FAQs for Statistics Majors

To help declared and prospective statistics majors, we have created this list of FAQs for your reference.

For more enrollment related FAQs, please view our courses & enrollment page.

For academic advising information, please visit our academic advising page.

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How do I declare the Statistics Major?

To declare the statistics major, students will need to complete our online major declaration form and schedule an appointment with a statistics advisor.

For more information on declaring the major and to find our online major declaration form, please see this page.

For more information on statistics advising, please see our advising page.

What are the differences between the introductory courses: Stat 240, 301, 324, and 371?

Stat 240 is an intro course for those also interested in data science. Statistical programming will be introduced and utilized. QRA satisfied required.

Stat 301 is an intro course for those who are not excited about math. The course teaches statistics in less mathematical, more applied focused methods. QRA satisfied required.

Stat 324 is an intro course for those who are interested in engineering or tech fields. The course requires knowledge of calculus one. You will also be introduced to a statistical programming language. Requires Calculus 1.

Stat 371 is an intro course for those who are interested in life sciences. The course requires knowledge of trigonometry and college algebra. You will also be introduced to a statistical programming language. Requires trig and college algebra.

Any of the four introductory statistics courses will suitably prepare you for taking future statistics courses.

Which probability course should I complete? I see Stat 309, Stat 311, and Stat 431 as options.

Stat 309 is geared more towards statisticians. Stat 309 will cover more in-depth topics of probability theory.

Stat 311 is geared more towards careers that utilize probability but is not a statistician (engineering for example).  Stat 311 will cover more surface level probability theory.

Stat 431 is taught through the math department and is geared towards the mathematician lens of probability theory. A strong background of calculus is recommended for Stat 431.

Any of these courses will suitably prepare you for Stat 310 and future statistics courses.

Do Stat 433, Stat 443, and Stat 453 count as statistics electives for the major?

Yes! Stat 433, Stat 443, and Stat 453 will count as statistics electives for the major. If they do not appear on your DARS as an elective option, don’t worry. If you enroll in one of these courses, your statistics advisor will update your DARS once the semester has started to count the course as one of your statistics electives. These are newer statistics electives which is why they may not appear on some DARS reports automatically.

What electives are available for Fall 2021?

For Fall 2021, there are several elective courses to choose from:

  • Stat 421 – Applied Categorical Data Analysis
  • Stat 433 – Data Science with R
  • Stat 451 – Introduction to Machine Learning and Statistical Pattern Classification
  • Stat 479 – Topics in Statistics: Introduction to Bayesian Data Analysis
  • Stat/Comp Sci/Math 475 – Introduction to Combinatorics
  • Stat/Comp Sci/I SY E/Math 525 – Linear Optimization
  • Stat/Math 632 – Introduction to Stochastic Processes

For course descriptions, please view the Guide.

What is Stat 479 and how do I know what the topic is?

Statistics 479: Special Topics in Statistics is a topics course. This means that each semester, the course may have a different topic or we may offer multiple lectures of Stat 479 with different topics.

In Fall 2021, the topic is Introduction to Bayesian Data Analysis.

This course will introduce undergraduate students to data analysis from the Bayesian perspective, with an emphasis on conceptual foundations and computation using the open-source software R. The specific learning outcomes for the course are demonstrated abilities to carry out an applied Bayesian data analysis; to effectively communicate the results of such an analysis; and to critically evaluate a Bayesian analysis.

Topics include: the subjective basis of probability; Bayes’ theorem; posterior inference in conjugate models; subjective and objective prior elicitation; Bayesian hypothesis testing; hierarchical and multi-level models; Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods for sampling from intractable posteriors; and applied modeling in R.


I'm trying to enroll in Stat 303, 304, 305, 421, 433, 451, and/or 479 but I'm encountering an error. What should I do?

For Fall 2021, certain statistics lecture sections are only open to students who are a part of our Statistics VISP and MSDS programs. These lecture sections meet at the same time as the lecture section that is open for undergraduates.

  • Stat 303/304/305: lecture 002 and 004 are not open to undergraduates, you’ll need to enroll in lecture 001 or lecture 003.
  • Stat 421: lecture 002 is not open to undergraduates, you’ll need to enroll in lecture 001.
  • Stat 433: lecture 002 is not open to undergraduates, you’ll need to enroll in lecture 001.
  • Stat 451: lecture 003 and 004 are not open to undergraduates, you’ll need to enroll in lecture 001 or 002.
  • Stat 479: lecture 004 is not open to undergraduates, you’ll need to enroll in lecture 003.

For additional enrollment questions, please check out our courses and enrollment page.

I declared the major prior to Fall 2019 and I'm under the old statistics major requirements and I need to complete a concentration. Who should I contact about this?

If you’re under the old statistics major requirements, meaning you declared prior to Fall 2019, the 2018-2019 Guide outlines your requirements for completing the major.

For the Applied Concentration – select at least 12 credits of coursework at the intermediate or advanced level in an area of application of statistical methods as approved by your statistics advisor. This area of application can represent study areas where statistical methods are applied, such as in the natural and social sciences and engineering. This requirement can often be met by the completion of a major in such a study area.

For the Mathematics Concentration – select at least 6 additional credits of the following: Math 319, Math 421, Math 443, Math/Comp Sci/Stat 475, Math/Comp Sci 514, Math 521, Math 522, Math 541, Math 605, Math 629, Math/I SY E/OTM/Stat 632.

We encourage students who are under the older statistics major requirements to talk with their statistics advisor early about which concentration they plan to complete as well as what courses they plan to use for their concentration.

I'm an international student and want to take a reduced course load, who should I contact about this?

If you’re an international student and are interested in a reduced course load, please first visit the International Student Services webpage.

Once you are ready to apply for a reduced course load, please talk with your statistics advisor to discuss your plan. After your meeting with your statistics advisor, you will make your request in TerraDotta and your statistics advisor can sign off on your reduced course load request.

It is important to proactively plan and meet with your advisor before the start of the semester in which you are planning to take a reduced course load and to ensure your request is submitted before classes begin.

What do I need to do before I graduate?

Students must apply for graduation via their Student Center to indicate that they are nearing completion of their degree. See the Office of the Registrar’s website for information and instructions about this process. In addition, we advise students to do the following:

  1. Look at your DARS report via MyUW. Read it over carefully to find deficiencies-if you are meeting all requirements to graduate, everything will be GREEN. Be aware that each major (if you have more than one) will have its own DARS report
    1. *Keep in mind that your DARS is showing in-progress classes as classes you will keep and pass. If you do not pass your classes, or get the GPA you need, this could influence your graduation date.
  2. Check to make sure your major(s) is/are declared correctly. That is, make sure you have officially added and/or dropped majors so that the list of majors on record is exactly what you want for graduation. If not, go to the individual departments to add or drop a major. This also applies if you have declared Honors in the Liberal Arts (L&S students) or Honors in the Major.
  3. Talk to an advisor about questions you have about meeting requirements.