Master of Science Degree in Statistics
Our Master of Science (MS) degree in Statistics offers a state-of-the art curriculum with the aim of serving the growing demand for professionals with knowledge and training in data science and quantitative analysis. Program features include:
(1) Convenient class times for both full-time and part-time students. Classes are offered in late afternoon and evenings.
(2) Your choice to attend classes in person, or remotely via live stream. The program is unique nationally in that it is the first master’s degree in statistics that broadcasts all its courses live via online two-way stream. Students can choose to attend courses remotely, via a two-way live stream, or in person at the CSUF campus.
(3) Fully online program to accommodate non-local students. All students can complete the program by attending courses online, submitting and presenting projects and homework online, and taking exams online.
(4) Prepare to join a Ph.D. program or the workforce. The courses are designed to serve students interested in continuing their graduate education by attaining their Ph.D., as well as those who plan to immediately join the workforce upon graduation.
(5) Teaching Associate opportunities for qualified students. We offer interested masters students, depending on availability, part-time instructor positions where they teach one or more of our elementary mathematics courses. Applications for the Teaching Associate (TA) position will be accepted beginning in March of each year to teach the following fall semester. For our TA Job Description and application procedure please check our TA Employment page.
(6) Non-resident fee waivers. A limited number of non-resident fee waivers are available on a competitive basis for highly qualified non-resident students.
For additional details please contact Prof. Kevin Nichols.
Applicants must meet the university requirements for graduate admission as detailed in the University Catalog under Graduate Admissions. In addition, the following are the department’s requirements: a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, statistics or related field at an accredited institution, with a grade point average of at least 3.0 in mathematics and statistics courses and at least 2.5 in related sciences. The following courses are prerequisite for the program: a two year calculus sequence, including linear algebra (Math 150A/B and Math 250A/B, or equivalent), probability theory (Math 335, or equivalent), an upper-division statistical methods course (Math 338, or equivalent), and a computer programming course. Proficiency in computer programming is required. Upper division prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of B or better. Students who do not satisfy a few of these prerequisites may be considered for conditional admission.
Students can apply online and have official transcripts sent to CSUF’s Admissions and Records. GRE scores and letters of recommendation are not required, however they are encouraged. International Students should check with the International Admissions Office for additional information and requirements.
Please upload this supplemental application in the "Program Materials" section of your online Cal State Apply application under “Other” in the Documents tab.
Application deadline for Spring: December 1
Application deadline for Fall: April 15
For more information regarding prerequisites or program curriculum, contact the Graduate Advisor Prof. Mori Jamshidian . For administrative questions contact Ms. Renee Bennett. For questions regarding transcripts, TOEFL and IELTS please contact the Graduate Admissions Office.
A classified graduate student must maintain a 3.0 grade point average in all coursework to remain in good standing. A total of 30 units are required for the degree. Required courses are as follows:
Math 530 Probability and Statistics Inference - 6 Units
Math 534 Statistical Computing - 3 Units
Math 535 Applied Biostatistics - 3 Units
Math 536 Categorical Data Analysis - 3 Units
Math 537 Multivariate Analysis - 3 Units
Math 538 Bayesian Statistics - 3 Units
Math 539 Statistical Consulting - 3 Units
Each student will be required to take 6 units of special topic courses, approved by the statistics graduate committee.
With the approval of the graduate statistics committee, students may write a master’s thesis and sign up for master's course in lieu of the 6 unit topic course. The thesis is to be completed under the supervision of a Mathematics Department faculty.
