Undergraduate Programs for a Major or Concentration in Statistics
Statistics is the art and science of study design and data analysis. Probability theory is the mathematical foundation for the study of statistical methods and for the modeling of random phenomena. The Statistics major builds on a foundation in probability and statistical theory to provide practical training in statistical methods, study design, and data analysis. The Statistics major is an appropriate background for graduate studies in statistics, social science, epidemiology and public health, genetics, and economics; or for professional work in such areas as drug development, health policy, marketing, opinion polling, finance and banking, government, and insurance.
The Department offers three undergraduate survey courses: STAT UN1001 is designed for students from non-mathematical disciplines; STAT UN1101 is designed for students with some mathematical maturity, but does not require knowledge of calculus; UN1201 is designed for students who have an understanding of the calculus. Students considering the major should choose UN1201, and those considering a concentration in statistics should select UN1101.
Three units of credit are given for the AP Statistics exam passed with a score of 5. Students required for their major to take STAT UN1001 or UN1101 should check with their major advisor to determine if this credit provides an exemption from those courses.
The Department offers a Major in Statistics, a Concentration in Statistics, and interdisciplinary majors with Computer Science, Economics, Mathematics, and Political Science. The major consists of mathematical and computational prerequisites, an introductory course, and five core courses in probability theory and theoretical and applied statistics, together with three electives. The training in the undergraduate major is comparable to a master’s degree in statistics. The concentration is suitable for students preparing for academic or professional work in fields where data analysis skills are valued; it can be completed without the mathematical prerequisites required for the major. The concentration consists of a sequence of six courses in applied statistics, but students may substitute statistics electives numbered 4203 or above with the permission of the concentration advisors.
Current Columbia undergraduate students from Columbia College, SEAS, School of General Studies, and Barnard are offered the opportunity to earn both the bachelor’s degree and the master’s degree (BA/MA) in a shorter period of time thus, making it more financially advantageous. The BA/MA in Statistics is open to students from all majors.