the Rackham Transfer Credit Guidelines.

Q: If I plan to pay for the cost of completing the Applied Master’s program myself, what is the estimated cost for tuition, books, and living expenses?
A: The estimated cost of attendance is available on the Financial Aid Website.

Q: Can I enroll part time in the Applied Master’s program?
A: This is possible, and some of our current Applied Masters students attend classes and work. Your course plan would need to be fully discussed with the program advisor to make sure you are enrolling in the correct courses needed to make progress towards your degree. Part-time study is typically not available to international students on F-1 visas.

Q: What can I do with a Master’s in Applied Statistics Degree?
A: Our graduates find jobs in government, insurance, banking, finance, medical research institutions, pharmaceutical industry, and others. Some go on to Ph.D. programs in statistics or other subjects, such as biostatistics or economics. Here are some sample job titles of recent graduates:

  •    Financial Analyst
  •    Market Researcher
  •    Reliability Engineer
  •    Research Scientist
  •    Statistical Consultant
  •    Statistical Research Analyst
  •    Technical Analyst

Q: I am interested in going into finance and would like to have a better understanding of statistics. Would the Applied Master’s program be an appropriate degree?
A: We have had Applied Masters alumni find careers in finance.  Some recent examples of finance jobs our graduates started upon completing the degree:

  •    Quantitative Research and Trading at Worldco, LLC
  •    Financial Analyst at the Quantitative Strategies Group of Goldman Sachs
  •    Quantitative Operations Manager at Bank of America
  •    FX Options Trader – Associate at Bank of America
  •    Credit Risk Analyst at Household Credit Services