College of Natural Science and Mathematics
Department of Mathematics and Statistics

B.S., M.S. Degree

Minimum Requirements for Degree: 30 credits

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Statistics is a collection of methods and theories used to make decisions or estimate unknown quantities from incomplete information. Statistical techniques are useful, for example, in estimating plant, animal and mineral abundances; forecasting social, political and economic trends; planning field plot experiments in agriculture; performing clinical trials in medical research; and maintaining quality control in industry. Employment opportunities are excellent for statisticians in many of these areas.

The M.S. degree program in statistics builds upon UAF's strength in the sciences and our setting in Alaska by introducing a strong quantitative alternative or supplement to existing programs. The curriculum is built around four statistics core courses and flexibility in selection of elective courses. The core courses are designed to blend mathematical statistics course work typical of most M.S. programs in statistics with real applications. We believe this blending provides a substantial improvement in the graduate's skills.

Graduates of this program could be labeled quantitative biologists, biometricians, quantitative geologists, geostatisticians, or mathematical statisticians depending upon their specific course work. In addition, this program prepares individuals for Ph.D. level work in statistics or their area of application.

The statistics program is administered by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

Graduate Program -- M.S. Degree

  1. Complete the following admission requirements:
    1. Submit three letters of recommendation concerning the applicant's educational background and quantitative training.
    2. Submit complete transcripts for all college-level work.
    3. Submit a resume.
    4. Submit a written statement of goals.
    5. Submit GRE scores.
    6. The applicant must have completed a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of at least 3.0.
    7. Must have completed the following courses or their equivalent with a B grade or better: full calculus sequence (MATH F200X, F201, F202); or students completing MATH F262X or F272 must take MATH F201X and F202X before acceptance; and a course in linear algebra (MATH F314), at least one introductory statistics or probability course (STAT F200X, F300 or MATH F371, F408). Students lacking MATH F314 may be accepted on probation.
  2. Complete the general university requirements.
  3. Complete the master's degree requirements.
  4. Complete the following statistics (core) courses:
    STAT F651--Statistical Theory I--3 credits
    STAT F652--Statistical Theory II--4 credits
    STAT F653--Statistical Theory III--Linear Models--3 credits
    STAT F654--Statistical Consulting Seminar--1 credit
    STAT F698--Project--3 credits
  5. Complete two of the following courses:
    STAT F461--Applied Multivariate Statistics--3 credits
    STAT F602--Experimental Design--3 credits
    STAT F605--Spatial Statistics--3 credits
    STAT F621--Distribution Free Statistics--3 credits
    STAT F631--Categorical Data analysis--3 credits
    STAT F641--Bayesian Statistics--3 credits
    STAT F661--Sampling Theory--3 credits
    STAT F611--Time Series--3 credits
  6. Complete at least 6 credits of approved courses from an application area or courses with substantial statistical and/or mathematical content.*
  7. Minimum credits required--30 credits

* Examples of courses for specific areas of concentration include: wildlife WLF F625; fisheries FISH F601, F602, F621, F622, F625; mathematics MATH F641, F660 or other F600-level MATH course.
Note: Each student must take and pass a three-part comprehensive exam. The first part, written by the statistics faculty, is a written exam (not a take-home exam) covering the material in the core statistics courses. The second part is a take-home exam covering the student's area of application. The last part is an oral exam covering any material from courses the student has taken along with their project.