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Majoring in Statistics

Statistics is the scientific discipline that deals with the collection, organization, analysis, display, and interpretation of data. A major in Statistics is a good choice for students with strong math skills together with interests ranging from research in the biological, social and physical sciences to applications in law, medicine, government decision-making, finance, accounting, engineering, and actuarial work. Many Statistics majors have a second major in some field in which statistical methods are used.

Statistics Majors take both statistics courses and related mathematics courses. 

Related Math Courses

An undergraduate statistics major requires prior training in calculus and linear algebra. Please note the Department of Mathematics made changes to their calculus courses that start in 2019-2020 academic year.

Starting 2019-2020:

Pre/Co-requisites for the 300 level courses in the Statistics Major

Or*

And

Or MATH 228-1, MATH 228-2, and MATH 240-0 
Or the MATH 281 series - Accelerated Mathematics for ISP
Or the MATH 285 series - Accelerated Mathematics for MMSS
Or the MATH 290 series - MENU: Linear Algebra and Multivariable Calculus
Or the MATH 291 series - MENU: Intensive Linear Algebra and Multivariable Calculus

*See Placement in Calculus and non-Calculus Courses from the Math department for detailed information about calculus placement.

Prior to 2019-2020:

Pre/Co-requisites for the 300 level courses in the Statistics Major

Or*

And

Or the MATH 281 series - Accelerated Mathematics for ISP
Or the MATH 285 series - Accelerated Mathematics for MMSS
Or the MATH 290 series - MENU: Linear Algebra and Multivariable Calculus
Or the MATH 291 series - MENU: Intensive Linear Algebra and Multivariable Calculus

*See Placement in Calculus and non-Calculus Courses from the Math department for detailed information about calculus placement.

Students do not have to complete all of the related Math courses before starting the main Statistics course sequence (STAT 320); however, courses in the main Statistics sequence do require some of these Math courses as either prerequisites or co-requisites. See the Full Course List on our website or the Undergraduate Course Catalog for course specific requirements.

Major Course Requirements (9 courses)

*Students with a score of 4 or a 5 on the AP Statistics exam may receive credit for STAT 202-0 and thus do not need to take an introductory course.

Recommended
Students who expect to eventually obtain a PhD in statistics should take additional mathematics coursework. Since modern statistical work relies heavily on computers, students are also encouraged to develop skills in programming and use of advanced statistical software. The Director of Undergraduate Studies and other members of the faculty can recommend courses that are likely to be most valuable for those with particular interests.

The Statistics Major for Students in MMSS

Students who are completing an adjunct major in MMSS will need to complete the following requirements for their Statistics Major:

STAT 202 is waived, MATH 385 counts in place of STAT 320-1, and the combination of MATH 386-1 and MATH 386-2 counts in place of STAT 350.

See: https://www.mmss.northwestern.edu/undergraduate/degree-requirements/joint-major-requirements.html

Honors in Statistics

Honors in Statistics gives outstanding senior majors an opportunity to design and carry out a research project of their choice, which forms the basis of the Honors Thesis. Read more 

Questions?

Contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies 

Ready to declare your Major in Statistics?

Course Schedule

View the current schedule of courses.

 

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