Online Degrees in Statistics by Program Level

Get info about online programs in statistics. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, and check out career and continuing education options.

Essential Information

Online degree programs in statistics are available on the master's level as a Master of Science in Statistics or as a Master of Applied Statistics. Graduate programs provide advanced theoretical and analytical knowledge in topics including linear models, sampling and stochastic processes. These programs are available as fully online or hybrid programs. Bachelor's and doctorate degrees in statistics are not typically available online.

Master's programs require students to have a bachelor's degree. Some programs require specific courses or work experience. Students must have the minimum technical standards, which may include special hardware.

Master's Degree in Statistics

Master's degree programs in statistics provide professionals with advanced study in a range of statistical application areas. Students use analysis and research to explore probability and statistics in a range of applications including economics, medicine and industry. Topics such as Bayesian methods, time series and data mining are also investigated.

Program Information and Requirements

Applicants typically must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Some institutions may require students to have completed prerequisite coursework in statistics or have professional experience in a related discipline. Many of these programs are offered completely online; however, some may include a mix of distance education and on-campus classes.

Online courses are viewed through online learning management systems, such as Blackboard, which allow students to communicate with their fellow students and professors through discussion boards and chat rooms. Most programs require candidates to pass an oral examination and complete an approved project or thesis to satisfy the curriculum.

Students must have a computer that meets university hardware and software requirements, as well as Internet access. Distance learners also may be required to possess a microphone for online discussions and real-time conferences.

Course Topics

Master's students examine probability theories of statistics. They gain advanced knowledge of the philosophies and theories that guide the application of statistical theory. The following courses and subjects are typical of a master's in statistics.

Fundamentals of Statistical Analysis

This online course introduces students to the concepts of statistical probability, probability distributions and statistical inference. Topics of discussion include hypotheses testing and an examination of analysis methods such as tests of independence and regression.

Data Mining

Students explore data mining and statistical/machine learning and how they are leveraged in areas such as information retrieval and database management. They are introduced to the SAS Enterprise Miner software package which allows for the creation of analysis flow diagrams that depict pattern discovery and predictive modeling.

Studies in Regression Analysis

This course examines the relationships between response and predictor variables. Students learn to formulate an analysis of observational data taken from designed experiments. Areas of focus include simple and multiple linear regression, transformations, dummy variables and selecting best linear models.

Career Information

Graduates of a master's degree program in statistics are qualified for positions that require statistical modeling and analysis skills in areas including the government, industry, medicine and higher education. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( reported that statisticians earned a mean salary of $84,440 as of May 2015, while mathematical statisticians who work for the federal government earned an average annual salary of $100,960.

Online statistics programs are commonly available at the master's level through fully online and hybrid options. Students learn about probability theories in statistics, and a bachelor's degree and prerequisite coursework in the field are common requirements.

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