Jun 17, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Statistics, M.A.

College of Arts and Sciences  
Department: Mathematics and Statistics 


The Department of Mathematics and Statistics offers an M.A. degree in Statistics. The major provides the experience and knowledge to understand and appreciate prior accomplishments in the discipline and develops the skills necessary for a meaningful contribution to the intellectual advancement and applications of the discipline. It prepares its graduates to pursue long-term careers in their field by providing solid and cutting-edge knowledge.

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

  • Students should have at least 3.50 GPA average in courses taken during the last two years of their undergraduate or graduate studies.
  • Students must have a B.A. or B.S. in one of the following areas: Statistics, Mathematics, Physical Sciences, Engineering, or Business.
  • Students who expect to specialize in graduate work in statistics are advised to study as much mathematics as possible during their undergraduate years. Some interdisciplinary experience in natural sciences, engineering, economics, or psychology is also highly desirable. Students who do not have at least three semesters of successful course work in calculus will be required to complete additional courses in mathematics before being admitted. Prior course work in intermediate analysis, advanced calculus, and in statistics is strongly recommended, but not mandatory.
  • At least a 55th percentile Quantitative score on the GRE; Verbal and Analytic Writing scores on the GRE are also considered. The University of South Florida and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics encourage applications from qualified individuals with disabilities and qualified individuals from all cultural, racial, religious, ethnic, and gender groups, and sexual orientations in accordance with all university regulations.

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum Hours 30 hours

  • Core Requirements – 6 Credit hours
  • Additional Required Course - 3 Credit Hours
  • Statistical Knowledge Breadth and Depth Courses - 9 Credit Hours
  • Electives – 6 Credit Hours
  • Thesis Option - 6 Credit Hours (thesis)
  • Non-Thesis Option - 6 Credit Hours (electives)

Core Requirements (6 Credit Hours)

Additional Required Course (3 Credit Hours)

Fundamental Statistical Breadth Knowledge Courses (9 Credit Hours)

The student must earn a 3.00 average in each of the areas.

Electives (6 Credit Hours Minimum)


Students complete either the non-thesis or thesis option.


Non-Thesis Option (6 Credit Hours Minimum)

Students in the non-thesis option complete an additional six (6) hours of electives from the graduate courses listed above.

Thesis Option (6 Credit Hours Minimum)

Students may opt to complete a thesis in lieu of 6 hours of electives.

A master’s thesis is a scholarly composition that demonstrates the ability of the author to do independent and creative work. It explores in some depth a problem or issue related to the major field of study. Although considerable variations in format and style are acceptable, precise expression, logical construction, and meticulous attention to detail are essential. A thesis in statistics should deal with some aspect of statistical methodology or theory, or the development of statistical models for a class of problems related to a scientific question. While most theses will include a case study or example that involves scientific data, the analysis of a particular data set does not, alone, constitute the level of scholarly accomplishment required for a thesis.

Student’s Graduate Committee

Students working toward a thesis will have the benefit of a committee of members of the graduate faculty, appointed by the graduate director/departmental chairperson and approved by the Dean of the College. The Committee will approve the course of study for the student and plan for research, supervise the research and any comprehensive qualifying exams, and read and approve the thesis for content and format.

  • Successful Oral Defense of the Thesis
  • Final Submission of Approved Thesis.

Other Requirements

The student must maintain a 3.00 average to remain a candidate for a degree. Failure to do this will result in being placed on probation. A letter from the major professor is required to remove a student from probation after he/she regains a 3.00 average. Department may waive some of the course requirements for those students who have taken equivalent course work at another institution. In such instances, students will be required to complete other coursework to meet the minimum hours required for the degree.

Comprehensive Examination

Graduation from the Master’s major also requires passing the comprehensive examination. The two ways to pass this examination are as follows:

  • Thesis option: complete and successfully defend a Master’s thesis
  • Non-thesis option: Pass one of the fundamental qualifying exams at Master’s level covering the material from one of the fundamental statistical areas of Applied Statistics or Mathematical Statistics. 

Department Handbook

The most recent supplementary documents for Statistics graduate students are described in the Statistics handbook available at the following websites: