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Graduate Program Content

Policies and Procedures

Minimum and Maximal Registration

Minimum Registration

Rutgers University requires that all students register every semester, beginning with the semester that they are admitted, and lasting until they graduate or leave the program. Students not wishing to register for formal credits must generally register for a status that Rutgers calls Matriculation Continued, and pay a fee, each semester. Certain students are required to register for larger number of credits.

Students whose enrollment has lapsed may request re-enrollment using the Reduced Course-load Form.

The Graduate School-New Brunswick has maximal times until degree. These allowed times are sufficient to permit either the MS or PhD degrees to be completed part-time, but significant periods of minimal registration may delay a student past the time allowed by the graduate school.

International students on student visas must maintain full-time student status. Generally full-time status requires registration for at least 9 credits per semester, except under certain circumstances, outlined on the Reduced Course-load Form, the Confirmation of Less than Full Time Form, and the request for full time status form. Only one of these three forms need be completed.
International students on student visas whose first term in the program is summer are required to register for at least six credits that summer. Students are not required to register for any credits during summers that are not their first term in the program.
Credits taken at other institutions count towards the minimal credit requirements for full-time registration only if they might plausibly be transfered to Rutgers in the future and be counted towards the degree. In this case, the student should submit the following to the international students' office to ensure that the student retains his or her full-time status:

  • A letter from the GPD indicating the specific 3 credit course the student will take, and the institution at which it will be taken, certifying that the credits will transfer to Rutgers University, reflect on the student's transcript after the summer session is over and will count towards the requirements of the student's degree program.
  • Proof of registration from the institution that the student is visiting for the course indicated in the letter from the GPD.
  • Proof of registration at Rutgers University for the remaining credits.

The rules regarding the minimum number of courses can change from year to year and depend on visa requirements. Students who need to take fewer than the usual minimum course load to be considered full-time (three 3-credit courses) are urged to check with the International Student Office.

Students may be required to maintain full-time status in order to remain eligible for university housing, or to defer repayment of some student loans. If you are required to maintain full-time status for these or other reasons, consult with the entity requiring the status for their precise definition of "full time", and with the graduate director.

The university's student health insurance requires that students register for half-time study to be eligible for health insurance. Half-time study is generally demonstrated by registration for at least 6 credits; there is a form for certifying half-time status in some cases in which the student registers for fewer than 6 credits.

Maximal Registration

Students may register for no more than 16 credits per semester. Registration for a number of credits exceeding 16 must be approved by the Graduate School - New Brunswick Administrator for Student Services. Students who are required to take an ESL course are allowed to take up to 19 credits for the semester.

 

 

Program Assessment

Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes

Our programs include an MS program and a PhD program.

MS Program

Program Description

Our MS program requires 30 credits in approved graduate courses; these credits are almost invariably earned through 10 three-credit courses. Coursework involves core courses in probability, statistical theory, experimental design, regression, and the interpretation of data. MS candidates are also required to pass a two-part comprehensive exam on statistical theory and practice, and to complete an MS essay.

Program Goals

Our MS graduates are expected to function as independent applied statisticians. These graduates should be prepared for careers in industry, government, the non-profit private sector, and in non-faculty academic positions. As such, they are expected to draw on traditional and newly-emerged statistical techniques, identify the appropriateness of a particular technique to a particular data context, apply the technique, either using hand calculation, or more commonly, using tested and verified standard statistical software, to appropriately interpret the results of such calculations, to report the results to practitioners knowledgeable in the field that generated the data, and to make minor extensions to these techniques.

Student Assessment

Candidates for admission to the MS program submit transcripts, letters of recommendation, and GRE scores. Transcripts are examined for evidence of mathematical competence through a second course in calculus and a course in linear algebra, and for evidence of statistical experience through a senior-level undergraduate methods course. Deficiencies in background are noted, and remediation of deficiencies is made a condition for admission.
A systematic set of prerequisites is enforced by the registrar, stopping students from registering for courses that they do not have the academic background for.
Students are allowed to count toward their degree no more than two courses with grades below B. Grades below B, and incomplete grades, are tracked by the secretary to the graduate director and called to the graduate director's attention. Students with more than one sub-B grade, or with more than one pending incomplete, are instructed to discuss the situation with the graduate director. Our MS program is designed to be completed part-time, and students completing less than 9 credits per year are also instructed to meet with the graduate director. Systematic tracking of degree candidates is performed via the GradPortal system.
Aside from course assessment, students are also assessed through the comprehensive exam, consisting of a theoretical and an applied section. Questions are set with the goal of assessing core competence in statistical application and theory, and the grading rubric is devised to calibrate passing with a confidence in the ability to function independently. Students are also required to complete an MS essay, demonstrating the ability to competently report the results of a complex statistical analysis.

