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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Statistics (STAT)

Program Home Page

DAVID HUNTER, Head of the Department
326 Thomas Building
814-865-1348

 

Degrees Conferred:

 

The Graduate Faculty

 

The Graduate Faculty, World Campus

 

The Program

Graduate instruction and research opportunities are available in most areas of statistics and probability, including linear models, nonparametric statistics, robustness, statistical computing, analysis of count data, multivariate analysis, experimental design, reliability, stochastic processes and probability (applied and theoretical), distribution theory, statistical ecology, and biometrics.

Graduate students can gain practical experience in the application of statistical methodology through participation in the department's statistical consulting center and collaborative research activities. In addition, collaborative projects with other departments provide longer term experience and support for selected students. Most students gain valuable teaching experience by assisting in the teaching and grading of courses. In addition, Ph.D. candidates with proper qualifications can receive support for teaching undergraduate courses.

The Master of Applied Statistics (M.A.S.) program is a professional degree designed to provide training in statistics focused on developing data analysis skills, and exploration of all core areas of applied statistics, without going deeply into the mathematical statistics foundations. It aims to provide its graduates with broad knowledge in a wide range of statistical application areas.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Master of Arts (M.A.), and Master of Science (M.S.) degrees in Statistics are designed for advanced studies in applied and theoretical statistics. Special emphases include biostatistics, statistical ecology, environmental statistics, genometrics, biometrics and statistical computation. The M.S. degree is appropriate preparation for the department's Ph.D. degree.

Admission Requirements

Scores from the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), or from a comparable substitute examination accepted by a graduate program and authorized by the dean of the Graduate School, are required for admission. Entering graduate students in statistics for whom English is not the first language are required to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) examination. The results of this examination must be received by the Department of Statistics at least six months prior to the requested date of admission to the Graduate School and must pass the PSU test of spoken English in the first year of the program. The minimum acceptable score for the TOEFL is 550 for the paper-based test, 213 for the computer-based test, or a total score of 80 with a 20 on the speaking section for the Internet-based test (iBT). Applicants with lower scores may be considered for provisional admission.

While applications from all students (including those who already have done graduate work) are reviewed, completion of a standard calculus sequence is regarded as a prerequisite. Students with a 3.00 or better junior/senior average (on a 4.00 scale) and with appropriate course backgrounds will be considered for admission. The best-qualified applicants will be accepted up to the number of spaces that are available for new students. Exceptions to the minimum 3.00 grade-point average may be made for students with special backgrounds, abilities, and interests. Students hoping to earn a Ph.D. in statistics may apply directly to the Ph.D. program without need for a master's degree.

Degree Requirements

Professional Master of Applied Statistics Requirements

For the M.A.S. degree, a minimum of 30 credits and a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 are required for graduation. Of the 30 credits, 24 must be courses from the Statistics department and 21 must be at the 500 level. The candidate must complete 6 credits in applied statistics (STAT 501, STAT 502), 6 credits in mathematical statistics (STAT 414, STAT 415) and 3 credits in statistical consulting (STAT 580-581). For all M.A.S. students, the Stat 581 course will have a comprehensive written project report required as part of the course, which serves as the culminating experience. To complete the remaining credit requirements, a candidate can select 9-15 credits from the following applied statistics courses: STAT 464, STAT 480, STAT 500, STAT 503, STAT 504, STAT 505, STAT 506, STAT 507, STAT 509, and STAT 510. In addition, students with suitable backgrounds may choose up to 6 credits from a departmental list of additional courses with approval from their adviser.

Master of Arts and Master of Science Degree Requirements

For the M.A. and M.S. degrees, a candidate must complete at least 30 credits, including at least 27 at the 500 or 600 level; 21 of the 27 500-level credits must be formal course work from the department of Statistics. A candidate must complete 6 credits in applied statistics (STAT 511, STAT 512), 6 credits in mathematical statistics (STAT 513, STAT 514), 3 credits in stochastic processes (STAT 515) and 3 credits in statistical consulting (STAT 580-581). The student must also pass a written master's qualifying examination taken at the end of the first year. Finally, an M.A. candidate must submit an acceptable master's paper to the department, and an M.S. candidate must submit a thesis.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

In addition to the course requirements for the M.A. and M.S. degrees given above, a Ph.D. candidate in Statistics must complete further courses in linear models (STAT 551), asymptotic tools (STAT 553), statistical inference (STAT 561), and advanced probability (STAT 517), as well as 15 credits of electives taken from STAT 518, STAT 544, STAT 545, STAT 552, STAT 562, STAT 564, STAT 565, and STAT 572, or other courses suggested by the Ph.D. committee and approved by the Graduate Studies Committee. The student also must pass a written Ph.D. qualifying exam, typically during the second year, and a comprehensive exam given at the end of the third year. The comprehensive exam will have a written component, whose content will be determined and administered by the student's Ph.D. graduate committee, and an oral component, which includes the presentation of a thesis research proposal. The candidate then must submit an acceptable Ph.D. thesis and defend it.

