Masters in Statistics

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  • Course description
    Requirements for the M.A. in Statistics
    In order to obtain the Masters in Statistics, a student must have at least 24 units of selected Upper Division and Graduate courses and pass a comprehensive examination, or have at least 20 units and prepare a thesis. In both cases, the course work shall include at least 18 units in Upper Division and Graduate courses in the Statistics Department, of which at least 12 units are in Statistics courses numbered 204 or higher. All coursework used for the M.A. must be letter graded unless the course is only offered on a SU basis. The total of S/U or P/NP units may only be 2.

    A typical program with emphasis on applied statistics will include Statistics 200AB, 230, 243 and some of 215, 232, 236, 238, 240, 241, 242, 244, 248 and 272. A typical program with emphasis on probability theory might, for example, include Statistics 200AB, 205AB and several of 150, 153, 155, 248 and 250. A typical program with emphasis on theoretical statistics will include 200AB & 210AB. Students with special interests are encouraged to devise programs with different emphases. In all cases, the program must be approved (via the Statistics M.A. worksheet) by the Statistics M. A. Advisor, Professor David Brillinger, 417 Evans, (510) 642-0611, Check with the M.A. Advisor re: your proposed program well in advance, at least during the Fall semester. Students from other departments are expected to be doctoral students.

    Written Examination (24 Units)
    The Written Examination is usually held on the last Saturday in April. Check with the Student Affairs Officer (373 Evans, for the exact time & place.

    The Written Examination consists of two parts, each lasting two hours. All students who will sit for the exam will receive copies of previous examinations after they turn in their completed paperwork to the Student Affairs Officer in 373 Evans.

    PART 1 is on probability and PART 2 is on statistical inference. The required material is covered in Statistics 200A and 200B. The relative emphasis among the topics of these courses will vary from year to year at the discretion of the person(s) making up the exam.

    Thesis Option (20 Units)
    To elect the Thesis Option, you must find 3 faculty (with one from outside Statistics) to be on your thesis committee. You and the chair of the thesis committee must agree upon the topic of the thesis. Please provide a short description of your thesis topic and the names and signatures of your committee on page 2 of the Worksheet for the M.A.

    Oral Option (24 Units)
    The Oral Examination is available only under exceptional circumstances when undue hardship would otherwise result. You need to request the approval of the M.A. Advisor. When the approval is granted, the M.A. Advisor will appoint a committee of three. You assemble a list of questions from which the committee will choose at the time of the examination. The list of questions must be approved by all three members of the committee. The questions should be on the material of the statistics courses you are offering for the M.A., and they should be organized under broad headings. If you would like to inspect some question lists that have been accepted in the past, the Student Affairs Officer can assist you. After your list has been approved you will need to have six xeroxed copies made, find an examination time acceptable to all the committee members, notify the Student Affairs Officer, and give the Student Affairs Officer two copies. The Student Affairs Officer will reserve a room and notify you and your committee of the time and place of the examination.

    Duplication of Degree:If you have a master's degree in another major and wish to obtain a master's degree in Statistics, you must

        * Provide a transcript (unofficial one)
        * List courses used for your previous master's degree
        * Include a brief statement of what you see as the intellectual separateness of the two degrees

    The list of courses and the statement may be sent via e-mail to

    You must also complete the other forms (see "How to apply" above) and obtain approval from the M.A. Advisor. Please submit everything to the Student Affairs Officer in 373 Evans. The Statistics M.A. Advisor will do a preliminary evaluation to assess the feasibility of submission.

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