Program Assessment

The faculty of Statistics and Biostatistics continuously reevaluates our graduate courses, to obtain courses with the following properties:

  • Core applied courses should contain the knowledge base currently required of all practicing applied statisticians.
  • Core theoretical courses should be the gateway for self study for mastery of techniques that become part of the standard statistical toolbox as the field of statistics develops.
  • Optional courses (including doctoral level courses accessible to our strongest MS students) should allow an introduction to emerging statistical techniques.

Exams are continuously assessed by examining the relationship between course grades and exam success, and the relationship between course and exam content.

PhD Program

Program Description

Our PhD program requires 48 credits in approved graduate courses; these credits are almost invariably earned through 16 three-credit courses. Coursework involves core courses in probability, statistical theory, and statistical methodology. PhD candidates are also required to pass a written exam on statistical theory, and an oral exam on advanced theory and statistical practice. Our PhD candidates must also write and defend a thesis consisting of original research.

Program Goals

We prepare our PhD graduates for careers as scholars. Central to their career is the pursuit of an ongoing research agenda. This research agenda is important, both for its own sake, and for its support of teaching and statistical practice. Students also receive direct preparation for teaching and statistical practice. PhD graduates engaged in statistical practice are prepared for analyses of data of nonstandard sources and structures, and are expected to develop and implement new statistical techniques. These graduates can also be expected to take leadership roles in their organizations.

Student Assessment

Candidates for admission to the PhD program submit transcripts, letters of recommendation, and GRE scores. Transcripts are examined for evidence of mathematical competence through real analysis, and for evidence of statistical experience through a senior-level undergraduate methods course. Deficiencies in background are noted, and remediation of deficiencies is made a condition for admission.
A systematic set of prerequisites is enforced by the registrar, stopping students from registering for courses that they do not have the academic background for.
Grades below B, and incomplete grades, are tracked by the secretary to the graduate director and called to the graduate director's attention. Students with more than one sub-B grade, or with more than one pending incomplete, are instructed to discuss the situation with the graduate director. Systematic tracking of degree candidates is performed via the GradPortal system.
Aside from course assessment, students are also assessed through the written and oral exams. Questions are set with the goal of assessing core competence in statistical theory, and the grading rubric is devised to calibrate passing with a confidence in the ability to successfully complete a thesis. Students are also required to complete a dissertation demonstrating the ability to perform original research.

Program Assessment

The faculty of Statistics and Biostatistics continuously reevaluates our graduate courses, to obtain courses with the following properties:

  • Core theoretical courses should give PhD students an understanding of traditional statistical principles, an understanding of the range of problems conventionally included in the discipline of statistics, an understanding of the various conventional solutions to these problems, and the vocabulary necessary to communicate the ideas involved in these problems and solutions. This body of knowledge is meant as a point of departure for the student's own thesis work, and not as a constraint on the scope of this work.
  • Optional courses should allow an introduction to emerging statistical areas.
  • Courses in applied methodology, often taken with MS students, should provide a background in contemporary statistical practice, with the aims of preparation for that portion of a career devoted to applications, and of exposure to possible research areas.
  • Courses in statistical computing should prepare students for the implementation of emerging statistical techniques.

Exams are continuously assessed by examining the relationship between course grades and exam success, and the relationship between course and exam content.

 

 

Academic Integrity

Students in the Graduate Program in Statistics and Biostatistics are required to familiarize themselves with Rutgers policies on academic integrity.

Policies for Supported Students

Guidelines for Supported Students

 

Students with TA assignments

Students with a full time TA appointment should register for 16:960:877 for 6 credits.
Students with a half time TA appointment should register for 16:960:878 for 3 credits.

Students with GA assignments

Students with a full time GA appointment should register for 16:960:866 for 6 credits.
Students with a half time GA appointment should register for 16:960:867 for 3 credits.

 

 

Independent Study

Applying for Independent Study

The Graduate Program in Statistics and Biostatistics allows students, under certain conditions, to study relevant topics with a specific faculty member outside of the context of a regularly-scheduled course. To arrange for such study, do the following:

  • Find a faculty member willing to direct and evaluate this study.
  • Send the faculty member an e-mail, containing your name, RUID, and a plan for your proposed study, including the semester in which you propose to carry this work out.
  • If the faculty member approves this plan, he or she will forward the original e-mail to the graduate secretary, along with your approval.
  • The graduate secretary will e-mail the student a special permission number allowing registration in 960:682.
  • The faculty will inform the graduate director of the grade for the independent study, and the graduate director will formally submit the grade.

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