Statistics

What Is It?:

Statistics is the science of modeling, summarizing, and analyzing data, and of using mathematics and computing tools to make predictions and decisions in the face of uncertainty. Statistical ideas are applicable in any area involving quantitative measurement and in almost every area of scholarly pursuit. 

What is the difference between Statistics and Statistics & Computer Science?

Statistics is designed to provide students with an understanding of the concepts of statistical inference and a familiarity with the methods of applied statistical analysis, preparing students for a career in business, industry, or government, and for further graduate study in statistics or in a related area.

Statistics and Computer Science is sponsored jointly by the Department of Statistics and the Department of Computer Science. The major is designed for students who desire a strong foundation in computer science, coupled with significant advanced coursework in statistics.   The major prepares students for professional or graduate work in statistics and computer science, and for applications of computing in which knowledge of statistics is particularly important, such as data mining and machine learning.

For more information, please visit the Department of Statistics.

Courses That Introduce the Major:

  • MATH 220 or 221—Calculus I
  • STAT 200—Statistical Analysis

Students should consult with an academic advisor regarding course selection prior to the advanced registration period. 

Possible Career Opportunities:

The world is becoming more and more quantitative and data focused. Many professions depend on numerical measurements to make decisions in the face of uncertainty. Statisticians use quantitative abilities, statistical knowledge, and communication skills to work on many challenging problems. Job characteristics of this field include:

  • Using data to solve problems in a wide variety of fields
  • Applying mathematical and statistical knowledge to social, economic, medical, political, and ecological problems
  • Working individually and/or as part of an interdisciplinary team
  • Traveling to consult with other professionals or to attend conferences, seminars, and continuing education activities
  • Advancing the frontiers of statistics, mathematics, and probability through education and research

Common Career Titles Related to this Major:

(Some careers may require education beyond an undergraduate degree)

  • Business Analyst
  • Data Analyst
  • Economist
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Investigator
  • Manager
  • Mathematician
  • Pharmaceutical Engineer
  • Professor
  • Project Manager
  • Quality Analyst
  • Researcher
  • Risk Analyst
  • Software Engineer 

Enhancing Your Academic Experience:

Related Skills:

  • Ability to analyze and interpret data
  • Ability to design experiments
  • Advanced quantitative skills
  • Advising skills
  • Computer literacy
  • Critical thinking
  • Evaluating theoretical models
  • Logical thinking
  • Numerical computation
  • Organizational skills
  • Problem Solving
  • Systemizing skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Verbal and written communication skills

Further Information:

For more information on what you can do with a major in Statistics, visit The Career Center’s webpage: What Can I Do With This Major.

There are several professional organizations dedicated to Statistics.  Their websites might be able to provide a glimpse in the world of Statistics.  These organizations include American Statistical Society and Institute of Mathematical Statisticians.

For more information on the classes needed for a degree in Statistics, visit Undergraduate Programs.