Masters of Arts in Statistics

Program Description

The M.A. program in Statistics provides advanced preparation in both the fundamental theory and the practice of statistics. This program prepares students for a position in the fields of education or industry, or for further graduate study leading to a PhD.  To enter, students need a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, statistics, or a closely related discipline.

Requirements for the M.A. Degree (Statistics Track)

Course Work
Ordinarily, eight semester courses in our department are required for the M.A. degree. At most two courses may be transferred from another institution; in this case, the courses should correspond to Boston University courses.

Only courses at the 500-level or above count for the M.A. degree (typically excluding those in the 600-699 range, which serve a different function). Courses numbered 500-599 are aimed at both advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students, while courses numbered above 700 are designed primarily for graduate students. While there is no formal requirement concerning which courses to take, for most students the qualifying examination requirement (see below) effectively necessitates that certain courses be taken.

All MA students in the statistics track must take the following two exams: the MA Theory exam and the MA Applied exam. These are offered every April. The MA Theory exam covers the material from MA581 (Probability), MA582 (Mathematical Statistics), and MA583 (Introduction to Stochastic Processes). There are two questions from each course. Students are required to answer four questions, including at least one question from each area. The MA Applied exam covers the material from MA575 (Linear Models) and MA576 (Generalized Linear Models). There are two questions from each course. Students are required to answer three questions total. Copies of some old qualifying exams are available here.

Financial Aid

Currently, the Department of Mathematics and Statistics reserves the funds it has available for financial aid for Ph.D. students. Therefore, we typically do not offer any financial aid for students in Masters degree programs.