Broadly speaking, an M.S. in Applied Statistics is designed to provide you with hands-on, practical experience in statistical methods – methods you can apply to solving real-world problems. Think sabermetrics (see below), election prediction and more.
The key word here is “practical.” In contrast to programs that focus on pure theory, this degree is designed to equip you for a big-data career in the public or private sector. To that end, educational programs may supplement statistical knowledge with courses in interdisciplinary data science, research and other essential business skills.
Applied statistics degrees are a mix of foundational theory and elective topics. In addition to exploring problems of statistical design, analysis and control, you’ll often be required to complete a practicum or capstone project. Degrees usually take one to two years to complete.
Typical courses include:
- Mathematical statistics
- Statistical methods
- Advanced SAS programming
- Data mining
- Predictive analytics
- Applied data analysis
Admission requirements vary from school to school. Although a degree in statistics or mathematics is not always required, candidates are expected to have a relevant bachelor’s degree, knowledge of computer programming and coursework in calculus, linear algebra, probability theory, and statistics.
Sabermetrics – the statistical analysis of baseball performance – has moved on from Moneyball. Data analysts are constantly refining old metrics (e.g., “stolen bases” is now just one component in the “speed score”), and inventing new markers.
- For the latest, check out Beyond the Box Score. Here you’ll find research on everything from the future of top prospects to predicting strikeouts.
Although it’s tricky to generalize sabermetrics to sports where performance depends on team play, statisticians are doing their best. In recent years:
- The website Football Outsiders has developed measurements such as Defense-Adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA).
- John Hollinger has pioneered statistical methods for the NBA, including the Player Efficiency Rating (PER).
If politics is more your style, keep an eye on Nate Silver’s website, Five Thirty Eight. Known as the guru of predictive analytics, Silver made headlines in 2008 when he accurately predicted the result of the election. In 2012, he correctly pegged 31 of 33 Senate races.
Some Cool Statistics Visualizations
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We found 57 universities in our directory offering Applied Statistics programs.
If you represent a university and would like to contact us about editing any of our listings, or adding new programs, please send an email to info (at) mastersindatascience.org.
The University of Alabama
University of Arizona
California State University-Long Beach
Colorado State University-Fort Collins
Colorado State University offers a Master of Applied Statistics that can be earned 100 percent online. The degree requires 31 credits, and full-time students can complete the work in one year. Part-time students typically complete the degree in two years. Students start the program during the summer term, when they take two non-credit prerequisite courses. Candidates end the program with a six-week capstone consulting course where they gain skill in applying what they have learned to an issue in any industry. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree and an academic record that includes three semesters of calculus, a course in linear algebra and at least one undergraduate statistics course. Applicants must also submit Math Entrance Exam scores, which are preferred, or GRE scores.
University of Colorado Denver
University of Delaware
The Department of Applied Economics and Statistics at the University of Delaware offers an online program leading to a Master of Science in Applied Statistics. This is a 30-credit program that requires candidates to complete five core classes and five restricted electives. Applicants should have a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.5 overall and at least 3.0 in math courses. Applicants are required to submit GRE scores, transcripts from all colleges attended, a personal statement, and three letters of recommendation. Students may enter the program in the fall, spring, or summer semester.
Florida State University
University of South Florida-Main Campus
Kennesaw State University
Working professionals who want additional training in applied statistics can complete an Online Certificate in Applied Statistics using R through Kennesaw State University. This program is self-paced and requires students to complete five courses. For each course, students will receive video and audio recordings, printed material, data for practice, and self-assessment tests. After completing the work for each course, they must take a proctored exam, either at the Kennesaw State campus or through a proctor in their home area. A cumulative exam is required at the end. The program is open to working professionals who have some background in basic statistics. Applicants should have completed at least one course of college algebra or a higher math. The courses in this program do not carry college credit.
Kennesaw State University offers an Online Certificate in Applied Statistics using SAS designed for working professionals who need more training in applied statistics. The program is self-paced and requires students to complete five courses. Course materials include audio and video recordings, printed materials, data that can be used for practice, and self-assessment tests. After completing each course, students must take a proctored exam, either at Kennesaw State or with a local proctor. There is also a cumulative test at the end. Students have remote access to Base SAS while in the program. Applicants should have a basic understanding of statistics and data analysis and some background using SAS. No courses in this program can be applied to the M.S. in Applied Statistics at Kennesaw State.
Loyola University Chicago
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis
Purdue University's Department of Statistics has an online Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics designed for scientists in any field who want to acquire an in-depth background in statistics. The coursework is also appropriate for people in industry who want to increase their understanding of statistics. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree with a GPA of at least 3.0. The curriculum includes four courses, or 12 credits, in statistics classes. Before beginning the program, students must meet the prerequisite of coursework in statistical methods and in applied regression analysis, which may be met by taking two classes through Purdue or by equivalent coursework.
