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Information for Prospective Students

This page contains links to a variety of information concerning the admissions process to the Dr. Bing Zhang Department of Statistics at the University of Kentucky, including how to apply and a frequently asked questions (FAQ) section. More information on the graduate program itself and requirements for admission may be found in our program descriptions. If you have any questions not addressed by these pages, feel free to email to

Applications are submitted and processed electronically through the Graduate School Apply Yourself portal Applicants to the MS program must choose Admissions Category - Masters Degree and in application choose Program - Statistics - MS. Make sure to choose the MS program in Statistics even if you intend to pursue a PhD after, and note your interest in a PhD in your personal statement. Our MS/PhD programs have rolling admissions. Applications received by February 1 will receive full consideration for funding.

Program Requirements

The minimum GRE and GPA admissions requirements for the MS and Ph.D. programs in Statistics are the same as for the Graduate School. However, the number of admissions is limited and admissions decisions are made on a competitive basis. All MS applicants must have successfully completed a three or four semester sequence in calculus and a course in linear algebra and have good communication skills. Highly competitive students usually have additional coursework in mathematics including a working knowledge of limits, continuity, sequences, and series. Prior course work in probability and/or statistics is desirable, but not required. For timely entrance into the Ph.D. program, applicants should have had an MA 471G or an introductory real analysis course and a MS or equivalent in Statistics. See degree requirements for the MS.
All offers of assistantships are contingent upon successful completion of a criminal background check. Any question about the admissions process should be directed to

Financial Support

All applicants are automatically considered for Fellowships and Assistantships; no seperate application is required.  Financial support packages include a full tuition scholarship (both in-state and out-of-state tuition) and living stipend for the academic year.  In addition, internships, teaching assistantships, and research assistantships are usually available during summer term. Financial support is not available for the online Master of Applied Statistics program. 

The Dr. Bing Zhang Department of Statistics is committed to providing support for all graduate students.  Unless there are mitigating circumstances or you plan to be a part-time graduate student, applicants will not be admitted unless financial support is available.  Please send an email to  if you do not require financial assistance for the entirety of your graduate studies at the University of Kentucky.

All international applicants must provide TOEFL scores in order to be considered for financial support. 


Application Deadlines

For domestic applicants and applicants to the Master of Applied Statistics, the Graduate School requires applications to be submitted no later than one month prior to the start of the term for which the applicant intends to begin graduate work. Please refer to the Academic Calendar for typical semester starting dates. For international applicants to the M.S. and PhD programs, the following Graduate School deadline applies: Fall Semester Admission - March 15th

New students are admitted to the graduate program in Statistics only for the Fall Semester.


How to Apply for Admission

All applications for graduate study at the University of Kentucky Graduate School must be submitted on-line. DO NOT SEND MATERIALS TO THE DEPARTMENT or to unless specifically requested by the Director of Graduate Studies.  See the Graduate School website for further details. To apply, please visit the Graduate School Application Portal here. Each application requires completion of a separate application form and submission of a separate application fee. Currently the fee for domestic applicants is $65.00 per application and for international applicants the fee is $75.00. Please note that the application cannot be submitted without payment of this fee.

Step one in the process is to set up a new account and establish a user name and password. Do not lose this information; you will need it if you wish to return to continue an unfinished application or review a completed application.

In order to complete the application you will need to gather several pieces of information including the following:


You will be asked to upload copies of transcripts from all higher education institutions attended and, in the case of domestic students, to self-report cumulative GPA’s for each institution. For degree-seeking students, the Graduate School requires an overall undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 and 3.00 on all graduate work. If you are offered admission and decide to enroll you will then be required to submit official transcripts to the Graduate School.

Test Scores

For formal admission to the graduate program in Statistics, an official GRE test score is required. You will be asked to self-report these scores on the application (you can also supply a future date for taking the test). Your application, with self-reported scores, will be processed by the admissions committee.  However, we also require official scores from the reporting agency before your matriculation.

  • If you are admitted to the graduate program in Statistics, GRE scores should be sent directly to us from Educational Testing Service (ETS); the Institution Code for the GRE for UK Graduate School is R1837.
  • GRE Quantitative Score Percentiles for recently admitted students: Lower Quartile=89%; Median=94%; and Upper Quartile=97%.

These scores will be incorporated into your application and compared against self-reported scores to ensure consistency. The Graduate School sets no minimum score for the GRE; admission to the Statistics program is competitive and the quantitative GRE is heavily weighted. See the above bullet for information on GRE quantitative scores for recently admitted students.

TOEFL Scores

All applicants whose native language is not English will be asked to self-report scores on the application. As for GRE scores, we also require official language scores to be sent to us directly from the reporting agency if you are admitted to the graduate program in Statistics.

  • If you are admitted to the graduate program in Statistics, TOEFL scores should be sent directly to us from Educational Testing Service (ETS); the Institution Code for the TOEFL for the UK Graduate School is R1837.
  • If you are admitted to the graduate program in Statistics, IELTS scores should be sent directly to us from the International English Language Testing Service specifying the University of Kentucky Graduate School, Lexington, Kentucky as the recipient institution.
  • TOEFL IBT Scores for recently admitted MS students: Lower Quartile=89; Median=96; and Upper Quartile=102%.   

For the Graduate School, the minimum acceptable TOEFL score is 550 (paper-based) 213 (computer-based), or 79 (internet-based). The minimum IELTS score is 6.5; the graduate program in Statistics has a higher requirement.  See the above bullets for information on recently admitted students.  Official submitted scores must be no more than two years old.  All international applicants must provide TOEFL scores for financial support.  

Letters of Recommendation

The graduate program in Statistics also requires letters of recommendation. As part of the application you will be asked to supply contact information for three recommenders.  Once your application has been submitted, the system will contact each person identified and their recommendations will be submitted directly to us. You can check back into your application at any time to see who has submitted a recommendation. You can also review recommender requirements via the following link: