Honors in the Statistics Major

To be considered for acceptance into Honors in the Major in Statistics, a student must have declared Statistics, must have a 3.3 University GPA, and must have completed and an Introductory Statistics Course (STAT 240STAT 301STAT 324 or STAT 371),  STAT/​MATH  309, and STAT 333 or STAT 340 (or other courses with the approval of the advisor) with a GPA of 3.500 or higher in these three classes. Please see an advisor for admission.

Guidance for Honors in the Statistics Major

See The Guide for all requirements. In short:

  1. At the time of graduation, the student must have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher in Statistics Department courses and also in all courses taken at UW-Madison.
  2. Complete 2 statistics courses (other than intro stat or Stat 699) for “Honors” or take an additional 3-credit statistics elective. Again, see The Guide for exact details.
    To see which courses are offered for Honors credit (which may vary from one semester to the next and from one section to the next), check UW course search & enroll, click on “Honors” then check “Honors optional”.
  3. Complete the Stat 681-682 sequence (6 cr.) and produce a Senior Honors Project under the supervision of a participating faculty member of the Department of Statistics or 6 credits of pre-approved research credits outside of the Statistics Department.

Note: Prior to enrollment in the Stat 681-682 senior honors project, students must complete the Honors Project Application Form and have it signed by both academic advisor and honors project faculty mentor. All students seeking to earn Honors in the Major must find a participating faculty member who is willing to serve as the honors project mentor.

Senior Honors projects with a non-Statistics faculty mentor

Students seeking Honors in Statistics may request to do their Senior Honors project (also called “capstone”) with a non-Statistics faculty mentor, so long as their project has high statistical content. Statistical methods are meant to be applied outside of Statistics. Many faculty outside of the Statistics department can provide opportunities to analyze large data sets and to apply statistical contributions to a domain area.

The student needs to enroll for the honors thesis course (681-682 or a substitute, such as 699) within the other department. After completion, these credits can be approved as satisfying Stat 681-682, provided that the thesis report is submitted to the Statistics Major advisor at the end of the project, and provided that the capstone experience is approved by the Statistics Undergraduate Committee. For this, the student must complete and submit the Capstone Approval Form in collaboration with his/her instructor, who will have direct oversight of the research experience and the responsibility to assign the final grade.

Expectations for Senior Honors Projects in Statistics

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Each Honors student is encouraged to prepare a written report in which the main results of her/his project are presented. The writing of the project must be the work of the student. The report needs to be well-organized and well-written.
The exact structure of the report will depend on the particular nature of the project and the advice of the project advisor. Roughly speaking, the main body of the report should contain on the order of 5000 words (or more). This does not include tables, plots, and, where appropriate, computer code. The number of pages devoted to such items may exceed the number of pages of text. It is strongly urged that the written report be prepared using LaTeX.

The report should be sent electronically to the project advisor and to advising@stat.wisc.edu, to be included in a “library” of all Honor’s reports. A hard copy of the report should also be given to the project advisor if s/he wishes to receive one.


In addition, each Honors student is encouraged to prepare a poster of their project for presentation at a Department Poster Session or at the Campus-wide Undergraduate Symposium, typically in mid April.