As a coherent and modern scientific discipline, statistics provides fundamental tools for the collection, analysis, and presentation of data. This definition justifies the universal applicability of statistical methodologies in making informed decisions. Consequently, statisticians are highly in demand in almost every sector of the workforce, from academic settings and industrial companies, to governmental agencies. Hal Varian, an emeritus professor of economics at UC Berkeley and current Chief Economist at Google calls statistics “the dream job of the next decade”. The 2008 National Employment Matrix, provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, reflects the sharp presence of statisticians in a variety of labor segments:
(1) manufacturing areas such as chemical manufacturing, pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing, computer and electronic product manufacturing, and medical equipment and supplies manufacturing
(2) information sector in sub-areas such as publishing industries, data processing, hosting online servers, and related services
(3) finance and insurance, credit intermediation, securities, commodity contracts, insurance carriers
(4) professional, scientific, and technical services such as architectural, engineering, computer systems design, scientific research in physical, engineering, and life sciences, social sciences, and humanities
(5) management companies and enterprises
(6) administrative support and waste management and remediation services
(7) educational services, public and private
(8) health care and social assistance
(9) civic, social, professional, and similar organizations
(10) government, including federal government, postal service, state and local government
(11) self-employed statisticians
The following governmental agencies and their many branches have permanent open positions for statisticians at the level of Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D.: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Census Bureau, National Institute of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Security Agency (NSA), Rand Corporation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Environmental Protection Agency, Justice Department, Weights and Measures Office, NASA, and U.S. Navy.
A glimpse at the existing job openings in the private industry would lead us to a large list of nationwide employers, constantly seeking statisticians’ expertise: Smith Hanley Consulting Group, Astra-Zeneca international pharmaceutical company, Novartis AG , Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Amgen, Biogen, Children’s Hospital Boston, Brigham and Women's Hospital , Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Accenture Information Group, SAS Database Company, Thomson Reuters, Cytel, Novartis Institutes For Biomedical Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Vanguard, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, only to name a few.
The versatility of statistics-related jobs only adds to their popularity and attraction. The vast applicability of statistical analyses and consequently the high demand for statisticians' skills, contributes to the highly favorable statistics job environments, so that “statistician” is often ranked as one of the nation’s best jobs. To give an example, one of the most reliable professional desirability surveys conducted by the private group careercast.com ranked “statistician” as the 4th best job among 200 different professions in the country in 2011. The survey was based on a variety of factors such as employment growth potentials, income growth potentials, and hiring outlooks. In addition to accommodating job environments, statistical jobs are known for their competitive salary compensations.
The following is a list of the faculty members in statistics with their area of specialization:
Dr. Sam Behseta: Bayesian Statistics, Statistics in Neuroscience, Bayesian Modeling of Multiple Point Processes, Statistics in Biology, Foundations of Statistics
Dr. Gulhan Bourget: DNA Sequence Analysis and Motif Findings in Upstream Regions of Genes, Genetic Linkage Analysis using SNPs with Missing Data for Complex Traits, and Microarray Data Analysis
Dr. Mortaza (Mori) Jamshidian: Statistical Computing, Simultaneous Inference, Analysis of Missing Data, Sample Surveys, Data Modeling
Dr. Jessica Jaynes: Broadly applied statistics with specialization in experimental design
Dr. Andrew Loc Nguyen: MCMC, Simulation, Risk Management, Financial Derivatives, Actuarial Sciences, Statistical Software
Dr. Kevin Nichols: Spatio-Temporal Statistics, Point Processes, Earthquakes
Dr. Valerie Poynor: Bayesian Nonparametric Statistics, Survival Analysis, and Neuronal Data Analysis
The statistics faculty members actively pursue research programs in diverse areas of statistical theory and application, and publish high quality work. Moreover, a number of faculty members currently serve, or have served, as Chief Editor or Associate Editor for top ranking statistical journals. On a selective basis, graduate students have the opportunity to conduct research with faculty members. Upon approval by the statistics graduate committee, this research can be in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Master's degree. There is an impressive track record of our students pursuing statistics at the Ph.D. level in highly regarded programs such as Carnegie Melon, Penn State, UC Berkeley, UCLA, USC, University of Minnesota, and Rice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I wasn’t a math or statistics major. Can I still apply?
A: Yes. You will most likely have additional prerequisites. You may contact Prof. Mori Jamshidian if you need clarification on prerequisite requirements. After you apply, the graduate statistics committee will formally review your application and indicate which courses you need to take before beginning the program.
Q: What are the university requirements for admissions?
A: The minimum university requirements include the following
(1) A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
(2) A grade-point average of at least 2.5
(3) Good standing at the last college attended
(4) An undergraduate major in mathematics, statistics or related field, with a grade point average of at least 3.0 in mathematics and statistics courses and at least 2.5 in related sciences.
Q: What are the prerequisite courses?