The Ph.D. in Statistics offers options in Biometrics, Biostatistics, Environmental Statistics, and Genometrics. The course and the examination requirements remain the same under these options, however, the candidate must take 15 credits from a list of courses identified by the option.

Minor in Statistics Requirements

The Department of Statistics has three possible options for a Graduate Minor in Statistics:

  • Option 1: STAT/MATH 414-415 and at least three 500-level courses from the department.
  • Option 2: Five or more courses totaling 15 credits at the 500-level from the department. Stat 464 may also count toward the 15 credits.
  • Option 3: Four 500-level courses totaling 12 credits from the department and one additional course of 3 credits approved by the department head or graduate studies chairman.

Please note: STAT 500 will not be counted toward the Graduate Minor in Statistics under any option.

For all options, a 3.5 GPA is required in the courses to be counted toward the minor. Completion of one of the options listed above, with the specified grade-point average, and the signature on the Graduate Minor Program form (www.stat.psu.edu/grad/degrees/Minor/Graduate_Minor_Application_Form.pdf) constitutes approval of the Minor in Statistics. The candidate must indicate the wish to have a Graduate Minor in Statistics when the diploma card is filed and indicate the semester the Ph.D. degree is expected.

Other Relevant Information

Students in the Statistics program may elect the dual-title degree program option in Operations Research for the Ph.D. and M.S. degrees. (See also Operations Research.)

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships available to students in this program and other forms of student aid are described in the STUDENT AID section of the Graduate Bulletin. GRE scores are required for consideration for assistantships.

Integrated B.S. in Statistics and Master of Applied Statistics (M.A.S.)

The Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate (IUG) degree with B.S. in Statistics and Master of Applied Statistics (M.A.S.) is designed to be completed in five years. This integrated degree will enable a select number of highly qualified and career-oriented students to obtain training in statistics focused on developing data analysis skills and exploration of core areas of applied statistics at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The M.A.S. degree is a professional master's degree that emphasizes applications and does not provide as much training in the mathematical and statistical theory. The degree prepares students with interests in mathematics, computation, and the quantitative aspects of science for careers in industry and government as statistical analyst. Research divisions in the pharmaceutical industry, quality control and quality engineering divisions in manufacturing companies, clinical research units, corporate planning and research units, and other data-intensive positions require persons with training in mathematics, computation, database management, and statistical analysis, which this program will provide.

Application Process

The number of openings in the integrated B.S./M.A.S. program is limited. Admission will be based on specific criteria and the recommendation of faculty. Applicants to the integrated program:

  • Must be enrolled in the Statistics B.S. program.
  • Must have completed at least 60 credits of the undergraduate degree program, including the two courses: STAT 414 and STAT 415 and the students must apply to the program prior to completing 110 credits.
  • Must submit a transcript and a statement of purpose.
  • Must present a departmental approved plan of study in the application process in consultation with the M.A.S. program director.
  • Must be recommended by the chair of the department's undergraduate program committee.
  • Must be accepted into the M.A.S. program in Statistics.

For the IUG B.S./M.A.S. degree, 120 credits are required for the B.S. and 30 credits for the M.A.S. The following twelve graduate-level credits (number of credits in parentheses) can apply to both B.S. and M.A.S. degrees; six of these are at the 500 level:

STATISTICS (STAT)
414. Introduction to Probability Theory (3)
415. Introduction to Mathematical Statistics (3)
501. Regression Methods (3)
502. Analysis of Variance and Design of Experiments (3)

Assuming all requirements for the B.S. are completed, students in the program can complete the B.S. degree and not advance to the M.A.S. Degree if they desire.

Degree Requirements

IUG Statistics B.S. prescribed Statistics courses (25 credits)

STATISTICS (STAT)
220. Basic Statistics (3)
414. Introduction to Probability Theory (3)
415. Introduction to Mathematical Statistics (3)
416. Stochastic Modeling (3)
464. Applied Nonparametric Statistics (3)
470W. Problem Solving and Communication in Applied Statistics (3)
480. Introduction to Statistical Analysis System (SAS) (1)
501. Regression Methods (3)
502. Analysis of Variance and Design of Experiments (3)

Note that students in IUG Statistics B.S. take STAT 501 and STAT 502 instead of STAT 460 and STAT 462 for the regular Statistics B.S.

IUG Statistics M.A.S. requirement (30 credits)

STATISTICS (STAT)
414. Introduction to Probability Theory (3)
415. Introduction to Mathematical Statistics (3)
501. Regression Methods (3)
502. Analysis of Variance and Design of Experiments (3)
580.** Statistical Consulting Practicum (2)
581.**Stastical Consulting Practicum II (1)

Electives (15 credits)
Select from STAT 503, STAT 504, STAT 505, STAT 506, STAT 507, STAT 509, STAT 510 and the departmental list of additional courses for the M.A.S program with the approval of the adviser.