University of Notre Dame
Master of Science in Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics with a specialty in Applied Statistics
Ecole nationale de la statistique et de l'analyse de l'information
The University of Hong Kong
University of St Andrews
Kansas State University
Students and professionals who need to develop a background in statistics can earn an online Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics through Kansas State University. The curriculum requires students to complete at least five graduate-level courses, which can be selected from eight courses offered by the Department of Statistics. Students are allowed to apply up to three credits in coursework taken in another department or at another university toward the certificate. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher earned in upper-division coursework. Students can enter the program in the fall, spring, or summer semester.
University of Kansas
The University of Kansas has an online Master of Science in Applied Statistics and Analytics with two options for an area of emphasis: data analytics or statistics. This 30-credit program includes five core classes, two classes in the emphasis area, and three electives. All candidates must pass the Applied Masters Comprehensive Exam to complete their degree. Applicants should have a 3.0 or higher GPA for their bachelor's degree. Students with a lower GPA may receive provisional admission. Students who enter the program must have received a B or higher in two semesters of calculus and must be proficient in a programming language, either through classwork or work experience. GRE scores are required. Students may enter the program in the fall, spring, or summer semester.
Eastern Kentucky University
University of Kentucky
The online Master of Applied Statistics program at the University of Kentucky is designed to provide students maximum flexibility, including the option to finish the degree in just a year or to spread study out for two, three, or four years. The curriculum requires students to complete 11 courses, including 17 credits in required courses and 13 credits in guided electives. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree but no specific major is required. However, applicants must have successfully completed two semesters of calculus and a statistical methods course before entering the program. Applicants must submit GRE scores, and no transfer credits may be applied to this degree. Students can only enter the program in the fall semester.
University of Maine at Farmington
University of Southern Maine
Johns Hopkins University
Students in the online Master of Science in Applied Economics program at Johns Hopkins University can tailor their electives to concentrate in areas such as financial economics and the macroeconomy, spatial economics, environmental economics, health economics, or quantitative methods. The 10-course curriculum includes five electives, and part-time students can complete the program in about two years. Applicants should have a GPA of 3.0 or higher in undergraduate work. Applicants should have completed introductory courses in microeconomics and macroeconomics and at least one semester of calculus. CLEP exams can substitute for these courses. GRE scores are not required. Students entering with only one calculus course must take a prerequisite math course. Students may enter the program in the fall, spring or summer semester.
Johns Hopkins University offers a Post Master's Certificate in Quantitative Methods in Applied Economics that allows professionals with an advanced degree to update or expand their knowledge. Students can complete the four-course program in an entirely online format. Applicants should have a master's degree in economics or statistics, and they otherwise must comply with the admission requirements for the Master of Science in Applied Economics, which include submitting recommendations, a resume, official transcripts of all college work, and a statement of purpose. Students may start the program in the fall, spring or summer semester. To earn the certificate, students must successfully complete four courses selected from a list of nine acceptable courses.
Central Michigan University
Eastern Michigan University
Michigan State University
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
The Ph.D. in Statistics program at the University of Michigan provides flexibility so students can pursue the branch of the discipline that most interests them. All students must pass two qualifying tests - one in theory and one in applied statistics - to remain in the program, and a master's degree is embedded in the program. Students can gain consulting experience working with other campus researchers, and all candidates also work as instructors. The college weighs a variety of factors in making admissions decisions, including GPA, grades in STEM coursework, GRE scores, and research accomplishments. All Ph.D. students are guaranteed funding for five years, which is the typical time needed to earn the degree. Students start the program in the fall.
Washington University in St Louis
University of Nevada-Reno
The University of Nevada, Reno, has a Ph.D. in Statistics and Data Science that emphasizes interdisciplinary collaborative research. This is a 72-credit program, including a dissertation, and students can complete the program in about four years. The program recommends that all entering students have a master's degree in math or statistics; the minimum requirement is a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA. Applicants must submit general GRE scores, and it is recommended that they submit GRE math test scores as well. The application package must also include three recommendations, statement of purpose, and resume. Students may enter the program in the spring or fall semester. All students admitted to this doctoral program receive some funding.
New Jersey Institute of Technology
New Mexico State University-Main Campus
University of New Mexico-Main Campus
New York University
Rochester Institute of Technology
Rochester Institute of Technology offers an online option for students who want to earn an Advanced Certificate in Applied Statistics. The program is appropriate for scientists, engineers, analysts and other professionals who need a statistical background for their work. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0 and must show a background in math and statistics, including two courses in probability and statistics. GRE scores are not required but students may submit them if the scores strengthen their applications. Before entering the program, students need to be familiar with Minitab, R, or SAS statistical software. The curriculum includes two required courses plus electives for a total of 12 credits.
