PhD Program

Description of Ph.D. Program (after M.Sc)

Admission:

The application fee is required in order to have your application reviewed by the Graduate Affairs Committee (GAC)

  • Candidates with an MSc and sufficient background in statistics, actuarial science or financial modelling are eligible to apply for admission to the Statistics PhD program at the University of Western Ontario. Admission to the program is authorized by Western University's School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS).

Program Requirements:

  • At the discretion of the Department, an applicant may be required to complete a one-year program of approved coursework before being accepted as a candidate for the Ph.D. degree.
  • In addition to fulfilling the thesis requirement, a candidate must have completed eight (8) half courses in the Department of Statistical and Actuarial Sciences at the graduate level. With the permission of the Graduate Chair, up to two (2) half course credits from a student's Masters coursework may be counted toward the PhD course requirement.  At the discretion of the student's supervisor and the Graduate Chair, permission may be granted to substitute at most two (2) research related course from other departments for the Statistical and Actuarial Sciences course. At the discretion of the Graduate Affairs Committee, up to three (3) half course credits may be counted toward the PhD course requirement based on the candidate 's comprehensive exam performance.

Progression Requirements:

  • A candidate will be required to pass a qualifying examination. The qualifying examination is designed to assess the student's knowledge in basic probabilistic, theoretic, and applied statistics. Students will answer three questions chosen from the following five areas: Probability, Inference, Regression, Financial Modelling, and Actuarial Sciences. The three questions chosen from these topics depend on the student’s field of specialization. For example, a PhD student in the Statistics field would typically answer questions from the topics of Probability, Inference, and Regression. A candidate will be required to take and pass the examination normally during the first year of registration in the program. The examination will be held in early May each year.  A collection of questions from previous exams are available and will be emailed to admitted PhD students during their first academic year. At the discretion of the Graduate Affairs Committee, a candidate may be exempted from writing parts of the comprehensive exam based on related coursework performance.
  • One of the following two decisions will be made concerning the student's performance:
    • (i) Pass
    • (ii) Fail - In this case a student may be allowed, at the discretion of the Department's Graduate Affairs Committee, to take the examination only one additional time, for a total of two attempts.
  • A candidate will be required to pass a Ph.D. thesis proposal defence. This defence will be primarily concerned with the contents of the student's thesis but may include questions of a general nature relating to his or her field of specialization. Specific details may be obtained from the Department.
  • Each candidate will be required to present his/her research in either the Department or in a national/international conference, in third year.
  • A student must maintain a "B" average (70%+) in each term to continue in the program, with no grade less than 60%. If a student fails a course (obtains less than 60%) he or she will be required to withdraw.

Direct Entry - PhD

Admission:

  • Honors Bachelor's Degree in Statistics, Actuarial Science, or Financial Modelling, with an average of at least 90% over the last two years of study
  • Capability for advanced research
  • At least two strong recommendation letters attesting to the applicant's research potential

Program Requirements:

  • In addition to fulfilling the thesis requirement, a candidate shall complete satisfactorily a minimum of eight (8) half course from the Department of Statistical and Actuarial Sciences at the graduate level.  At the discretion of the student's supervisor and the Graduate Chair, permission may be granted to substitute certain research related courses from other departments for the Department of Statistical and Actuarial Sciences courses.

Progression Requirements:

  • Same requirements as for Ph.D. (after M.Sc.)

Milestones required for a terminal Master's:

  • 8 half courses plus either (i) or (ii) below:
    • (i) a clear pass on the Ph.D. comprehensive exam
    • (ii) completion of a M.Sc. project

Contact Information


Graduate Chair
Dr. Marcos Escobar-Anel
marcos.escobar@uwo.ca

Academic Program Coordinator
dsas-admissions@uwo.ca
519-661-2098 x88252