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MA in Statistics

Degree Requirements

The master's degree offers two tracks of study: regular track and applied track. The general requirements for receiving a master’s degree are at least 30 semester hours of course work at the 7000 level or higher, of which at least 18 hours must be from the Department of Statistics at MU.

Regular Track

At least 15 semester hours of course work at the 8000 level or above must be taken from the Department of Statistics at MU. The 15 semester hours cannot include more than a total of three hours of STAT 8090.

Courses recommended but not required
STAT 7110Statistical Software and Data Analysis3
STAT 7310Sampling Techniques3
STAT 7410Biostatistics and Clinical Trials3
STAT 7420Applied Survival Analysis3
STAT 7610Applied Spatial Statistics3
STAT 7830Categorical Data Analysis3
STAT 7850Introduction to Stochastic Processes3
STAT 7870Time Series Analysis3
STAT 8310Data Analysis I3
STAT 8320Data Analysis II3
STAT 8370Statistical Consulting3
STAT 8410Statistical Theory of Bioinformatics3
STAT 8640Bayesian Analysis I3
STAT 9250Statistical Computation and Simulation3
STAT 9310Theory of Linear Models3
STAT 9410Survival Analysis3
MATH 7700Advanced Calculus of One Real Variable I3
CMP_SC 1050Algorithm Design and Programming I4
or CMP_SC 2050 Algorithm Design and Programming II
Courses that cannot be used to fulfill the 30 hours for the master's
STAT 7020Statistical Methods in the Health Sciences3
STAT 7050Connecting Statistics to Middle and Secondary Schools3
STAT 7510Applied Statistical Models I3
STAT 7520Applied Statistical Models II3
STAT 7530Analysis of Variance3
STAT 7710Introduction to Mathematical Statistics3
STAT 8090Master's Thesis Research in Statistics1-99
Remedial Courses

The following courses are required if equivalent courses were not taken as an undergraduate: MATH 7140, STAT 8710 and STAT 8720. These courses may not be used for more than six of the required 30 hours.

Original Written Work

All candidates must submit a written report on an independent effort toward producing original work. This report may, with the advisor’s consent, take the form of a thesis, a written review on a set of papers in statistics, or a written report on an independent study project, which may include an original application of statistics. For this work, a student must register for at least three semester hours of STAT 8090.

Presenting the Work

All candidates are required to present an open seminar on the results of the written report. The report should be made available for public review, through the Department of Statistics office, for at least one week before the examination.


The MA examination covers material presented in the written report and the seminar and may also cover course work.

Applied Track

Students must complete the following six courses or equivalent. In addition, students must take four elective courses, at least three of which must be selected from the Department of Statistics course offerings numbered 8000 or above.

Required Core Courses
STAT 7110Statistical Software and Data Analysis3
STAT 7540Experimental Design3
STAT 7750Introduction to Probability Theory3
STAT 7760Statistical Inference3
STAT 8310Data Analysis I3
STAT 8320Data Analysis II3

Students in the applied track must pass written and oral master’s exams administered by a departmental committee.

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Accelerated Masters of Arts Degree and Admissions

To be considered for admission to the accelerated MA program in statistics, a student must:

  • Have completed at least 90 credit hours toward a bachelor's degree with an overall GPA of at least 3.5.
  • Have at least one (preferably two) semesters of undergraduate enrollment remaining before completion of a bachelor's degree.
  • Have completed the following courses each with grades of "B" or higher (a "B minus" is not sufficient):
  • Have a GPA of at least 3.5 in all math and statistics courses completed and have earned at least a "B" (not "B minus") in each statistics course completed. (NOTE: It is expected that the vast majority of an applicant's math and statistics course work will have been completed in residence at MU.  Students who have transferred a substantial amount of math an statistics credit from other universities may still apply to the program.  These students will be evaluated individually based on both the grades earned in the transferred course and the stature of the university from which the courses were transferred.)
  • Have produced an academic record that suggests the student will likely complete an MA degree in statistics. 

Satisfactory Progress

Length of Study

A master’s candidate is expected to complete the master’s degree within three calendar years beginning with the first semester of enrollment unless approval is obtained from the graduate faculty of the Department of Statistics.

Grade Requirements

Any student, while a graduate student in this program, who receives a grade of C or lower in six or more hours of courses offered by the Department of Statistics or a grade of C or lower in nine or more hours of all courses taken will be dismissed from the graduate program unless contrary action is taken by the graduate faculty of the department.

For each credit hour over three hours with a grade of C or lower in courses offered by the Department of Statistics at the 7000 level and above, the student must receive a credit hour with a grade of A in courses offered by the department at the 7000 level and above.

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Admission Criteria

Fall deadline for regular MA track: January 15
Fall deadline for applied MA track: March 30
Spring deadline: October 15

  • Minimum TOEFL scores:
Internet-based test (iBT) Paper-based test (PBT)
80 535
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0 in math and statistics courses to enter master’s program
  • Bachelor's degree from accredited college or university in related area

Undergraduate courses in statistics are recommended but not required. Consideration also is given to rank in graduating class, trends in grade records, maturity and experience, and other criteria bearing on qualifications.

Before entering the graduate program, a student should have a background that includes three semesters of calculus (or equivalent), one semester of matrix theory, and at least one post-calculus course in probability and statistics. Some required courses at the 7000 level not taken as an undergraduate may be taken for graduate credit as part of the graduate program.

Required Application Materials

To the Graduate School:
  • All required Graduate School documents
To the Program:
  • Departmental application
  • 3 letters of recommendation (use departmental form)
  • Letter of intent
  • GRE score report

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