The Department of Statistics offers two tracks in the Master of Science Degree in Statistics. One track is designed in Applied Statistics and prepares students for professional careers in industry, business or government with terminal masters degrees. The other track is designed to accelerate a student’s progress through a masters degree in preparation for continued graduate work on a Ph.D. Degree in Statistics. Either track provides a route for a career in Applied Statistics.
The M.S. Degree (in either track) has a thesis and a non-thesis option. The thesis option requires a minimum of 27semester hours of graduate credit (exclusive of thesis), and the non-thesis option requires a minimum of 33 semester hours of graduate credit and a written comprehensive examination (which can also be used as a qualifying examination for the Ph.D. Degree). Both tracks require the practicum statistical consulting courses (STAT 8000). Students in the accelerated Ph.D. track would include more core courses in their masters degrees but are encouraged to add the applied statistics courses later to their doctoral programs of study.
A basic core of five courses is required (usually in the first year) for all masters students, and hence, a choice of which track to pursue can be delayed until after completion of the first year of study. Prerequisites for admission to the program are: advanced calculus, linear algebra and statistical theory and methods at an undergraduate level. Additional prerequisites may be required for some options.
The MS degree has two options, one in applied statistics and the other in mathematical statistics. In both options, preparation of an MS thesis is optional. The thesis option requires a minimum of 27 semester hours of graduate credit exclusive of thesis and the non-thesis option requires a minimum of 33 semester hours. The PhD degree requires basic core course work equivalent to the mathematical statistics option of the MS degree plus work in advanced probability and inference; otherwise, the student can select advanced course work according to his own special interests.
Graduate students in the department may expect to have assignments that include teaching, applied research and consulting experience in addition to their course work and the basic research experience involved in completing their dissertation. The department maintains over 160 PC’s in a Novell environment, along with twenty Sun workstations connected to an Enterprise class Sun fileserver. Two student labs contain both PC’s and Sun workstations. A four-processor Sun server dedicated to statistical computation provides resources for very large databases and complex analyses.
Courses in advanced calculus and linear algebra are required as prerequisites for all graduate students in statistics.