Online Statistics Courses: Requirements and Classes Available

Statistics involves collecting, analyzing and interpreting numerical data. Online statistics classes can be included in undergraduate and graduate programs in math and statistics, in addition to being offered on a course-by-course basis.

Overview of Common Courses

Students interested in taking online statistics courses have a number of options, from introductory classes in analysis and sampling to master's-level offerings in statistical bioinformatics. Review examples of some common statistics courses below.

Introduction to Statistics

Introductory courses in statistics cover subject-specific theories, such as basic probability models, confidence intervals and linear regression. Students learn to collect data and to summarize it graphically and numerically.

Statistical Methods

The scientific method is a focus of this statistics class, which teaches students to design and analyze experiments. Students also are introduced to statistical software.

Statistical Consulting

This graduate-level course is geared toward aspiring statistical consultants. Online students learn to prepare presentations, communicate with clients and develop recommendation reports based on statistical data.

Applied Statistics

Students taking this advanced online course learn to interpret numbers and data for use in various fields. The class covers various theories in nonparametric methods, statistical computing and variance analysis.

Epidemiology Research Methods

Online statistics students are introduced to quantitative and research methods used to analyze human health data. These methods might include interviews, record abstractions and lab reports.

Requirements for Online Statistics Courses

Technical Requirements

Some advanced statistics classes might utilize specific statistical software packages, such as Minitab, SAS or SPSS. Other necessary equipment might include a graphics-capable printer, sound card and headset with microphone for Web conferencing. Most online statistics courses also require access to common software programs, such as Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. Students will likely access streaming video, discussion boards, e-mail and instant messaging throughout the online learning process, so they should have fast Internet connections.

Academic Requirements

Applicants to online statistics programs should be familiar with various mathematics disciplines, such as algebra and calculus. Academic requirements for online statistics courses are generally the same as those for on-campus classes; however, distance education students are generally left to complete assignments and examinations independently within a broad time frame.

Where to Find Online Classes

The most reputable online statistics courses are offered by institutions accredited by agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Individual courses can often be found through the extension or continuing education departments of many colleges and universities.

Individuals who don't need college credit may consider studying statistics through free courses uploaded by websites and popular postsecondary institutions as part of open access learning initiatives. Anyone can participate in these self-paced courses, which often include helpful learning tools like audio or video files, lecture notes, assignments and practice tests.

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