The Department of Statistics and Applied Probability offers a Ph.D. program in which students develop a broad understanding of the theory and practice of probability and statistics. (Information about the MA program and BS/MS program is provided on other pages.)

The Ph.D. program prepares students to conduct innovative research, beginning with a solid foundation in course work, leading towards original dissertation research. A brief list of the faculty's diverse research areas within the sub-areas of “Theoretical Statistics and Statistical Methodology”, “Probability”, “Financial Mathematics”, “Applied Statistics” and “Biostatistics”, may be found at Interdisciplinary collaboration areas include environmental sciences, several biological and biomedical fields, and finance.

If admitted to the core Ph.D. program, a student may later decide to formally petition for admission to one of three optional Ph.D. emphases. These optional emphases are not required for the core Ph.D degree program, but the emphases may be extremely valuable for students whose research focuses on one of these areas. The three interdisciplinary research emphases available to students in the Statistics and Applied Probability Ph.D. program are Financial Mathematics and Statistics, Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences (QMSS), and the recently created Bioengineering emphasis. Admission to the Ph.D. program is to the core Ph.D. program, giving students initial flexibility. Each applicant has the opportunity to indicate specific directions of strong research interest or mention interest in a potential emphasis within the Ph.D. application.

For students interested in applying probabilistic methods to the area of finance, we offer an optional Ph.D. emphasis in Financial Mathematics and Statistics, which benefits from the resources available in the Center for Financial Mathematics and Actuarial Research. This center provides national and international leadership in research into quantitative finance from many different perspectives by bringing together faculty, students, and visitors from other departments, universities, and companies. Not only will students have access to UCSB faculty, but will also be introduced to the ideas of others via distinguished lectures, seminar series, and conferences. This provides students with the basis for a sound financial mathematics and statistics education and the ability to conduct original research in the area.

The Department has excellent computing facilities, including a graduate student computing laboratory, and a Statistical Consulting Laboratory. Regular department seminars are held with both UCSB and other speakers. These departmental seminars expose students to diverse and active research directions in Statistics and Applied Probability, including many theoretical areas and applications. Interdisciplinary areas frequently represented include the environmental and ecological sciences, finance, epidemiology, and other biological and biomedical fields.

Mailing Address
Department of Statistics and Applied Probability
University of California, Santa Barbara
South Hall, Room 5607
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3110


Department Phone Number
(805) 893-2129

Degree icon Degrees Offered

Address iconDeadlines
  • We only accept Ph.D applications for Fall quarter (not winter or spring quarters).
  • For the upcoming cycle (for applications to begin studies in Fall 2021): December 18, 2020 is the application deadline for priority financial consideration, February 1, 2021 (by 11:59pm PST) is the final Ph.D. application deadline.

Requirements Icon


  • Online application:
  • Statement of Purpose, Personal Achievements/Contributions, and Resume or CV (submitted in the online application)
  • Three Letters of Recommendation (submitted online)
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended (submitted online)
  • TOEFL scores 550 Paper-Based Test (PBT), 80 Internet-Based Test (IBT) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Overall Band score of 7 or higher (if applicable)
  • Final/Official transcripts will be required for all applicants who are admitted and have indicated their intent to enroll at UC Santa Barbara by submitting a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR). UC Santa Barbara reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admissions process, and rescind any offer of admission made if discrepancies between uploaded and official transcript(s) are found.
Financial Mathematics and Statistics; Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences; Bioengineering