PhD Programs

PhD Degree Requirements

PhD in Statistics

To qualify for the Ph.D. degree in Statistical Science, the student must:

i.  Satisfy all curricular requirements as specified by the university (at least 48 hours, no more than 12 of which can be in dissertation research) and by the departmental faculty.  The following courses are required:     
    STAT 6324: Computational Statistics
    STAT 6327-6328: Mathematical Statistics I and II
    STAT 6336-6337: Statistical Analysis
    STAT 6345:  Linear Regression
    STAT 6366:  Statistical Consulting
    STAT 6371:  Probability Theory
    STAT 7327:  Advanced Statistical Inference

ii. Pass the Comprehensive (Basic) Exams, typically at the end of the first year

iii. Pass the Ph.D. Qualifying Exam which is given to assess the student’s readiness for research.  This exam is typically taken during the second year.

iv. Complete a minimum of three years of graduate academic work, at least one of which is in full-time residence on the campus of Southern Methodist University or at a research facility approved by the departmental faculty and the Dean of Research and Graduate Studies

v.  Write and make a successful defense of the dissertation.


PhD in Biostatistics


Requirements for the PhD in Biostatistics are similar to those for the PhD in Statistical Science.


The curriculum is similar to that shown above for Statistical Science with additional required courses:

  • Statistical methods in clinical trials

  • Epidemiology

  • Statistical methods for genomic/genetic data analysis

  • Modeling longitudinal & incomplete data


Students in the PhD in Biostatistics program are not required to take measure-theoretic probability.


Students will complete their coursework in two to three years (4 courses per semester in Year 1; 3 or 4 per semester in Year 2; no more than 1 per semester in Years 3 and 4).  During the final two years, the students are in residence at UT Southwestern and devote their time primarily to research.


In Fall semester of Year 3, students serve as TAs for the UT Southwestern Graduate School introductory biostatistics course.


In addition, as with the PhD in Statistical Science, the student must

  • Pass the Comprehensive (Basic) Exams, typically at the end of the first year.

  • Pass the PhD Qualifying Exam, which assesses the student's readiness for research.  Biostatistics students should attempt this exam during Winter break of Year 2.

  • Write and successfully defend the dissertation.