Apr 16, 2024  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


101 Dickens Hall

Department Head:

Christopher Vahl

Directors of Graduate Studies:

Weixing Song
Haiyan Wang

Graduate Faculty:

*Nora Bello, Ph.D., Michigan State University
*Juan Du, Ph.D., Michigan State University
*Gyuhyeong Goh, Ph.D., University of Connecticut
*Trevor Hefley, Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln
*Michael Higgins, Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley
*Wei-Wen Hsu, Ph.D., Michigan State University
Abigail L. Jager, Ph.D., University of Chicago
*Qing Kang, Ph.D., University of Science and Technology of China
Karen Keating, Ph.D., Kansas State University
*Jingru Mu, Ph.D., Iowa State University
*James Neill, Ph.D., Kansas State University
*Perla Reyes, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Pallavi Rajesh Sawant, Ph.D., Auburn University
*Weixing Song, Ph.D., Michigan State University
*Christopher I. Vahl, Ph.D., Kansas State University
*Haiyan Wang, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
*Cen Wu, Ph.D., Michigan State University

*Denotes graduate faculty that are certified to serve as the major professor for doctoral students.

Emeritus Faculty:

*John Boyer, Emeritus, Ph.D., Michigan State University
*Gary L. Gadbury, Ph.D., Colorado State University
*James Higgins, Emeritus, Ph.D., University of Missouri-Columbia
*Dallas Johnson, Emeritus, Ph.D., Colorado State University
*Kenneth Kemp, Emeritus, Ph.D., Michigan State University
*George Milliken, Emeritus, Ph.D., Colorado State University
*Paul Nelson, Emeritus, Ph.D., Rutgers University

Graduate Faculty Associates:

Thomas Pawlowski III, Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology


Ancillary Faculty:

*Zhoumeng Lin, Ph.D., The University of Georgia


To solve problems we need information. But, what kind? How much? How to get it? And after we get it, what do we do with it? Statisticians deal with numerical information usually called data. Their job is to advise on data collection based on the problem to be solved, offer inferential procedures and conduct data analysis, and interpret results in appropriate settings. All areas that involve the retrieval, collection and analysis of data can significantly benefit from the skills of a statistician to help advance their fields, regardless of sciences, medicine, engineering or education. Monitoring the environment, developing new vaccines, making more reliable products, growing crops more efficiently, setting insurance rates, and providing recommender systems are just some endeavors in which statisticians have had a significant impact on. Statistics is a field in which experts have virtually unlimited opportunities.

One area of careers in statistics are those in the state and federal governments. Professionals are not only hired into such areas as the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of the Census, but are in demand in many service agencies.

Universities hire statisticians in many academic departments, including public health,  mathematics, management sciences, economics, genetics, history, and psychology, and at the administrative and service levels, including business affairs, research support, and personnel.

Private industry is a heavy user of the skills of the statistician. For example, the pharmaceutical industry employs many statisticians to design studies and analyze data to show the safety and effectiveness of new drug compounds. Manufacturing industries are increasingly using statisticians to help them improve quality and productivity. Private consulting can be lucrative for the experienced statistician who works with both private industry and government. Companies of all sizes employ statisticians to keep the business progressing and competitive.


The Department of Statistics accepts students with a strong quantitative background. The graduate programs welcome students from many different disciplines. Students entering the M. S. program should have a background of calculus, matrix algebra, computer programming, and introductory statistics. Students entering the Ph.D. program should have additional course work in statistics and mathematics.

Degree Programs

The Department of Statistics offers four-degree programs: B.S. in statistics, a concurrent B.S./M.S. in statistics, M.S in statistics  (Mathematical Statistics Track or Data Science and Analytics Track), and Ph.D. in statistics. A master’s degree is recommended for a career in industry or government. The Ph.D. degree is usually required for post-secondary teaching and higher level positions. The department offers concentrations in applied, computational, and mathematical probability and statistics.

Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics

The department offers the Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics to recognize the preparation and proficiency of non-majors in data analysis in a wide variety of subject matter areas. Graduate students in a variety of academic disciplines are conducting research that requires knowledge in applied statistics. Such students may wish to demonstrate proficiency in applied statistics as it may be useful when looking for meaningful employment opportunities, in addition to helping them become better researchers in their chosen fields. In order to strengthen their educational programs and the quality of graduate education, a Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics has been developed.

Consulting opportunities

The department does a tremendous amount of consulting work for researchers and students on campus and for individuals and agencies off campus. Projects vary in length of time and sophistication of methods needed to complete them. Students may contact the department head to find out what is available. Those who wish to do consulting will be assigned a faculty member to direct the work. At the student’s discretion, up to 2 hours credit may be earned for consulting by registering for STAT 945.




Doctor of Philosophy

Master of Science

Graduate Certificate