M.S. in Statistics

Students with a Master’s degree from UNL find success in a variety of fields, from working as a data analyst with a large financial organization to serving as a statistical consultant in pharmaceutical testing.

During the two years as an M.S. student in the Department, students will be exposed to the core ideas of statistics and gain expertise in statistical applications from agriculture, biological, environmental, and social science. Students here learn more than just the theory – all of our students work with real data through in-class projects, serving as a student consultant, and in most cases the completion of a master’s thesis or project.

The UNL Graduate Bulletin describes three options for a MS degree:

  • “Option I” requires a thesis and at least 30 credit hours,
  • “Option II” requires a minor and at least 36 credit hours, and
  • “Option III” requires at least 36 credit hours without a thesis or minor.

The majority of Statistics students pursue Option III. Those who do not pursue this option generally choose Option II.

For all three options, students need to complete the following core courses with a grade of B or higher: 810, 821, 822, 823, 825, 850, 882, and 883. Students not obtaining the necessary grade level in a core course may need to retake it. A student’s Supervisory Committee makes this decision.
In addition to coursework, students need to pass a MS Comprehensive Exam. Students may choose from one of three exam types:

  1. Oral explanation of their STAT 825 project
  2. PhD Qualifying Exam (see section on PhD requirement)
  3. Oral defense of a thesis

Students choosing exam type A will present a poster of their STAT 825 project at the department’s “STAT Day” celebration held in March/April of each year. An Examining Committee will ask each student questions about their project to evaluate a student’s communication and data analysis skills. This Committee will give a Pass/Incomplete/No Pass grade. Students who receive an incomplete grade will be given an opportunity to present their project again to the Committee within 4 weeks after STAT Day; this Committee will give a final Pass/No Pass grade. Students choosing exam type C will present their thesis research to the university in an open forum (e.g., a seminar advertised to the campus). This is followed by an oral defense conducted by the student’s Supervisory Committee. This Committee gives a Pass/No Pass grade.

In addition to the required core courses, this timeline includes STAT 892 (TA Prep) which is a Year 1 required course for all students with a teaching assistantship (TA).

Fall (Semester 1): 10 credits

  • STAT 810: Alpha Seminar
  • STAT 821: Statistical Methods I
  • STAT 850: Computing Tools
  • STAT 882: Mathematical Statistics I
  • STAT 892*: TA Prep

Spring (Semester 2): 9 credits

  • STAT 822: Statistical Methods II
  • STAT 883: Mathematical Statistics II
  • Elective
  • Form Supervisory Committee

Fall (Semester 3): 9 credits

  • STAT 823: Statistical Methods III
  • STAT 825: Principles of Statistical Consulting
  • Elective

Spring (Semester 4): 9 credits

  • Elective
  • MS Comprehensive exam

* Required course for TAs only
See “Steps to Degree Completion” at https://www.unl.edu/gradstudies/academics/degrees for degree forms and their deadlines.