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Frequently Asked Questions

Prospective Students

Statistics, including the related fields of data science and analytics, is one of the faster growing occupations in the United States. Data-driven decision making is becoming increasingly crucial for government agencies, industries, and even small businesses.

In 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projected “Statisticians” to be the 7th fastest-growing job before 2026, with a 10-year growth of 34% (about four times faster than the average job). Similarly, LinkedIn, CareerCast, Glassdoor, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and several other job-related sites have placed statisticians and data-related job titles in the top 10/top 25 jobs in terms of openings, growth, and need. In 2019, U.S. News ranked “Statistician” as the second best job overall and the best business job.  

If you are good with numbers and enjoy working with data, then becoming a statistician may be an ideal job for you. Jobs for statisticians are relatively plentiful and varied, and they also tend to pay well and have good hours.

Statisticians take on a variety of jobs in many different fields. Recent graduates from our program have accepted a variety of roles, such as:

  • Predictive health analyst helping to correct misdiagnoses of rare diseases
  • Fraud detection in large companies such as Comcast 
  • Biostatistician working with doctors on medical research at the University of Pennsylvania, CHOP, and Main Line Health
  • Statistical programming at local pharmaceutical companies such as GSK and Merck
  • Teacher or statistics professor at schools and universities
  • Strategic marketing for a large travel company
  • Financial analyst at a variety of large finance companies and banks
  • Senior scientist at Johnson and Johson
  • Data analyst with the Educational Testing Service
  • ...and many more!


The Applied Stats Master's Degree is a 30-credit degree that includes six required courses and four elective courses. Additionally, students must pass a Comprehensive Exam toward the end of the coursework to demonstrate statistical proficiency.

Check out the following websites for further information: Course requirements, Typical Schedule, Comprehensive Exam.

Students with significant prior training in statistics may be able to receive waivers in certain required courses in the programs such as STAT 7404: Statistical Methods.

Students with previous graduate coursework may receive up to six transfer credits with the approval of the Director of the Applied Statistics program. Courses are only considered for transfer when they are relevant to our program and a grade of B or higher was received. Sometimes, despite at least six credits of previous coursework, less than six credits are able to be transferred.

No!  In fact, we accept students from a wide-variety of undergraduate backgrounds, including computer sciences, economics, chemistry, biology, psychology, foreign languages, and more.

However, as a pre-req to taking classes in our program, students should have taken multivariable calculus (often labeled Calc III) and a matrix or linear algebra course.

Our program currently has rolling admissions, so we will accept students throughout the year. Deadlines for a particular semester are given here. While we accept students who want to start in the Spring semester, the available coursework may be minimal, especially for students who have not taken any statistics courses previously. In some cases, we may ask applicants applying for the Spring to defer their application to a Fall semester start.

If you are interested in funding, you must apply for starting in the Fall semester, and you must apply by March 1st. 

In years where we have a large number of applications, we may place some students on a "waitlist."  In such cases, students will be informed of this status, along with a date of when a final decision will be provided.

To be accepted into the program of Applied Statistics at Villanova, it is most important that a student had a successful undergraduate career. The Graduate Studies office at Villanova notes that 3.0 is generally a minimum undergraduate GPA for acceptance, though usually we expect significantly higher.

Additionally, both GRE General test scores and letters of reference are important, especially for international students and individuals interested in a funded position.  In some cases, the GRE may be waived with the permission of the Graduate Director. While we recognize that the GRE test is not a perfect measurement of success in our program, we expect applicants to have solid quantitive scores; verbal and writing scores are also considered, though to a lesser extent. References are also very important, with successful applicants usually having at least one letter from an academic professor (except in cases where an individual has been working in industry for many years).

If you feel that additional information would be helpful in making a decision regarding your application (e.g. your GPA was lower because of a semester where you had serious medical issues), please write an explanatory statement to the Director of the Applied Statistics Program when you submit your application.  CVs and resumes are also welcome.

International students need to score at least an 80 on the TOEFL test or a 6.5 on the IELTS, though higher is usually expected unless the rest of the application is very strong.  Note that if an international student has previously attended an English-speaking school or has other evidence of proficiency, the language test may be waived.  

Yes! Our program is made up of a diverse group of students, including local individuals employed in industry, recent undergraduates from around the United States, and international students from around the world.

The application deadline for international students is earlier (May 1st) to make sure that there is time to obtain a student visa. Additionally, it may be harder to accept international students for a Spring semester start due to the requirement that students on a student visa be enrolled full-time. We may ask for such applications to be deferred to a Fall semester start in some cases.

Yes, we do offer funding, though it is very competitive. Each year, a few students receive a graduate assistantship that includes tuition remission plus a modest stipend. We are also usually able to offer one student per year a tuition scholarship where the tuition is fully covered. Except in very rare cases, assistantships and scholarships cover two years of coursework up to 30 credits.

To be elligble to receive funding, you must have a complete application (including references) before March 1st. While funding is very competitive, we encourage you to apply.

Both United States citizens and international students are welcome to apply for funding.

In many years, we have students who are funded through other offices and programs at Villanova, such as the Graduate Studies, Campus Ministry, or Residence Life. The Graduate Studies Office compiles a list of these funded positions here.

Usually.  If an applicant already has had success previously in a graduate program, if they attended Villanova as an undergraduate, or if their overall application is strong, the Graduate Director may sometimes waive the GRE upon request.  

If an international student has previously attended an English-speaking institution or has other evidence of proficiency in the English language, the TOEFL test may be waived.

For students applying to the Applied Statistics Certificate program, GREs are not required and only two reference letters are required.

Please contact the Director of the Applied Statistics program if you have questions about waiving an application requirement.


Current Students

Occasionally, students need to withdraw from a course due to personal issues or a low grade in the course. While we usually do not encourage students to withdraw from courses, it may be better than going on academic probation (when a graduate student's GPA is below 3.0).

If a student chooses to withdraw within the first week or so of the semester, there is no paperwork needed.  After the initial "drop/add deadline", students will need to fill out an official form to withdraw from a course (see the Director of the Applied Statistics program). The drop/add deadline and the date for withdrawing from courses without an academic penality are given on the the Graduate Academic Calendar.

While some faculty email students directly or wait until the first day of class inform students regarding textbook requirements, students can generally find course textbook information here.

Unfortunately, we do not find internships or jobs for our students.  However, throughout the year we send information out to students about a variety of local opportunities for internships and jobs. Alumni, local companies, and nearby universities often reach out with internship and job opportunities. 

Recently, our students have obtained internships at GSK, Merck, Comcast, the Montgomery County DA's office, the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, other local universities, and many other locations. Additionally, most of our students are employed in statistical fields, usually by the time of graduation or soon after. However, while the success rate is still high, international students sometimes find it somewhat more challenging to find a position.

The Graduate Academic Calendar lists the deadlines by which applications to graduate must be submitted to both the Office of Graduate Studies and the Chair of the Department of Mathematical Sciences.

Information about how to apply is given through the Graduate Studies Office.


Department of Mathematics & Statistics
Tel: 610.519.4850
Fax: 610.519.6928

Graduate Applied Statistics Director: Dr. Paul Bernhardt