This is a named option in the Statistics M.S.

Students holding a bachelor's degree with a natural science, social science, or engineering major and strong mathematical background are encouraged to apply for admission to the graduate program in statistics. Students are advised to undertake graduate work in statistics only if their undergraduate grades in mathematics were uniformly high. Students cannot get credit for more than one of STAT 301 Introduction to Statistical Methods, STAT 324 Introductory Applied Statistics for Engineers, or STAT 371 Introductory Applied Statistics for the Life Sciences.

Graduate School Admissions

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic degree programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet requirements of both the program(s) and the Graduate School. Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.  

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and processes related to funding.

Program Resources

Prospective students should see the program website for funding information.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Named Option Requirements


Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No Yes

Mode of Instruction Definitions


Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement Half of degree coursework (15 credits out of 30 total credits) must be completed graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements A grade of B or better must be received in any course used to fulfill the required and elective course requirements.
Assessments and Examinations Students must pass a competency test containing both a written and an oral component, demonstrating that they have the potential to be a practicing statistician.
Language Requirements No language requirements.

Required COURSES

Required Courses:
STAT 601 Statistical Methods I4
STAT 602 Statistical Methods II4
STAT 609 Mathematical Statistics I3
STAT 610 Introduction to Statistical Inference4
Four to six credits from:
STAT 627 Professional Skills in Data Science1-3
STAT 628 Data Science Practicum1-3
Or EPD professional competency courses or other courses approved by the MS-DS program
11 or more elective credits from Statistics courses, 6 of which must be numbered above 610:
Introduction to Time Series
Introductory Nonparametric Statistics
An Introduction to Sample Survey Theory and Methods
Applied Categorical Data Analysis
Applied Multivariate Analysis
Financial Statistics
Introduction to Computational Statistics
Special Topics in Statistics
Statistical Methods for Spatial Data
Other courses numbered above 610
Total Credits17-21

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Named Option-Specific Policies

Graduate Program Handbook

The Graduate Program Handbook is the repository for all of the program's policies and requirements.

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 9 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions toward the graduate degree credit and graduate coursework (50%) requirements. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

With program approval, up to 6 statistics credits from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree at the 600 level or above are allowed to count toward minimum graduate degree credits. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison University Special

With program approval, up to 15 statistics credits completed at UW–Madison while a University Special student at the 300 level or above are allowed to count toward minimum graduate degree and graduate residence credit requirements. Of these credits, those at the 700 level or above may also count toward the minimum graduate coursework (50%) requirement. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.


Three consecutive reviews in which a student fails to meet the minimum criteria for satisfactory progress will result in the student being dropped from the program. Contact the program for more information.


Students are required to meet with their advisor near the beginning of each semester to discuss course selection and progress.


15 credits

Time Constraints

The competency test must be passed within six semesters after entering the department.


The M.S.–Data Science option is unique and does not allow students to accept assistantships, or to be concurrently enrolled in another university program or enrolled in courses outside of the MS–DS curriculum—see here for more details.

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

Faculty: Professors Y. Wang (chair),  Chappell, Clayton, Keles, Larget, Loh, Newton, Nordheim, Qian, Shao, Tsui, Wahba, Yandell, C. Zhang, Z. Zhang, J. Zhu; Associate Professors Ane, S. Wang; Assistant Professors Hanlon, Raskutti, Rohe, A. Zhang