Carnegie Mellon University

How to Apply


Statistics Ph.D. Online Application

Our department welcomes applications from students with widely varying backgrounds. Past graduate students in Statistics have undergraduate majors in fields such as mathematics, engineering, the sciences, economics, psychology, or administration and management. Previous completion of introductory courses in probability and statistics and knowledge of calculus are essential, but advanced work in Statistics is not.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion, are core values of the Carnegie Mellon Department of Statistics & Data Science. We are committed to attracting candidates from historically under-represented groups knowing that diversity enriches the academic experience and provides a base for innovation and progress.

Admissions are highly competitive. It is to your advantage to submit relevant admissions materials to the Department of Statistics as soon as possible. Application will become available on October 1, 2023 and you MUST send in your admission application and all supporting materials to us by 11:59 pm EST on December 1, 2023 for Fall 2024 admittance.

Application fees:

  • Graduate Program in Statistics (Ph.D. in Statistics): $90
  • Joint Ph.D. Program in Statistics and Public Policy: additional $10
  • Joint Ph.D. Program in Neural Computation and Statistics: additional $10
  • Need-based waivers are available if these fees pose a financial hardship. Please email a brief explanation to

Application Materials

Applicants must provide each of the following by the deadline, uploaded to our online system (unless otherwise noted):

  • Undergraduate and graduate transcripts; DO NOT mail us the official transcripts unless you are offered admission.
  • A statement of purpose
  • Three recommendation letters uploaded by recommenders
  • (Optional) Scores from the GRE General test (with mailed official scores). Our GRE codes are 2074 (Institution) and 0705 (Department). Update: For the application cycle starting Fall 2022, the GRE test is not required for application to the Statistics Ph.D. program. You may still report the score if you wish. GRE scores are currently required for applications to the joint programs.
  • Language proficiency test for students whose native language is not English. Our program accepts scores from both the TOEFL test (with mailed official scores) or the Duolingo English proficiency test. Our TOEFL codes are 2074 (Institution) and 59 (Department).

Language Proficiency Test Scores: TOEFL, IELTS, and Duolingo - If your native language (language spoken from birth) is not English, we require a current English proficiency score report (with exception below). For all applicants whose native language is not English, we strongly encourage TOEFL or IELTS scores, but will also accept the Duolingo English Test. If you need to retake your TOEFL or IELTS for this application, we highly recommend you take the exam well before the deadline. Reportable scores can take two weeks to process and we may not be able to review any scores that arrive after our deadline.

For those taking the TOEFL, preference will be given to students who submit Internet Based Test scores (iBT). For the iBT, the minimum score required is 84, with a required minimum score of 18 on the speaking portion; 22 on reading; 22 on listening; and 22 on writing. If you prefer to take IELTS instead of TOEFL, that is fine. The minimum IELTS score required is an overall 7.5.

We also understand that in some cases it may not be possible for an applicant to test for TOEFL or IELTS. In that case, we will also accept the Duolingo English proficiency test. The minimum Duolingo score required is an overall 125.

All scores must be uploaded and received before the deadline in order to assure an equitable review of your application.

Exception: Non-native English speakers who have received a bachelor's, master's, or doctor's degree (or equivalent) from an institution where the primary language of instruction is English are exempt from this requirement.

Financial Aid

The Department of Statistics generally provides financial aid to all of its Ph.D. students. These awards typically consist of full tuition scholarships along with a generous monthly stipend for teaching and/or research assistantships.

During the 2019-2020 academic year, teaching and research assistants will typically receive $2,884/month for the nine-month academic year in addition to full payment of graduate tuition, currently $44,050 per year.

Students who receive both full tuition scholarships and graduate assistantships are expected to maintain a full course load and to devote effort primarily to their studies and assigned duties. These duties require not more than ten hours per week.

Since teaching duties form an integral part of a student's financial aid package, foreign students must complete the University's programs in English as a Second Language (ESL). Financial support after the first semester is contingent upon committed participation and ultimate certification by the ESL.

The Department does not guarantee its students financial support for the summer, but it has been successful in identifying summer employment opportunities. Qualified students work as research assistants for the summer, or have the opportunity to teach summer school courses offered by the Department. Teaching assistant positions for these courses are often available as well. In the past, the Department has been able to accommodate virtually all students who requested financial support for the summer.

Applying to Joint Ph.D. Programs

Students interested in the joint Ph.D. programs should indicate this in their application materials.