Mar 20, 2023
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Dr. Rajib Paul
The Doctor of Philosophy in Statistics is designed to prepare students for careers in teaching and research universities, in industry, or in government. It is expected that students, through courses and other experiences, will develop facility in theoretical statistics and in several applied statistics areas. Choices available in the electives area allow the program to be designed to suit a variety of career interests.
A student must possess a master’s degree in Statistics or a directly comparable degree with a substantial number of statistics credits in order to be admitted to the program. In addition to satisfying the general admission requirements of the Graduate College, the student must have acquired a sufficient level of mathematical training with satisfactory grades as determined by the Statistics Doctoral Committee. Mathematics coursework includes, but is not necessarily limited to, a complete calculus sequence and a linear algebra course. Upon entrance to the program students are expected to meet with an advisor who will assist him/her in planning his/her program until he/she reaches the stage of candidate.
1. Departmental Graduate Examination in Statistics
Prior to admission or during the first year, students must pass the Departmental Graduate Examination (DGE) in Statistics at the doctoral level. This consists of two, three-hour exams in the areas of theoretical statistics (calculus-based mathematical statistics and probability) and applied statistics (regression and design of experiments). At WMU, this exam material corresponds to the following courses: STAT 5620, 6600, 6620, and 6640. The DGE is given once a year, usually in May during the first week of the Summer I session.
2. Acquire at Least 60 Hours of Course Work
Note: Students admitted to the program with a Masters Degree in Statistics or a closely related field may possibly receive credit for as many as 30 of the 60 hours required.
Note: Up to six credit hours in approved areas related to statistical applications (e.g. computer science, computational or applied mathematics, engineering, biological science, management, or economics) may be substituted as electives upon approval of the Statistics Doctoral Committee.
Doctoral Preliminary Examination Courses
Course Electives at the 6000 Level
At least seven 6000 level electives are required.
Course Electives at the 5000 Level
No more than three 5000 level electives can be applied to the program of study.
The following courses may be substituted as electives upon approval of the Statistics Doctoral Committee.
3. Three preliminary examinations
A student must pass preliminary examinations in Multivariate/Linear Models (STAT 6610 and 6630) and in Statistical Inference (STAT 6650 and 6660). The third exam is satisfied by completion of project reports in an area to be chosen, with the approval of the Statistics Doctoral Committee, from two 6000 level statistics courses. Two failures on the same examination will result in dismissal from the program. Students are expected to take the preliminary examinations as soon as they become eligible. Failure to do so will result in a failed attempt.
4. Competency in Two Research Tools
In accordance with the requirements of the Graduate College, each student is required to attain competence in two approved research tools. Normally for students in Statistics these will consist of demonstrated competence in computer usage and/or a foreign language. Competence in computer usage can be demonstrated by obtaining a satisfactory grade in STAT 6800, STAT 6880, and/or equivalent statistics courses. Competence in a foreign language can be demonstrated by passing a reading course at the 4000-level in that language or by translating from a language other than English a statistical paper to the satisfaction of the Statistics Doctoral Committee. A third option for a research tool is a cross-disciplinary research experience involving concepts and language of a discipline other than Statistics (e.g., Biology, Chemistry, or Engineering) and resulting in documentation of the student’s competence in the other discipline in a form of written reports and/or published papers. The Statistics Doctoral Committee shall determine the acceptability of the cross-disciplinary research experience.
Complete and defend the dissertation before the student’s dissertation committee. This requires at least 12 hours of the following course:
Administration and Procedures
This program will be administered by the Statistics Department Doctoral Committee. This committee will be responsible for the scheduling, preparation, and grading of preliminary examinations in statistics and for arranging a Thesis Proposal Defense.
Furthermore, each year the Statistics Doctoral Committee will review the progress of all doctoral students in the Statistics program. Any student not making satisfactory progress may be dropped from the program. Grades, performance on preliminary exams, the schedule of completed classes and exams, general progress towards completion of degree, as well as possible other criteria will be considered in this decision. As an example, course grades below a “B” are undesirable and could be grounds for dismissal.
A chronological progression of the program is as follows:
- Upon entrance to the doctoral program in Statistics, students are expected to meet with a Ph.D. advisor for help in planning the student’s program until he/she reaches the status of candidate (i.e. when all three preliminary examinations are passed).
- During the first semester of study, the student must complete a plan of study and have it approved by the Statistics Doctoral Committee. The selection of preliminary exams and research tools shall also be included.
- Students are expected to take preliminary exams at the first opportunity after the necessary course work is completed. Failure to do so can result in a failed attempt. Normally, these exams will be given at most once a year. Two failures on the same examination will result in dismissal from the program.
- During the semester in which the student attains the status of candidate he/she will select a dissertation advisor and corresponding committee with the approval of the Statistics Doctoral Committee. The candidate and the dissertation advisor will select, with the approval of the Dissertation Committee, a research topic for the candidate. In each of the above situations final appointment is subject to the approval of the Department Chairperson and the Graduate College.
- A student must also pass a Dissertation Proposal Defense, which is an oral presentation of a thesis proposal to his/her Dissertation Committee. This normally takes place at the end of the first year after passing all three preliminary examinations.
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