M.S. in Statistics

Graduate Program in the Department of Statistical Sciences

The Department of Statistical Sciences offers the degree of M.S. in Statistics. The program is designed to accommodate both students seeking a terminal degree for work in industry as well as those seeking preparation for Ph.D. in Statistics or Biostatistics at another institution. The degree requirements are flexible and permit both thesis and non-thesis programs of study, with opportunities to engage in research as well as data analysis competitions.

Financial Aid

All accepted students receive substantial financial aid!  Most students receive a teaching assistantship or research assistantship. These assistantships come with a 100% tuition scholarship, and students work 15-18 hours per week to earn a 10 month stipend in addition to their scholarship. All other students receive a partial scholarship, which covers more than 70% of tuition. These partial scholarship students have no additional work duties.

Prerequisites

The minimum requirements for the program include three semesters of calculus (through multivariable calculus) and a course in linear algebra. Students should also have some previous experience with computer programming and introductory statistics, although this experience can be demonstrated in multiple ways. The most successful applicants often have additional coursework in mathematics, statistics, or computer science. This may include coursework in introductory analysis, discrete mathematics, probability, applied regression, data science, and computer science.  

Curriculum

The current bulletin from the Graduate School of Art and Sciences describes the curriculum. All students take four required courses: 

  • STA 612 Linear Models 
  • STA 710 Stochastic Processes and Applications 
  • STA 711 Advanced Statistical Inference
  • STA 712 Generalized Linear Models

Beyond these four required courses, the requirements for the M.S. degree are met by selecting either the thesis option or the coursework option.  If a thesis is written, 30 semester hours of coursework — including STA 791, 792 — are required for the MS degree. If the coursework option is selected, 36 semester hours of coursework are required for the MS degree. With the approval of the Graduate Committee, graduate courses may be taken in related areas to fulfill requirements; however, no more than nine such hours may count toward the requirements for either the thesis or coursework option.

Coursework Thesis
Required 700-level classes STA 710, 711, 712 STA 710, 711, 712
Required 600-level classes STA 612 STA 612
Number of Additional 700-level classes One 3-hour courses One 3-hour course
Number of Additional classes Seven 3-hour courses Three 3-hour courses
Additional Requirements none STA791, 792
Total Hours Required 36 30

Where Do Graduates Go After Wake Forest?

Recent graduates of our program have gone on to Ph.D. programs in Statistics or Biostatistics at:

  • Boston University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Ohio State University
  • University of California Riverside
  • University of California Santa Barbara
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Graduates have taken jobs in statistics, biostatistics, data science, analytics, actuarial science, government, and education.  Recent examples include:

  • AvidXchange, Inc.
  • Facebook
  • Los Alamos National Lab
  • OneTrust
  • Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School
  • Wake Forest University Institutional Research
  • Wake Forest University School of Medicine
  • Virginia Tech Applied Research Corporation

Prospective Students

Graduate School Bulletin (including course descriptions):

Download the current bulletin from the Graduate School of Art and Sciences website.

Note: GRE scores are required for all applicants, and requirements for TOEFL scores for international students are outlined here.

Application:

Apply Now!  For Fall admission is January 15; and, for spring admission is October 1 for international students and November 1 for domestic students. Please note that depending on current enrollment we may or may not be accepting applications for spring admission.

Contact Admissions

Frequently Asked Questions 

How many students are in the program?

The number of students beginning the program varies each year, but is typically between six and ten students.  There are around 12-20 students enrolled in the program at any given time since it is a two-year program.  Students have a chance to meet and regularly interact with M.S. Mathematics students as well.

How long does the program take?

Most students will take two academic years to complete their program.

What courses are offered?

A wide range of courses is available for graduate students.  These include courses in probability, stochastic processes, statistical inference, linear models, generalized linear models, multivariate statistics, statistical learning, and many other electives.

Will I be able to do research?

Students are encouraged to approach faculty at any time regarding potential projects. Several students in recent years have published the research from their Masters theses in peer reviewed statistics or biostatistics journals.

What kinds of research could I do?

Faculty research interests include topics such as networks, applied probability, statistical methodology, ecological statistics, record linkage, statistical education, functional data analysis, causal inference, biostatistics, spatio-temporal models, Bayesian methods, environmental statistics, and actuarial science.

Will I get paid?

There are funds available to support graduate studies. The department awards assistantships, and full and partial scholarships through the graduate school. During the 2021-2022 academic year the full Teaching Assistant stipend is $15,780. Students who receive a partial scholarship are eligible to work for the Math Center on an hourly basis.

How much work is required to earn my stipend?

No work is required for a partial scholarship. Teaching and research assistants work an average of 15-18 hours each week during the academic year.  Any summer duties are voluntary and for additional pay.

Do I need to apply separately to be considered for a teaching or research assistantship?

No, all accepted students are automatically considered for assistantships.

What other resources does the department have?

Graduate students are provided excellent guidance at Wake Forest. The graduate student advisor carefully assists students in selecting courses. Many professors provide individual mentoring of students. Assistance in locating future employment or PhD program entry is provided by faculty members and the university Office of Personal and Career Development.