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Best Online Statistics Master's Degree Programs

Discover which schools have the top online master's programs in statistics. Then, explore these programs in-depth, including key coursework, degree, and prerequisite requirements, and find out what kinds of statistics-related careers you can pursue.

Best Online Statistics Master's Programs

To determine the top master's degree programs in statistics, we took into account program cost, including price per credit and additional fees, program flexibility, and the concentrations or emphasis areas offered. Below, you can learn about the best schools for online statistics master's degree programs.

1. Colorado State University-Fort Collins

Location Graduate Tuition & Fees (in-state)
Fort Collins, CO $12,495

Colorado State University-Fort Collins offers an online Master of Applied Statistics degree program that allows students to choose a concentration in data science or statistical science. This program requires 31 credits and can be completed in only 1 year of study when attending full-time. For the 2019-2020 academic year, the price per credit was $811. Online 8-week long classes are administered 100% online with recorded lectures, downloadable course materials, discussions, and chats. The data science concentration features coursework in app development and data mining, while the statistical science concentration offers coursework in machine learning and survey statistics.

2. Texas A & M University-College Station

Location Graduate Tuition & Fees (in-state)
College Station, TX $9,815

Texas A & M University-College Station has an online Master of Science in Statistics degree program that requires 36 credits and a qualifying exam but has no thesis requirement. Students are able to complete their online degree in about 3-4 years with online classes that feature recorded lectures and the same exams and assignments as on-campus students. For resident students, the price per credit for the 2019-2020 school year was $705.20 and for non-resident students, the price per credit was $1,206.15.

3. Oklahoma State University-Main Campus

Location Graduate Tuition & Fees (in-state)
Stillwater, OK $8,460

The Master of Science in Applied Statistics degree program at Oklahoma State University-Main Campus is able to complete fully online. This 32-credit hour program requires courses in computer programming, experimental data analysis, and applied mathematical statistics. Students must also complete a creative capstone course. Graduate resident students in online programs paid $230.45 per credit for the 2019-2020 academic year, while graduate non-resident students paid $360 per credit.

4. University of Kentucky

Location Graduate Tuition & Fees (in-state)
Lexington, KY $13,052

The University of Kentucky offers an online Master of Applied Statistics degree that features classes that incorporate high-tech lightboard technology and videos, real-time discussion boards, and live discussions with professors. This online program requires 30 total hours with courses that center on the following topics:

  • Multivariate Statistics
  • Statistical Modeling
  • Regression Modeling
  • Computational Theory
  • Data Visualization

Students can earn their online degree in 1 year, 2 years, or 3 years, depending on their preference for attending full- or part-time. For all full-time students, the tuition price for each semester is $6,844, while for all part-time students the tuition per credit is $728.

5. University of Kansas

Location Graduate Tuition & Fees (in-state)
Lawrence, KS $13,052

The University of Kansas has an online Master of Science in Applied Statistics & Analytics degree that requires 30 credits. This online program allows students to choose an emphasis area in the following subjects:

  • Statistics
  • Analytics
  • Data Science

All students take required courses in linear regression, data analysis, and professional development in the statistical sciences. Students must also take a comprehensive exam to earn their master's degree. For the 2019-2020 school year, the price per credit for all students was $700.

Rank School Name Location Graduate Tuition & Fees (in-state)
6 North Carolina State University at Raleigh Raleigh, NC $11,495
7 University of Delaware Newark, DE $33,678
8 Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY $45,808
9 Pennsylvania State University-World Campus University Park, PA $21,772
10 Stanford University Stanford, CA $51,354

All statistics provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition based on 2018-2019 school year

Learn.org's school ranking methodology categorizes and assesses data from schools and other reliable sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, and weighs the information based on quality, cost, value and other factors critical to students' academic decisions.

Overview of Online Statistics Master's Programs

Online master's degree programs in statistics focus on teaching students how to manage, analyze, and interpret data for a range of industries, such as marketing, healthcare, manufacturing, banking, and insurance.

Credits and Length

Online master's programs in statistics can require anywhere from 30 to 36 total credits. Typically, when attending full-time, students are able to earn their statistics master's degree in about 1 to 2 years. However, if attending part-time, it could take 3 to 4 years.

Courses

Although the exact coursework in statistics master's programs varies by institution, there are some common courses. Below, you can explore examples of master's-level statistics courses.

  • Regression Models - This course teaches students how to understand and analyze the connection between independent and dependent variables. Common regression methods that are covered include linear, nonlinear, logistic, and curvilinear models.
  • Statistical Consulting - Students learn how to communicate effectively with clients that they will be performing statistical analysis for. Some courses involve working on consulting projects with real-world clients.
  • Data Mining - This is a course that focuses on the methods for gathering and analyzing large sets of data to make business and forecasting decisions. Specific topics covered include data visualization, decision trees, and clustering.
  • Experimental Design - Students study the fundamentals of experimental design and analysis. Students might have a chance to look at experiments vs. observation, Taguchi methods, and kriging.
  • Mathematical Statistics - This course covers the most important basic concepts in statistics, including probability theory, the theory of statistical inference, random variables, convergence concepts, and Bayesian methods.

Other Degree Requirements

Typically, statistics master's programs don't require a final thesis. However, a limited number of programs may require a final capstone project or course. These capstones could consist of a research project or a creative project. Many programs also require comprehensive or qualifying exams after you complete a set amount of coursework. This exam tests students on their skills and what they have learned in their program, and they must pass it to earn their master's degree.

Concentrations

Although most online statistics master's programs have a general focus on statistics or applied statistics, a few programs allow students to choose a concentration or specialization area. Typically, students need to complete a set of courses, in addition to core courses and electives, within their concentration area. Below are examples of concentration areas found in statistics master's programs.

