The Master of Science program in statistics requires 32 s.h. of graduate credit. It includes a solid foundation in statistical computing, statistical modeling, experimental design, and mathematical statistics plus electives in statistical methods and/or theory. Students have the opportunity to concentrate on theory or applications or a combination of the two.

In addition to required coursework, students must pass a two-part graduate final examination and complete the M.S. creative component.

Students must maintain a g.p.a. of at least 3.00 in all work toward the degree and in additional relevant coursework. Students must take a computer programming proficiency test during the first semester of study; those who display inadequate programming skills are assigned activities to build their proficiency.

The M.S. with a major in statistics requires the following work.

Statistics Courses

All of these:
STAT:5090ALPHA Seminar1
STAT:5100Statistical Inference I3
STAT:5101Statistical Inference II3
STAT:5200/IGPI:5199Applied Statistics I4
STAT:5201Applied Statistics II3
STAT:5400/IGPI:5400Computing in Statistics3
STAT:6220Statistical Consulting3
STAT:6300Probability and Stochastic Processes I3
STAT:6990Readings in Statistics (two consecutive enrollments)2
At least 7 s.h. from these:
STAT:4520/IGPI:4522/PSQF:4520Bayesian Statistics3
STAT:4540/IGPI:4540Statistical Learning3
STAT:4580/IGPI:4580Data Visualization and Data Technologies3
STAT:5120Mathematical Methods for Statistics3
STAT:6301Probability and Stochastic Processes II3
STAT:6530/IGPI:6530Environmental and Spatial Statistics3
STAT:6547/PSQF:6247Nonparametric Statistical Methods3
STAT:6560Applied Time Series Analysis3
STAT:6970Topics in Statistics3
A Ph.D.-level course numbered 7000 or above, including seminar courses1-3

Students planning to enter the doctoral program may wish to include STAT:5120 Mathematical Methods for Statistics in their course selections, since it is part of the required Ph.D. core.

Final Examination

The final examination consists of two parts: one covers the topics presented in STAT:5100 Statistical Inference I and STAT:5101 Statistical Inference II; the other part covers the topics presented in STAT:5200/IGPI:5199 Applied Statistics I, STAT:5201 Applied Statistics II, and STAT:5400/IGPI:5400 Computing in Statistics. Each part includes a few problems that test readiness for the Ph.D. program.

Final examinations are offered the week before classes begin in August. Study guides are available in the department office. Students who do not succeed the first time they take the exam may repeat it once, with the possibility to retake it the week before classes begin in January.

Students must complete all requirements and be granted the Master of Science degree within one calendar year of passing the M.S. final examination; those who do not meet this deadline are required to take the exam again.

Students entering the Ph.D. program, who will choose either biostatistics, probability/mathematical statistics, or data science as their concentration area, and who already have taken the equivalent of the first-year courses, may take the M.S. final examination in statistics before beginning further studies.

Creative Component

Students also must complete a creative component that is related to their application and career interests. Students wishing to qualify for the Ph.D. program are encouraged to write a research-oriented creative component. The creative component entails writing an 8-15 page report on a suitable topic, under an advisor's supervision (with two consecutive 1 s.h. enrollments in STAT:6990 Readings in Statistics, normally during the fall and spring semesters of the second year). A draft of the paper should be completed by the end of the first enrollment in STAT:6990, and polished by early- to mid-semester in the second enrollment. The paper is then presented orally in a public seminar. A faculty committee, in consultation with the creative component advisor, evaluates the work and the presentation, and assigns a grade of satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

For students wishing to qualify for the Ph.D. program, the creative component represents one piece of the body of work used to determine Ph.D. qualification. The creative component must be satisfactorily completed within one calendar year of passing the M.S. final examination; failure to meet this deadline requires reexamination of the student.

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations on the Graduate College website.

Statistics and probability are vital to many fields, so the demand for well-trained statisticians is strong. Statisticians work in medicine, engineering, law, public policy making, marketing, manufacturing, engineering, agriculture, varied social and natural sciences, and numerous other areas.

The M.S. program prepares students for careers as professional statisticians or for entry into a Ph.D. program. To learn more about job opportunities, see ASA JobWeb on the American Statistical Association website.

The Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.

Sample Plan of Study

Sample plans represent one way to complete a program of study. Actual course selection and sequence will vary and should be discussed with an academic advisor. For additional sample plans, see MyUI.

Statistics, M.S.

Plan of Study Grid (Manual)
Academic Career
Any SemesterHours
32 s.h. must be graduate level coursework; graduate transfer credits allowed upon approval. More information is included in the General Catalog and on department website. a  
First Year
STAT:5090 ALPHA Seminar 1
STAT:5100 Statistical Inference I 3
STAT:5200 Applied Statistics I 4
STAT:5400 Computing in Statistics 3
STAT:5101 Statistical Inference II 3
STAT:5201 Applied Statistics II 3
Statistics elective b 3
Second Year
Written Final Exam c  
Creative Component d, e  
STAT:6300 Probability and Stochastic Processes I 3
STAT:6990 Readings in Statistics f 1
Statistics elective b 3
Present Creative Component g  
STAT:6220 Statistical Consulting 3
STAT:6990 Readings in Statistics f 1
Statistics elective b 1
Final Exam h  
 Total Hours32