AM Admission for Other GSAS PhD Candidates


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The Harvard Statistics faculty welcomes applications for the AM degree in Statistics from qualified PhD candidates in other GSAS programs.

PhD students from other GSAS departments who wish to do the AM in Statistics should use the following procedure:

Obtain approval from their home department advisor and graduate program to take courses in another department and, potentially, follow another degree program.

Begin taking courses that satisfy the AM requirements.  Briefly, the requirements are: 8 courses offered by the Statistics Department at the level of Stat 110 and above.  They must include Stat 110 and 111 (note: Stat 210a may be substituted for 110), at least one 200-level course, and 2 courses at the interface of theory or methodology and applications (examples are Stat 115, 121, 131/231, 139, 140, 149, 160/260, 170, 183, 186, 220, 221, 225, 230, 232r, 240, 244, and 245).  Please see the Statistics chapter in the GSAS Handbook for more details.  The requirements are also summarized here.

After taking at least 3 courses that satisfy the requirements, including Stat 110 (or 210a) and 111, the student writes a letter to the Statistics Department faculty requesting approval to pursue the AM in Statistics.  The letter should include a list of the courses (and grades earned) taken thus far and should suggest a plan of study for completing the requirements.  The letter should be sent to Kathleen Cloutier, Student Coordinator at or Department of Statistics, Science Center 400.

Also required as part of the approval process are 3 letters of recommendation, at least one of which should be from an advisor in the student's home department.  These letters can be emailed to .  The recommendation/s from the student's home department can be brief, but should address the student's performance and qualifications in the home doctoral program and indicate the advisor's approval of the student's pursuing the AM degree in statistics.

The department faculty, or a subset consisting of the Directors of Graduate Studies, will consider the student's request.  Approval is not automatic but will depend on the student's performance in the relevant courses.  The faculty may also suggest some changes to the plan of study.

Note that courses that are a requirement for the student's PhD normally cannot be double-counted towards the AM degree.

Upon completion of the 8 courses the student files a degree application with the Registrar's Office.  This degree application requires the signature of the AM-granting department chair or DGS.  The AM degree is then awarded.

The GSAS Handbook (Chapter VI: Degree Requirements, under Common Requirements) states:  "Normally a student may receive only one master's degree from FAS.  However, in exceptional cases, a second AM may be awarded to PhD candidates provided that the above conditions and that the tuition requirement of one year of full tuition for each degree received has been satisfied."