The prerequisite courses required to apply to the STOR Ph.D. program are: real analysis, linear algebra, calculus-based probability and statistics.
The Ph.D. programs begin in the Fall semester.
The approximate application deadline is mid-December of each year. Exact dates can be found here.
Most of our Ph.D. students receive some form of financial support, such as Graduate School fellowships, departmental assistantships, research assistantships, or internships. Departmental assistantships involve grading or teaching an undergraduate course. Some of our students are supported as Research Assistants by faculty members and some work as interns in industry at one of the nearby firms in Research Triangle Park (e.g., IBM, SAS, GlaxoSmithKline, Becton-Dickinson). Our supported students receive tuition and fee waivers as well as health insurance coverage for the duration of their studies.
How to Apply
Please refer to and apply by following the instructions given on the Graduate School website: http://gradschool.unc.edu/admissions/instructions.html.
International applicants have additional application requirements including the submission of a TOEFL or IETLS score and a financial certificate. Please read the instructions about these requirements at http://gradschool.unc.edu/admissions/instructions.html#fincert.
Students admitted to a Ph.D. program are encouraged to visit the department. We will arrange for you to meet with faculty and current students, and will provide partial reimbursement for travel expenses. We encourage you to check the UNC Visitors’ Center’s website for more information and to make arrangements for guided campus tours for prospective graduate students.
If you have any questions which you cannot find the answer to, please contact us.
Applicants to the MS program should have a strong record of undergraduate coursework in statistics and mathematics. Statistics coursework should include an introductory course in statistics (similar to STOR 155), an intermediate level course in inference and regression (similar to STOR 455), and a calculus based probability course (similar to STOR 435). Mathematical coursework should include single and multivariable calculus, as well as an intermediate or advanced level course in linear and matrix algebra. Students interested in theoretical statistics or probability should have prior coursework in advanced calculus or real analysis.
The application deadline is mid-December each year for students applying for Fall admissions. Exact dates can be found here. If you are NOT currently enrolled in another graduate program at UNC-CH, then you can only begin an M.S. program in the Fall semester.
The Department is not able to provide financial assistance to M.S. students.
How to Apply
Please refer to and apply by following the instructions on the Graduate School’s website: http://gradschool.unc.edu/admissions/instructions.html.
International applicants have additional application requirements including the submission of a TOEFL or IETLS score and a Financial Certificate. Please read the information about these requirements at
Students from other UNC programs
If you are currently a graduate student enrolled in another graduate program at UNC-CH, please check this website for the application process: http://gradschool.unc.edu/academics/degreeprograms/
If you are an international student currently enrolled at UNC-CH then you are exempt from the TOEFL or IELTS score requirement.
Important Note Regarding Courses Completed Prior to Admission into the STOR M.S. Program: At most six credit hours may be transferred from another accredited institution, or from within UNC-CH, for courses taken before admission to the STOR M.S. program. (This limit on transferring credits applies to courses taken in the STOR Department as well.)
The following link contain information about applying to a graduate program at UNC.
Frequently Asked Questions
We only accept online applications. The application and detailed instructions can be found here: Instructions for Graduate Applicants
When does your department begin accepting applications?
The application program typically becomes available in the beginning of August for the following fall.
What is the deadline for application?
Application deadlines for the Fall 2021 class will be December 15, 2020.
Exact dates change each calendar year and can be found here: http://gradschool.unc.edu/academics/degreeprograms/
I have missed the deadline, can I still apply?
No, unfortunately once the deadline has passed no further applications can be received.
Are there waivers available for application fees?
Application fee waivers are only available in limited circumstances. More information about who qualifies can be found here.
When will I know your decision?
Acceptances begin to be sent out in late January and continue through early April.
Does your department admit students in the Spring Semester?
We consider applications once a year, and all applications need to be submitted by the same deadline in December. If you are a graduate student currently enrolled in another graduate program within UNC-Chapel Hill, and are applying to a STOR M.S. program and do not need financial support, it is possible for you to start the program in the Spring semester. In the latter situation, you need to send an email to Professor Shu Lu to explain your interest in starting the program from the Spring semester, and submit your application by the same deadline in December.
