Department of Statistics Unitmark
Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences

The Major in Statistics

Students in the Bachelor of Science program develop and master a wide array of skills in computing, mathematics, statistical theory, and the interpretation and display of complex data. In addition, Statistics majors gain experience applying statistical tools to real problems in other fields and learn the nuances of interdisciplinary collaboration.


Basic Curriculum Category Requirement Units
Mathematical Foundation (prereq) I. Calculus*:
Complete one of the following sequences
21-111, 21-112, 21-256 or 21-259
21-120, 21-256 or 21-259

II. Matrix/Linear Algebra**
Complete one of:

Beginning Data Analysis Complete one of:

or extra statistical elective***

Intermediate Data Analysis Complete one of:

or extra statistical elective***

Statistical Computing
(Required for majors declared
after Spring 2014)

or a higher level Computer Science
course approved by your adviser

Advanced Data Analysis Complete one of:


and the following two courses:****

Statistical Theory Complete both of the following:****
Special Topics Complete one of:
Statistical Electives One course
(see more details below under "Statistical Electives")
Concentration Area 4 courses from a single discipline outside statistics
(see more details below under "Concentration Area")
Total for Major 154/164
* Other sequences are possible, and require approval from the undergraduate advisor.
** This requirement is a prerequisite for the course 36-401. It is therefore essential to complete this requirement during your junior year at the latest.
*** For students who enter the program with 36-225/226. Discuss options with your advisor.
**** In order to be a major or minor in good standing, a grade of at least a C is required in 36-225 (or 36-217), 36-226, and 36-401. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to continue in the major.

Statistical Electives

Statistical electives courses can be either within or outside the statistics department as detailed here:

Courses within Statistics: Any 36-300 or 36-400 level course that does not satisfy any other requirement for a Statistics Major and Minor may be counted as a Statistical Elective.

Courses outside Statistics: The following is a partial list of courses that qualify as electives as they provide intellectual infrastructure that will advance the student's understanding of statistics and its applications. Other courses may qualify as well; consult with the Statistics Undergraduate Advisor.

15-101 : Exploring Programming with Alice
15-110 : Principles of Computer Science
15-122 : Principles of Imperative Computation
15-211 : Fundamentals of Data Structures and Algorithms
21-127 : Concepts of Mathematics
21-260 : Differential Equations
21-292 : Operations Research I
21-355 : Principles of Real Analysis I
21-301 : Combinatorial Analysis
80-220 : Philosophy of Science
80-310 : Logic and Computation
80-705 : Game Theory
85-310 : Research Methods in Cognitive Psychology
85-320 : Research Methods in Developmental Psychology
85-340 : Research Methods in Social Psychology
88-223 : Decision Analysis and Decision Support Systems
88-302 : Behavioral Decision Making

Note: Additional prerequisites are required for some of these courses. Students should carefully check the course descriptions to determine if additional prerequisites are necessary.

Concentration Area

The Concentration Area is a set of four related courses outside of Statistics that prepares the student to deal with statistical aspects of problems that arise in another field. These courses are usually drawn from a single discipline of interest to the student and are chosen in consultation with the Statistics Undergraduate Advisor. Double majors usually satisfy this requirement by default (see "Additional Majors" section below).

Additional Majors

Students who elect Statistics as a second major must fulfill all Statistics degree requirements. However, the Concentration Area requirement is usually waived in consultation with the student's advisor. Majors in many other programs would naturally complement a Statistics Major, including GSIA's undergraduate business program, Social and Decision Sciences, Policy and Management, History and Policy, and Psychology.

Students are advised to begin planning their curriculum (with appropriate advisors) as soon as possible. This is particularly true if the other major has a complex set of requirements and prerequisite.

University and College Requirements

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences General Education Requirements apply to all Statistics majors. The total number of units required for graduation is 360.  For other applicable College policies see the undergraduate catalog.  The University policies on transfer credit apply to all Statistics majors.

With respect to double-counting courses, it is departmental policy that students must have at least five statistics courses that do not count for their primary major. If students do not have at least five, they typically take additional advanced electives.