I left my initial visit to the UC Davis Statistics department convinced of its excellence and dedication to providing a quality graduate education. Now, having recently left Davis after five years, I can say that it is overwhelmingly successful at opening opportunities to its students and is unique in many ways. For instance, during my time there as a graduate student, the Master’s degree program was aggressively strengthened and expanded, and research opportunities for Ph.D. students increased greatly with the addition of extremely active new faculty members with interests in important and developing statistical fields.
One of my favorite aspects of the Ph.D. program at Davis are the regularly offered special topics courses given by faculty in their research areas, including graphical models, statistics on manifolds and the bootstrap. Across the board, the faculty members are kind, encouraging, and happy to engage in thoughtful discussion of ideas, both inside and outside of the classroom. All this, combined with the year-round beauty of the city itself, made my experience in the UCD Statistics program truly exceptional.