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PhD in Statistics Application Process

PhD Program Application

The Department of Statistics and Probability is accepting applications for our PhD in Statistics program for Fall 2023.

The application for admission, application fee, and all required supporting documents should be submitted no later than February 1, 2023. The application system opens in August.

For full consideration of MSU Graduate School and College of Natural Science fellowship opportunities, applications should be received by December 1, 2022.


Submit the required documents and complete the application by February 1, 2023. For Fellowship consideration, please submit everything by December 1, 2022.

  1. Please visit the MSU Graduate Application at explore.msu.edu/apply/ for the PhD Program’s REQUIRED online application.
    1. Create an account. You will need this to access your application, where all documents must be uploaded. explore.msu.edu/apply/
    2. Choose the PhD major from the dropdown list:  Statistics
    3. See our PhD Handbook for program requirements STT Graduate Handbook
  2. Upload all required documents. See list below and please use this helpful checklist: Application Checklist
  3. You must pay the application fee $65 (domestic) or $75 (international). If you are financially unable to pay the fee, visit the Application Fee Waiver site for assistance: https://grad.msu.edu/application-fee-waiver

Applications are accepted for Fall Semester only. We do not accept applications for Spring Semester. You can check your application status through the Application Portal.

Questions? Please contact us at stt.gradoffice@msu.edu

Thank you for your interest in our graduate program.



Please use the Application Checklist to help you. All required documents below must be uploaded to the Application Portal:  explore.msu.edu/apply/

Official Transcripts: All college course work (undergraduate and graduate), including diplomas and certificates translated in English, must be sent to MSU Office of Admissions directly from the school(s) which you attended or are currently attending. Note: Applicants are encouraged to upload unofficial transcripts to the student portal for the committee to review while we wait for Admissions to add your official transcripts to your profile. 

Their address:

Office of Admissions
Michigan State University
Hannah Administration Building
426 Auditorium Road, Room 250
East Lansing, MI 48824


GRE: The GRE test is required for PhD applicants. Sub tests are not required. Test Scores must be submitted to the Michigan State University Graduate Admissions Office by the Educational Testing Service. The Institutional Code for MSU is 1465. No department code is necessary. ***GRE test scores are encouraged but not required for FS2022 applicants due to Covid-19.***

Three (3) Letters of Recommendation: The Department of Statistics and Probability requires THREE (3) letters of recommendation. These must be submitted from professors or other professionals who can assess your promise of success in our graduate program. You cannot upload the letters of reference yourself. There is a place for you to list the name and email of your recommenders and they will be contacted and asked to upload a letter for you. As writing and submitting a letter might take some time, please give your recommenders enough time to prepare their letters.

Register your references /  recommenders through the Application Portal.

  1. Under "References”
  2. Click “Add Recommender” and enter their information.
  3. Decide if you want to waive your right to access your letters of recommendation. Sign electronically and then click "Send to Recommender” or click "Save" to enter details at a later time. When you "Send to Recommender," the system will send your reference an email of instructions on how to submit their letter of reference.

Do not have hard copy letters of recommendation mailed. They must be submitted through the Application Portal: explore.msu.edu/apply/


TOEFL Scores (International Students Only): TOEFL test scores must be submitted to the Michigan State University Graduate Admissions Office by the Educational Testing Service. The Institutional Code for MSU is 1465. No department code is necessary. Please note that the Department of Statistics and Probability requires TOEFL, and we do not accept other language tests. The TOEFL test is valid for 2 years from the date of the test to the first day of class for the admit semester. For Fall semester 2023 that would be September 1, 2023.

The minimal TOEFL scores required for regular admission at MSU MSU English Proficiency Requirements

  • Reading 19
  • Listening 19
  • Speaking 19
  • Writing 22
  • *Plus 1 point or more on any of these topics to equal a minimum of 80 points.

***NOTE: Due to cancellations of TOEFL, MSU will be temporarily accepting the the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition from applicants affected by these closures. We will also accept IELTS and Duolingo.


Advanced Mathematics Profile: Advanced Mathematics Profile Click for link. Fill in the table with every advanced mathematics and statistics course you have completed (with grade) or expect to complete before beginning graduate study at Michigan State University. This information will be used to assess your math and statistics-related preparation. Please list all that apply. Upload your math profile document under the "Personal Statement" section of the MSU online application.


Academic Statement: This is sometimes referred to as your Statement of Purpose. Upload this document under the "Academic Statement" section of the MSU online application.


Resume / CV: A current Resume / CV is required. Please upload to your online application.




July 28, 2022 Remembering Dr. Jim Stapleton

Dr. James Stapleton, much admired professor and friend, passed away on June 17, 2022.  

July 19, 2022 Summer Internship News 2022

A summer internship is an important way to gain valuable knowledge outside the college classroom. This summer, some of our STT PhD candidates have earned the opportunity to intern with organizations and companies across the country.

July 14, 2022 2020-2021 Harkness Award for Outstanding Teaching

PhD candidates Sarah Manski and Sumegha Premchandar were recently presented with the 2020-2021 William L. Harkness Award for outstanding teaching by a graduate student. The award is made possible by a generous gift from William Harkness, a doctoral alumnus of the Statistics and Probability department. Recipients are chosen for their remarkable teaching based on student evaluations and faculty observations of teaching.

July 7, 2022 2022 PhD Graduates

Congratulations to our 2022 PhD Graduates

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