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Resources

Resources

For all students

There are two important deadlines that students should pay attention to each semester: the Add deadline and the Drop deadline. These dates can be found on the Registrar’s website.

Add deadline:
The last day to add a course is usually within one week of the start of classes. You must be registered as a full-time student if you are either (a) supported by the University or the Department, or (b) an international student. Full-time status can be maintained by either (i) registering for at least 9 credits, or (ii) taking 3 credits of STOR 992 (MS Essay) or 994 (Ph.D.Thesis research) under your advisor’s section. Thus, a Ph.D. student who takes just 3 credits of 994, or a single 3 credit course plus 3 credits of 994 will have full time status, even though they are taking fewer than 9 credits total. Failure to be full-time can affect your funding, and even your ability to stay at the University.

Drop with tuition refund:
The last day to drop a course and obtain a tuition refund is usually within two weeks of the start of classes. Students who perform a late drop that puts them under 9 credits, even if they are eligible to take fewer than 9 credits due to STOR 992/4, will be billed for the tuition diference. Thus, if a Ph.D. student taking a single 3 credit course plus 3 credits of 994 decides to drop their 3 credit course after the drop deadline, they will be charged for 3 credits of coursework. This rule does not affect students who will have 9 or more credits after the drop; they have until the normal graduate student drop date in November/April.


Courses designated as being variable credit can be taken for 1, 2 or 3 credits. In most circumstances, students taking a course for reduced credit (1 or 2 hours) will be expected to do the same work as students taking the course for full credit (3 hours).

This is an overview of the computing resources available for students at UNC.

Hardware/Research Computing:

Data storage:

Software:

Email:

Computer Lab (Hanes 115) Protocol:

  • Do not use computers for personal activities.
  • Close and lock the lab at all times.
  • Do not go away while leaving your jobs running. Long time simulations should be done using remote servers.
  • Do not attempt to adjust the temperature of the room. If the temperature of the room is uncomfortable, please go to the third floor and speak with the Department Manager or Administrative Services Staff.
  • Log out at the end of every session.
  • Do not turn off the machines in the computer lab unless there is a problem.
  • Keep the computer lab neat. Please be responsible for your own items and recycle/remove as appropriate.

Printing:

  • If toner or paper is low, please go to the third floor and speak with the Department Manager or Administrative Services Staff.
  • Please print on both sides of paper.
  • If the printer is not working, submit a remedy ticket to OASIS.

Asking for Help:

  • Ask the person next to you.
  • Search help.unc.edu
  • For software requests, hardware problems, and any problem related to the lab machines, submit a remedy ticket to OASIS.


This provides an overview of the resources available through the UNC library system. If anyone has any questions please contact Danianne Mizzy (mizzy@email.unc.edu) who will be able to assist with any statistics related questions.

  1. STOR Specific Guide: This guide provides the user with an overview of services provided by the library with an emphasis on those that are useful for statistics and operations research.
  2. Finding Data: The library has purchased and subscribes to a variety of proprietary data sets. Sometimes these can be difficult to navigate so if you don’t know specifically what you’re looking for don’t hesitate in contacting Michele Hayslett (michele_hayslett@unc.edu) who is an expert in the data that the university has access to. In addition, if you would like to purchase data the library will frequently provide support in the form of money and/or guidance.
  3. GIS & Data Services: The library provides a variety of data analysis and visualization tools (e.g. GIS) which can be accessed at this link.
  4. Author Identifier: Please see this link for tips on using Author Identifiers. Author Identifiers help identify researches and are especially useful for researchers who may have common names.
  5. Reputation Management: Request a consultation about ways to curate your online portfolio by emailing Danianne Mizzy (mizzy@email.unc.edu).

For Ph.D. students

General Description

The STOR Department requires doctoral students to take and successfully complete a Comprehensive Written Exam (CWE) in their program of study. The CWE tests students’ knowledge of the material in core first year courses. Doctoral students must take and successfully complete the Comprehensive Written Exam (CWE) as a first step towards obtaining their PhD. In most cases, students take the CWE just prior to their second year of graduate study.

Eligibility

The CWE is open only to students who are formally enrolled in one of the STOR Ph.D. programs. Students who are not in a STOR Ph.D. program (e.g. Masters students and students from other departments) should speak with the appropriate Director of Graduate Studies if they wish to take one or more papers of the CWE.

Under normal circumstances, students may take a given paper of the CWE only after they have completed the corresponding courses. In special cases a student may, with the approval of the Graduate Committee, take one or more papers of the CWE before completing the corresponding courses.

