The M.S. degree in Statistics is based on a mixture of theoretical and applied coursework, a comprehensive exam, and a statistical consulting requirement. For more information please contact the Graduate Programs Coordinator Jillian Hancock (jrhancock(at)ucdavis.edu).
The Graduate Adviser for M.S. students is Prof. Chris Drake (cmdrake(at)ucdavis.edu); all plans of study must be approved by Prof. Drake or your assigned M.S. adviser. The other members of the M.S. Advising Committee for 2018-19 are Thomas Lee, Miles Lopes, James Sharpnack, and Jane-Ling Wang.
M.S. Degree Requirements
Approved by Graduate Council June 2, 2017
An undergraduate major in mathematics or statistics is typical for statistics graduate students, but is not required. However, because of the mathematical nature of some of the graduate coursework, students should be able to demonstrate good mathematical ability. The applicant must complete the Office of Graduate Studies online application, with fee, by the stated deadline and include: one official transcript for each school attended, three letters of recommendation, and GRE scores taken within the last 5 years. TOEFL or IELTS scores are also required if the applicant’s native language is not English. The program does not accept part-time students.
a. Prerequisites: The prerequisites for entrance into the master's program are as follows: a bachelor's degree with 3.0 overall grade-point average; one year of calculus; a course in linear algebra; facility with a programming language; and upper-division work in mathematics and/or statistics.
b. Deficiencies: Students admitted with deficiencies must make up the coursework within the first academic year, and must achieve a grade of at least a B in each course.
If you are a current UC Davis graduate student and are considering adding Statistics as a double-major master's degree, the minimum admissions requirements still apply, however there are different guidelines for the application process. Please see Double Major MS Application Guidelines for more information.
The Admissions Chair for the M.S program is Prof. Jie Peng. For more information, please see our Admissions Section.
Program of Study
The program of study will be developed and approved for each student by one of the Graduate Advisers in consultation with the student. This is a M.S. Plan II program (no thesis). A minimum of 44 units is required, of which at least 18 must be at the graduate level (according to university regulations). A comprehensive final examination in the major subject is required of each candidate. No thesis is required. The comprehensive final examination fulfills the capstone requirement.
Course Requirements for the master's degree - Core and Electives:
Core Courses (total 32 units):
- STA 200A Introduction to Probability Theory
- STA 200B-200C Introduction to Mathematical Statistics (4 units each)
- STA 135 Multivariate Data Analysis (4 units)
- STA 206, 207 & 208 Statistical Methods and Research (4 units each)
One of the following two courses:
- STA 242 Introduction to Statistical Programming (4 units), or
- STA 243 Computational Statistics (4 units)
Elective Courses (total 12 units):
At least three courses, with at least one course at the graduate level, selected from:
- STA 137 Applied Time Series Analysis (4 units)
- STA 138 Analysis of Categorical Data (4 units)
- STA 141B Data & Web Technologies for Data Anlysis (4 units)
- STA 141C Big Data & High Performance Statistical Computing (4 units)
- STA 142 Reliability (4 units)
- STA 144 Sampling Theory of Surveys (4 units)
- STA 145 Bayesian Statistical Inference (4 units)
- STA 260 Statistical Practice and Data Analysis (3 units)
or any four-unit letter grade graduate level course in Statistics.
The following courses can be used as substitutes:
- For students who enter the graduate program as Ph.D. students, successful completion of STA 232ABC substitutes for STA 206, 207, 208 as a requirement for the M.S. degree.
- With the permission of one of the Graduate Advisers, an internship coupled with STA 299 can substitute for one elective
32 units of core coursework and 12 units of electives are required for a total of 44 units. Full-time students must enroll for 12 units per quarter including research, academic and seminar units. Courses that fulfill any of the program course requirements may not be taken S/U unless the course is normally graded S/U. Once course requirements are completed, students can take additional classes as needed, although the 12 units per quarter are generally fulfilled with a research class (299) and perhaps seminars, or additional electives, approved by one of the Graduate Advisers. Per UC regulations students cannot enroll in more than 12 units of graduate level courses (200) or more than 16 units of combined undergraduate and graduate level (100, 200, 300) courses per quarter.
M.S. Comprehensive Exam
Every M.S. Plan II student needs to pass a comprehensive exam, to continue in the program. The M.S. Comprehensive Examination is a written examination. The examination may include the use of statistical software and may be offered in a computer lab. The examination is taken at the end of the Winter quarter (during Spring Break) upon completion of STA 206 and STA 207. If a student does not attempt the examination upon completion of those courses it will be counted as a failure of the comprehensive exam.
Should a student attempt and not pass the comprehensive exam at this time, the student will be offered a second examination during the Spring quarter following the first attempt. If a student does not attempt the second exam, it will be counted as a failure. Failure to pass the exam at the second attempt will be counted as a failure of the comprehensive exam.
Failure to pass the comprehensive exam will result in a recommendation to the Dean of Graduate Studies for disqualification of the student from the graduate program.
For students who entered the graduate program as Ph.D. students but subsequently change their degree objective to the M.S. program, passing the STA 232AB part of the program’s pre-qualifying Ph.D. written exam is considered as passing the comprehensive exam.
Advancement to M.S. Candidacy
Plan II M.S. Candidates must file an advancement to M.S. candidacy (Plan II) form prior to completion of the program. Candidates must have taken at least half of the required coursework for their degree requirements (18 units).
Since the M.S. in Statistics is a Plan II program, no thesis is required. Research experience can be gained by electing Statistics 299 under the guidance of a faculty member. This course may be related to work for the project or data analysis to be presented at the M.S. Comprehensive Exam.
Normative Time to Degree
The Normative time to Degree for the Statistics M.S. program is four to five quarters, although it is possible for a well-prepared student to finish the program in three quarters (one year).
Typical Time Line and Sequence of Events
Graduate Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 units every quarter. These 12 units can be made up of both required courses and 299 variable unit courses.
For a well-prepared student it is possible to complete the course requirements by the end of the first year. Students may take longer if they take required electives in the fourth or fifth quarter. The following would be a typical one-year program.
M.S. Comprehensive Exam
Advance to Candidacy
In the two-year program, the first year is made up of preparatory courses, while the second year students would take the graduate level series 206-207-208. The following would be a typical program for a student requiring two years.
M.S. Comprehensive Exam
Advance to Candidacy
*STA 200ABC is the requirement effective Fall 2017, replacing STA 131ABC.
For the PDF of our official requirements, please see "Statistics Graduate Program Degree Requirements".
***MASTER'S STUDENTS ADMITTED BEFORE FALL 2017 & IDP students: Please refer to the previous M.S. Degree Requirements.***
Degree Requirements approved by Graduate Council June 2, 2017