Best Online Master’s in Statistics 2021

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Online Master’s in Statistics Degrees

Individuals who enjoy statistics and mathematics can consider pursuing a master’s in statistics. Successful statisticians typically enjoy solving complex problems, working with numbers, and interpreting data.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment for mathematicians and statisticians to increase 33% from 2019-2029, much faster than the average growth rate of 4% for all occupations. According to the BLS, these professionals earn a median salary of $93,290 per year.

This page explores common statistics degree requirements and the cost of earning a master’s in the field, along with career options for graduates.

Statistics Majors FAQ

  • What kind of jobs do statistics majors get?

    Graduates with a master’s in statistics can become statisticians, data scientists, economists, math professors, and actuaries. These professionals often work for local governments and for-profit businesses.

  • How long does it take to get a statistics degree?

    Most full-time learners need about two years to complete a statistics master’s degree. Part-time students typically take about four years. Individuals can pursue accelerated programs to graduate sooner.

  • Are statisticians in high demand?

    Yes. Companies and government agencies need qualified statisticians. The BLS projects employment for mathematicians and statisticians to increase 33% from 2019-2029.

  • How much do statisticians make?

    According to the BLS, mathematicians and statisticians earn a median salary of $93,290 per year. However, an individual’s earning potential depends on factors including geographic location, experience, and employer.

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Why Get a Degree in Statistics?

Graduates with this flexible degree often become professors, who receive paid time off during the summer. Other graduates pursue careers as mathematicians with reliable government jobs and generous benefits. Statistics professionals typically earn above-average salaries and benefit from working in a field that aligns with their interests.

Additionally, master’s in statistics curricula generally pair well with online learning formats. Statistics master’s degrees rarely require in-person components, such as labs. Asynchronous online programs allow degree-seekers to complete assignments according to their schedule, and many distance learners save money on commuting and housing costs. Some schools even charge reduced tuition rates for online students.

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How Much Does a Statistics Degree Cost?

Public institutions typically charge lower tuition rates than private schools. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, graduate tuition and fees at public institutions cost $12,171 on average for the 2018-2019 academic year. Private schools charged an average of $27,776 in tuition and fees for the same school year.

The cost of tuition and fees varies based on the individual’s school and major. Students should research the cost of attending each prospective school when determining their budget and financial aid requirements.

Statistics programs rarely require additional lab fees. However, online learners should budget for the cost of reliable technology and internet access.

Calculating the Cost of a College Degree

Learners may need to conduct research to determine the exact cost of earning a statistics degree. Students should contact their prospective school for information about current fees and tuition rates. Learners can use the following affordability calculator to estimate their monthly financial contribution. In addition to details about tuition and fees, users input information about their cost of living and financial aid.

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How Much Do Statistics Majors Make?

Salary Range

While the exact salary for a statistician varies based on factors such as location, employer, and experience, statisticians earn a median annual salary of $93,290, according to BLS data. The lowest 10% of these professionals earn less than $61,130, while the highest 10% earn more than $170,150 per year.

Average Entry to Professional Level

According to March 2021 PayScale data, statisticians with less than one year of experience earn an average salary of about $66,180 per year. Professionals with more than 20 years of experience earn an average annual salary of about $111,480.

Aspiring statisticians can also research regional job postings to understand typical salaries in their area.

Courses in Statistics

Statistics majors learn how to solve complex equations and apply discoveries in practical ways. Learners explore methods for interpreting and analyzing data, and they prepare to communicate findings through presentation graphics, such as graphs.

Advanced courses cover topics such as the impact of statistics on common social and scientific issues. Degree-seekers gain the skills necessary to collect and analyze large quantities of numbers and to apply findings in ways that benefit society.

The following list highlights three courses common to many statistics master’s degrees. Course availability varies by school, so learners should contact their prospective institution for details about program requirements.

The class explores statistical decision theory. Learners study the theory’s premise and practical applications. Coursework also covers Bayesian statistics, maximum likelihood estimators, confidence intervals, and nonlinear models.

Students in this course develop computing skills relevant to probability. The class explores topics such as axioms of probability, conditional probability, conditional densities, and laws of large numbers. Students examine the theories that shape probability, and they learn how probability relates to statistics and how to use probability software.

The class prepares degree-seekers to apply statistical findings to real-world scenarios. Learners prepare to collect data and form inferences. Students also learn to communicate findings to the general public, use statistical software packages for data analysis, and conduct hypothesis testing.

Certifications and Licensure for Statistics

While most statistician positions do not require a license or certification, professionals can obtain voluntary credentials to demonstrate expertise in the field. The following list highlights three common credentials for graduates of statistics master’s degrees.

Accredited Professional Statistician

Rather than taking an exam, applicants for this credential must submit a portfolio for a judging committee to review. Candidates for this credential from the American Statistical Association must hold a master’s degree in statistics or a related field.

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Chartered Statistician

The Royal Statistical Society administers this credential for experienced professionals. Candidates must complete training sessions, and professionals with the credential receive benefits including networking opportunities and conference discounts.

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Math Teacher Certification

Many statistics degree-holders pursue careers as educators. This certification qualifies individuals to teach mathematics. Requirements vary by state, but candidates must typically pass an exam.

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Scholarships for Statistics

Learners pursuing a master’s in statistics can reduce out-of-pocket expenses by applying for scholarships. Most scholarship programs require applicants to submit recommendation letters, essays, and official college transcripts. The following list features scholarship opportunities for graduate-level statistics students.

  • Lingzi Lu Memorial Award

    Who Can Apply: The American Statistical Association offers this award in partnership with the International Chinese Statistical Association. Candidates must be enrolled in or have completed a statistics or biostatistics master’s program. Applicants submit two reference letters and a personal essay.

