The Master's program is quite flexible, with options at two stages of the program (resulting in four different tracks to the Master's degree) that are meant to suit a myriad of needs. The Master's degree is earned by completing 33 credit hours (which may be all coursework, or 27 credit hours of coursework plus 3 credit hours of Master's research and 3 credit hours of Master's writing). The entire program can be completed comfortably in 4 terms.

M.S. Core

Part 1: Applied and Theoretical Linear Models

The courses which satisfy this requirement are:

STAT 6420 Applied Linear Models (Offered in the Fall only)
STAT 8260 Theory of Linear Models (Offered in the Spring only)

Note: Both of the above courses are very challenging. If you are not comfortable with linear algebra or proving theorems, you should take STAT 6800, Tools for Statistical Theory (offered only in Fall) concurrently with 6420.

Part 2: Mathematical Foundations

This requirement may be satisfied in one of two ways:

1)  "M" STAT 6510-20

Mathematical Statistics I and II

(which introduces the student to calculus-based statistics

2)  "P" STAT 6810 Probability Distributions
STAT 6820 Statistical Inference
(This curriculum assumes the student already knows calculus-based statistics and delves further into its theoretical underpinnings. Mathematical proofs and theorems are a core element of this sequence.)

The first sequence is required for a Master's degree in statistics (hence the label "M"). The second sequence may be taken for a Master's degree in statistics, but it is required for a Ph.D. in Statistics (hence the label "P").

Statistical Consulting: STAT 8000

This course gives the student an introduction to a real-world problem, often with common pitfalls and difficulties that are typically a part of handling real data. The problem is taken from a research project on campus, and the student will (under the supervision of a faculty instructor) analyze the data and write a report detailing the problem, its statistical solution, and possible avenues for improvement.

Electives

This requirement is satisfied in one of two ways:

  1. Four electives (12 credit hours), if the student writes a Master's thesis; or
  2. Six electives (18 credit hours), if the student passes the Master's Comprehensive Examination or the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination.

Master's Thesis

If the student chooses Option 1 under Electives, then the student must choose a Master's thesis advisor soon after completion of the M.S. Core. The student will register for hours of Master's research (7000) and writing (7300) while completing the thesis.
See the Graduate Handbook for further details on this topic.

Master's Comprehensive and Ph.D. Qualifying Examinations.

These exams are given every May, and are divided into two parts, which closely mirror the construction and content of the M.S. Core:

  • Part 1 covers Applied and Theoretical Linear models. This examination may be passed at the Master's level, or at the (more stringent) Ph.D. level.
  • Part 2 of the Master's Comprehensive Examination covers Mathematical Statistics (Part 2-M).
  • Part 2 of the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination covers Probability and Statistical Inference (Part 2-P). This examination may be passed at the Master's level, or at the (more stringent) Ph.D. level.

See the Graduate Handbook for further details on this topic.