Dual Master of Arts in Statistics and Data Science

The Dual AM Degree in Statistics and Data Science (SDSD AM) is offered only to students enrolled in a Ph.D. program at Penn. Students pursuing more than one research master’s degree in passing to their Ph.D. should note: While some courses can count towards both a PhD and research master’s degree, no courses can count towards three or more degree programs at Penn. Penn Law, Medicine (Professional), Dental, or Vet school students will not be permitted to enroll in the program. The Master’s degree cannot be granted after the PhD is awarded.


The Degree Requirements
(1) Six credit units of 5000 level or 9000 level Statistics and Data Science Department courses (independent studies and seminar courses do not count towards the degree)

(2) Four additional credit units of approved Penn courses with statistical content. These can be Statistics and Data Science Department courses or courses from other departments.*A minimum grade of B- or better is required for each course.

(3) An approved master’s thesis. The master’s thesis is a research paper that makes substantial use of statistics and is not part of a student’s dissertation (though it can be related to the dissertation work) or material you completed for a course (though it can build on a paper completed for a course). The thesis can be original research or can be a literature review of some area of statistics related to a student’s research. The thesis must be approved by a standing faculty member in the Statistics Department who has agreed to serve as an adviser for the project.

(4) Certification of Doctoral Qualifying Exam

If you want the SDSD AM program to be added to your record, please adhere to the following deadlines:
Program Start Terms
Summer Start Term – Application Deadline April 1st
Fall Start Term – Application Deadline August 1st
Spring Start Term – Application December 1st

**If you want to receive the SDSD AM Degree and have completed the requirements, please adhere to the following deadlines:
Summer Degree Awarded – Submit SDSD AM application by March 1st
Fall Degree Awarded – Submit SDSD AM application by July 1st
May Degree Awarded – Submit SDSD AM application by November 1st

To Apply for the Program:
(1) Complete the Application-to-Dual-Degree-–-Master-of-Arts-in-Statistics-and-Data-Sciences. The form must be signed by your home department faculty chair/coordinator, your home department/school’s graduate dean, and the Academic Director for the Stat Master’s (lzhao@wharton.upenn.edu)

  • Consult with your home department on any policies your program may have regarding external Master’s degree
  • Failure to submit the Application to the Dual Degree Form in the early stages of the program may results in your courses not counting towards your degree.**The application must be submitted at least 6 months prior to your applying for the degree. See deadlines above**

(2) Send complete Application to the Wharton Doctoral Program Office (gmurray@wharton.upenn.edu) to obtain a signature from the Vice Dean. You will not be permitted into the program until you receive approval from all listed above.

Please note: Any changes to the courses you list on your application must be first approved by the Academic Director, Linda Zhao, and your home department BEFORE you register for the course.  Only the courses listed on your application are the ones approved.  Failure to take courses within the approved list may result in a course not counting towards your degree.


To Apply for the Degree:

Upon completion of the degree requirements, complete the following forms and email them to Gidget Murray, Director of Wharton Doctoral Programs (gmurray@wharton.upenn.edu):


Please note the following:

  • The University does not allow students to triple count courses for multiple degrees (i.e. you cannot count a course toward your Statistics Masters, home department Masters, and home PhD)
  • Transfer credits and undergraduate level courses will not count towards the SDSD AM
  • Independent studies and seminar courses (such as STAT 9910-301.  Seminar sections vary by semester) do not count towards the SDSD AM
  • Non-Wharton PhD students in the SDSD AM program do not receive a Wharton email address nor do they have access to Wharton resources and events.
  • Your program CIP code is your primary program.  The dual SDSD AM is a secondary program.
  • If you are an international student, please be aware of when your OPT clock begins. If you are unable to complete your PhD program but receive the SDSD AM, your OPT clock begins at the date of your SDSD AM degree conferral.