A: A two-year calculus sequence, including linear algebra (Math 150A/B and Math 250A/B, or equivalent), probability theory (Math 335, or equivalent), an upper-division statistical methods course (Math 338, or equivalent), and a computer programming course. Proficiency in computer programming is required. Upper division prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of B or better.
Q: What if I don’t have the prerequisite courses?
A: Students who do not satisfy the prerequisites may be considered for conditional admission, provided that they are missing only a few of the prerequisites courses.
Q: What should I do if need to take many prerequisite courses?
A: You can take some courses in your local community college or in the open university at CSUF before applying to the program.
Q: When can I begin the program?
A: Ordinarily, a new cohort begins each fall semester. You may apply for the spring semester if you have prerequisite courses to take.
Q: Can the entire MS in Statistics program be completed remotely?
A: Yes. The program is designed so that students can complete the program entirely in-person, entirely online, or a combination of both. With the exception of Math 335 and Math 338, the prerequisite courses cannot be completed online.
Q: If I “attend” class remotely, do I have to be online at the specific time that the class meets?
A: Yes. The class will be streamed live using two-way streaming, and you will need to be online at the specific time the class meets. You will have the opportunity to interact with the rest of the class as well as listen to and watch the lecture.
Q: How do I apply?
A: Apply online at www2.calstate.edu/apply
Q: What is the application deadline?
A: Deadline for Spring is December 1. Deadline for Fall is April 15. You are encouraged to apply ASAP, as admissions can close at any time.
Q: Besides the application, what other materials do I need to submit?
A: Each college or university previously attended must send a copy of your transcripts directly to CSUF’s Admissions and Records. You do not need to send transcripts to the Math Department. CSUF transcripts do not need to be sent. You also need to fill the supplemental application and upload it in the "Program Materials" section of your CalState Apply application under "Other" in the Documents tab.
Q: Any additional requirements for international students?
A: International students are required to take the TOEFL. Visit the International Admissions website.
Q: Is the GRE required?
A: No. But if you’ve taken the GRE, you are encouraged to include your scores on your application.
Q: Are letters of recommendation required?
A: No. However, on the application, you must provide names and contact information for three references, who are familiar with you academically and professionally. These may be stated in a Word document that is uploaded in the "Program Materials" section of your CalState Apply application under "Other" in the Document tab.
Q: How can I check the status of my application?
A: You may contact Ms. Renee Bennett. Applications are not considered complete until all transcripts have been received. You may log on to your student center (log on credentials provided after application is submitted) to see if there are any outstanding tasks for you to do. Please allow at least two weeks before you follow up on your application.
Q: I was admitted, but cannot start the program in the term for which I applied. What can I do if I want to start the program at a later date?
A: You will need to reapply.
Q: How long does the program take to complete?
A: The program requires a total of 30 units, which is usually completed over a two-year period, including a summer session. Six units are typically taken each semester. It is required to take 6 units (Math 530) during the first semester. However, in consultation with the graduate advisor Dr. Jamshidian, students can take 3 units in subsequent semesters, if they wish to complete the program in more than two years.
Q: Is it possible to use any of my mathematics or statistics coursework to satisfy the 6 unit special topics courses required for the program?
A: To replace other courses for these special topics courses, it would require approval of the statistics graduate comittee, and this approval would be granted only if the committee determines that the courses to be substituted are at least the same level as the special topics course offered at CSUF. Note that if you have used a course towards another degree, you cannot use that course again.
Q: When and how can I apply for Teaching Associateship?
A: We begin accepting applications for teaching assistantships beginning of March. The applicants must apply through Mathjobs.org. Please contact the Math department at (657) 278-3631 for more information.
Q: How much does the program cost?
A: Information about the cost of the program can be found at the Graduate Studies Office. In addition to the costs listed at that website, there is an online fee of $33 per unit, regardless of whether you will be attending the classes online or in-person. This fee is non-refundable if you decide not to attend CSUF. If you are not a resident of California, an additional fee per unit non-resident tuition fee is charged. Information about this fee can be found at the Student Financial Services fee information website. Highly qualified students can be considered for non-resident tuition fee waiver upon their request for fall admission only. Please contact Prof. Kevin Nichols via email if you wish to be considered.
Q: Is any financial support available?