Academic Progress and Deadlines for PhD Students

In this document, we provide a list of academic progress and deadlines for students in the PhD program. Here, PhD students are referred to those who are pursuing a PhD in the department, and PhD candidates are those who meet the doctoral candidacy requirements (DCR).

All PhD students are required to attend the department seminar every semester.

Year 1

  1. All first-year PhD students are advised by the graduate director until they find a faculty advisor for their PhD dissertation work.
  2. All PhD students must take STAT520/530 sequence, STAT540/640 sequence, STAT501 and STAT620.
  3. It is recommended that PhD students take STAT555.
  4. At the start of the summer, faculty will conduct a DCR evaluation for all PhD students who haven’t passed the DCR evaluation. After successfully meeting the DCR, the student will be formally admitted to candidacy for a PhD degree.

Year 2

  1. Students must have an dissertation advisor identified by the end of the spring semester of their second year.
  2. PhD candidates typically take STAT720/STAT730 and a number of advanced topics courses in statistics and probability. Students must work work with their advisor, or the graduate program director if they have not yet identified an advisor, to determine a tentative plan for completing the course requirements for their degree.
  3. PhD students who fail the DCR must follow the requirements imposed by the DCR evaluation committee and must work with the Graduate Director on course selection with the dual objective of (i) preparing for the second DCR evaluation, and (ii) fulfilling MS coursework requirements by the end of the 2nd year.

Year 3

  1. All PhD candidates, after consultation with their individual dissertation advisor(s), shall establish a committee by the end of the third year. It is student’s responsibility to maintain a dissertation advisor.
  2. All PhD candidates are expected to complete their PhD coursework by the end of the third year approved by their PhD advisor. Students wishing to take courses in other departments or substitute courses for required courses must seek approval of the graduate committee.

Year 4

  1. All PhD candidates should take the preliminary exam by the end of Year 4. Exceptions require approval of the Graduate Committee.

Year 5 and Beyond

  1. All PhD students are expected to defend before the end of summer of Year 5. Students that anticipate graduating after this date must seek permission of the Graduate Committee.


Amended by faculty vote January 2023.

Graduate Admissions Coordinator
Department of Statistics
Colorado State University
Fort Collins CO 80523-1877

Telephone: (970) 491-5269
FAX: (970) 491-7895