Prospective Graduate Students


If you are looking around this website, you are probably trying to decide whether to go to grad school in statistics, and if so, which program to join. Since we very much hope that you will give ours serious consideration, we have tried to include as much information as possible about statistics as a discipline, the program at Iowa State University (both for MS and PhD candidates), the department, what life might be like as a professional statistician, and of course, about making the move to the Midwest.

Before you get started, here are some interesting facts about the Department of Statistics at Iowa State:

The Statistical Laboratory, which forms part of the department, was the first statistics unit created in the country. It dates from 1933 and is still in operation. We are one of the largest departments of statistics in the nation (and in the world). As of today, we have about 38 faculty (depending on how you count) and 140 graduate students. During any one year, anywhere between 10 and 20 graduate students receive their PhD in Statistics.

The department has consistently performed well in national rankings by the NRC and in the US News & World Report College Rankings. Please visit their respective websites for additional information about college rankings.

Regardless of your interests, you will find that we offer a wide range of courses from which to choose and that our faculty, staff and students are involved in research projects in areas that range from nano-technology to survey sampling. Strong research groups in bioinformatics and computational biology, statistics for engineering and physical sciences, social and survey statistics and public policy, education, data visualization and statistical computing, environmental and spatial statistics, statistical theory and probability and many others provide a rich educational environment and a lot of different options for you.

If you decide to submit an application (and we hope you will), please read the admissions page to find all the forms and other information you will need. We offer financial aid in the form of teaching or research assistantships. In addition, through funding from the National Science Foundation and other sources, we have been able to offer generous fellowships to particularly strong applicants. While we accept applications essentially year-round, your chances of receiving funding are better if you apply before January 15th for fall term enrollment.

Unless you happen to be from the Midwest, you will probably know little about Ames, Iowa, and this general region. Is it cold in winter? Is it a welcoming place for international students? Can I get my daily cappuccino over there? Are there good concerts, restaurants, book stores in Ames? To find answers to those questions and more, you might wish to check out our Life in Ames FAQ page.

We hope that you find answers to all of your questions, but if you don’t, please don’t hesitate to contact any of the students, faculty or staff in the department. In particular, the Graduate Admissions Chair, Dr. Jarad Niemi [send e-mail], will be delighted to hear from you.