The field of statistics is concerned with ways of understanding variability in measurements. It is the science and art of making informed decisions in the face of uncertainty. Statistical reasoning is fundamental to research in many scientific fields. For example, probabilistic models of learning are used in education and psychology, and time series and regression models guide research in engineering, chemistry, economics, biology, and medicine. Recent high-profile court cases have shown the importance of the use of probability and statistics in law, especially in the fields of forensic medicine and DNA fingerprinting. Statisticians also have been instrumental in developing methods by which observations are obtained in many disciplines. Examples include randomized clinical trials in medicine and complex sampling surveys in social and political science. Probability and statistics are basic to the actuarial sciences. When lists are compiled of the most important scientific theories and discoveries of the past century, a substantial number of the developments are seen to be inherently statistical in nature.

The Department of Statistics offers course work leading to a Bachelor of Science degree in Statistics, a Minor in Applied Statistics, and a Combined Five-Year Bachelor and Master's Degree in Statistics. The department also offers a wide array of introductory service courses for general undergraduate audiences that deal with statistical methods in applications (and which require only high school mathematics). A joint major in economics and statistics is also available. Students considering a major or minor in statistics, or a joint major in economics and statistics should consult with a department advisor early in their studies, preferably during the freshman year.

The Department of Statistics does not routinely issue permission numbers to override closed undergraduate class capacities. However, in extreme situations the department will review special requests. Priority will be given based on major requirements and academic level. If you have extenuating circumstance and would like the department to review a special request for a permission number, complete and submit this form to the Statistics department at the front desk in 1800 Posvar Hall. Requests will be reviewed during the drop/add period.

Statistics Major

The Department of Statistics offers course work leading to a Bachelor of Science degree in Statistics. The statistics major requires a minimum of 50 credits, including a variety of required courses.

Economics/Statistics Major

A joint major in Economics and Statistics is available for undergraduate students. In addition to the requirements for a Bachelor of Science from the School of Arts and Sciences, an Economics major must complete a range of required courses.

Combined Bachelors/Masters Programs

The Department of Statistics offers a Combined Five-Year Bachelor and Master's Degree in Statistics. Admission to the program requires the approval of both the undergraduate and graduate directors.

Minor in Applied Statistics

Undergraduates can choose to minor in Applied Statistics. The minor in applied statistics was designed to give students additional statistical tools and a better understanding of statistical reasoning.

Course Listing

Find descriptions of courses offered in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences course listing database.


An internship is a supervised, work-related experience, either volunteer or compensated. The primary purpose of an internship is to provide real-world experience to a student in applying statistical methods in business, government, or industry.