Academic Programs Catalog

College of Natural Science

Department of Statistics and Probability

Frederi Viens, Chairperson

Statistics is the driver of data-enabled science for collecting, sum­ marizing, modelling, and interpreting the data. Probability theory is used to develop and analyze various aspects of statistical models guided by practical aspects of computation and scientific interpretability. In the last few decades, great strides have been made in the physical, biological, social, and agricultural sciences as well as in engineering and business thanks to the use of statistical and probabilistic methods and models to describe and aid in the explanation of basic phenomena. A strong interest has developed in the intensive study of statistical theory and methods beyond motivation from its uses, in the same way that the physical sciences have developed beyond engineering.


Undergraduate Programs

The first two years of an undergraduate program in statistics stress development of a solid background in two areas, basic mathematics and computers. The rest of the student’s program involves a mixture of work selected from statistics, mathematics, and computer programming, and possibly one or more fields of application. Statistics majors who plan to do graduate work should include advanced calculus in their undergraduate programs.  The department also offers courses for actuarial science majors housed in the Department of Mathematics.

 


Statistics

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts Degree in Statistics

  1. The University requirements for bachelor's degrees as described in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits are required for the Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree in Statistics.

    The University's Tier II writing requirement for the Statistics major is met by completing Statistics and Probability 481.  That course is referenced in item 3. below.

    Students who are enrolled in the College of Natural Science may complete the alternative track to Integrative Studies in Biological and Physical Sciences that is described in item 1. under the heading Graduation Requirements in the College statement.  Certain courses referenced in requirement 3. below may be used to satisfy the alternative track.
  2. The requirements of the College of Natural Science for the Bachelor of Science degree or Bachelor of Arts degree.

    The credits earned in certain courses referenced in requirement 3. below may be counted toward College requirements as appropriate.
  3. The following requirements for the major:
                     
    a. The following courses (19 to 23 credits):    
      (1) One of the following courses (3 or 4 credits):    
        LB 118 Caluclus I 4  
        MTH 132 Calculus I 3  
        MTH 152H Honors Calculus I 3  
      (2) One of the following courses (4 credits):    
        LB 119 Calculus II 4  
        MTH 133 Calculus II 4  
        MTH 153H Honors Calculus II 4  
      (3) One of the following course (4 credits):    
        LB 220 Calculus III 4  
        MTH 234 Multivariable Calculus 4  
        MTH 254H Honors Multivariable Calculus 4  
      (4) One of the following groups of courses (4 to 7 credits):    
        (a) MTH 299 Transitions 4  
          MTH 309 Linear Algebra I 3  
        (b) MTH 299 Transitions 4  
          MTH 314 Matrix Algebra with Applications 3  
        (c) MTH 317H Honors Linear Algebra 4  
      (5) The following course (4 credits):    
        CSE 231 Introduction to Programming I 4  
    b. The following courses (9 credits):    
      (1) The following course (3 credit):    
        STT 301 Computational Methods for Data Science 3  
      (2) One of the following courses (3 credits):    
        STT  441 Probability and Statistics I: Probability 3  
        STT  861 Theory of Probability and Statistics I 3  
      (3) One of the following courses (3 credits):    
        STT 442 Probability and Statistics II: Statistics 3  
        STT 862 Theory of Probability and Statistics II 3  
    c. The following capstone course (3 credits):    
      STT 481 Capstone in Statistics (W) 3  
    d. Three of the following courses (9 or 10 credits):    
      EC 821A Cross Section and Panel Data Econometrics I 3  
      EC 821B Cross Section and Panel Data Econometrics II 3  
      EC 822A Time Series Econometrics I 3  
      EC 822B Time Series Econometrics II 3  
      STT 422 Statistics II     3  
      STT 455 Actuarial Models I 3  
      STT 456 Actuarial Models II 3  
      STT 459 Construction and Evaluation of Actuarial Models 3  
      STT 461 Computations in Probability and Statistics 3  
      STT 464 Statistics for Biologists 3  
      STT 465 Bayesian Statistical Methods 3  
      STT 801 Design of Experiments 3  
      STT 802 Statistical Computation 3  
      STT 814 Advanced Statistics for Biologists 4  
      STT 825 Sample Surveys 3  
      STT 843 Multivariate Analysis 3  
      STT 844 Time Series Analysis 3  
      STT 847 Analysis of Survival Data 3  
      STT 855 Statistical Genetics 3  
      STT 863 Statistical Methods I 3  
      STT 864 Statistical Methods II 3  
      STT 886 Stochastic Processes and Applications 3  
      STT 888 Stochastic Models in Finance 3  
      Not more than two courses may be chosen from STT 455, 456, or 459.    
    e. Electives chosen from any combination of the following, approved by the student's academic advisor (6 credits):
      (1) Courses from item d. not used to fulfill that requirement with the exception of STT 455, 456, or 459;
      (2) MTH 235 or any 300-level or higher MTH course;    
      (3) CSE 232 or 260 or any 300-level or higher CSE course;    
      (4) 300-400 level courses in an area of application of statistics and probability.    

