The dual core of the MS program in statistics is mathematical statistics and modern data analysis, with the option of a special Entrepreneurial Track. Expanding from this core, students develop technical facilities in a variety of statistical methodologies. This breadth of competence is designed to equip graduates to go beyond the appropriate choice of method for implementation and to be able to adapt these techniques and to construct new methods to meet the specific objectives and constraints of new situations. The MS degree in statistics requires a minimum of 30 hours of approved coursework in statistics and related disciplines, at least 18 of which must be at the 400 level or higher. Each student’s program is developed in consultation with a faculty mentor. Required courses are the following:

STAT 425
& STAT 426
Data Analysis and Linear Models
and Multivariate Analysis and Data Mining
STAT 445
& STAT 446
Theoretical Statistics I
and Theoretical Statistics II
STAT 455 Linear Models 3
STAT 495A Consulting Forum 3
or Approved Elective
STAT 621 (Plan B) M.S. Research Project 3
or STAT 651 (Plan A) Thesis M.S 6
Plan A: minimum of six hours of approved electives 6
Plan B: minimum of nine hours of approved electives 9
Total Units 30

The goals of this program are:

  1. to give each student a balanced view of statistical theory and the application of statistics in practice or in substantive research
  2. to have the student develop a broad competence in statistical methodology.

The required core course work reflects this balance. The first two requirements are for full-year sequences in data analysis and theory; the third develops the theory underlying linear modeling. The requirement for applications of statistics will be satisfied through intensive participation in the consulting forum; the selection of an MS research project provides additional exposure. Graduate students are also required to participate in a forum or seminar to gain experience in written and oral presentation.

The remainder of each student’s program is individualized to address the more specialized statistical demands of the selected field of concentration or the focus of multidisciplinary work. Each student may choose either the applied research project or the thesis option, depending on individual interests. In either case, the student can expect to work with a faculty mentor in undertaking a significant task, the results of which will be suitable for publication or for presentation at professional society meetings.

A student coming to school from a position as a professional statistician might choose a statistical problem arising in the workplace as the basis for an MS research project. A student intending to continue graduate work toward a PhD might choose an MS research project to explore the intimate relationship of statistics to substantive fields. Alternatively, either student might choose the thesis option to tailor a methodology to a new setting or to make a first essay at mathematical statistical research.


Entrepreneurial Track

The Master of Science in Statistics-Entrepreneurial Track (MSS-ET) is a professional degree designed to provide training in statistics focused on developing data analysis and decision-making skills in industrial, government, and consulting environments where uncertainties and related risks are present. It expands our master’s program in statistics by creating a professional track that includes some business training. The Entrepreneurial Track provides instruction and real-world business experience to students who have a background in statistics and a vision for new and growing ventures. The MSS-ET program requires a minimum of 30 hours.

The required New Venture Creation and Technology Entrepreneurship courses will be offered by the Weatherhead School of Management. Students on internships will sign up for the consulting forum sequence. In addition, students are required to participate in an intensive (up to 30 hours) one-week annual workshop on the industrial use of statistics from the management perspective. This non-credit workshop will take place during the fall or spring undergraduate breaks.