Department of Statistics Unitmark
Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Statistics/Public Policy Ph.D.

Our Department offers a joint program in collaboration with the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management, leading to a Ph.D. in Statistics and Public Policy. This five-year program provides students with comprehensive preparation at the Ph.D. level in both statistics and public policy. The curriculum draws on existing courses in both Statistics and the H. John Heinz III College, recognizing that selected courses can meet, simultaneously, the usually-separate objectives of the Ph.D. programs in Statistics and Public Policy. Critical to the success of the joint program is the close collaboration among faculty members in Statistics and the H. John Heinz III College. While students will have separate faculty advisors in Statistics and in the H. John Heinz III College, their progress will be regularly assessed by a joint group of faculty.

Students in this program have split TA duties between Statistics and the Heinz School, being supported one semester each academic year from each unit.


Students in this program are subject to all of the core Ph.D. requirements.

The actual curriculum for any given student will be tailored to her or his interests and needs, but the general strategy is similar: to meld the two sets of Ph.D. requirements into a coherent and useful set of courses, with similar core items. The first four semesters cover the main courses for the Ph.D. in Statistics while simultaneously introducing the student to the core disciplines of the H. John Heinz III College. In the fourth semester, students begin work on the second Heinz research paper, which also satisfies the Advanced Data Analysis (ADA) requirement in Statistics.

The Path to the Ph.D.

Below is one possible three-year plan of study for students to complete the coursework requirements. Adjustments can be made for cases where students need to build additional background in a particular area.

Year One

Fall Semester

  • 36-699: Immigration to Statistics
  • 36-705: Intermediate Statistics
  • 36-707: Regression Analysis
  • 90-901: Heinz Ph.D. Seminar I
  • 10-908: Microeconomics

Spring Semester

  • 36-752: Advanced Probability
  • 36-902: Heinz Ph.D. Seminar II
  • Statistics Elective
  • Begin Work on First Heinz Paper

Year Two

Fall Semester

  • 36-755: Advanced Statistical Theory
  • 90-907: Econometric Theory and Methods
  • 90-918: Heinz Ph.D. Seminar III
  • Complete First Heinz Paper

Spring Semester

  • 36-757: Advanced Data Analysis I
  • Heinz Elective
  • Statistics Elective

Year Three

Fall Semester

  • 36-758: Advanced Data Analysis II
  • Heinz Elective
  • 36-750: Statistical Computing

Spring Semester

  • Work Towards Dissertation