If I am graduating in the Spring of 2021, can I apply for a graduate program at UNC for Fall 2021?
Can I update transcripts as new grades become available?
Applicants can update their transcripts once by accessing their application and uploading the new document.
Can I update my documents after submitting my application?
Only transcripts can be updated by an applicant. CVs or personal statements will not be updated.
What should I do if I have sent test scores but they are still shown online as missing?
Official GRE, TOEFL and IELTS results are not matched until after an application has been submitted.
My Transcripts Status says ‘Partial Received’; is this because I am currently an undergraduate?
Yes. If you plan to receive your degree in the upcoming spring, your current semester grades will not be included on the transcript. This transcript is considered as partial.
Do I need to specify which professors I am interested in working with?
No. That is optional and will have no effect on our consideration of your application.
Do all of my recommendations need to be from my professors?
At least three letters of recommendation are needed. They should come from persons who are familiar with your academic and professional qualifications, and can address your potential to succeed in our graduate program. Ideally these would be professors, however if you have been out of school for a significant amount of time other individuals who can address these qualities are acceptable.
My recommenders won’t be able to get their letters submitted before the deadline. Is that OK?
As long as you have listed your recommenders on your application and submit the application by the deadline, it is acceptable for the actual letters to come in later. We begin reviewing applications in January so we ask that they be sent before then, so that you can have our full consideration.
My recommenders are not able to receive the link to upload their letters. What can be done?
This usually occurs when the recommender is from outside the U.S. and is using an email address that is tied to a government agency or national university. If your recommender has a private email address such as gmail or hotmail, ask if they are willing to use that. If so, you can update your recommender’s information to change the email address and then re-send the link.
Another alternative is that the recommender can send the letter directly to us and we will upload it to your application. Letters should always be written on university or company letterhead.
Can someone check that all my materials have been received?
There is a checklist displayed when you log into your application. A green check mark indicates that the information has been received. A red “x” indicates that the information has not been received. Due to the high volume of applications received, we will not be able to respond to each individual request for us to verify that documents have been received.
I am an international applicant. Can I send my application in without a financial certificate?
Yes. The financial certification forms are not provided until after you have accepted an offer of admission from us.
Do you consider international students for financial support?
All applicants for the PhD program are considered for financial support, regardless of citizenship. No financial support is available from the department for MS students.
I have a 3-year bachelor’s degree from India. Is this sufficient for admission?
That depends. According to the Graduate School, students from India must have either a bachelor’s degree in engineering or medicine, or a Master’s degree in any other subject. See special requirements for other countries here.
How can I check the status of my application? I have received offers from other universities, and need to reply soon. My top choice was UNC – Chapel Hill.
After an application is submitted you can always log back in to see the status. You will receive automated email notification whenever your status changes. We usually make the first round of offers by the end of January, and you will be notified if the decision is positive. Negative decisions are usually posted by late April.
If you would like to be considered for both the PhD or MS degree, two separate applications are required.
I would like to apply for your MS in Data Science and Analytics, but I can’t find it listed among the options on the application.
Please select the “Statistics & Operations Research” option when applying to our MS degree.
If I am not admitted into the PhD program, will my application automatically be considered for the Master’s program?
No. If you would like to be considered for both the PhD and MS programs, you must complete and submit two separate applications. Two application fees are also required.
Do you offer any online classes?
No, we do not offer any online classes at this time.
Are your M.S. and Ph.D. programs considered STEM programs?
Can I be enrolled in a lab with one of your faculty members without being admitted to one of your graduate programs?
No. Students are admitted into the graduate program, not the labs of individual faculty members.
My undergraduate degree is in a major other than statistics, am I a good candidate for your program?
Any student with a strong Math background reflected in transcripts and/or recommendation letters may be just as qualified. Many of our graduate students have degrees in fields such as Economics, Math, Engineering, Physics, Psychology, and Computer Science.
Typically two years or one and a half years.
Do you offer any scholarships for MS students?
No, we do not offer any scholarships for MS students.
How long does it take to finish the PhD program?
Typically five years, but it could be less or more depending on the special circumstances.
Do you offer funding for PhD students?
