Undergraduate Statistics Major

Planning Your Statistics Major

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Statistics Major Enrollment Newsletter Spring 2023

The Spring 2023 Schedule of Classes has now been released.  All students declared in the Statistics major have been sent enrollment information via email.  Here is a PDF copy of the information for those not declared or who might have missed the email.

Students with questions are encouraged to reach out to the Statistics advisors via email, an appointment, or drop-in advising.

Major Requirements

The curriculum is available in the Guide.  Please visit this page and then select either the Statistics BS or BA to see more.

Recommended Pacing

Generally, we recommend a maximum of 2 quantitative or coding courses per fall/spring semester (up to 3 if students are in multiple quantitative majors), and only 1 of such courses in the summer term. Students are recommended to enroll in general education/breadth courses each semester along with major courses.

Viewing example 4-year and 3-year plans are a great way to plan for your own academics and understand how to progress in the major. They are a tool to assist students and you should use it—along with their DARS report, the Degree Planner, and Course Search & Enroll tools—to make your own plan based on your placement scores, credit for transferred courses and approved examinations, and individual interests. It is common for your plan to change multiple times throughout your college career.

Graduation Information

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. We strongly recommend that you apply for graduation as soon as possible, so an advisor can review your DARS and say everything is okay.  Applying to graduate sooner can help your advisors identify if there is an issue.

In addition, we advise students to do the following:

  • Look at your DARS report. 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.
    • 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.
  • Check to make sure your major(s) is/are declared correctly in your Student Center. 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.
  • Talk to an advisor about questions you have about meeting requirements or something you may not understand on your DARS.
  • Review the Commencement website for graduation check lists & celebrate!

How to Declare the Statistics Major

Declaration Process

  1. Review Statistics major requirements on the Guide or run a “What-If” DARS Report to assess your remaining required courses.
  2.  Attend one declaration event (more information about these options can be found by clicking to expand)
    1. Option 1: Group Major Declaration Session
    2. Option 2: Individual Advising Appointment
    3. Option 3: Drop-In Advising
  3. Complete the online major declaration form please note your online major declaration form will not be processed until you meet with a statistics academic advisor.
    • You must fill out the form within a calendar year of your appointment, if it has been more than a year since you met with a Statistics advisor you will need to attend a new meeting
    • If you fill out the form first and do not have a meeting, your request will be deleted after 2 months

    Once you have completed both steps your declaration will be processed (usually within 1-2 business days) and you will receive an email.

    It is not necessary to have completed statistics coursework, but prospective majors are strongly recommended to start the major with the Math 221-222-234 calculus sequence and an introductory statistics course (Stat 240, 301, 324, and 371).

There are no exceptions made to the declaration process.

Important Notes

  • For students in L&S, the Statistics major can be paired with either a BA or BS degree option. If you need to change your degree program you may do so online, Statistics staff cannot initiate this change for you
  • Students who are in an L&S specialized degree such as AMEP or students outside of L&S will have their degree associated with their home school or college and will not complete L&S BA or BS degree requirements
  • Students in the process of transferring to L&S from another school or college at UW-Madison will first need to have their transfer to L&S processed before they can be declared in Statistics
  • Engineering students are required to meet progression in an engineering program before declaring double majors or certificates; students in this situation who need to declare for data science course access but cannot, should schedule a meeting with a Statistics advisor
  • Students in CALS must schedule an individual meeting for declaration so that the CALS double major paperwork can be completed

There are currently no course, minimum grade, or GPA based requirements to declare. As per the Guide, students must declare a major prior to reaching 86 credits. Students cannot declare the Statistics major prior to your first term at UW-Madison.

Students who are currently on probation or who may have one or both Statistics major GPAs below a 2.0 need to schedule an individual meeting and should not use a declaration session or drop-in advising to declare.

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Option 1: Group Major Declaration Session

Online sessions: will take place via Zoom and prior registration is required, students must register (click on hyperlink below for a specific session) and attend themselves to have their attendance counted towards meeting the declaration event requirement

 

Students who are currently on probation or who may have one or both Data Science major GPAs below a 2.0 need to schedule an individual meeting and should not use a declaration session or drop-in advising to declare.

