Statistical Science majors are exposed to a broad range of statistical methods using tools from mathematical and computational sciences. Developing skills and expertise in problem articulation and solving and abilities to appreciate and accommodate uncertainty in decisionmaking are central goals. Graduating students are well prepared and competitive for beginning careers in data science, analytics, business, technology, finance, law, medicine, and other fields, as well as for graduate study in statistical science and allied disciplines.
Our program is structured to teach students about the discipline of statistics and provide them with an opportunity to develop a substantial undergraduate research experience. We offer both a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Statistical Science.
The graduation requirements for Statistical Science programs are changing for students matriculating in Fall 2024 and beyond.
Students who matriculate in Fall 2024 or later must follow the “new” major requirements outlined below.
Required Courses
Prerequisites
The skills developed and techniques explored in these courses are necessary for the study of statistical methods in the major:
 Calculus I: MATH 21  Introductory Calculus I or MATH 111L  Laboratory Calculus I
 The Calculus I requirement can also be satisfied with the sequence of MATH 105L  Laboratory Calculus and Functions I and MATH 106L  Laboratory Calculus and Functions II courses.
 Calculus II: MATH 22  Introductory Calculus II or MATH 122  Introductory Calculus II with Applications or MATH 112L  Laboratory Calculus II
 Linear algebra: MATH 218  Matrices and Vector Spaces (good option for many students) or MATH 221  Linear Algebra and Application (required for math majors, preferred for statistical science students thinking about graduate study in statistics or mathematical science).
 The Concentration in Mathematical Statistics requires MATH 221, and the Concentration in Data Science requires MATH 218 or MATH 221.
 MATH 216  Linear Algebra and Differential Equations also satisfies the linear algebra requirement however some students may find this course less engaging than MATH 218 or MATH 221.
 Multivariable calculus: MATH 219  Multivariable Calculus or MATH 212  Multivariable Calculus or MATH 222  Advanced Multivariable Calculus or MATH 202  Multivariable Calculus for Economics.
 The Concentration in Mathematical Statistics requires MATH 212, MATH 219, or MATH 222.
If you are not sure which course is the best fit for you, see the Placement Guidelines prepared by the Department of Mathematics.
Recommended
We recommend that students wishing to major in Statistical Science start with STA 199L  Introduction to Data Science and Statistical Thinking.
Alternatively, students interested in Statistical Science and Global Health and/or Life Sciences are recommended to take STA 198L  Introduction to Global Health Data Science.
Core
 STA 221L  Regression Analysis: Theory and Applications
 STA 240L  Probability for Statistics (Recommended) or STA 230 / MATH 230  Probability or STA 230S / MATH 230S  Probability Inquiry Based Learning or STA 231 / MATH 340  Advanced Introduction to Probability or MATH 231  An Algorithmic Introduction to Probability and its Applications
 STA 323L  Statistical Computing
 STA 432 / MATH 343  Theory and Methods of Statistical Learning and Inference
 STA 360L  Bayesian Inference and Modern Statistical Methods
 We recommend students planning to complete an honors thesis take this course by the end of their junior year.
 STA 440L  Case Studies in the Practice of Statistics
 This course must be taken in the senior year.
Electives
Electives are intended to provide breadth in theory, methods, and applications. The number of elective courses required varies by degree program.
 Bachelor of Arts: Two Statistical Science courses above STA 240L
 Bachelor of Science: Three Statistical Science courses above STA 240L
 One of these courses can come from the list of approved courses from another quantitative department.
For both degree programs:
 All electives must contain statistical content beyond what is covered in STA 240L.
 Either STA 198L or STA 199L can be used to satisfy this requirement.
 STA 601, STA 602L, and STA 611 cannot be used to satisfy this requirement.
 Up to 1 independent study course can be used towards this requirement.
Faculty advisors and the Director of Undergraduate Studies will help majors select elective courses that align with their academic goals. For potential choices, see Course Descriptions and Pathways.