    Amount: Up to $1,300 to attend the ASA Conference on Statistical Practice

    Explore Here

  • John J. Bartko Scholarship Award

    Who Can Apply: The award supports second-year students in a master’s in statistics program. Applicants submit a personal essay about their career goals and how they plan to contribute to the statistics profession. Candidates must also provide two reference letters, official transcripts, and a headshot.

    Amount: $1,000

    Explore Here

Best Online Master’s in Statistics

  1. Texas A&M University-College Station

    College Station, TX



    Online students accepted to Texas A&M University-College Station can pursue an online Master of Science in Statistics degree with optional certifications in Biostatistics, Data Mining with SAS or Applied Emphasis. This 36-credit-hour degree is available 100% online. Students can begin classes during any semester throughout the academic year. Texas A&M expects applicants to have taken at least introductory calculus courses before applying. Prospective students should submit their GRE scores, a statement of purpose and letters of recommendation.

  2. Oklahoma State University

    Stillwater, OK



    Oklahoma State University has a 2-year online Master of Science in Applied Statistics for distance learners. This degree requires 36 credit hours of coursework, including Mathematical Statistics, Statistics for Experimenters and Experimental Design. This degree program prepares students to enter the scientific and data-driven workforce, not for further studies at the doctoral-level. While no thesis is required, the department has a mandatory Applied Master's Creative Component course in which students complete a satisfactory final project for their research committee members. Competitive applicants have a strong performance history in calculus, computer science and linear algebra courses. The GRE is required for admission.

  3. Colorado State University

    Fort Collins, CO



    Colorado State University's online school offers a Master of Applied Statistics. Students in this program choose from specializations in Statistical Science or Data Science. Online learners complete 31 credits entirely online at $795 per credit. In most cases, students begin classes during the summer term and complete the degree within 1 year. Applicants must have a 4-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university, including 3 semesters of calculus, 1 course in linear algebra and at least 1 statistics course. Students can take the Math Entrance Exam or the GRE for admission.

  4. University of Houston

    Houston, TX



    The Department of Mathematics at the University of Houston has a hybrid Master of Science in Statistics and Data Analysis degree. Distance learners complete a total of 30 credits over the course of 1 calendar year. Students learn to analyze complex data and gain a foundational understanding of the field through hands-on assignments, research projects and a summer internship. Applicants should have a bachelor's or master's degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Prospective students should submit their GRE scores, 3 letters of recommendation and a personal statement. Applicants with a background in probability and statistics are given admission priority.

  5. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

    Edinburg, TX



    Located in the Division of Research, Graduate Studies and New Program Development, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley offers a Master of Science in Mathematics. The program offers 4 concentrations: Statistics, Mathematics, Mathematics Teaching and Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Distance learners in this program learn advanced mathematical concepts and communication skills. Additionally, students concentrating on statistics can develop modern research skills to be competitive in the modern job market. Prospective students must have a bachelor's degree in mathematics or related field with a 3.0 GPA in all upper-level Math courses. Applications must include GRE scores, 2 letters of recommendation and a letter of intent.

  6. North Carolina State University at Raleigh

    Raleigh, NC



    orth Carolina State University at Raleigh has an online Master of Statistics degree for distance learners. This program prepares its master's students for popular careers in data mining and business analytics located at computer technology and software companies around the globe. Students can complete this degree entirely online by finishing 30 credit hours, or 10 courses, focusing on topics such as Statistical Programming, Experimental Statistics for Biological Sciences and Applied Nonparametric Statistics. Incoming students should have an undergraduate degree and experience in multivariate calculus and linear algebra. The GRE is not required for admission.

  7. National University

    La Jolla, CA



    National University has an online Master of Science in Data Science program consisting of 13 courses or 58.5 quarter units. Through courses like Data Mining Techniques, Advanced Analytic Applications, Database Design for Analytics and Advanced SQL Programming, students develop and hone their research skills while learning the essential analysis and evaluation techniques to be successful in a data science field. Online learners also complete a 3-month capstone project for graduation. Competitive applicants have a 2.5 GPA or higher. Those with lower GPAs may submit their test results for the GMAT, GRE or Miller Analogies Test to strengthen their application.

  8. Emporia State University

    Emporia, KS



    Distance learners at Emporia State University can take advantage of its online Master of Science in Mathematics degree. Students in this program can focus on several areas of mathematics, including statistics, applied mathematics and algebra. By completing courses such as Complex Variables, Numerical Analysis and Regression Analysis, graduates of this program prepare to enter careers in various types of industries, businesses, governmental positions and teaching roles. Master's students must also pass comprehensive exams. Degree seekers can receive free assistance and academic tutoring through the Brighton Math Lab and have access to AfterCollege, a extensive job search engine to which Emporia has a membership. Prospective students can apply with an online application and their official undergraduate transcripts. No GRE is required for admission.

  9. University of South Carolina-Columbia

    Columbia, SC



    Students seeking a flexible schedule can enroll in the University of South Carolina's online option to receive a Master of Applied Statistics. Curriculum, which involves 30 credit hours of topics such as computing and statistical theory, helps working professionals to utilize statistics for the betterment of their organization. In order to graduate you will maintain a 3.0 GPA and pass a comprehensive exam. This grade average is also required for admissions. Additionally, applicants must possess a GRE score totaling 300.

  10. Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

    Slippery Rock, PA



    In as little as 10 months, students can graduate with a Master of Science in Data Analytics via fully online studies at Slippery Rock University. Following the completion of 33 credit hours, you will receive a certificate in statistical applications and data analytics from SAS Institute Inc., as well as be prepared to pass the Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) exam. Applicants must possess a 3.0 GPA in their undergraduate degree and hold a grade C or higher in prerequisite courses such as differential and integral calculus, probability/inferential statistics and programming languages.

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