Option 2: Individual Advising Appointment

Students are welcome to make individual advising appointments year-round with the Statistics major advisors to declare the Statistics major.

Students who have significant questions, have exceeded 86 credits, are on probation, are currently not in L&S, or with other more complicated situations are recommended to make an individual appointment for their declaration event. Appointments are scheduled via Starfish.

Students who are currently on probation or who may have one or both Statistics major GPAs below a 2.0 need to schedule an individual meeting and should not use a declaration session or drop-in advising to declare.

Advanced planning is strongly recommended for individual meetings during the enrollment period for the following semester as the advisors’ calendars tend to fill quickly during this time.

Option 3: Drop-In Advising

The Statistics major advisors typically offer drop-in advising for one hour each week during the fall and spring semesters. Students are welcome to attend drop-in advising to meet their declaration event requirement. Typically this is best for students with minimal questions regarding declaration.

Drop-In Advising is on Thursdays 1-2PM CST, Starting 1/26/23

(click onto Drop-In Advising to join the Zoom waiting room during drop-in advising hours)

Students who are currently on probation or who may have one or both Data Science major GPAs below a 2.0 need to schedule an individual meeting and should not use a declaration session or drop-in advising to declare.

How to drop/cancel the Statistics major

Advising & Contact Information

Statistics Major Advisors
Carmela Diosana

Carmela Diosana

1225 Medical Sciences Center

ccdiosana@wisc.edu

Carmela joined the Statistics department in January 2022, is assigned as the advisor for Statistics majors, you can make appointments in Starfish.

Prior to working in Statistics, she worked for seven years in the Department of Botany as the Graduate Program Coordinator.  She worked for twelve years at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Science for as a student services coordinator working in career advising, as a co-creator of the Community Environmental Scholars Program (CESP), the coordinator for the CHANGE IGERT and a department administrator for the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE). She is looking forward to helping Statistics students with exploration in the major and planning for future careers.  Outside of work she enjoys being outside (hiking, kayaking, camping, cross country skiing) and playing capoeira.


Sara Rodock

1227 Medical Sciences Center

rodock@wisc.edu

Sara joined the department in Summer 2018. Prior to working in Statistics and Data Science, she worked for 10 years in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences as an advisor and in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies for 8 years. Sara is a Badger alumnus from the History department. She enjoys assisting students with exploration of the Data Science and Statistics majors, working with our MS Statistics: Data Science students, and helping students plan for their future careers and/or continuing education.  In her spare time she competes in powerlifting and enjoys knitting and cooking.

Current UW-Madison students may schedule an appointment with a Statistics advisor via Starfish. Individual appointments are great for multiple questions surrounding four year planning, career outcomes, or exploring if the DS major is a good fit for you.

Zoom/phone advising for Statistics will resume January 3, 2023. There will be limited advising available January 17-19 because of January SOAR. If you have an urgent issue during that time please email us. If you cannot meet via Zoom or phone and must meet in-person, please email the Statistics advisors to arrange this.

As always, students may email the advisors at advising@stat.wisc.edu with quick questions.

Drop-In Advising is on Thursdays 1-2PM CST, Starting 1/26/23

(click onto Drop-In Advising to join the Zoom waiting room during drop-in advising hours)

Our offices are located in the Medical Sciences Center (MSC), 1300 University Ave.  The easiest way to access our offices is via the main entrance on University Ave, then enter the 1205 suite in MSC and head towards the back of the suite.

Statistics Major FAQs

Courses and Enrollment

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What are the differences between STAT 240, 301, 324, and 371?

Stat 240 is an intro course for those also interested in data science.  This is the first course of the Data Science Foundational Course sequence.  IF you are at all interested in the Data Science Certificate or Major, you should take this course. Statistical programming will be introduced and utilized: programming in the R language, as well as data management, analysis, and modeling. 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.

Please note that STAT 302 is no longer offered.

Which probability course should I complete? I see options like STAT 309, 311, and 431.

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 classes like STAT 405 & 436 count as major electives?

Yes! STAT 405 & 436 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.

I enrolled in an elective that is listed as a Domain Elective in the Guide, why does it not show up in my DARS?