Scheduling of the CWE

The CWE is offered in mid to late August, usually during the week before the beginning of classes. Different papers are given on different days. A list of examinees for each program wil be compiled by the exam committee chair at the end of the spring semester preceding the exam. Formally agreeing to take a paper of the CWE represents a binding commitment on the part of the student. If a student wishes to withdraw their name from the list of individuals taking a particular paper, they must receive the approval of the Graduate Committee. Such approval will be granted only in cases where students offer a compelling case for withdrawal in a timely fashion. Students who fail to attend the exam without good reason may fail the paper(s) they missed.

Exemptions

No student may be exempted from taking any paper of the CWE. However, a student may, with the approval of the Graduate Committee, be excused from taking one or more core courses. To be granted an exemption from a course, a student should give evidence that he/she has covered the material in the course elsewhere, and that he/she has what the faculty judges to be a sufficient level of understanding of the material.

A student who is exempted from a course must still meet the credit requirements of his/her program. Unless otherwise specified by the faculty, courses from which a student has been exempted should be replaced by courses in their program that are numbered 700 or above.

The decision to exempt a student from one or more graduate courses will be made independently of the decision to allow a student to pre-emptively take a paper of the CWE. Thus a student who is excused from taking a course must still take the corresponding paper of the CWE, and a student who pre-emptively takes and passes a paper of the CWE is not automatically excused from taking the corresponding courses.

Ph.D. Committees: General Information

A student’s doctoral (Ph.D.) committee consists of five, or possibly six, faculty members at UNC. The committee includes the student’s advisor(s) and a chairperson. The chairperson is a (typically senior) member of the STOR faculty, who is not an advisor or co-advisor of the student. A student’s doctoral committee should contain at least three members of the STOR faculty, but may contain one or more faculty from outside the STOR Department.

The committee chair oversees the formal aspects of the preliminary and final oral exams, including format and duration (more details on these are given below). Students should meet briefly with the chair of their committee before their exams to get their input and advice. Scheduling of the preliminary and final oral exams, including reserving appropriate rooms, is the responsibility of the student and their advisor. Students are responsible for obtaining the appropriate forms from the Graduate School webpage for the preliminary and final oral exams. Information about forms can be found on the STOR webpage.

Formation of Ph.D. Committees

Doctoral committees are composed by the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) for the student’s program, with input from the student’s Ph.D. advisor(s). The process for putting together a doctoral committee is as follows.

  1. The student’s advisor compiles a list of potential committee members that are familiar with the student’s thesis topic and general research area(s).
  2. The advisor and the DGS review the list of potential committee members, and come up with a tentative committee. (The DGS may request that additions or deletions be made to the list of potential committee members.)
  3. Once a tentative committee is identified, the advisor contacts these faculty in order to gauge their willingness and ability to serve. (If for some reason the advisor does not wish to contact a potential committee member, the DGS can do this directly.) If anyone on the list is unable or unwilling to serve, the advisor and DGS will discuss an appropriate replacement.
  4. Once the members of the committee have agreed, informally, to serve, the DGS will send an email formally establishing the student’s doctoral committee. In addition, the DGS will ask one member of the committee to serve as chair. At this point the student and his/her advisor may contact committee members to begin the process of scheduling preliminary oral exams.

External Committee Members

Each member of a student’s doctoral committee must be a belong to UNC’s Graduate Faculty. In order for a faculty member outside UNC to serve on a student’s committee, their advisor will need to take steps to ensure that the outside faculty member receives a fixed term appointment on the graduate faculty. More information on fixed term appointments can be found on the Grad School website: http://gradschool.unc.edu/policies/fac-designation.html

Outside Advisors (STOR Programs)

In most cases, Ph.D. students in the Statistics and Operations Research programs are advised, or co-advised, by core members of the STOR faculty. Core faculty are those with full or part time teaching responsibilities in the Department. Under special circumstances, students may be fully advised by a non-core faculty member within UNC. Any student who is considering such an arrangement should contact the DGS in a timely fashion, prior to beginning formal research, and must obtain the approval of the STOR Graduate Committee.

In the event that a student is being advised by a faculty member outside the STOR core, the advisor may be asked to contribute to the financial support of the student, depending on the resources and needs of the Department.

The standards and procedures for dissertations with outside advisors are the same as those for students with advisors inside the Department. Students with an outside advisor should, in conjunction with the DGS, identify a doctoral committee chair from among the tenured STOR faculty at the outset of their research. The chair is responsible for overseeing the student’s thesis progress, and ensuring that their work meets the general requirements of the Department. It is the joint responsibility of the student, their advisor, and the committee chair to ensure that the student’s preliminary and final oral exams are scheduled in accordance with the general guidelines set out by the Department.

