Ohio State nav bar

Exams and Graduation

See the program guide for details on degree requirements for the MAS, MS and PhD in Statistics programs, including details regarding credit hour, course and departmental exam requirements for graduation. Refer to the Graduate School handbook for policies and procedures to which all graduate students at the university must adhere.


In addition to completing the required course work, students must also complete exam requirements for their respective degree. See the program guide for details. Students can purchase copies of old MAS, MS, Qualifier I and Qualifier II exams from the Graduate Program Coordinator. Note: To reserve a room for your MS thesis defense, Candidacy exam or Final exam, contact Jean Scott (jscott@stat.osu.edu).


MAS students must successfully pass the MAS exam as a graduation requirement.


MS students can opt to write a thesis with a defense or take the MS exam; successful completion of one of these requirements is necessary for graduation. MS students planning to complete a thesis should notify the Graduate Studies Chair via email before the start of their second year in the program.


PhD students must complete the Qualifier I exam, Qualifier II exam, the Candidacy exam, and the Dissertation and Defense ("final exam"). See the Graduate School website for details on doctoral exams.

Qualifier I and Qualifier II Exams: Students will sign up for these exams via an online form sent out in the term prior to the scheduled exam.

Candidacy Exam: Students must submit an Application for Candidacy form through gradforms.osu.edu and have it approved at least two weeks prior to the oral portion of the exam. Students must submit the PhD Plan of Study Form [pdf] prior to the department's approval on the Application for Candidacy form.

Dissertation and Defense ("Final Exam"): Refer to the Graduation Forms section below for details on the Application for Final Exam.

Graduation Deadlines and Requirements

The Graduate School establishes the deadlines pertaining to applications to graduate and exam/document submission timelines. Refer to the Graduate School calendar for details on deadlines for the current term and the Graduate School final semester procedures for a checklist of to-do items. PhD students and MS students who choose to complete a thesis should review the Graduate School requirements regarding dissertations and theses. Note that students must be enrolled in at least three credit hours in the term in which they wish to graduate.

Graduation Forms

Plan of Study Forms

All students must have a Plan of Study form on file, which must be approved by the Graduate Studies Chair, and PhD committee if applicable. Copies of the forms are available in 408 Cockins Hall. MAS and MS students must submit the form prior to their last term of enrollment. PhD students should complete the form prior to submitting the Application to Candidacy form.




Application to Graduate

Students must submit the Graduate School’s online Application to Graduate form through gradforms.osu.edu and have it approved by the Graduate School deadline. See the Graduate School calendar for details on deadlines for the current term. The Application to Graduate will not be approved until your Plan of Study form is approved. The following are notes on the Application to Graduate form:

  • MAS/MS students should select "Master's Non-thesis" (MAS/MS exam) or "Master's Thesis" (thesis) for the "Graduation Level"
  • MAS/MS students graduating with the exam requirement should list Dr. Xu for the advisor and Dr. Kaizar for the committee member.
  • MS students graduating with the thesis requirement should list their thesis advisor and committee member(s)
  • Do not select the "end of semester" option unless you need additional time and wish to use the end of semester deadline. See below for details.

Application for Final Exam (PhD)

PhD students must also submit an Application for Final Exam through gradforms.osu.edu, which must be approved by the student's committee at least two weeks prior to the scheduled defense. A copy of the dissertation draft must also be submitted to the Graduate School at least two weeks prior to the defense. See the Graduate School website for details on document preparation and format submission requirements. The defense must be held no later than the Graduate School's examination deadline and the approved dissertation document must be submitted by the Graduate School deadline for the term. See the Graduate School Calendar for details.

End of Semester Option

A student who does not meet published graduation deadlines but who does complete all degree requirements by the last business day prior to the first day of classes for the following semester or summer term will graduate the following semester or summer term without registering or paying fees. See the Graduate School Calendar for details.

PhD Students Earning the MS

Statistics and Biostistics PhD students can earn the MS in Statistics along the way to earning the PhD. To earn the MS, students are required to complete the MS course requirements and pass the Qualifier I as the exam requirement. Students should submit the MS Plan of Study form and the online Application to Graduate form through gradforms.osu.edu (select “Master’s-Non-thesis” for the Graduation Plan) by the appropriate deadlines.


See the Ohio State Commencement website for details on the ceremony.


[pdf] - Some links on this page are to Adobe .pdf files requiring the use of Adobe Reader. If you need them in a more accessible format, please contact webmaster@stat.osu.edu.