BA/MA Studies

Masters-level studies in statistics can substantially widen the range of possible job opportunities for graduates, in everything from business, to government, to industry. For students whose performance is sufficiently strong at the BA level, and who get started early enough in their program of study, it is often possible to earn both BA and MA degrees in four years.

Requirements for a BA/MA in Mathematics (Statistics Track)

Statistics students interested in the BA/MA program apply to the BA/MA program in mathematics and indicate that they elect to pursue the statistics option (i.e., rather than the ‘mathematics’ option).  The objective of the program in statistics is to train general statistical practitioners capable of making immediate contributions in industry, the medical sciences, government, or private educational and research institutions.

Applications for the BA/MA program are due by March 1 of the junior year. Application forms may be obtained in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Admissions Office, Room 112, 705 Commonwealth Ave.  Potential applicants must first complete at least one upper-level course (400 level or higher statistics course for the statistics option).  As part of the application, one of the letters of recommendation should be provided by the instructor of such a course.

Students in the BA/MA program must complete the BA concentration in mathematics, with specialty in statistics. In addition, students must complete the master’s degree requirements, which consist of (1) a coherent program of eight graduate-level courses in statistics and (2) comprehensive qualifying exams. Graduate-level courses are 500 or above (typically excluding 600-699, which serve a different role).  No overlap is permitted between  courses taken to satisfy the BA requirements and those taken to satisfy the MA requirements. The total number of courses taken for both degrees, including distribution courses, elective, and so on, can be reduced to as few as 36, provided that all requirements are met. Copies of some old qualifying exams are available here.

If you think you might be interested in pursuing a BA/MA option in statistics, please contact the Director of the Program in Statistics,  Prof. Eric Kolaczyk.