General Questions

Question: I am interested in Statistics, but I don’t want to major in Statistics, I am only interested in taking some classes. What classes should I choose? 

Answer: According to your level of calculus and whether you want to learn some computational skills, there are several classes you can choose from. For example, STAT 220 and STAT 221 focus on statistical literacy and logical thinking and are geared towards the non-mathematical student. The aim is to develop quantitative problem-solving skills as well as build a statistical vocabulary; these courses do not involve computation and students do not need a calculus background. STAT 311 is geared to students aiming for more quantitative disciplines: STAT, BUSINESS, ECON, and INFO among others; the course includes coding and computation in the widely-used open source language R. STAT 390 requires more calculus, it also makes use of R. Last, STAT/CSE 180 is a recent alternative which introduces the essential elements of data science. Visit this page for more information on this topic.

Question: Can statistics be part of a double major? 

Answer: Yes. Statistics can be part of a double major (except for the ACMS program). Because of the structure of the breadth requirements, the Statistics Data Science (DS) track is the most suitable for double majors with CSE. Click here for more information on pre-approved pathways of double majors and here to learn more about tracks.

Question: I am in my freshman year, and am currently taking the calculus sequence. I am interested in pursuing a statistics major.  Can I still graduate in four years" 

Answer: Yes. The statistics major was designed to allow students with less prior exposure to statistics or mathematics to still graduate on time. Even students who begin taking prerequisite courses in their second year may be able to graduate on time.  

Question: If I arrived at UW with AP credits, is it possible to graduate early? 

Answer: Yes. Well-prepared students may be able to graduate complete all program requirement in 3 total years at UW.  Note, however, that completing the total number of credits required to graduate from UW (typically 180) might require taking some summer courses in your first and second years at UW. Take a look at the major's requirements page, Plan B in the paragraph titled “What does a typical year in the Stat major look like?”. 

Question: What is the difference between STAT 311 and STAT 390? 

Answer: Both STAT 311 and STAT 390 can be viewed as an introduction to Statistics (“101” course) and both can be counted as part of the admission requirement for majoring in Statistics. The main difference is that STAT 390 is calculus-based  and geared more towards engineering students, while STAT 311  contains less calculus and it is geared towards a broader audience that includes Econ and Social Sciences majors.


Question: What is considered a strong applicant for the STAT major? 

Every application is holistically reviewed by the statistics admissions committee. Your overall UW record, the GPAs of the prerequisites, positive grade pattern and your personal statement are considered in the review. The major is competitive and acceptance rates are usually around 50%, very rarely dropping below 33%.  

Question: I do not have a good grade in a Math or CSE course. Can I repeat the course for a better grade? 

If the applicant is not satisfied with the grade in a specific prerequisite course, we prefer the applicant to take another similar or higher-level course to demonstrate a solid and improved grade.  

Question: I have some transfer credits of the admissions prerequisites from a community college. How can I demonstrate my competitiveness to apply? 

We want you to take some of our Math or CSE requirements at UW before applyingFor example, Math 224, or Math 208, Math 318 and CSE 142. 

Question: When will I know if I am admitted? 

We only admit students to our program once a year. The application deadline is the third Friday in April. We will review the applications soon after the deadline and typically notify the applicants of the results before the start of Autumn registration, in May. 

Question: I have chosen a track, but I may want to switch to a different one later on in the program. Can I do it? 

Yes, you can switch from one track to another at any time by contacting our Statistics Advising staff. However, please make sure changing tracks does not prevent you from graduating on time. 

Question: Do you look at research or work experience in the application? 

Our admissions are holistic, and applications are evaluated as a whole. Research experience is one way in which students can demonstrate intellectual curiosity and aptitude, but there are many others: breadth of classes on transcript, relevant projects from classes, interest in an application area to name a few.  

Question: What kinds of career or academic opportunities does a Statistics major lead to? 

A major in statistics will prepare you for any job which requires critical thinking skills, including data scientist and management consultant positions. Many of our graduates go on to M.S./Ph.D. programs in Statistics, Biostatistics, Data Science, Business Analytics, or Financial Engineering etc. Please visit the Statistics BS homepage to read about our alumni and their careers. 

Question: If I do not get admitted to the STAT major, what should I do? 

Statistics is a capacity constrained major. All applicants should have a backup major in mind. Majors with similar admission requirements are Math, ACMS, Econ, Applied Math, CSE.  

Question: Do you accept transcripts uploaded on the application? 

Applicants do not need to upload transcripts when they apply. 

Question: At which stage of the application do I need to indicate the track? 

Admitted students will be asked to declare their major when they receive the admission letter. However, switching tracks is easy and, as long as your academic plan is flexible enough, switching tracks should not result in delaying your graduation. The sooner you decide your track, the better, since it will allow you to plan accordingly. 

Question: If I have other questions in Statistics admissions, whom should I contact? 

Questions concerning admissions and registration should be sent to statugradadv@stat.washington.edu.  

Selecting a track 

Question: If I’m interested in going to graduate school, which track should I take? 

The Math Stat track provides a solid foundation for graduate studies in statistics and closely-related fields. Students interested in pursuing graduate degrees in other applied disciplines, such as economics or other social sciences, may benefit from completing a statistics major in the Applied Statistics track. You can find more info on how to select a track here.

Question: If I’m interested in the Applied Statistics track, how do I choose courses for my three-course interdisciplinary sequence? 

The three-course interdisciplinary sequence consists of three 300-level and above courses that form a coherent sequence and are not from Statistics. Students should identify courses for an interdisciplinary sequence and contact the Undergraduate Program Coordinator for approval. 

Question: Do my general electives need to be split between different types (General Stat, Mathematics, and Computing) or can they be all from one or two types? 

Electives of any type, from the approved list, will count toward the elective requirement. In other words, all your elective courses may be of a single type or from a combination of different types. 

Question: When do I have to make a decision on the track? 

When you apply for the major, you don't have to make a selection, but, if admitted, you will be asked to make a decision. However, switching tracks is easy and, as long as your academic plan is flexible enough, switching tracks should not result in delaying your graduation.

Additional opportunities 

Question: I want to do an internship. When should I do it and can it count towards my graduation requirements? 

Internships are a valuable educational experience to gain exposure and learn about real-world opportunities in statistics. Students will be best prepared to get the most out of an internship the summer before they intend to graduate, as they will have sufficient exposure to key statistical methods at that point in the major. 

Question: If I do an internship, can it count towards my graduation requirements? 

Yes! An internship can replace the “capstone” requirement of the major. In order to get credits for your internship, you will have to submit some documents (including a job description and the offer letter) using the form contained on this page. If the Department considers your internship as sufficiently relevant to the field of study, you will be able to enroll in STAT 497 and receive credits towards your graduation requirements. Please visit this page for more details. 

Question: Are there research opportunities in the department? 

Yes! The department’s Directed Reading Program (DRP), run by statistics graduate students, offers research-related opportunities, though the DRP is also focused on learning about different areas of statistics. In addition, students may reach out directly to professors in the department regarding potential research opportunities. 

Question: What is the honors program and how can I complete it? 

Honors programs are for students who would like to deepen their understanding of statistics, through graduate level courses or a substantial independent research project. For more information, please visit this page.