Students interested in learning about statistics in a distance education setting can do so as part of online master's degree or certificate programs. A variety of programs are available including online-only and hybrid programs.
Texas A&M University
Program Information and Requirements
Texas A&M University has been offering higher education programs since 1876 and, in terms of enrollment, is the sixth largest public university in the United States. Students who do not live in Texas, or cannot commit to on-campus study, can take statistics courses at Texas A&M via distance learning. One of the requirements for online study at this school is that students must take exams in the presence of university-approved proctors; these can be supervisors at work, faculty at other colleges or testing center employees.
Master of Science in Statistics
The online graduate degree program in statistics at Texas A&M University consists of 36 credits. Aside from the core classes, this program includes an internship, elective courses and a capstone project. Students enrolled in the Texas A&M online statistics degree program can choose a specialization in a certain statistics field including biostatistics and business analytics.
Courses taken in the distance learning Master of Science (M.S.) statistics program at Texas A&M include:
- Statistical Analysis: The statistical analysis class teaches students the basic skills necessary to manipulate and interpret data sets. Topics covered include hypothesis testing, probability distributions and ANOVA (analysis of variance) tables.
- Regression Analysis: A regression analysis course helps students learn to determine the relationship between two items. The distance learning course covers simple and multiple regression as well as non-linear regression.
- Mathematical Statistics: This online course introduces various tests and theories students can use in statistical analysis, including t-tests, correlation principles and chi-square tests.
Certificate in Applied Statistics
Texas A&M's online certificate program is much shorter than the school's Master of Science program. Students are required to complete only four classes and can choose from a calculus-based program and a non-calculus program. In either case, similar to the Master of Science program, specializations in general statistics, biometrics and business analytics are available.
Some of the classes that make up Texas A&M online certificate programs in applied statistics include:
- Statistics in Research: This research-based statistics class covers similar ground to the statistical analysis course found in the master's program, but without the calculus background. This allows students to enter a statistics program without being well-versed in complex mathematics.
- Computational Statistics: In this class, students learn to use statistical software to aid their analysis. The class expands on basic statistical applications and enables students to interpret statistics in ways that are otherwise very prohibitive.
Colorado State University
Program Information and Requirements
Colorado State University (CSU) was ranked the 121st best university by U.S. News and World Report in 2014. It has been educating students since 1870, six years before Colorado became a state. Some of CSU's courses, including their statistics offerings, are available online, but lectures can also be obtained on DVD and video CD. These lectures have already been given to on-campus students and have been recorded in the classroom for distance learning purposes.
M.S. in Statistics
Colorado State University's online M.S. degree program is 34 credits in length; the program can be completed in 2-3 years by a full-time student and in five or less years by part-time students. Covered topics include multivariate analysis, probability theory, time-series analysis and statistics software packages.
Graduate students in the CSU online statistics program can choose to write a thesis or complete a project about a statistics topic of their choice. At the program's conclusion, the project or thesis must then be defended in the presence of CSU professors, either in-person or through video conferencing.
The following courses are part of Colorado State University's Master of Science degree program in statistics:
- Probability Theory: The probability theory class provides a general introduction to probability as it relates to statistics. Topics such as random variables, frequency distributions and functions are covered.
- Linear Modeling: In linear modeling, students learn about different types of statistical models, including random, fixed and mixed. These models are used in conjunction with the SAS software package to help students interpret their data.
- Statistics Practicum: The statistics practicum course shows students how they can use statistics in real-life situations. Students learn to interact with clients and transform their requirements into statistical analysis.
Certificate in Statistical Theory and Methods
Colorado State University's online certificate program is a graduate-level program that accepts only students with a strong knowledge of calculus and statistics. The program discusses critical components of the M.S. program, such as probability theory and multiple regressions, but does not provide any introductory courses or extraneous courses. Students round out their education by choosing one elective focusing on advanced statistics topic of interest.
Online students enrolled at Colorado State University can take the following courses:
- Time Series Analysis: Time series analysis allows students to track and interpret statistics over time. Students learn concepts like seasonal analysis and data forecasting.
- Elementary Applied Statistics: This class teaches students to apply their statistical knowledge to experiments and research projects. SAS computer software is used to help students with their analysis.
Certificate in Applied Statistics and Data Analysis
The applied statistics and data analysis certificate at Colorado State University is intended for students and professionals without mathematical backgrounds who want to gain a quick education in statistics without leaving home. The program consists of four courses, which provide introductory and intermediate statistical knowledge, with the final class being a graduate course in regression analysis.
Online classes in this certificate program at CSU include:
- Mathematical Statistics: The mathematical statistics course introduces the concepts to be used by students in their study of statistics. Topics such as sampling, estimation and confidence intervals are discussed.
- Multiple Regression: Multiple regression training allows students to test the effect of many variables on one dependent variable. The use of computer software to perform multiple regression analysis is covered in detail.
Statistics programs are available fully online or through hybrid programs at several schools including Texas A&M University and Colorado State University. These programs can be found at the master's level or as a certificate program.