Undergraduate Major in Statistics

The statistics major is designed to provide a solid foundation in statistical analysis, methodology, and theory. Students with interests in the natural and social sciences, engineering, and business among others may benefit by considering a double major with statistics.

The requirements for the major, listed below, are in addition to your college's requirement. The L&S and major requirements can be found in The Guide: for BA and BS degrees.

Requirements for the Major

  1. Mathematics:
    • Calculus: Math 221, 222, and 234 (13 cr). (Each course must be completed with a grade of C or higher)
    • Linear algebra: Math 340 or 341 (3 cr)
  2. Computer programming:
    • CS 200, 300, 301, 302, 400, 412, or 525 (3 cr). (CS 300 is highly recommended)
  3. Introductory Statistics and Basic Statistical Language:
    • Stat 302 (3 cr)
    • Stat 327 (Learning a Statistical Language: Introductory Data Analysis with R) (1 cr). Stat 327 (Intermediate R module) is strongly recommended.
  4. Linear statistical models and experimental design:
    • Stat 333 (3 cr) and 424 (3 cr)
  5. Mathematical statistics:
    • Stat 309 (3 cr) and Stat 310 (3 cr)
  6. Statistics electives:
    • Three courses from Stat 349, 351, 411, 421, 456, 461, 471, 479, 575, or 641, or other Statistics Department courses as approved by the advisor (9cr)
  7. Complete Option I OR Option II:
    • Option I: At least 6 credits in mathematics from Math 319, 421, 443, 475, 514, 521, 522, 541, 605, 629, 632 or other Math courses above 300 approved by advisor.
    • Option II: At least 12 credits above 300 in an area of application of statistical methods approved by advisor. Students completing most majors in scientific (physical, biological, social, or engineering) fields will usually meet the Option II requirements. Many Certificate programs will satisfy, at least partially, Option II.

Students with different calculus, linear, and/or mathematical statistics courses than those above should refer to the FAQ for the Major.


Note for students regarding the computer programming requirement

CS 300 is highly recommended because it will be beneficial in most future careers. Students who have prior computing experience equivalent to CS 200 (such as AP computer science) are recommended to take CS 300, and students who will pursue a second major in computer science must take CS 300 & 400 to satisfy the computer science major requirements.


Note for students regarding the introductory statistics requirement

All students majoring in Statistics are expected to take Statistics 302. Exceptions to the Stat 302 requirement will be rare and may be granted at the sole discretion of the undergraduate advisor. To be granted an exception, a student (transfer or other) must have exhibited superior performance in another introductory statistics course that the advisor deems as having high quality and the student must have demonstrated overall excellence in academic performance at the university level.

Note for students considering graduate studies in statistics

  1. The most important areas of mathematics for advanced statistical training are linear algebra and real analysis. Students intending to apply to a graduate program in statistics should consider taking at least Math 521 along with other advanced, proof-based math courses..
  2. Much of modern statistics relies heavily on computer-intensive methods. The ability to manipulate large data sets is important. Students may wish to consider taking additional courses in computer science. CS 367 is an important “next” course.
  3. Exposure to some field of scientific thinking is of considerable importance for statisticians. Thus, students should use available opportunities to gain experience in at least one such field.

A single course can be used to fulfill only one of the above requirements.

Prospective majors are strongly recommended to have completed the following classes before declaring the major: the basic calculus sequence (Math 221-222-234 or equivalent, with grades of C or higher) and Stat 302.

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