May 23, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Statistics (M.S.)

Master’s degree requirements

The Master of Science degree program offers two tracks: a Mathematical Statistics track, and a Data Science and Analytics track.

All master students should have a background in mathematics at least at the level of calculus, along with prior knowledge of matrix or linear algebra. The Data Science and Analytics track requires proficiency of STAT 510   and STAT 511   or equivalent, and at least 3 credit hours of a programming language course that uses C, C++, Fortran, R or Python, for admission.  Students without the background of STAT 510   and STAT 511   prior to admission are required to take extra credits to fulfill the requirement.

Two master’s degree completion options are available for each track: the master’s report option and the non-report option.

  • For the master’s report option, the student must take 30 hours of coursework and write a report for 2 additional hours of credit in STAT 898  .
  • For the non report option, the student must take 36 hours of coursework and pass a comprehensive exam for the Mathematical Statistics track, or complete a Capstone Project for the Data Science and Analytics track.  
  • Students must select either the report option or the non-report option by the first week of the fall semester of their second year in the MS program. At this time, the student is required to file a program of study. Students that do not file a program of study that specifies an explicit choice of degree option in a timely manner will be automatically assigned to the non-report option. Students are not allowed to switch between report versus non-report options after filing the program of study unless the switch is approved by the Graduate Program Committee.
  • Students that are interested in pursuing the report option should contact potential faculty advisors by the end of their first year in the MS program in order to allow time to identify a suitable project.
  • For both the Report Option and the Non-Report option: Students must be enrolled in at least one hour the semester in which they plan to complete the final examination or defend their report and graduate. In addition, international students should check with International Student and Scholar Services to be certain of the enrollment required.

Mathematical Statistics Track

For the Mathematical Statistics track, the course work must include:

Data Science and Analytics Track

For the Data Science and Analytics track, the course work must include:


  • Students planning to pursue the PhD in Statistics at K-State are required to take STAT 720  . 
  • Master’s students wishing to continue for the PhD must apply for admission to that program. Students should meet with the Department Head regarding available funding.

M.S. Exam or Capstone Project

Master’s students in the non-report option in the Mathematical Statistics track will meet with the MS Exam committee near the beginning of the semester in which the student intends to take the MS Exam. The exam is offered twice each year, near the end of the fall and spring semesters. This committee will compose an exam based on material from STAT 770  , STAT 771  , and STAT 713  . The format will be a written 3 hour exam. A decision of Pass/Fail will be made by a two thirds vote in the exam committee, in accordance with section J.3 of the Graduate School Handbook.  In the event of a Fail, a second attempt may be requested by the student in accordance with Graduate School policies. 

Master’s students in the non-report option in the Data Science and Analytics track will complete a capstone project, which can be conducted with industry, government, and academic partners, and which may result in the creation of a usable/public data product for real-world problems.

Students admitted to the Ph.D. program in statistics may, with approval of the MS Exam committee, use the Ph.D. Qualifying Exams to satisfy the exam requirement of the M.S. non-report option. A passing mark on at least one Ph.D. qualifying exam will be interpreted as a pass of the MS. Exam.