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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Statistics

Graduate Programs

M.S. and Ph.D. Program for Full-time Students:

  • Master of Science in Statistics (M.S.) The 35-hour M.S. is designed to give a broad coverage of both statistical theory and application, with the flexibility to address your particular interests. Our M.S. graduates pursue their futures either directly in government, business, or industry, or go on to pursue a doctorate in statistics or another quantitative field.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Statistics (Ph.D.) The 65-hour Ph.D. (for a student entering the program with a Bachelor's degree) or 48-hour Ph.D. (for a student entering the program with a Master's degree in statistics) is designed to prepare students to be statistical researchers or university faculty members. Based on their interests, our graduates are currently in tenure track faculty positions at research universities such as Mississippi State, Bowling Green, Northern Illinois, Southern Illinois, and the University of Miami as well as at more teaching centered schools such as Bentley, Duquesne, Radford, Winthrop, and UNC Wilmington.

More information on our program is available at the above links. If you have any questions not addressed by these links don't hesitate to contact the graduate coordinator at We would be more than happy to answer your questions or help to arrange an on-campus visit.

Applying for Admission

If you would like to be considered for one of our programs, carefully completing an application is the first step in your admissions process. The on-line application can be completed at

In addition to the completed form and application fee, the complete application requires two letters of recommendation, official transcripts of all previous college work, and GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores (general test only). We may make a preliminary admission decision using a photocopy of your test score report, but the official ones must be sent directly from the testing agency before we may formally admit. We also require that students submit a resume/vita and a personal statement. All of these materials should be sent directly to the graduate school. Please note that your application will be delayed if they are sent to our department as we must then forward them on to the graduate school.

The M.S. and Ph.D. programs are designed to be entered in the Fall semesters, and applicants who wish to be considered for financial support should have their applications completed by January 15th. Applications received through March 1st will be considered for financial support in the event earlier financial offers are declined. Applications for the non-supported distance programs, C.A.S. and M.A.S., are accepted year round.

We are happy to receive applications from students from outside of the U.S. and automatically consider all of our applicants for assistantships. For students from countries where English is not an official language to be considered for financial support, we also require TOEFL scores. The TOEFL requirement is waived for students who have received a degree from an accredited University in the United States.

Minimum GRE requirements for admission to our M.S. and Ph.D. programs are a quantitative score of at least 152, a verbal score of at least 151, and an analytical writing score of at least 3.5 (these are all average scores).  We require grades of B or better in college-level calculus and linear algebra.  Additionally, international students are required to have a TOEFL score of at least 100.  To be competitive for a teaching assistantship, GRE scores should be considerably higher than the minimum required and the student's GPA should be above 3.5.

For Fall 2017 admission, we had 72 applicants; 85% were international students and 15% domestic. One-third of the applications were for the M.S. program and two-thirds for the Ph.D. Thirty-nine were accepted into the program and of these only 6 are starting Fall 2017 with a teaching assistantship.

Thank you for your interest!

Don't hesitate to contact us about any questions or to arrange a visit to campus!

Graduate Director
Department of Statistics
The University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208
Tel: (803) 777-8772; Fax: (803)777-4048