Ph.D. in Statistics

Program Requirements

This program consists of courses, a comprehensive exam, and a thesis. For formal requirements, see the SFU Calendar.


Students must complete a minimum of two graduate courses (approved by the supervisor and graduate program chair). These courses are typically advanced statistics courses, though could also include courses from other departments (such as those listed here). Normally, students take these courses in their first two semesters of the program.

Comprehensive Exam

The comprehensive exam is expected to be taken at the end of the second term of enrollment in the Ph.D. program. This exam covers a broad range of senior undergraduate concepts in statistics. Students are interviewed and advised in advance regarding appropriate courses and study materials. Students must pass this exam in order to continue in the program and may not take it more than twice. 


Students conclude their program by successfully defending a thesis that constitutes a significant contribution to statistical methodology. 

Program Length

Students are expected to complete the program requirements in four years.

Additional Academic Requirements

All graduate students must satisfy the academic requirements that are specified in the Graduate General Regulations as well as the specific requirements of the program in which they are enrolled.