The MS Statistics program prepares students for positions in industry or government, while providing them with the necessary applied and theoretical background to pursue PhD programs in statistics or biostatistics. MS Stat students conduct research in areas such as Big Data, time series, statistical genetics, bioinformatics, computational statistics, data visualization, experimental design and biostatistics. Nearly all MS Statistics projects involve collaboration with researchers in other fields, including ecology, agriculture, genetics, cancer, finance, public health, nutrition, education and engineering.
Graduates are employed as research-track faculty or lecturers at universities and colleges as well as governmental labs, industrial research centers, and private industry. We have had 98% success at employing MS Statistics graduates, and US News ranked Statistician as one of the nation’s Top Five Careers.
Students may apply with an undergraduate degree in statistics, mathematics, or a wide variety of other disciplines, including the biological and social sciences. An advanced undergraduate class in probability and mathematical statistics and some programming experience (particularly in R) is desirable; classes in linear algebra and multivariable calculus are necessary. Application to the MS Statistics program is through the USU School of Graduate Studies website,
Students must provide:
- GRE general scores (subject exams not required). We look for Quantitative scores above 60% and Verbal scores above 40%, but the application process is competitive so higher scores may be neccessary be competitive with other applicants.
- TOEFL or IELTS (unless you have earned a degree in an English-speaking country, e.g. US, UK or Canada). To qualify for a teaching assistantship in our department the total TOEFL iBT score must be 100 or above. IELTS must be at or above 6.5 for TA consideration.
- Transcripts of all past coursework. Your GPA *must* be above 3.0 during the last two years, and *should* be above 3.5 in technical subjects.
- Contact information for three references who can speak to your academic preparation, professional goals and work ethic.
- Personal statements on our Departmental Application Form (request from the Graduate Program Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org).
International students have additional admissions requirements.
Most students are admitted in Fall semester. The target date for Fall semester applications is January 15; admission notice and offers of support are generally mailed in March. Students are asked to accept/decline offers of support on or about April 15.
Master's Degree Plan Option(s)
Students can receive the MS by pursuing one of three options:
- In the Plan A option, students complete graduate-level coursework and must write a thesis.
- The Plan B option requires the production of a paper or creative work of art and is expected to reflect equivalent scholarship standards as a thesis.
A majority of students receive major financial assistance with their studies via teaching or research assistantships. All students that meet the qualifications may receive tuition awards and subsidized health insurance as well.
Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs
American Statistical Association: ASA is the largest organization of mathematicians in industry and academe. The ASA supports excellence in the development, application, and dissemination of statistical science through meetings, publications, membership services, education, accreditation, and advocacy. Its members serve in industry, government, and academia in more than 90 countries, advancing research and promoting sound statistical practice to inform public policy and improve human welfare.
Biometric Society: ENAR and WNAR (the eastern and western North American regions) is an association of statisticians working on problems in statistics with biological, agricultural, and medical applications. The society’s goal is to advance biological and life science through the development of quantitative theories and the application, development, and dissemination of effective mathematical and statistical techniques.
Institute of Mathematical Statistics: IMS is an organization mainly for research statisticians working in academe. The IMS is an international professional and scholarly society devoted to the development, dissemination, and application of statistics and probability. The institute currently has about 4,500 members in all parts of the world.
Interface Foundation: This is a society working on problems at the interface between statistics and computing sciences. Its members are computational scientists, statisticians, mathematicians, and individuals from related discipline areas interested in the interface between computing science and statistics. Interests include topics such as computational statistics, statistical software, exploratory data analysis, data mining, pattern recognition, scientific visualization, and related fields.
Journal Club: The purpose of the Journal Club is to introduce participants to mathematics and statistics education research by providing an opportunity to read, present, and discuss noteworthy papers in the field. The primary intended audiences are graduate students and faculty members interested in starting research on education topics, and needing familiarity with the education literature.