Scheduling of Exams

In order to receive a Ph.D., a student must take and pass the preliminary and final oral exams. In scheduling preliminary and final oral exams, students and their advisors should adhere to the following guidelines:

  • The preliminary oral exam is intended to be a feasibility study, and an opportunity for
    students to receive feedback and guidance from the members of their doctoral committee.
    The preliminary oral exam should be completed by the spring of a student’s third year in the
    Ph.D. program.
  • Scheduling the preliminary oral exam is the responsibility of the student, and should be done
    after the student’s doctoral committee has been established by their DGS.
  • Dissertation proposals should be submitted to the members of a student’s doctoral committee
    at least two weeks prior to the preliminary oral exam.
  • Final oral exams should occur at least three weeks in advance of the University deadline for
    submission of theses, so that students have ample time to incorporate changes suggested by
    members of their doctoral committee at the time of their final oral exam.
  • Dissertations should be submitted to the members of a student’s committee at least three
    weeks prior to the final oral exam.

Exam format: The preliminary oral exam is closed to the public; only the student and members of their committee are present. The preliminary oral exam consists of an oral presentation by the student, usually 50 minutes in length, followed by an extended question and answer period with committee members.

The final oral exam consists of two parts. The first part is a formal oral presentation by the student, roughly 50 minutes in length, that is open to the public. The oral presentation is advertised and conducted in the same fashion as a departmental colloquium. The second part of the exam is a closed session including only the student and his/her committee. Note: The student and his/her advisor are responsible for circulating the abstract and announcement of the final oral exam at least one week in advance of the exam.

Raj Chandra Bose Student Travel Award

Due to a generous gift from Dr. Gary Koch and Mrs. Carolyn Koch, the STOR department has funds (of around $3,000 per year) to help STOR graduate students cover costs of travel for presenting their work in conferences. Fully enrolled graduate students in good standing in the STOR PhD program who have previously not received the award are eligible to apply. The plan is to distribute around 4 awards per year with a maximum per award being $750.

Application

Students must provide a proof of presentation of their work at a regional, national, or international academic conference or professional society meeting. Such proof could consist of a notification from the conference or professional society giving the time and date of the presentation or a copy of the official letter of invitation or program announcement verifying their presentation.

The faculty advisor of a student applying for the award should write a brief letter describing the rationale and need for the travel award and its impact attending the conference will have on the student. Any additional funding the advisor can provide will help making more than the aimed 4 awards per year.

There will be two application cycles: one in Spring to decide on the applications for late spring and summer and another in Fall to decide on the applications for Fall and early Spring. Applications for the Fall cycle should be in by September 10th, and those for the Spring cycle should be in by February 10th. Funds permitting, applications will also be considered past these deadlines.

The graduate committee will meet and try to make award decisions within a week after the application deadlines. Priority will be given to students closer to graduation.

Other information

Students who receive the award must apply for reimbursement within 30 days of their travel dates and submit receipts to the STOR accounting technician that demonstrate actual travel costs.

Required Forms for the Ph.D. in STOR

There are three forms required for completion of the PhD degree. (Copies of the forms should be in the student’s file, and should be updated as the basic requirements for the degree are completed.)

  1. Doctoral Examination Report Form
  2. Report of Doctoral Committee Composition and Report of Approved Dissertation Project
  3. Application for Graduation

Forms A and B are available from the Graduate School web page. Form C is filled out online.

Timeline for Completion of Forms

1. Comprehensive Written Exam
When the student has successfully completed their CWE, the chair of the CWE committee for their program should complete part I of the Doctoral Examination Report Form (A).

2. Preliminary Oral Exam

  1. The committee chair should complete Part II of Form (A).
  2. The committee chair should complete Parts I and II of Form (B). The student should obtain the signature of the DGS in Part I.

3. Final Oral Exam

  1. The student should complete and submit the Application for Graduation (C) by the University deadline.
  2. The committee chair and other committee members should complete Part III of Doctoral Examination Report Form (A).

4. Final Thesis Approval
The committee chair and other members of the committee should complete Part IV of form (A). This is the last approval step of the dissertation process. Once this section is completed, the student may submit their final thesis to the Graduate School.

Part IV may be signed at the time of the Final Oral Exam, if this is appropriate, or at such time as an acceptable version of the thesis has been completed. Committee members who will be out of town, or difficult to reach, when the thesis is expected to be completed should sign when the candidate has successfully completed his/her Final Orals.

