If you are just looking for how to apply, please submit an application. As you complete this application, you will likely have some questions that we hope are answered by the Graduate College Admissions FAQ or our Departmental Graduate Admissions FAQ. If these don't answer your question, please contact Dr. Jarad Niemi, Chair of Graduate Admissions.
Graduate Study in Statistics
If you are still undecided about whether to apply for a Graduate Program in Statistics at Iowa State University (ISU), know that Statisticians and Data Scientists are some of the best jobs, the Graduate Program in Statistics at ISU is one of the top-ranked programs in the country where exciting research is occurring, and that life in Ames is small-town America with all the amenities a large, research university provides. The Department of Statistics offers two main degrees: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Master of Science (MS). In addition, some students enroll in a Co-Major PhD where their degree is combined with Statistics and another field. If you are already enrolled in another graduate program at ISU, then you may be interested in this Co-Major PhD, but you may also be interested in the PhD Minor or MS Minor, depending on what degree you are obtaining in your other program.
Statisticians and Data Scientists, both of which are titles our recent alum, are routinely listed as some of the best jobs by US News and World Report. In addition, to the high salaries, low stress, and great work-life balance, the number of jobs in Statistics is expected to grow over 30% in the next decade which much faster than the average growth of all jobs at 3%. Putting this altogether, Data Scientist and Statisticians are the sexiest jobs in the 21st century according to the Harvard Business Review.
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 40 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. Our Graduate Program in Statistics is consistently in the Top 20 according to national rankings by the National Research Council and in the US News & World Report Graduate Program Rankings (although the value and accuracy of these rankings is highly debatable). Recent graduates from our program have gone on to work in industry (Amazon, Boeing, Disney, Google), national labs (NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, Los Alamos National Labs, Pacific Northwest National Labs), and academia (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, North Carolina State University, Carleton College).
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 forensic statistics to survey sampling to bioinformatics. 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.
Ames is consistently ranked as one of the top places in the U.S. to live. This is due to a combination of a small town with a large, research university that provides low cost-of-living and a plethora of amenities. 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.
If you decide to submit an application (and we hope you will), please read the Graduate School Admissions FAQ and the Departmental Graduate Admissions FAQ, 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.
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 Student Services Specialist, Michael Boyd, will be delighted to hear from you.