Master of Science in Statistics

The Master of Science in statistics program at Western Michigan University offers students a combination of knowledge of statistical techniques, experience with using these techniques in applied situations, and understanding of the theoretical principles behind these techniques. Students receive training for professional employment in industry or government, while obtaining sufficient theoretical background to qualify them to teach elementary statistics or continue to a doctoral program. Students are encouraged to apply for internship experiences (STAT 7120) where it is expected that students will collaborate with professional statisticians in an actual work environment.

Admission requirements

Admission to the masters program in statistics requires candidates have completed an undergraduate program containing a substantial amount of mathematics, including:

  • A complete calculus sequence through multiple integration
  • A course in probability
  • A course in statistical methods
  • A course in linear algebra

A complete undergraduate mathematics major is not required.


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Program requirements

Acquire at least 32 credit hours of approved courses from the following groups

Required courses

  • STAT 6500: Statistical Theory  (four hours)
  • STAT 6600: Statistical Inference I  (four hours)
  • STAT 6620: Applied Linear Models  (three hours)
  • STAT 6640: Design of Experiments I  (three hours)
  • STAT 6800: SAS Programming  (three hours)

Elective courses

  • STAT 5610: Applied Multivariate Statistical Methods  (three hours)
  • STAT 5630: Sample Survey Methods  (three hours)
  • STAT 5650: Design of Experiments for Quality Improvement  (three hours)
  • STAT 5660: Nonparametric Statistical Methods  (three hours)
  • STAT 5820: Time Series Analysis  (three hours)
  • STAT 5850: Applied Data Mining  (three hours)
  • STAT 6040: Statistics for Epidemiology (three hours)
  • STAT 6050: Fundamentals of Clinical Trials (three hours)
  • STAT 6350: Spatial Statistics (three hours)
  • STAT 6450: Applied Bayesian Statistics (three hours)
  • STAT 6460: Large Sample Theory (three hours)
  • STAT 6610: Multivariate Statistical Analysis  (three hours)
  • STAT 6630: Linear Models  (three hours)
  • STAT 6650: Statistical Inference II  (three hours)
  • STAT 6660: Nonparametric Statistical Theory  (three hours)
  • STAT 6670: Introduction to Random Processes  (three hours)
  • STAT 6680: Categorical Data Analysis (three hours)
  • STAT 6690: Studies in Probability and Statistics (three hours)
  • STAT 6810: Survival Data Analysis (three hours)
  • STAT 6830: Robust Statistical Analysis (three hours)
  • STAT 6840: Design of Experiments II (three hours)
  • STAT 7120: Professional Field Experience (three hours)

Pass the department graduate exams which cover material in:

  • STAT 6500: Statistical Theory (four hours)
  • STAT 6600: Statistical Inference I (four hours)
  • STAT 6620: Applied Linear Models (three hours)
  • STAT 6640: Design of Experiments I (three hours)

The DGE is typically given on Thursday and Friday of the first week of Summer I. For the exact dates contact Dr. Naranjo. Eligible students must register by the end of the spring semester to take this departmental exam.


Students who have passed the DGE, with prior approval of advisor, may elect to complete an internship during one semester in their second year. Internships usually involve working for a firm under the supervision of a statistician. With advisor's approval, the student can earn a maximum of three credit hours to count as an elective course. Students may seek internship opportunities independently or in cooperation with statistics faculty members. Occasionally internships have become permanent job opportunities.

Plan of study

Incoming students are expected to meet with the graduate advisor to complete a Plan of Study before the end of their first semester. A tentative plan may be submitted online.

Students that receive funding from the department, are expected to complete their program within two academic years. A typical Plan of Study for a master's degree in applied statistics is as follows:

First year fall term

  • Stat 6500: Statistical Theory (four hours)
  • Stat 6620Applied Linear Model (three hours)

First year spring 

  • Stat 6600Statistical inference (four hours)
  • Stat 6640Design of Experiments (three hours)

First year summer 

  • Stat 5630Sample Survey Methods (three hours)

Second year fall

  • Stat 6800SAS Computing (three hours)
  • Stat 6680Categorical Data Analysis (three hours)
  • Stat 5850Data Mining (three hours)

Second year spring

  • Stat 5610Multivariate Methods (three hours)
  • Stat 5660Nonparametric Statistical Methods (three hours)