 


Graduate Study

The Department of Statistics and Probability offers two majors that lead to master’s degrees: applied statistics, and statistics.  The department also offers a major in statistics that leads to the Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Each of the master’s and doctoral degree programs is described below. For more detailed information on degree requirements please visit the department website, www.stt.msu.edu.

 


Applied Statistics - Master of Science

The goal of the master's degree program in applied statistics is to provide students with a broad understanding of the proper application of statistical methodology and with experience in using computers effectively for statistical analysis. The student may emphasize either theoretical or applied material. Special emphasis is placed on the concerns that an applied statistician must address in dealing with practical problems.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Natural Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be admitted to the master's degree program in applied statistics, the applicant should have a background in calculus equivalent to MTH 132, 133, and 234 at Michigan State University, a background in linear algebra equivalent to MTH 309 at Michigan State University, and at least one post-calculus –level course in statistics or probability. The overall grade-point average in these courses should be at least 3.0.

Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Applied Statistics

The program is available only under Plan B (without thesis). An academic advisor coordinates the student's program of study, which must be approved by the chairperson of the department.

The student must:

               
1. Complete either a. or b.      
  a. All of the following courses (15 credits):  
    STT 441 Probability and Statistics I: Probability

3

    STT 442 Probability and Statistics II: Statistics

3

    STT 801 Design of Experiments

3

    STT 802 Statistical Computation

3

    STT 863 Statistical Methods I

3

  b. All of the following courses (15 credits):  
    STT 801 Design of Experiments 3
    STT 802 Statistical Computation 3
    STT 861 Theory of Probability and Statistics I 3
    STT 862 Theory of Probability and Statistics II 3
    STT 863 Statistical Methods I 3
2. Complete at least 9 additional credits in courses in the Department of Statistics and Probability at the 800-level or higher.  
3. Complete an additional 9 credits in courses in the Department of Statistics and Probability, the Department of Mathematics, or in a field of application of statistics and probability.  
4. Complete a final examination or evaluation.  


Statistics - Master of Science

The goal of the master's degree program in statistics is to provide students with a sound foundation in probability, mathematical statistics, and statistical methodology. The student may emphasize either theoretical or applied material.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Natural Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be admitted to the master’s degree program in statistics, the applicant should have a background in calculus equivalent to Mathematics 132, 133, and 234, in linear algebra equivalent to Mathematics 309, and probability and statistics equivalent to Statistics and Probability 441 and 442 at MSU with an overall grade point average of 3.0 in this course work.

Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Statistics

The program is available under either Plan A (with thesis) or Plan B (without thesis). An academic advisor coordinates the student's program of study, which must be approved by the chairperson of the department.

The student must complete:

  1. At least 30 credits in courses in the Department of Statistics and Probability, or in a related field including:
                 
  a. All of the following courses (12 credits):  
    STT 861 Theory of Probability and Statistics I 3
    STT 862 Theory of Probability and Statistics II 3
    STT 863 Applied Statistics Methods I 3
    STT 864 Applied Statistics Methods II 3
  b. Nine additional credits in STT courses at the 800-level or above as approved by the student’s academic advisor. At least 4 credits must be in STT 899 Master’s Thesis Research.  
  c. Nine additional credits in STT courses or courses in related fields as approved by the student’s academic advisor.  
  d. Completion of an oral examination in defense of the thesis, final examination or evaluation.  

Statistics - Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy degree program with a major in statistics is designed for students who plan to pursue careers in university teaching and research or in industrial and government consulting and research.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Natural Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

A master’s level understanding of statistics and probability and a sound understanding of undergraduate-level real analysis are necessary for success in the doctoral program. Strong applicants with deficiencies in one of these areas will be considered for admission, and if accepted will be given the opportunity to learn the required material during their first year in the program. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test is required of all applicants.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Statistics

The program of study is developed by the guidance committee in consultation with the student. Students must be able to carry on significant original research in statistics or probability, as demonstrated in the dissertation, the student must also meet the requirements specified below:

  1. Complete Statistics and Probability 867, 868, 872, 881, and 882.
  2. Complete at least five additional courses from lists (a) and (b), with at least one course from a. and one from b.:
    a.    Advanced Probability: Statistics and Probability 961, 962, 964, 996.
    b.    Advanced Statistics: Statistics and Probability 873, 874, 951, 953, 997.
  3. Complete at least three additional elective courses offered at the 800-level or higher from any department. These courses must be approved by the student’s guidance committee.
  4. Pass two written preliminary examinations, the first covering Statistics and Probability 867, 868, and 872, and the second covering Statistics and Probability 881 and 882.