Concentrations
Optionally, students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Statistical Science may choose to focus their studies with either a Concentration in Mathematical Statistics or a Concentration in Data Science.
Concentration in Mathematical Statistics
The Concentration in Mathematical Statistics is a great option for those considering graduate study in statistics or a closely related field.
This concentration can be completed through the following course selection as part of the major:
 The linear algebra prerequisite must be MATH 221.
 The multivariable calculus prerequisite must be MATH 212, MATH 219, or MATH 222.
 One of the electives must be either MATH 431 or MATH 531.
Concentration in Data Science
The Concentration in Data Science is a great option for those considering an industry position in data science, analytics, etc.
This concentration can be completed through the following course selection as part of the major:
 The linear algebra prerequisite must be MATH 218 or MATH 221.
 Of the three electives:
 At least two must come from the group of STA 198L, 199L, 310, 313L, 322, 325L, and 393/493 (with a data science focus), 465, 561D, 571, or 671D.
 At least one of these two must come from the subgroup of STA 313L, 325L, 465, 561D, 571, or 671D.
 Optionally, one of the electives can be an advanced COMPSCI course with preapproval by the DUS.
Considering graduate study in Statistical Science or a closely related field?
Students considering graduate study in statistical science or a closely related field are very strongly encouraged to get as much experience in theoretical mathematics as possible, taking MATH 221 as the linear algebra option and taking a course in real analysis (MATH 531 or 431, preferred in that order). If you're nervous about going straight into real analysis, please consider MATH 240 or MATH 245 as an intermediate step between your linear algebra course (MATH 216, 218, or 221) and real analysis. Students interested in graduate study are also strongly recommended to be involved in research and complete an honors thesis. The Concentration in Mathematical Statistics is a great option for those considering graduate study in statistics.
Students who matriculated prior to Fall 2024 have two options:
 Graduate under the"new" major requirements outlined above (under the heading “For students who matriculated in Fall 2024 or later”).
 These students may substitute the combination of STA 210 + STA 211 for STA 221 or consult the DUS for discussing their course selection and planning.
 Graduate under the “old” major requirements outlined below.
Required Courses:
Prerequisites
The skills developed and techniques explored in these courses are necessary for study of advanced statistical methods in the major:

The skills developed and techniques explored in these courses are necessary for the study of statistical methods in the major:
 Calculus I: MATH 21  Introductory Calculus I or MATH 111L  Laboratory Calculus I
 The Calculus I requirement can also be satisfied with the sequence of MATH 105L  Laboratory Calculus and Functions I and MATH 106L  Laboratory Calculus and Functions II courses.
 Calculus II: MATH 22  Introductory Calculus II or MATH 122  Introductory Calculus II with Applications or MATH 112L  Laboratory Calculus II
 Linear algebra: MATH 218  Matrices and Vector Spaces (good option for many students) or MATH 221  Linear Algebra and Application (required for math majors, preferred for statistical science students thinking about graduate study in statistics or mathematical science).
 The Concentration in Mathematical Statistics requires MATH 221, and the Concentration in Data science requires MATH 218 or MATH 221.
 MATH 216  Linear Algebra and Differential Equations also satisfies the Linear algebra requirement however some students may find this course less engaging than MATH 218 or MATH 221.
 Multivariable calculus: MATH 219  Multivariable Calculus or MATH 212  Multivariable Calculus or MATH 222  Advanced Multivariable Calculus or MATH 202  Multivariable Calculus for Economics.
 The Concentration in Mathematical Statistics requires MATH 212, MATH 219, or MATH 222.
 Computer Science: COMPSCI 101L Introduction to Computer Science or COMPSCI 102 Interdisciplinary Computing or COMPSCI 201 Data Structures and Algorithms or EGR 103L Computational Methods. Other COMPSCI courses require preapproval from the DUS. Students with AP credit for COMPSCI 101 may meet the requirement by taking any Duke COMPSCI course.
