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College of Humanities & Sciences

Department of Statistical Sciences and Operations Research

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Master's Program

The Department of Statistical Sciences and Operations Research and the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics jointly offer the M.S. in mathematical sciences. The Department of Statistical Sciences and Operations Research offers concentrations in operations research and statistics.

The mission of the Department of Statistical Sciences and Operations Research is to offer a strong undergraduate and graduate education, with an increasing focus on the development of cross-disciplinary efforts that will prepare students for real-world applications and stimulating employment and career opportunities.

The program offers maximum flexibility by allowing students, in consultation with their graduate committees, to design a course of study that will best develop competence in those areas most relevant to their scholarly and professional objectives. Students may obtain a designation on their transcripts indicating that their graduate study has emphasized a concentration by completing the requirements that are listed below. A student who has not satisfied the requirements for one of the program concentrations offered, but who has otherwise fulfilled all the requirements for a master’s degree, will be awarded a degree of Master of Science in Mathematical Sciences without any specialization.


All applicants are required to supply GRE scores, academic transcripts, three letters of recommendation and a personal statement. The program does not have minimum scores on the GRE, but the quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning and analytical writing scores are all considered in the context of the other application material. For admission to graduate study at VCU, the Graduate School requires a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. In cases where the undergraduate GPA is below 3.0, additional factors, including performance in the last 60 hours of coursework, may be weighted more heavily in the admissions assessment. For students with earned graduate degrees from accredited institutions, the graduate GPA may be the primary basis for consideration. The three letters of recommendation must come from instructors or professional references in the applicant’s intended field of study. The personal statement must address the applicant’s reasons for pursuing graduate education in the planned course of study at VCU.

International applicants must provide evidence of proficiency in the English language prior to admission and/or full-time enrollment in the university. An applicant may satisfy university English proficiency requirements by obtaining a satisfactory score on the TOEFL. The program requires a minimum TOEFL score of 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer-based) or 100 (Internet-based).

Admission Requirements

Admissions requirements for this program are listed in the VCU Graduate Bulletin. VCU also has admission requirements for all graduate students. All students in mathematical sciences are required to have completed the 30 required undergraduate credits in mathematics, statistics or operations research, including calculus I and II, multivariate calculus, linear algebra, probability and statistics, before they can be admitted. If less than 6 credits short of this requirement, the student can be provisionally admitted with a requirement to complete the remaining courses with a grade of B or better prior to or concurrent with taking other courses in the program.

Application Process

Information about applying to all graduate programs at VCU, including the M.S. in mathematical sciences, can be found at the Graduate School website. U.S. citizens and permanent residents apply through the VCU Graduate School. International students must apply through the Global Education Office. Visit VCU International Admissions for specific admissions requirements for international applicants and to learn more about the international application process and to download forms.


QiQi Lu, Ph.D.
Master's Degree Program Director

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