Statistics MS

The MS in Statistics has become an exceedingly popular degree as either a terminal degree or together with a doctorate in another field. Visit the MS Admissions pages on this site for applicant eligibility and requirements.

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, nine statistics courses from the list of required courses must be taken for a letter grade. The linear algebra and programming requirements must also be taken for a letter grade. The Statistics elective courses (breadth) may be taken for a letter grade or Credit/No Credit.

This is not an online degree program.

Admitted students may complete the degree part-time through the Honors Cooperative Program and will require on campus attendance, as a majority of the coursework cannot be completed remotely.

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

Units for a given course may not be counted to meet the requirements of more than one degree, (with the exception that up to 45 units of a Stanford MA or MS degree may be applied to the residency requirement for the PhD, DMA or Engineer degrees (GAP 3.2). 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.

Students must maintain a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (or better) for courses used to fulfill degree requirements and classes must be taken at the 200 level or higher. No thesis is required.

University Milestone: Program Proposal

The Master's Program Proposal is to be submitted by the student to the department's student services administrator prior to advisor approval.

The proposal form is due before the end of the first quarter of enrollment in the program. The department reserves the right to place an enrollment hold on future quarters for those who do not return an acceptable proposal form by this deadline.

A revised program proposal must be submitted if your degree plans change. There is no thesis requirement.

Statistics MS Program Proposal Forms

Length of the Program

The Master's degree in Statistics takes an average of five to six (5-6) quarters to complete. The Data Science program takes an average of five quarters to complete. Completion of the required coursework and units should prompt the student to apply for graduation in Axess. 

All requirements for the master's degree, including the coterminal master's degree, must be completed within three years of the first quarter of graduate standing.

Students who do not complete all requirements within three years of admission will have their program terminated.

Students are required to complete a minimum of 6 units of coursework in statistics towards the degree each quarter in order to maintain degree progress.


Honors Cooperative Program students must finish within five years.


Examples of program completion:

  • 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).
  • Normal load (12 months)September-August; 3-4 courses per quarter for 4 quarters (11-18 units), including one summer quarter (or autumn quarter).
  • Accelerated load (9 months - not typical)September-June; typically 5 courses per quarter for 3 quarters (11-18 units per quarter).

The time limit is not automatically extended by a student's leave of absence. All requests for extension, whether prompted by a leave or some other circumstance, must be filed by the student before the conclusion of the program's time limit. Departments are not obliged to grant an extension. The maximum extension is one additional year. Extensions require review of academic progress and any other factors regarded as relevant by the department, and approval by the department; such approval is at the department's discretion. University requirements for master's degrees are described fully in the Stanford Bulletin.


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

Meeting program requirements, at most, one of these two courses may be counted:

  • Math 104 or Math 113

With the advice of the master's program advisors, each student selects his or her own set of electives and pace of study.