Dr. Hyun Bin Kang
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. The program consists of 65 credits: 50 credits of coursework and 15 credits of dissertation work.
A student must possess a bachelors or master’s degree with a substantial number of statistics and/or probability credits in order to be admitted to the program. In addition, 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 the program director 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, design of experiments, and mixed models). At WMU, this exam material corresponds to the following courses: STAT 6500, 6600, 6620 and 6640. The DGE is given once a year, usually in May during the first week of the Summer I session. Should a student fail to pass either part of the DGE at the doctoral level, he/she may request a second attempt (usually given in August of the same summer) on the failed part(s) upon petitioning the Statistics Doctoral committee. The Statistics Doctoral committee will then determine whether or not to grant the request. If the request is not granted, or the request is granted, but the student fails on his/her second attempt to pass the exam at the doctoral level, the student will be dismissed from the program. However, a student who is dismissed from the program for this reason may be allowed to continue in a different graduate program offered by the Department.
2. Acquire at Least 50 Hours of Course Work
Note: Students who have obtained graduate work in Statistics or a closely related field may possibly receive credit for as many as 20 of the 50 hours required.
Doctoral Preliminary Examination Courses
The following courses may be substituted as electives upon approval of the Statistics Doctoral Committee.
3. Two preliminary examinations
Students are expected to take preliminary exams at the first opportunity after the necessary course work is completed. Failure to do so will result in a failed attempt.
A student must pass preliminary examinations in Multivariate/Linear Models (STAT 6610 and 6630) and Bayesian/Asymptotic Theory (STAT 6450 and 6460). Should a student fail to pass either exam, he/she may request a second attempt (usually given in August of the same summer) on the failed part(s) upon petitioning the Statistics Doctoral Committee. The Statistics Doctoral Committee will then determine whether or not to grant the request. If the request is not granted, or the request is granted, but the student fails on his/her second attempt to pass the exam the student will be dismissed from the program. However, a student who is dismissed from the program for this reason may be allowed to continue in a different graduate program offered by the Department.
4. Demonstrate 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 5860, STAT 6800, 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 15 hours of the following course:
Administration and Procedures
This program will be administered by the Statistics 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 dismissed 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 the program director for help in planning the student’s program until he/she reaches the status of candidate (i.e. when both 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 determination of preliminary exams and research tools shall also be included. Students are responsible for updating the plan of study each year and submitting it to the Statistics Doctoral Committee as part of their annual review.
- Students are expected to take preliminary exams at the first opportunity after the necessary course work is completed. Failure to do so will result in a failed attempt. Normally, these exams will be given at most once a year (typically in late May). Two failures on the same examination will result in dismissal from the program.
- During the prior semester in which the student attains the status of candidate he/she will select a dissertation advisor and corresponding 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.
- Upon selection of the dissertation advisor, committee, and topic, the candidate will prepare a written pre-proposal of the dissertation topic. It is expected that this pre-proposal will be completed and submitted to the dissertation advisor and committee no later than November of the ensuing Fall semester.
- During the subsequent Spring semester, the candidate must also pass a Dissertation Proposal Defense, which is an oral presentation of a written thesis proposal to his/her Dissertation Committee. Both the pre-proposal and proposal defense typically take place during the first year after passing all the preliminary examinations.
- Following a successful dissertation proposal defense, the candidate is expected to finish his/her dissertation work and defend the dissertation some time during the following Fall semester. The ensuing Spring semester is typically devoted to final revisions and Graduate College approval of the dissertation. Once the Graduate College has approved the dissertation a student is allowed to graduate.