Statistics Courses and Classes Overview

Aug 30, 2019

What is a statistics class? Get the facts about undergraduate and graduate statistics classes in a variety of fields. Take a look at course descriptions and common requirements, and find out what kinds of programs include training in statistics.

What Do You Learn in Statistics?

Statistics courses are frequently offered through certificate, associate's degree, bachelor's degree, and master's degree programs in statistics, mathematics, business administration, and numerous physical and social science disciplines.

Standalone statistics courses are widely available in on-campus and online formats as well; some lead to college credit, while others are offered on a non-credit basis for free. In general, students use statistical models to analyze and interpret data, and they may participate in lab training sessions or research projects. Some statistics classes are specific to an individual discipline, and others cover general statistics.

Here is a list of concepts commonly examined in statistics courses:

  • Biostatistics
  • Data mining
  • Probability
  • Regression analysis
  • Linear models
  • Survey sampling

Statistics Class List

Descriptive Statistics

Students often start their studies with an elementary statistics course. These courses cover probability, frequency distributions, graphing, and correlations. Other concepts covered may include measures of location and variation, joint and marginal probabilities, and regression. Students who take this course are often majoring in social, behavioral, and physical sciences. Graduate students embarking on research projects may also take a course in descriptive statistics.

Applied Statistics

An applied statistics course is generally intended for individuals majoring in the natural sciences, mathematics, or secondary math education. Students manipulate data and estimate the probability of an event occurring. Other topics include surveys and experiments, tests of significance, exploratory data analysis, and sampling distributions.

Probability Theory

This intermediate statistics course is typically available to individuals majoring in math or statistics. This course builds on the principles of statistics and probability and delves into various probability theories, such as Bayes theorem, conditional probability, and axiomatic probability theory. Students also begin integrating random variables into their analyses. Professors demonstrate how expectation, distribution, and correlation affect probability.


Biostatistics involves the analysis of data from biology experiments. Students use regression, frequency distributions, and variations in their analyses. Instead of just studying statistical theory, students are encouraged to analyze the data they gather while completing experiments.

Statistical Design and Experiment Analysis

Graduate students who are conducting experiments or research may take a statistical design and experiment analysis class. Students learn how to design quality experiments and perform valid analyses of their data. Graduate programs that have a dissertation or thesis requirement may require students to take this course.

Career Info for Statisticians

Statistics courses apply to a variety of career fields, but some students may wish to pursue a career in statistics. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) describes the role of a statistician as a professional who collects, organizes, measures, and analyzes numbers and data, resulting in information that can be used in research and decision-making. The industries that employ the most statisticians are scientific research and development services; the federal executive branch; management, scientific, and technical consulting services; and general medical and surgical hospitals. The BLS reports that statisticians make a median annual salary of $87,780. They can expect job growth of 34%, which is much faster than average, during the 2016-2026 decade.

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