  • Data Science - This concentration centers on the analysis and use of big data, usually within a business-oriented setting, in order to make forecasts and business decisions. Students take courses on deep and machine learning, AI, data mining, and business intelligence.
  • Biostatistics - This is a concentration that emphasizes the medical and pharmaceutical industries in relation to statistics and analysis. There is a focus on bioinformatics, clinical trials, and epidemiological studies. Students take courses on survival analysis and nonparametric statistics.
  • Statistical Science - This concentration has a sharper focus on the practical application of statistics in real-world contexts. Students take courses on experimental design and nonparametric methods.

Prerequisites for Online Statistics Master's Programs

To gain admittance to an online statistics master's program, you must meet certain requirements related to your educational background and application materials.

Undergraduate Degree

To apply to a master's degree program in statistics, you must already hold a bachelor's degree. Most programs have no requirement about the type of undergraduate degree you need. However, some programs require that you have at least a 3.0 GPA in your undergraduate coursework.

Prerequisite Coursework

Most statistics master's programs require that students have a background in mathematics and have completed certain prerequisite coursework. While exact prerequisite requirements vary by program, below are some common courses that programs may require you to take before applying:

  • Calculus 1
  • Calculus 2
  • Matrix Algebra
  • Linear Algebra
  • Computer Programming language course

Application Materials

Common application materials for online statistics master's programs include:

  • An application and fee
  • Transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • A statement of purpose
  • A resume

Some, but not all, programs also require you submit GRE scores or Math Entrance Exam scores. It's best to check with your chosen program about what test scores they prefer.

Cost of Online Statistics Master's Programs

The total cost of an online master's degree in statistics program depends on several factors, including tuition, residency status, and fees.

Tuition

The price per credit for online statistics master's programs can range from $230 to $1,206. So, for a 32-credit program that costs $230 per credit, the total tuition would be $7,360, and a 36-credit program that costs $1,206 per credit would be $43,416. To figure out the tuition cost for your chosen program, ask your university for the total per credit cost and then multiply that by the total number of credits needed to earn your degree.

Residency

Also affecting your base tuition rate is your residency status. Most, but not all, universities charge out-of-state students more than in-state students. If you choose an online program that is not in the state you currently live in, then you should check with your university whether they will charge you more than your in-state peers.

Fees

Most universities also charge additional fees on top of the price per credit tuition rate. Fees can range from $15 to $55 and upwards. Common types of fees include technology fees, distance education fees, registration fees, and course fees. You can ask your program or university about which fees apply to you and get a total estimate of your costs with tuition and fees included.

Job Options with a Master's in Statistics Degree

With a master's degree in statistics, you can pursue a career as a statistician, a market or operations analyst, or a survey researcher.

Statistician

Statisticians primarily use their math and statistical skills to address issues that crop up in a range of different industries, including in the healthcare, engineering, or educational fields. They first collect data using polls, surveys, and other methods. Then, they analyze that data through statistical methods and computer models. Finally, they present their findings, which are used by their clients or employers to make business or other decisions.

Statisticians can work for the government, where they address public health or policy issues, for pharmaceutical companies, where they work on clinical trials, or for research and development companies, where they analyze data about products.

Generally, statisticians need a master's degree in statistics or math.

Market Research Analyst

A market research analyst is in charge of:

  • Researching new products and services
  • Making pricing decisions
  • Researching data about consumers
  • Researching market conditions

Market research analysts collect data sets through surveys, polls, and interviews, usually related to consumer buying habits. They then analyze, organize, and present that data by using their statistical skills and software.

Market research analysts need a bachelor's degree in market research or a related field, like statistics. For higher-level positions, a master's degree, like one in statistics, is often preferred or required.

Operations Research Analyst

Operations research analysts are all about helping their employers make good business decisions in terms of resources, prices, supply chains, and production. To do this, they collect and analyze data sets that come from customer feedback, in-house databases, and other means. Using computer software, predictive modeling, and statistical techniques, operations research analysts come up with solutions to specific issues.

For some operations research analyst positions, only a bachelor's degree is required; however, employers will sometimes prefer candidates with a master's degree in a technical field and who have completed coursework in computer programming, statistics, and calculus.

Survey Researcher

A survey researcher works to collect and analyze data sets in order to help their employers understand a population's thoughts, opinions, and beliefs. They are responsible for researching survey topics and designing survey questions. Survey researchers then analyze the data they collect, using statistical methods and software. From there, they will create tables, fact sheets, and graphs in order to present their findings.

Survey researchers work for private employers, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations.

Survey researchers need a master's degree in survey research or a related field, such as statistics.

Salary and Job Growth for Statistics Careers

Below is salary information for statistics-related careers.

Job Title Median Annual Salary (2018) Estimated Job Growth (2018-2028)
Statistician $87,780 31%
Market Research Analyst $63,120 20%
Operations Research Analyst $83,390 26%
Survey Researcher $57,700 1%

Salary information provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018

Professional Statistics Organizations

In the field of mathematics and statistics, there are several organizations that advocate for professionals, conduct research, and run awareness or educational programs.

American Mathematical Society (AMS)

AMS has been operating since 1888 and provides its 30,000+ members with a wealth of educational and career services. AMS holds conferences and meetings throughout the year, offers grants to students, has employment services, and produces various journals and books.

American Statistical Association (ASA)

ASA was founded in 1839 and is the leading organization for statisticians and data scientists. As a paid member of ASA, you get access to career services and job boards, to a large community of professionals, to journals, to professional development resources, and to discounts. ASA also runs the This is Statistics website and program, which informs students about statistics-related careers.