**For all students in the M.A.S program, the STAT 581 courses will have a comprehensive written project report required as part of the course, which serves as the culminating experience.

Integrated B.A./B.S. in Mathematics and Master of Applied Statistics (M.A.S.)

The Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate (IUG) degree with B.A./B.S. in Mathematics and Master of Applied Statistics (M.A.S.) is designed to be completed in five years. This integrated degree will enable a select number of highly qualified and career oriented students to obtain training in statistics focused on developing data analysis skills, and exploration of core areas of applied statistics at the graduate levels in addition to an undergraduate degree in Mathematics. The M.A.S. degree is a professional masters degree that emphasizes applications. The degree prepares students with interests in mathematics, computation, and the quantitative aspects of science for careers in industry and government as statistical analysts. Research divisions in the pharmaceutical industry, quality control, and quality engineering divisions in manufacturing companies, clinical research units, corporate planning and research units, and other data intensive positions require persons with training in mathematics, computation, database management, and statistical analysis, which this program will provide.

Application Process

The number of openings in the integrated B.A./B.S. in Mathematics and M.A.S. program is limited. Admission will be based on specific criteria and the recommendation of faculty. Applicants to the integrated program:

  • Must be enrolled in the Mathematics B.A./B.S. program.
  • Must have completed at least 60 credits of the undergraduate degree program including the two courses: STAT 414 and STAT 415 and the students must apply to the integrated program prior to completing 110 credits.
  • Must submit a transcript and a statement of purpose.
  • Must present a departmental approved plan of study in the application process in consultation with the M.A.S. program director.
  • Must be recommended by the chair of Mathematics Department's undergraduate program committee. Two additional recommendation letters must be sent to the M.A.S. admissions committee.
  • Must submit the GRE to the M.A.S. admissions committee.
  • Must apply to the M.A.S. program in Statistics.

For the IUG B.A./B.S. in Mathematics and M.A.S. degree, 120 credits are required for the B.A./B.S. and 30 credits for the M.A.S. The following twelve graduate level credits (number of credits in parentheses) can apply to both B.A./B.S. and M.A.S. degrees, six of these are at the 500 level:

STATISTICS (STAT)
414. Introduction to Probability Theory (3)
415. Introduction to Mathematical Statistics (3)
501. Regression Methods (3)
502. Analysis of Variance and Design of Experiments (3)

Assuming all requirements for the B.A./B.S. in Mathematics are completed, students in the program can complete the B.A./B.S. degree and not advance to the M.A.S. degree if they desire.

Degree Requirements

IUG Math B.A./B.S. students must fulfill the Math B.A./B.S. requirement while counting these prescribed Statistics courses (15 credits)

STATISTICS (STAT)
220.* Basic Statistics (3)
414. Introduction to Probability Theory (3)
415. Introduction to Mathematical Statistics (3)
501. Regression Methods (3)
502. Analysis of Variance and Design of Experiments (3)

IUG M.A.S. Requirements (30 credits)

STATISTICS (STAT)
414. Introduction to Probability Theory (3)
415. Introduction to Mathematical Statistics (3)
501. Regression Methods (3)
502. Analysis of Variance and Design of Experiments (3)
580. Statistical Consulting Practicum (2)
581.** Statistical Consulting Practicum II (1)

Electives: (15 credits)
Select from STAT 464, STAT 503, STAT 504, STAT 505, STAT 506, STAT 507, STAT 509, STAT 510 and the departmental list of additional courses for the M.A.S. program with the approval of the adviser.

For the IUG B.A./B.S. in Mathematics and M.A.S. degree, the four courses: STAT 414, STAT 415, STAT 501 and STAT 502 can apply to both the B.A./B.S. and M.A.S. degrees.

*Can be waived for students with an equivalent course, e.g., STAT 250 or STAT 301.

** For all students in the M.A.S. program, the STAT 581 course will have a comprehensive written project report required as part of the course, which serves as the culminating experience.

 

Courses

Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 599 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

STATISTICS (STAT) course list

 

 

LAST REVIEWED BY GRADUATE SCHOOL: 5/25/04

IUG PROGRAM - B.S. in Statistics and Master of Applied Statistics
Last Revised by the Department: Summer Session 2003
Blue Sheet Item #: 31-05-138

IUG PROGRAM - B.A./B.S. in Mathematics and Master of Applied Statistics
Last Revised by the Department: Fall Semester 2006
Blue Sheet Item #: 34-06-361 and 34-06-361A
Review Date: 4/11/06

REVISED BY SENATE: 1/5/06 [course number update]

Faculty linked: 8/18/14

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