Students seeking a Master of Science in Applied Statistics may earn the degree online through Rochester Institute of Technology as either a full-time or part-time student. Candidates may concentrate in predictive analytics, data mining/machine learning, industrial, biostatistics, or theory. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree and should have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. RIT does not require a specific undergrad major, but students must have had at least one year of college calculus and two courses in probability and statistics. GRE scores are not required but students may submit them if they are lacking in some requirements. The curriculum requires 30 credits, and students may complete either a capstone project or a thesis. Cooperative education options are available.
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
North Dakota State University-Main Campus
Bowling Green State University
Ohio State University-Main Campus
Portland State University
Pennsylvania State University-World Campus
Penn State's World Campus and Eberly College of Science offer an online Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics designed for professionals who want to gain skills in statistical analysis and learn industry software such as Minitab, R and SAS. Applicants should have a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Applicants should have completed at least one undergraduate course in statistics and should know matrix and linear algebra. GRE or GMAT test scores are not required for admission to this program. To earn the certificate, students must complete 12 credits, including two required courses and two electives selected based on career goals. The certificate can be a stand-alone credential or used as a first step towards a master's degree.
Students who earn the Master of Applied Statistics from Penn State online also have the opportunity to prepare for the SAS Base Programming certification exam or to become an Accredited Professional Statistician through the accreditation program offered by the American Statistical Association. The program is open to applicants who earned a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Applicants must have taken a standard three-course sequence in calculus and should know linear and matrix algebra. GRE scores are also required. Candidates can complete the 30-credit program entirely online with no need to come to campus. Typically, students complete the program in two to five years.
University of South Carolina-Columbia
The University of South Carolina offers a Master of Applied Statistics delivered completely online. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA. Additionally, all applicants must have had at least two semesters of engineering-style calculus, through integration, and they must have earned at least a B in those courses. GRE scores are also required. The curriculum includes five required courses and five electives in a student's area of interest, such as SAS certification or industrial statistics. All students must take comprehensive exams covering core sequences. Most students start the program in the fall semester. Students have the option to view the online classes during a live stream of the face-to-face class offered on campus or view it later.
South Dakota State University
The Ph.D. in Computational Science and Statistics program at South Dakota State University is research intensive, but coursework if flexible so students can customize the curriculum to support their research interests. Students must complete 60 credits beyond the master's, or 90 beyond the bachelor's degree. Applicants must have a master's degree, with math or statistics the preferred degrees. Students with a master's in a closely related field, such as computer science, economics, or biological sciences, should have a taken math through linear algebra and differential equations, a calculus-based statistics course, and should be proficient in a computer programming language. Standardized test scores are not required. Students enter in the fall, and some students can complete the program in three years.
Southern Methodist University
Texas A & M University-College Station
Texas A&M University offers a Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics through its online learning program. Certificates are available for several emphasis areas, and students interested in data analytics can take the program offered jointly with SAS that has an applied emphasis. The program requires students to complete 12 credit hours, or four classes. Students in the SAS program can choose from five courses. Applicants to the certificate program must have a bachelor's degree and must have passed at least two levels of calculus. They also need to know matrix algebra. Applicants must submit two professional references and a statement of purpose. Online courses follow the same calendar that TAMU uses on campus, and exams for online students require a proctor.
Students in the online Master of Science in Statistics program at Texas A&M University select an area of emphasis: Biostatistics, Applied Statistics, Applied Statistics with SAS Certification, or Business Analytics. The curriculum requires students to complete five core courses and take the M.S. Diagnostic Exam before proceeding on to the remaining coursework. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree and must have taken two semesters of calculus and a class in matrix algebra. They must also submit GRE scores. There is no requirement to attend any on-campus meetings, but students must attend a weekly online class session for each course. The 36-credit program does not require a thesis, but all students must take a seminar class, participate in a consulting class, and complete a capstone project.
The University of Texas at San Antonio
George Mason University
West Virginia University
West Virginia University offers a Certificate in Applied Statistics that allows students to take a specialized track in an area of study. Students take two statistical methods classes and three courses from a track. The methods classes and certain tracks are available to online students. Tracks available online include: SAS, data science, and modeling. Students can also propose a customized track. All students must complete a capstone that requires applying statistical methods to data and creating a report. Applicants for the certificate program must have a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.75 or higher. All applicants must have passed a college algebra course, and WVU recommends applicants complete single and multi-variable calculus classes before attempting the certificate.