Schools for Aspiring Statisticians: How to Choose

Schools with statistics programs teach students about mathematical concepts related to gathering, analyzing and comparing numerical data generated by surveys, experiments or observations in order to determine probability in an unknown area. Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in mathematics and statistics may prepare aspiring statisticians for employment.

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Students can earn statistics degrees through a college's or university's mathematics department. A bachelor's degree may be sufficient for some entry-level statistician jobs, particularly those with the government; however, a master's degree or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is typically expected by employers.

Mathematic Analysis Schools

The following schools offer undergraduate or graduate programs in statistics. Tuition rates are based on the 2015-2016 academic year, and graduate rates do not include additional fees:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees (in-state)*
University of California - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $12,763 (undergraduate), $11,222 (graduate)
University of California - Berkeley Berkeley, CA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $13,431 (undergraduate), $11,220 (graduate)
University of Chicago Chicago, IL 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $51,351 (undergraduate), $51,624 (graduate)
New York University New York, NY 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Doctoral $47,750 (undergraduate), $38,592 (graduate)
Stanford University Stanford, CA 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $46,320 (undergraduate), $45,729 (graduate)
University of Texas - Austin Austin, TX 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral $10,934 (graduate)
Harvard University Cambridge, MA 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $45,278 (undergraduate), $41,832 (graduate)
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $13,856 (undergraduate), $20,638 (graduate)

*Source: NCES

School Selection Criteria

Students choosing a school with a statistics program may want to keep the following considerations in mind:

  • A B.S. degree may require the completion of additional technical electives, while a B.A. may include less intensive options, such as the completion of an essay.
  • Combined master's degree and Ph.D. programs are available at some schools; these programs can offer aspiring statisticians a shorter academic experience.
  • Students interested in consulting, research or teaching positions in statistics may want to consider a Ph.D. program.
  • Doctoral programs that offer research assistantships, teaching assistantships and fellowships can provide students with financial aid while supplying real-world experiences.

Bachelor's Degree in Statistics

A senior project or paper may be required for successful completion of this program. Bachelor's degree programs in statistics commonly include fundamental mathematics classes such as algebra, calculus and data analysis.

Master of Science in Mathematics

Master's degree programs in mathematics may be completed in 1-2 years. Students may work with mentors and professors to design much of their own curricula. A thesis may be optional.

Master of Science in Statistics

Students learn about the theory behind statistics as well as its real-world applications. Some master's programs may be designed to transfer directly into a Ph.D. program.

Doctor of Philosophy in Statistics

Ph.D. programs can be completed in three years; a shorter schedule is possible if combined with a master's degree program. Students may select specialization tracks or concentrations in areas such as probability or computing. A doctoral thesis or dissertation may be required.

To recap, bachelor's degree programs in statistics can be offered as a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.). Advanced degree programs in statistics may offer specialization areas such as biostatistics or financial mathematics, allowing students to tailor programs to meet their career goals.

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