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MS in Statistics

The MS in Statistics is a popular degree as either a terminal degree or together with a doctorate in another field. Visit the Admissions pages for instructions on applying to add this degree.

MS in Statistics: Data Science

Starting in Fall 2013 a Stats MS Data Science subplan is offered as a focused track within the current MS program in Statistics and ICME (Stanford Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering). See the Data Science page for more details, and curriculum requirements.

MS in Statistics Program Summary

The department requires that the student take 45 units of work from offerings in the Department of Statistics or from authorized courses in other departments. Of these 45 units, eight statistics courses from the list of required courses must be taken for a letter grade. Units for a given course may not be counted to meet the requirements of more than one degree, that is, no units may be double-counted (for example, students who have already taken STATS 116 and have counted it toward their undergraduate or another Master's degree should discuss with their advisor a choice of a suitable replacement course). An overall 2.75 grade point average (GPA) is required. Additional courses from the list of authorized electives may be used to complete the unit requirement. Because departments often change their offerings, please contact one of the master's advisors for approval of courses not on this list. Each student must also complete the mathematics and the programming requirements. Courses other than the eight required statistics courses may be taken for a letter grade or Credit/No Credit. There is no thesis requirement. 

Masters Program Proposal Form (PDF, DOCX)

Department seminars are an integral part of the program and provide an opportunity to interact with leading academic and industry speakers. You cannot count more than six units of Stats 260ABC (Workshop in Biostatistics), Stats 298 (Industrial Research), Stats 390 (Consulting Workshop), Stats 299 (Independent Study) or Stats 399 (Research) toward the master's degree requirements.

Courses below 200 level are generally not acceptable, with the following exceptions:

  • Stats: 116, 191
  • Math: 104, 113, 115, 151, 171, 180 
  • CS: 106A, 106B, 106X, 140-181
  • At most, one of these two courses may be counted:
    • 1. Math 151 or Stats 116
    • 2. Math 104 or Math 113

With the advice of the masters advisors and of peer students, each student selects his/her own set of electives and pace of study. Ordinarily, four or five quarters are needed to complete all requirements.  Students who do not complete all requirements within three years of admission will have their program terminated. 

  • Accelerated load (9 months - not typical)September-June; typically 5 courses per quarter for 3 quarters
  • Normal load (12 months)September-August; 3-4 courses per quarter for 4 quarters, including one summer quarter
  • Normal load (15-18 months - more common scenarios)September-June, September-December or March; This allows for greater flexibility in choosing electives and a lighter course load in the last quarter (which can then be dedicated to job interviewing).

All students are expected to abide by the Honor Code and the Fundamental Standard.

Masters Advisor

Students' academic progress is monitored by a faculty advisor.

Advisors for Autumn Quarter:

  • Tze Leung Lai --- office hours for Sept 27 to Nov 15 are held on Fridays from 4:30 to 6pm in Room 220, the Fishbowl
  • David Rogosa --- office hours for Nov 18 to Dec 6 are by appointment only

Advisors for Winter Quarter:

  • David Rogosa
  • Wing Wong --- office hours for Jan 6 to March 14 are held on Fridays from 10 to 11am in Room 136 (Sequoia Hall)

Advisors for Spring Quarter:

  • David Siegmund --- office hours held on Tuesdays 2:30-3:30pm, Wednesdays 3 - 4pm in Room 140 (Sequoia Hall)
  • Wing Wong --- office hours held on Fridays from 10 to 11am in Room 136 (Sequoia Hall)


Students with a master's degree have found employment in industry, pharmaceuticals, government and business, or have completed further study toward a PhD (at Stanford or another institution).

The American Statistical Association, in conjunction with other statistical societies, has prepared a brochure, "Careers in Statistics", that can be obtained by writing to the ASA (1429 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-3402). The ASA also maintains a website,, and the section on education and careers may be helpful.

The book 101 Careers in Mathematics, published by the Mathematical Association of America  (P.O. Box 91112, Washington, DC 20090-1112; phone 1-800-331-1MAA; fax 1-301-206-9789) provides a description of careers in the mathematical sciences, and includes about ten careers in statistics. This book also includes an appendix that provides information about finding a job.