5. Application for Graduation
This e-form should be submitted to the Graduate School during the semester that the student intends to graduate, by the deadline posted on the University Registrar’s Calendar. Students may resubmit the form without penalty if they do not graduate in a given semester. In order to qualify for approval, Ph.D. students must have completed their Comprehensive Written Exams, their Preliminary Oral Exam, and their required coursework.

Ph.D. Program worksheet

Worksheets for students admitted prior to 2020

For M.S. students

Required Forms for the MS in STOR

Students who wish to receive an MS in STOR should register for STOR 992 (MS Essay) during the semester that they defend their MS essay. Students may take STOR 992 more than once.

There are three forms required for completion of the MS degree in STOR:

  1. Master’s Comprehensive Exam or Approved Substitute Report
  2. Report of Approved Substitute for a Master’s Thesis
  3. Application for Graduation

Forms A and B are available from the Graduate School web page. Form C is filled out online.

For students not enrolled in the STOR PhD program

This category includes terminal MS students, and students receiving their primary degrees from other departments at UNC.

A. Master’s Comprehensive Exam or Approved Substitute Report
Fill out Part (III) of the form only. (MS students are not required to take a preliminary written or a preliminary oral exam, just a final oral exam to defend their MS paper.) The form should be signed by the three members of the student’s MS Committee, and again by the Chair of their Committee, or the DGS.

B. Report of Approved Substitute for a Master’s Thesis
Under “Project/course title/number and description”, put “MS Essay” and the title of the student’s essay.

C. Application for Graduation
This e-form should be submitted to the Graduate School during the semester that the student intends to graduate, by the deadline posted on the University Registrar’s Calendar. Students may resubmit the form without penalty if they do not graduate in a given semester. In order to qualify for approval, MS students must be enrolled in STOR 992, be on track to complete their MS coursework by the end of the semester they apply, and have formed their MS essay committee.

Students in the STOR PhD program

Students enrolled in the STOR PhD programs can receive their MS degree upon satisfactory completion of their Preliminary Oral examination. Students wishing to do this should take STOR 992 during the semester that they complete their preliminary PhD orals, and should fill out the following forms.

A. Master’s Comprehensive Exam or Approved Substitute Report
Only the second Part (II) of this form must be completed. The box for “approved substitute” should be checked.

B. Report of Approved Substitute for a Master’s Thesis
Under Project/course title/number and description indicate that student has successfully completed their preliminary orals for the PhD.

C. Application for Graduation
This e-form should be submitted to the Graduate School during the semester that the student intends to receive the MS degree, by the deadline posted on the University Registrar’s Calendar. In order to qualify for approval, students must have completed their Preliminary Oral exam.

Planning for graduation


Defense:

Your defense should be planned in order to leave you enough time to make any changes or editing to your written dissertation that may be suggested by your committee.  The end of March or very early in April would probably leave you with sufficient time.

Contact Alison Kieber to reserve a room for your defense.  It must be public, so a regular classroom is needed.  The longer you wait to reserve a room, the more difficult it will be to find one available, so get in touch with your committee members and start selecting dates early in the semester.

At least one week prior to your defense, provide Alison Kieber with the title and abstract of your dissertation so that public announcements can be made.

Written Dissertation:

Your written dissertation must be submitted electronically by the Graduate School’s deadline.  It is usually in mid-April.  This is a hard deadline, and your dissertation must be final.

Separation from the University:

Office space: Please move out as soon after degree completion as convenient. Be sure to have a staff member look over your desk and space prior to leaving the area. At that time any damaged furniture or office issues can be noted. If you cannot move out prior to July, please let the Dept Manager know of your intended departure date. We will accommodate any reasonable requests for continued office use through the summer, but the area must be made available for incoming students.

Pay: Your last paycheck will be in May.

Continuing to work past graduation date: If you are planning on working past graduation, you will need to be changed from a student to a regular employee – be sure to have your supervisor discuss this with the Department Manager as soon as possible to ensure it is possible. Also, if you are an international student you will need OPT in order to work past your graduation date!

Health Insurance: Spring graduates will continue to be covered on the RA/TA health insurance plan through May 31st.  After that, if you have not secured employment that offers health insurance you should look for private insurance.

Defense:

Your defense should be planned in order to leave you enough time to make any changes or editing to your written dissertation that may be suggested by your committee.  The end of June or very early in July would probably leave you with sufficient time.

