How To Apply for Graduate Admission in Statistics

Important! The instructions on this page pertain to the General Statistics and Biostatistics options of the Statistics graduate degree. If you are looking for instructions on applying to the new Data Science option, please see

Graduate admissions involves a formal on-line application with a required fee, one copy of official transcripts, and various supporting materials as outlined below. Due to the advances in Web communication and the high cost of mailing, this campus has moved completely to electronic admissions. We can no longer send you paper copies of the application materials. It is important that your email address is accurate so that we can respond to you efficiently.

We do not make preliminary evaluations of any applicant inquiry based on email communication. No decision will be made until after the deadline has passed and a completed file (including the application fee) has been received.


Fall 2016 Admission: December 1, 2015
We are not accepting Spring 2016 applications

Before applying to the Statistics Department, read the Graduate School Frequently Asked Questions. Note that there is a non-refundable application fee, and that applicants whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English, must provide an English proficiency test score (TOEFL, MELAB, or IELTS). For information about this Graduate School requirement, see Send English proficiency test scores to institution code 1846.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You must choose whether to apply to the MS or the PhD program in Statistics. Because the Grad School application is used by all programs on campus, it will allow you to apply to both programs, with the disclaimer that "We will only register one degree for each program. If you apply to both the Masters and PHD for any program, your application will be defaulted to the PHD for that program. If you wish to apply to Masters program, then apply only to the Masters program." Be advised, however, that if you apply to both the MS and PhD programs, against the advice of our department, your application will be treated as an application to the PhD program ONLY and will NOT be considered for the MS degree if you are denied admission to the PhD program.

Begin your electronic application at

Application Requirements

  • A minimum of three letters of recommendation, which must be submitted electronically.
    • List your references in the online application for admission. A recommendation request will be sent, by email, to each of your references. The email will include your name with a link to each department's electronic recommendation form. The request can be sent at any time providing you meet department deadlines. You can change references or send a reminder through your application.
    • It is common practice to contact your references ahead of time so that they expect your request.
    • After you have submitted your application, you can view receipt of your recommendations through the online status system.
  • Supplemental Application for Statistics (part of the Graduate School online application). This must include:
    • Are you applying for the Biostatistics option? (yes or no)
    • One electronic copy (PDF format) of each official transcript that you sent to us
    • A list of all mathematics and statistics courses and grades taken to date and titles of the main text(s) for these courses
    • Copy of your CV or resume
    • Statement of Purpose - there are no specific requirements for the statement of purpose. You should write it in your own words – include why you feel that the UW-Madison program is a good fit for you, and conversely, why you are a good fit for our program. What are you hoping to work on in the field with your degree? Are there any professors here that you would particularly like to work with? Any research areas in statistics that particularly excite you? The overall length of the statement is usually about 2 pages, single or double spaced. You can use whatever font and formatting you are comfortable with.
    • Additional information on awards or published papers (optional)
  • GRE scores:
    • Please Note: The subject GRE is not required, but we do require the general GRE which includes verbal, quantitative and analytical writing assessment
    • GRE scores should be sent electronically to institution code 1846. It is not necessary to include a department code, as all GRE (and TOEFL) scores are sent to the Graduate School and departments access the scores through a Graduate School website.
  • Send the following item to the Statistics Department via regular postal mail (NOT email or FAX)
    • One complete set of official transcripts. If the original is not in English, please have a copy in English sent also.
    • The address the transcripts should be sent to is:

    Andrea Palm, graduate coordinator
    UW Madison, Department of Statistics
    1300 University Ave.
    1220 Medical Science Center
    Madison WI 53706 (USA)

All of the above material is required; none can be waived.


    Have Questions?

    • See our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) here.
    • If you have any further questions, please email Andrea Palm ( and include your full name and what semester you are interested in applying for.