Important:  Starting Autumn 2020, the deadline for applications to the STATISTICS major will be the third Friday in April. 

  • There will be no fall admissions. 
  • The program requirements have been revised to enable students to complete the major in 2 years. So the change in admission cycle should not impact students who were intending to apply Sep 4, 2020.  

Statistics is a competitive major. Completion of the prerequisites described below guarantees consideration of your application but does not guarantee admission. Each application will be evaluated by a committee of faculty involved in the undergraduate program.

The Department of Statistics believes diversity is integral to the well-being of our programs in particular and the field of statistics in general.

We welcome applicants with varied cultural and personal experiences, from varying socio-economic and academic backgrounds, and of differing racial identities, ages, gender identities and sexual orientations.

We are committed to providing a well-rounded education that combines academic rigor with hands-on training in a supportive, socially responsible and inclusive environment that offers access and opportunity for all.


Admissions Criteria

Applicants must be enrolled at the University of Washington and satisfy the requirements below.

A minimum cum GPA of 2.5 in the courses listed below with no individual GPA below 2.0 is required for admission. Successful applicants will typically exceed a cum GPA of 3.0 with no individual GPA below 2.5.  Courses must be completed prior to application.

  • Calculus :
    • MATH 124, 125 and 126    (or Hons Calculus sequence: MATH 134, 135 and 136)
    • MATH 324
  • Statistics: One of STAT 311 (highly preferred) or STAT 390
  • Computing: One of CSE 142 or CSE 160.

Admissions may not be deferred.

All applicants will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • academic ability as measured by GPA, factoring in difficulty and breadth of courses completed,  frequency of incomplete courses , and number of repeated courses
  • personal statement
  • relevant work and life experience
  • honors/merit  

How to Apply

To apply, please click here. Be sure to have a copy of your answers to the writing prompts below in a separate file from which you can copy and paste into the online form before you begin. 

The deadline for application is the end of the day (5:00 P.M. Pacific Standard Time) on Friday April 23. Students wishing to apply to the statistics major must complete the online application by the due date and time. The application will be available for  two weeks before the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be considered and extra time will not be given. Please plan ahead so you do not find yourself in this situation. 

Writing Prompts (admission cycle 2021)

Pick any two of these writing prompts and write a thoughtful response of at most 300 words on each prompt.

1. “Statistics and Data Science are the same.” Do you agree or disagree? Explain your answer with examples.

2. “In the Statistics classes I have taken so far, I was most surprised to learn that …. because ….”  Try to give an example that has changed your everyday thinking.

3. Epidemiological and Statistical modeling have played prominent roles in understanding and responding to the global covid-19 pandemic.

4. Give an example of a statistical concept that you became aware of through the pandemic.  Explain how that concept influenced decisions made by you or others.

5. Mark Twain first said: “There are lies, damned lies and Statistics.” Why do you think this is so often said? Do you agree? Explain why or why not.


(Optional) Write up to 600 words:

If you have overcome challenges in your educational journey that you would like the committee to be aware of please describe them here. For example you can use this space to tell us about:

• Elements of your record which might misrepresent your potential as a statistics major; 

• Your experience(s) as an individual from a traditionally underrepresented group in higher education; your perspective on issues related to diversity, inclusion, and equity; or any topics related to these themes;

• How your personal history (family, educational, cultural, and economic background) has influenced you and your goals.


 Admission FAQs

What is considered a strong applicant for the STAT major?

Every application is holistically reviewed by the statistics admissions committee. Your overall UW record, the GPAs of the prerequisites, positive grade pattern and your personal statement are all taken into consideration in the review. We have an average of 100- 150 applications per year and we only have 50-55 spaces available. The admitted cohort has an average GPA of 3.6 and the GPA varies each year.

I do not have a good grade in a Math or CSE course. Can I repeat the course for a better grade?

If for any reasons the applicant is not satisfied with the grade in a specific prereq course we prefer the applicant takes another similar or higher level course to demonstrate a solid and improved grade. 

I am in another major. Can I apply to STAT major?

You can apply to stat major but you will need to make a strong case in the application of why the two majors are needed and what academic goals you want to achieve with the two majors. We will not allow double major in MATH and ACMS due to too many courses overlap. There is also no benefit to be in one major with a Data Science option and in the Statistics Data Science option.

When will I know if I am admitted?

We only offer admissions once a year. The application deadline is the third Friday in April. We will review the applications very soon after the deadline and hopefully notify the applicants of the results prior to the start of Autumn registration, which is in May.

I am interested in STAT DS option and can I switch to the general STAT later on in the program?

Yes you can switch from STAT DS to general or vice versa. All we need is to complete the MYPLAN and a Change of Major Form to make sure you are making satisfactory progress and graduating on time.

Do you look at research or work experience in the application?

We understand that a pre-major may not have the opportunity to get statistics research or relevant work experience. The UW Undergraduate Research Program may have research opportunities for pre-majors. Please use their database to search for such opportunities. Statistics department has a student-run Statistics Probability Association (SPA) and they need statistics and premajor student volunteers. By volunteering you can get to know statistics students, develop leadership skills and to find out if STAT major is the right choice for you.

What kinds of career or academic opportunities does a Statistics major lead to?

In general the majority of the statistics graduates with a BS degree will pursue a graduate program or a PHD program. Our graduates were admitted to graduate programs across the US in Statistics, Biostatistics, Data Science, Business Analytics, Financial Engineering etc. We have a few students who found jobs in the research area.

If I do not get admitted to the STAT major, what should I do?

Statistics is a capacity constrained major. We advise students to prepare for a back up major before they apply. Some applicants consider majors in Math, ACMS, Econ, Applied Math as those majors’ prereqs are very similar to Statistics. If you need advising in exploring majors please contact the individual department or the UW Undergraduate Advising.

If I have other questions in Statistics admissions who should I contact?

Questions concerning admissions and registration should be sent to Due to COVID-19 in-person advising are suspended until further notice.

Admission Decisions

Decisions are made approximately within a week after the application deadline. Students are notified of the decision via email. Admitted students have 48 hours to accept our offer by email.  If admitted and STAT is your only major, you will have 1 week to declare STAT as your major and prepare a graduation plan with our advisor. If admitted and STAT is a double major/degree, you will have 2 weeks to declare STAT as your major since you must complete a graduation plan with your other major first. Non-response  by the deadlines is considered a decline of our offer.  Applicants are not allowed to defer admissions and must begin in the fall quarter immediately upon notification of acceptance. Failure to do so can result in a withdrawal of our offer. 

All applicants have the right to petition and appeal the Department’s decision. 

If you are denied admission and feel that important facts were overlooked by the committee, you may submit the Admission Decision Appeal Form within 1 week of the date of the notification email to the Statistics Advising Office in PDL B-313. Only relevant information that was not submitted with your original application will be considered in your case for an appeal. Students who appeal will be notified within one week after the appeal deadline.