For those of you who declared the Statistics Major prior to Fall 2022, the Domain Electives do not show up in the list on your DARS since this is a recent change it will be added manually.

You are allowed to use Domain Electives (up to 6 credits are allowed) towards your 15 credits of Statistics major electives. 

It will not show up until it is added after the drop deadline for Spring 2023 semester is 2/3/23.

IF you have taken one of these courses for the Fall semester, an advisor will be entering this information to be submitting into your DARS after the final drop deadline (11/25/22).  IF you do not see this in your DARS after 12/1 send an email to advising@stat.wisc.edu so we can make sure the course is accounted for correctly.  

What is STAT 479? How do I know what will be covered in the class?

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.

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 am having difficulty enrolling in a STAT class, what do I do?

Please check out our enrollment FAQ page for information on enrollment errors you may be having for STAT classes.

I delcared the major prior to Fall 2019 and my applied concentration shows as unmet on the DARS. How do I get this to be complete?

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.

How will a dropped course or dropped major appear on my transcript?

Students are often worried about how a dropped course, dropped major, withdrawal, etc. will appear on their transcript and this is a very normal concern.  Please check out this page from the Registrar’s Office that explains how everything (including, GPA, degree(s), dropped course, honors, etc.) will appear on your transcript.

I am graduating this term, what do I do?

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. We strongly recommend that you apply for graduation as soon as possible, so an advisor can review your DARS and say everything is okay.  Applying to graduate sooner can help your advisors identify if there is an issue.

In addition, we advise students to do the following:

  • Look at your DARS report. 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.
    • 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.
  • Check to make sure your major(s) is/are declared correctly in your Student Center. 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.
  • Talk to an advisor about questions you have about meeting requirements or something you may not understand on your DARS.
  • Review the Commencement website for graduation check lists & celebrate.

Resources and Involvement

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I have questions about internship and jobs and need help. Where do I go?

There are a number of campus resources to help with career exploration, post-graduation, and internships

  • Statistics Club! Here you can participate in events and activities to help learn about careers in stats and build skills for your resume
  • SuccessWorks is the career services unit for L&S students, they are a great partner in your internship and job search
  • Career Exploration Center can help when you need more assistance with what you want to do
  • We here in the Statistics Department have a number of resources
    • Check out our What Can You do with a Statistics Major handout with information from SuccessWorks on employers of our alumni, job titles, locations and more
    • View and utilize resources from our Student Career Resources page
    • Meet with a Statistics advisor (see above for scheduling)
    • Read the weekly majors newsletter, once declared, for upcoming events and opportunities

I am interested in Study Abroad. Where do I start?

Studying abroad is a great option for students who want to broaden their horizons and immerse themselves in new cultures. Statistics students interested in studying abroad should consult with Study Abroad advisors for assistance with identifying and applying to programs.

Students in the Stats major should typically expect to complete general education/breadth courses while abroad, as there are limited programs with courses equivalent to Stats major requirements.  Please reference the Study Abroad Major Advising pages and the Statistics page in particular, for ideas of programs that may have relevant courses.

I am struggling in my classes. Where can I go for help?

Here are some options that have worked well for other students

Start with your instructors! Your TA or your professor will host office hours (time/location can be found in your course syllabus) that is time set aside specifically for students to come ask questions. Use this time to clarify content from lecture, troubleshoot problems on homework/projects, or go over exam questions that you got wrong to prepare for the final. If your instructor’s office hours do not work within your schedule, typically you can set up an individual appointment–email your instructor if this is the case.

Different departments have learning centers available for FREE drop-in tutoring for certain courses. Check them out:

Other academic resources on campus:

Form a study group with peers from class! Your fellow students in classes can be a great resources when studying. Quiz each other, ask each other questions, and try to explain course material to others so you can check your own understanding. Important reminder: make sure that you are only doing group work if your instructor specifies that group work is allowed on certain assignments or projects.

Having trouble finding study buddies?  Check out Demic (https://www.demicapp.com/) which is an app created by UW-Madison students to help connect students in the same classes.

I need help with a Terra Dotta form (RCL, CPT, program extension, etc.). What do I do?

Please check out our international student FAQ for resources specific to international students, including Terra Dotta forms.