Contact Alison Kieber to reserve a room for your defense.  It must be public, so a regular classroom is needed.  Many faculty members travel over the summer, so get in touch with your committee members and start picking dates early in the semester.

At least one week prior to your defense, provide Alison Kieber with the title and abstract of your dissertation so that public announcements can be made.

Written Dissertation:

Your written dissertation must be submitted electronically by the Graduate School’s deadline.  It is usually in mid-July.  This is a hard deadline, and your dissertation must be final.

Separation from the University:

Office space: Please move out as soon after degree completion as convenient. Be sure to have a staff member look over your desk and space prior to leaving the area. At that time any damaged furniture or office issues can be noted. If you cannot move out prior to July, please let the Dept Manager know of your intended departure date. We will accommodate any reasonable requests for continued office use through the summer, but the area must be made available for incoming students.

Pay: If you are working during the summer, your last paycheck will depend on your scheduled last employment date.

Continuing to work past graduation date: If you are planning on working past graduation, you will need to be changed from a student to a regular employee – be sure to have your supervisor discuss this with the Department Manager as soon as possible to ensure it is possible. Also, if you are an international student you will need OPT in order to work past your graduation date!

Health Insurance: Summer graduates will continue to be covered on the RA/TA health insurance plan through July 31st.  After that, if you have not secured employment that offers health insurance, you should look for private insurance.

Defense:

Your defense should be planned in order to leave you enough time to make any changes or editing to your written dissertation that may be suggested by your committee.  The end of October or very early in November would probably leave you with sufficient time.

Contact Alison Kieber to reserve a room for your defense.  It must be public, so a regular classroom is needed.  The longer you wait to reserve a room, the more difficult it will be to find one available, so get in touch with your committee members and start picking dates early in the semester.

At least one week prior to your defense, provide Alison Kieber with the title and abstract of your dissertation so that public announcements can be made.

Written Dissertation:

Your written dissertation must be submitted electronically by the Graduate School’s deadline.  It is usually in late November.  This is a hard deadline, and your dissertation must be final.

Separation from the University:

Office space: Please move out as soon after degree completion as convenient. Be sure to have a staff member look over your desk and space prior to leaving the area. At that time any damaged furniture or office issues can be noted. You will need to be moved out prior to the last week of December.

Pay: Your last paycheck will be in December.

Continuing to work past graduation date: If you are planning on working past graduation, you will need to be changed from a student to a regular employee – be sure to have your supervisor discuss this with the Department Manager as soon as possible to ensure it is possible.  Also, if you are an international student you will need OPT in order to work past your graduation date!

Health Insurance: Fall graduates will continue to be covered on the RA/TA health insurance plan through December 31st, if still within the 10 semesters of guaranteed support.  After that, if you have not secured employment that offers health insurance, you should look for private insurance.

If you find you can’t finish up your dissertation in the planned time frame, be aware of the following:

If you defend BEFORE the start of the next semester, you can apply to graduate in that semester WITHOUT needing to register for STOR 994.  Just be sure to meet the deadlines for applying to graduate, and submitting your electronic dissertation.  If you defend AFTER the start of the next semester, you WILL need to register for STOR 994.  Remember, the department does not provide tuition during the summer months, or after your guaranteed 10 semesters of support.  Examples below.

“This spring is my 10th semester, but I don’t think I will be able to finish my dissertation before all the deadlines for spring graduation. What are my options?”

If you can finish before Summer Session begins, then you would apply for Summer graduation, complete your defense before the first day of Summer Session, and submit your electronic dissertation before the deadline of mid-July.  No registration for summer is needed.  You will not have health insurance beyond May 31st.

If you won’t be able to finish before Summer Session begins, you will need to register for 3 credits of STOR 994 during the summer.  (It does not matter if it is in Summer I or Summer II).  Apply for Summer graduation, and submit your electronic dissertation before the deadline of mid-July.   You will need to pay for the summer course.  You will have health insurance coverage through July 31st.

“I planned on graduating in the Summer, but I do not think I will have my dissertation complete before the deadline. What should I do?”

If you can finish before the Fall semester begins, then you would apply for Fall graduation, complete your defense before the first day of Fall, and submit your electronic dissertation before the deadline in November.  No registration for Fall is needed.  You will not have health insurance beyond July 31st.

If you won’t be able to finish before Fall begins, you will need to register for 3 credits of STOR 994 during the Fall.  Apply for Fall graduation, and submit your electronic dissertation before the deadline in November.  If this is beyond your 10th semester of departmental support, you will need to pay for the course and you will need to obtain health insurance on your own through Student Blue or private/employer health insurance.