All PhD students are admitted with full departmental support, which includes payment of all tuition and fees, health insurance, and a stipend. In exchange for this, PhD students are assigned duties such as graders, teaching assistants, or research assistants.
What is the average cost of tuition and fees?
Please see the current year’s tuition and fees information provided by the cashier’s office.
The Graduate School recommends the following minimum qualifications: GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, GRE Verbal and Quantitative scores in at least the 50th percentile. For international students, the minimum TOEFL score is 90 and minimum IELTS score is 7
To be a competitive applicant for our programs, please consider that most of our accepted students have quantitative GRE score in the 90th percentile or higher, and a GPA between 3.5-4.0. These are averages based on our recent incoming classes.
Is the Math Subject Test of the GRE required to be able to apply to the MS or PhD program?
No, the GRE Math Subject Test is not required for either program.
I submitted my official score for the Math Subject Test of the GRE, but it is not marked as received.
Only required documentation is marked as received. Since we do not require the Math subject test, the application system has no way of acknowledging that the official score has been received.
Can I use GMAT scores instead of GRE scores?
No, GRE scores are required in order to apply to our programs.
What is your department code?
A department code is not needed when submitting your test scores to UNC. Send all scores to the UNC Graduate School, Institution Code #5816.
I had my GRE scores sent out when I took the test. Is there anything else I can do to ensure that those scores have been received?
GRE/TOEFL Scores sent by ETS are linked through an automated process after an application has been submitted. Please allow 7-10 days for them to be linked to the appropriate application.
If your scores are still labeled “incomplete” and your application was submitted more than two weeks ago, you can contact the Graduate School and they will investigate further.
I took my exams late and the official score will not arrive before the deadline, is that acceptable?
We will consider your application completed on time if you have self-reported the exam scores. We will need to wait for the official scores before we can make a decision on your application. It is recommended that you take any exams by the end of October in order to ensure the scores arrive before we begin admitting students.
Can you consider my application without official scores?
We can review your application with a self-reported score, but an official score is necessary before we can admit you.
Are scanned versions of score reports acceptable?
No, we need official scores sent directly from ETS.
Can I update my scores if I take the test again?
If you take one of the exams again, have ETS send the scores and they will be matched to your application.
Can the TOEFL or IELTS exam be waived?
Yes if you are an applicant from a country where English is the SOLE OFFICIAL language of instruction you will receive an exception to the exam. Click on this UNC Graduate School admissions webpage for more details.
If you have received or will receive a degree from a university in the United States, or from any accredited university where English is the SOLE language of instruction, then you can request a waiver of the exam. The waiver request is available on your application. The transcript that you upload to your application will also be used as the supporting documentation required for the waiver request.
I am a lawful permanent resident of the United States, do I need to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score?
English proficiency exams are only required of international applicants. LPR’s are considered domestic applicants and do not need to take these exams. There is no need to request a waiver.
We encourage admitted students to visit the campus and may offer partial reimbursement for applicants currently in the US depending on funding availability. Please refer to your acceptance email and letter for more details.
Will you notify applicants of the admissions decisions by mail or e-mail?
You will receive an initial email notification from the Director of Admissions, which will include an offer letter signed by the department Chair. You will also receive a separate letter from the Graduate School.
What is the deadline by which I must accept the offer?
April 15, or within 30 days of admission for anyone admitted after March 25th.
If I accept the offer, when do I have to pay the enrollment deposit?
If you are accepted before March 15, you need to pay the enrollment deposit by April 15.
If you are accepted after March 15, you have 3 weeks to do the same.
How long before I receive my I-20?
Once the International Student and Scholar Services office receives the financial certificate, it will take appropriately three weeks before the I-20 can be issued. Any questions regarding the status of your I-20 should be addressed with them.
What is the average cost of tuition and fees?
Please see the current year’s tuition and fees information provided by the cashier’s office.
When will I be assigned a faculty advisor?
The Director of Graduate Studies will serve as your course advisor. Pairing of students with research advisors typically takes place during a student’s second year of study, after they have completed their Comprehensive Written Exams.
How much does housing cost?
Housing depends on if you are living on-campus or off-campus. For the cost of on-campus apartments, visit the campus housing website.