Graduate Admission Details

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Admission is open to college graduates of institutions in the U.S. that are accredited by a recognized regional association, or of a recognized institution in another country whose requirements for the bachelor’s degree are essentially equivalent to those of Iowa State. (Students enrolled in a 3-year bachelor's program in certain locations must complete a fourth year of study to be eligible for admission; please contact Admissions if you have questions about this.)  Applicants must rank in the upper half of their classes and must have taken linear algebra and at least 3 semesters of calculus (including a full year of differential and integral calculus); for Ph.D. applicants, at least one semester of real analysis is also required. We also require a brief statement of purpose (~500 words) and at least three letters of recommendation. Uploading a CV to your application is not required, but it is appreciated.

Two Phase Application Procedure  

Recommended submission date for applying for Fall semester: January 15

NOTE: The application deadline of January 15 for guaranteed consideration applies to pre-applications. If you have submitted a pre-application and have not yet heard from us we apologize for running behind with this new system, but rest assured that your application will receive consideration without you taking any additional action.

The Department of Statistics uses a two-phase application procedure.  In Phase 1 (may be called a “pre-application” on the application web page), for which there is no charge, an applicant will enter basic information, upload unofficial transcripts and a curriculum vita or resume.  It is possible to upload additional documents, such as a personal statement, but this is not required.  Applicants will receive a preliminary decision based on the Phase 1 application.  This decision will be to (1) invite a full or Phase 2 application, (2) indicate that admission is unlikely, or (3) move the application to a hold list.  It is our goal for  applicants to receive a decision on their Phase 1 application within a week or two from submission. 

Applicants receiving an invitation to submit a Phase 2 application will, if they choose to do so, complete the regular application procedure at Iowa State University, including official transcripts, GRE and/or TOEFL scores, and letters of recommendation.  Information provided in the Phase 1 procedure will not need to be re-entered, but there will be the usual application fee associated with a Phase 2 application.

Applicants who have been placed on the hold list will be notified if a Phase 2 application is appropriate at some point in time.  Note that an invitation to submit a Phase 2 application is not an indication that admission will necessarily be granted.  But we hope the two phase process will decrease the cost to some applicants, and allow Phase 1 applications from individuals who might otherwise be hesitant to apply to Iowa State due to the application fee.

Any individual who chooses may submit a Phase 2 application at their discretion, even if they have received a negative indication about the possibility of admission as a result of the Phase 1 process.  An applicant may choose to do so if they believe the Phase 1 material was not indicative of their qualifications and potential to successfully complete an advanced degree in Statistics at Iowa State.

Admission to the program in terms other than the fall is very uncommon because of the way courses are scheduled, and can only be approved on an individual basis.

Application forms and information are available here.  Your transcripts and other relevant documents should be uploaded per the instructions on the application website.

Please do not send any application materials directly to the department. 

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS

Proficiency in English is an admission requirement, but it does not guarantee admission. All international students must score at least 570 (paper-based TOEFL) or 88 (internet-based TOEFL) or  6.5 (IELTS) on a diagnostic English examination. Additional English testing and coursework may be required for students who are admitted. Students who have graduated, or will graduate before beginning your studies at ISU, from a 4-year college or university in the USA or other countries where English is the only official language, do not need to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score.

Financial Support

All applicants are automatically considered for a teaching or research assistantship, but funds are limited. We begin reviewing applications and making admission decisions in late January. In order to secure a better chance of receiving an assistantship, we encourage you to submit your application by mid-December or early January. We continue reviewing applications received after this time period, but funding may no longer be available.

Students from other countries must normally be supported by their own universities or governments, or by personal funds. However, some financial assistance is available for outstanding international students. International students must have health insurance while enrolled at Iowa State.