If you are not sure which course is the best fit for you, see the Placement Guidelines prepared by the Department of Mathematics.
Recommended
We recommend that students wishing to major in Statistical Science start with STA 199L  Introduction to Data Science and Statistical Thinking.
Alternatively, students interested in Statistical Science and Global Health and/or Life Sciences are recommended to take STA 198L  Introduction to Global Health Data Science.
Core
 STA 210L  Regression Analysis
 STA 240L  Probability for Statistics (Recommended) or STA 230 / MATH 230  Probability or STA 230S / MATH 230S  Probability Inquiry Based Learning or STA 231 / MATH 340  Advanced Introduction to Probability
 STA 432 / MATH 343  Theory and Methods of Statistical Learning and Inference
 STA 360L  Bayesian Inference and Modern Statistical Methods
 This course requires STA 211  Mathematics of Regression as a prerequisite or a corequisite. Students who have already taken STA 210L will have one last opportunity to take STA 211 in Fall 2024.
 We recommend students planning to complete an honors thesis take this course by the end of your junior year.
 STA 440L  Case Studies in the Practice of Statistics
 This course must be taken in the senior year.
Electives
Electives are intended to provide breadth in theory, methods, and applications. The number of elective courses required varies based on the degree program.
 Bachelor of Arts: Three Statistical Science courses above STA 240L
 Bachelor of Science: Three Statistical Science courses above STA 240L plus one elective from an applied field, such as engineering, mathematics, natural sciences, or one of the quantitative social sciences.
 Applied elective must come from the list of approved courses or must be preapproved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. See Applied Electives for BS in Statistical Science for more information on this requirement.
For both degree programs:
 All electives must contain statistical content beyond what is covered in STA 240L.
 Either STA 198L or STA 199L can be used to satisfy this requirement.
 STA 601, STA 602L, and STA 611 cannot be used to satisfy this requirement.
 Up to 1 independent study course can be used towards this requirement.
Faculty advisors and the Director of Undergraduate Studies will help majors to select elective courses in accordance with their academic goals. See Course Descriptions and Pathways for potential choices.
Concentrations
Optionally, students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Statistical Science may choose to focus their studies with either the Concentration in Mathematical Statistics or Concentration in Data Science.
Concentration in Mathematical Statistics
The Concentration in Mathematical Statistics is a great option for those considering graduate study in statistics or a closelyrelated field.
This concentration can be completed the following course selection as part of the major:
 The linear algebra prerequisite must be MATH 221.
 The multivariable calculus prerequisite must be MATH 212, MATH 219, or MATH 222.
 The applied elective must be either MATH 431 or MATH 531.
Concentration in Data Science
The Concentration in Data Science is a great option for those considering an industry position in data science, analytics, etc.
This concentration can be completed the following course selection as part of the major:
 The linear algebra prerequisite must be MATH 218 or MATH 221.
 Of the three electives:
 At least two must come from the group of STA 198L, 199L, 310, 313L, 322, 323D, 325L, and 393/493 (with a data science focus), 465, 561D, 571, or 671D.
 At least one of these two must come from the subgroup of STA 313L, 323D, 325L, 465, 561D, 571, or 671D.
 The applied elective must be one of COMPSCI 216, 316, 330, 370, 371, 516, or 570, with others possible with preapproval by the DUS.
Considering graduate study in Statistical Science or a closelyrelated field?
Students considering graduate study in statistical science or a closelyrelated field are very strongly encouraged to get as much experience in theoretical mathematics as possible, taking MATH 221 as the linear algebra option and taking a course in real analysis (MATH 531 or 431, preferred in that order). If you're nervous about going straight into real analysis, please consider MATH 240 or MATH 245 as an intermediate step between your linear algebra course (MATH 216, 218, or 221) and real analysis. Students interested in graduate study are also strongly recommend being involved in research and completing an honors thesis. The Concentration in Mathematical Statistics is a great option for those considering graduate study in statistics.