Master of Arts in Statistics Application

Master of Arts in Statistics Application

The application process is entirely online.  All supplemental materials such as your transcripts, the descriptive list of courses, publications and/or resumes should be uploaded as PDF files.  Please do not mail copies of your transcripts, statement of purpose, letters of recommendations, GRE and TOEFL scores, resumes, or any other documents as they will not be included with your application.  

Directions for online submission of letters or recommendation will be included in the Online Graduate Application for Admissions.

Once you upload and submit supplemental material, you will not be able to update it so please make sure you are submitting the correct material.  Due to the high volume of email during the admissions season, please do not send multiple emails requesting to update and replace already submitted material.


Complete the application online »

We require applicants to submit both the statement of purpose AND personal statement (also known as the personal history statement). These statements must be submitted with the online application. For the statement of purpose, be concise; an ideal essay should say everything it needs to with brevity. Approximately 500 to 1000 well-selected words (1-2 single space pages in 12 point font) is better than more words with less clarity and poor organization. Personal statements are typically one page or shorter, though some are longer.

Three letters of recommendation

Please follow the detailed instructions in the online application and remember to inform your recommenders that the department's deadline to receive supplemental materials is the same as the application deadline.  Your recommenders must submit their letters online via the Online Graduate Application for Admissions and Fellowships.


Upload copies of official transcripts for the departmental initial review. If admitted, official transcripts of all college-level work will be required and must be in sealed envelopes as issued by the school(s) you have attended. Transcripts that are not in English should include translations from the school that issued the original transcripts. Transcripts must be uploaded no later than the application deadline.

See "Basic Requirements" on the Graduate Admissions Website more information regarding transcripts »

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test

NEW: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will NOT require a GRE for applicants applying to the MA or PhD program in the Fall of 2020 (i.e. applying to be part of the entering class of Fall 2021).

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

All applicants from countries in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This requirement applies to applicants from Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, Israel, the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most Eurpoean countries, and non-English-speaking countries in Africa.

If you have completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better in residence at a U.S. university, you do not need to take a standardized test. Instead, you must upload an official transcript from the U.S. University.

Applicants must receive a score of 570 on the written test. The computer-based TOEFL must have a minimum score of 230. The minimum score for Next Generation TOEFL (iBT) is 90. Take the TOEFL at least 30 days prior to the deadline. Inquiries about the TOEFL can be made at or at The institution code for Berkeley is 4833. There is no department code for the TOEFL.

For Fall 2021, tests taken before June 1, 2019 will not be accepted even if your score was reported to UC Berkeley. 

See more information on English Language Proficiency »

Descriptive List of Upper Division/Graduate Statistics and Math Coursework

Please include the department, course number and title, instructor, grade, school, texts used and subject matter covered for all upper division and graduate level statistics and math courses you have taken. You should also include courses outside statistics and math departments that have a significant quantitative component. This list should be uploaded as a PDF document via the online application.


Average GPA and GRE Scores

Average GPA is 3.8. The average GRE verbal is 70%. The average GRE quant is 94%. The average GRE writing is 48%.

How many students are accepted?

600 applicants, 80-90 are recommended for admission, and approximately 40 matriculate


Student Background

Admissions decisions are based on the most complete picture of the student we can get from the application. No single feature of the application automatically overrides others. Our applicants come from a variety of backgrounds and accordingly, we do not have a “one size fits all” approach. Statistics attracts students who are interested in interdisciplinary studies, have diverse skills, and interests. Our most commonly admitted students have majors in actuarial science, computer science, economics, finance, mathematics (pure and applied), the physical and biological sciences, political science, and statistics.

Recommended Preparatory Coursework

Our typical admitted student has significant coursework in multivariable calculus, linear algebra, probability theory, theoretical and applied statistics, as well as at least one statistical system (such as R) or a computer language (such as Python). Examples of UC Berkeley courses at this level are:

  • Math 53: Multivariable Calculus, 54: Linear Algebra and Differential Equations, 104: Introduction to Analysis, 110: Linear Algebra
  • Statistics preparation: A good reference are the requirements for our undergraduate major. Substantial coursework at this level will prepare applicants well for the MA. For example, STAT 134: Concepts of Probability is a prerequisite for STAT 201A: Introduction to Probability at an Advanced Level, which is the first course students will take in the MA program.

Some admitted students from disciplines other than statistics might have had this material in courses within their own discipline. This is why we ask for a descriptive list of mathematics and statistics courses as part of the application for admission. Please be sure to include all upper-division or graduate courses that have a significant quantitative component, even if the courses were not taught through statistics or mathematics departments.

Is there a separate admissions application for current UCB graduate students?

As of Fall 2016, all current UCB graduate students outside of the Statistics Department interested in obtaining an M.A. degree in statistics must apply using the online application:  If admitted, students will be officially enrolled in the M.A. program for two semesters and pay the Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition (PDST)

Note: Students have the option to take the required coursework prior to applying, with the exception of the MA capstone course (STAT 222). However, if admitted, the student will still be required to take 12 units of approved coursework each semester. For example, if you have already completed STAT 243 for a passing letter grade, then once enrolled in the MA program you will be required to take another course instead of STAT 243. Once admitted, course selection/approval can be discussed with your assigned faculty advisor so that you can choose a course that both fits your interests and satisfies the 12 unit per semester requirement.

Returning Students

Returning students (those who have been out of school for a number of years) need to be prepared for intensive coursework that requires fluency with the prerequisites for the MA classes. The program includes very little “start up” time for students to adjust to being back at school after time spent elsewhere. Students can demonstrate their preparation in a variety of ways, for example by providing examples of work that they have recently done that uses those prerequisites, or by taking relevant classes at local universities.

What is more valuable to the admissions committee: work experience, internships, or research experience?

Applicants vary widely, and we don’t compare one kind of experience to another. We are looking for evidence that the student has the skills and motivation required to succeed in the program.