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.
Commitment to Diversity
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.
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 224 (previously Math324)
- Statistics: One of STAT 311 (highly preferred) or STAT 390
- Computing: One of CSE 142 or CSE 160.
Admissions may not be deferred.
- No double majors with MATH or ACMS (any track).
- The statistics major at UW is not available to post-bac students owing to the huge demand among first-time degree seeking undergraduates.
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
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 15, 2022. 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 2022)
Pick any two of these writing prompts and write a thoughtful response of at most 300 words on each prompt.
1. "Statistics is part of Mathematics." Do you agree or disagree? Explain your answer.
2. The American Statistical Association Ethical Guidelines (B.10) states that an ethical Statistician: “… ..shares the data used in the analyses whenever possible/allowable and exercises due caution to protect proprietary and confidential data, including all data that might inappropriately reveal respondent identities."
Giving examples, explain how it is possible both to share data and ensure that respondent identities are not revealed. Explain, with examples, why this is important.
3. “In the Statistics classes I have taken so far, I was most surprised to learn that …. because ….” Fill in the blanks.
4. The Roman, Pliny the Elder1 said (approx 77 CE) “The only certainty is uncertainty”. Discuss whether, if true, this is good news or bad news for Statisticians? (1He was later killed while trying to rescue a friend from the eruption that destroyed Pompei.)
5. The famous statistician, Bradley Efron said: “Those who ignore statistics are condemned to reinvent it”. What do you think he meant by this? Who might he have been referring to?
(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.
- If statistics is your second major, please explain how you see it complementing your existing major.
Decisions are made approximately within a week after the application deadline. Students are notified of the decision via email. Admitted students have 2 business days from when the offer is sent to accept our offer by email. If admitted, students have 5 business days from when the offer was sent to meet with the advisor and declare STAT as their major , 10 business days for double majors. 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.
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 but 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 prerequisite course, we prefer the applicant takes another similar or higher level course to demonstrate a solid and improved grade.
I have some transfer credits of the admissions prerequisites from a community college. How can I demonstrate my competitiveness to apply?
We would like to see that you take some of our Math or CSE requirements at UW before you apply. For example Math 224, or Math 208, Math 318 and CSE 142.
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. STAT majors may not double major with MATH or ACMS. In addition, on account of overlap we do not encourage students to be in the Statistics Data Science option whilst also being in a data science option in another major.
When will I know if I am admitted?
We only admit students to our program 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?
Our admissions are holistic and applications are evaluated as a whole. Research experience is only one way in which students can demonstrate intellectual curiosity and aptitude, but there are many others: breadth of classes on transcript, relevant projects from classes, interest in an application area to name a few.
What kinds of career or academic opportunities does a Statistics major lead to?
A major in statistics will prepare you for any job which requires critical thinking skills. Many of our graduates go on to M.S./Ph.D. programs in Statistics, Biostatistics, Data Science, Business Analytics, or Financial Engineering etc.
If I do not get admitted to the STAT major, what should I do?
Statistics is a capacity constrained major. All applicants should have a back up major in mind. Majors with similar admission requirements are: Math, ACMS, Econ, Applied Math, CSE.
If I have other questions in Statistics admissions who should I contact?
Questions concerning admissions and registration should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.