Why Graduate Statistics at Northwestern University?

The Department of Statistics at Northwestern University offers a standalone program leading to the doctor of philosophy degree. The doctoral program in statistics is designed to provide students with comprehensive training in statistical theory and methodology and in the application of statistical methods to problems in a wide range of fields. The program is flexible and may be arranged to reflect students' interests and career goals. Cross-disciplinary work is encouraged. The PhD program prepares students for careers as university teachers and researchers and as research statisticians in industry, government and the non-profit sector. A masters degree program is available only for students in doctoral programs in other departments in the University.


The department is distinguished by the faculty's strong interest in both statistical theory and the application of statistics to such diverse areas as public policy, law, medicine and life sciences, and social sciences. Interest in cross-disciplinary work has always been strong – when the department was formed, in the 1980s, all of the founding members of the department had appointments in other departments including from management, engineering, mathematics, education and social policy, sociology, and psychology. The graduate programs offer substantial training in statistical applications and methodology, as well as current advances in statistical theory and computation.


The statistics department is relatively small, with ten faculty members and fewer than two dozen graduate students. All of the new doctoral students are provided with office space close to the faculty members’ offices; the graduate classes are typically small, often with fewer than 10 students, and students benefit from the close interaction with faculty members and each other. The department is located in a converted residence that contains a common room, a seminar room, computing facilities, and faculty and student offices. The setting encourages informal discussions and a congenial atmosphere.


State-of-the-art computational facilities are available for students' use. Many courses require substantial computing, either using widely available statistical packages, such as R and SAS, or developing customized software to solve a problem. Several of the faculty members have a strong interest in statistical computing, and students are encouraged to develop expertise in this area.


Financial aid in the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and fellowships is widely available for well-qualified students in the PhD program. Financial aid is typically not available for master's degree students.


The Department of Statistics is located on Northwestern University's 240-acre campus in Evanston, 12 miles north of downtown Chicago. Northwestern, a private university, is one of the nation's outstanding educational and research institutions. With its quiet suburban setting and proximity to the scientific and cultural activities of Chicago, Northwestern is an excellent environment for the student and scholar.


Director of Graduate Studies: Ji-Ping Wang, jzwang@northwestern.edu

  • Department of Statistics
  • 2006 Sheridan Rd, Evanston, IL 60208
  • (847) 491-3974
  • FAX: (847) 491-4939
  • stats@northwestern.edu