Statistics involves the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data. Statisticians who are sought after in various disciplines are responsible for solving economic, political, ecological, medical, or social issues through significant data. They may handle cancer research, analyze statistical data for the improvement of Internet search engines, and determine unemployment rates to aid the government in the allocation of resources. Statisticians do valuable work because governments and industries rely heavily on statistics in their decision-making process. Career opportunities also appear to be endless for this particular field. Because statistical modeling applies to various subject areas, statisticians are present in every industry.

doctor of statistics

An online Ph.D. in Statistics may open doors for career prospects if the interest lies in providing research specifically for the government or corporate decision-making process. Students become adept at using the most updated, advanced strategies for the analysis of data in businesses, organizations, for academics, and the government. They may also be trained for specialized areas in statistics, teach in the academy or conduct research.

Ph.D. Stat students get sufficient training in applied and theoretical statistics. Students can choose to specialize based on their areas of interest and complete a dissertation. This online program also has a goal of equipping graduates to either proceed with academic research in various universities and colleges or fill advanced research positions in government agencies and corporations.

Why consider taking an online Ph.D. in Statistics (Ph.D. Stat) program?


There are numerous reasons to earn an online Ph.D. Stat degree. First and foremost, it can aid the student towards career advancement. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are excellent opportunities for career advancement for people with master’s or doctoral degrees. An online Ph.D. may also lead to greater freedom, as statisticians with a post-graduate degree can design their work independently. A doctoral degree in Statistics is considered an exciting scholastic challenge that allows students to take on various research opportunities while connecting with fellow experts. It is also ideal for statisticians seeking to expand their knowledge through research and teaching fellowships continuously.

There may be numerous challenges to take into consideration when earning a Ph.D. Stat degree, especially with work or family obligations get in the way of pursuing the post-graduate degree. The entire program takes about four to five years to be completed. While the prospect offers a tremendous opportunity, Ph.D. in Statistics degrees that are earned online are quite uncommon.

What are the requirements for admission to an online Ph.D. Stat program?

analysis statistics

The prerequisites for this particular degree program vary based on the academic institution. Commonly, Ph.D. Stat programs require many semesters of linear algebra, calculus, and mathematical statistics classes. Many of the courses also expose students to computer programming and related subjects.

In general, students pursuing an online Ph.D. Stat degree first need to earn a master’s degree in the fields of mathematics or computer science. Students who lack the requirements before entering this online Ph.D. program can take advantage of the remedial prerequisite courses offered every summer.

However, some remedial courses in an online Ph.D. Stat program require a high GRE score. Students need ace comprehensive examinations involving methods and theories relating to the discipline. Other programs require students to have earned ample experience in the use of statistical packages such as SPSS or SAS before being accepted in graduate school.

Application requirements may differ from one program to another beyond the typical undergraduate and graduate transcripts. Usually, doctorate candidates for Statistics need to meet a minimum GPA of at least 3.0 and should have earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, statistics or any related field.

What courses can be taken in an online Ph.D. Stat program?

An online Ph.D. Stat’s course curriculum does not wander far that of a traditional, on-campus program. The types of courses to be completed, however, depend on the student’s area of specialization and may differ based on the graduate school and the program structure. There is typically a core curriculum with additional courses and examinations. A consulting seminar or project may also be required along with a dissertation or, in some cases, a comprehensive exam.

doctor of statistical data

The coursework usually includes the following:

  • Statistical Analysis
  • Asymptotics
  • Bootstrapping
  • Decision theory
  • Multivariate analysis
  • Sequential analysis
  • Time series
  • Stochastic processes and models
  • Bayesian statistics
  • Statistical consulting
  • Probability theory
  • Theoretical statistics
  • Mathematical statistics
  • Applied statistics
  • Mathematics of finance
  • Statistical methods in Bioinformatics
  • Applied Algebra
  • Statistical Genetics
What are the career pathways, employment, and salary rates for a Ph.D. Stat degree holder?


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that, with a 34% increase between 2014 to 2024, the job growth rate for statisticians is higher than the median rate for all other occupations. Doctorate holders with experience in fields such as computer science, engineering or biology are most likely to land advanced work positions. Government agencies, commercial businesses, and pharmaceutical companies all have a high demand for statisticians. The federal government, meanwhile, has employed approximately 15% of statisticians in the United States in 2014 and at least 20% in 2010. Other top hiring sectors include scientific and development services at 12%, colleges, universities, and professional schools at 9%, the state government at 8%, and insurance carriers at 7%. In May 2010, it was recorded that the median annual wage for statisticians was $72,830. Their mean annual salary was $84,440 in 2015.

What schools offer a Ph.D. Stat program?

stats students studying

Ph.D. Stat programs are rarely offered as a fully 100% online degree. It is, however, delivered in hybrid format by the country’s top universities including the Wharton University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University Business School, University of Rochester, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and Stanford University.

The following, on the other hand, are some of the best schools that offer Ph.D. in Statistics programs in on-campus or brick-and-mortar format only: the University of Connecticut, University of Washington, Cornell University, Columbia University, University of Michigan, and Iowa State University.

Earning a Ph.D. Stat online may save you time and allow greater access to significant resources. Along with the increased growth of data collection, the growing importance of cybersecurity, and the rising need for new software, a significant number of well-experienced statisticians has become more in-demand.