"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

Choosing Programs, Distance Classes and Schedules

Please send me more information about the statistics program!
Click here to obtain more information about our distance program.

What are my degree options?
We have offered our Master of Science (MS) in Statistics degree by distance since 1992. Beginning in Fall 2012 (pending final authorization), we will be replacing the distance offering of the MS with a distance offering of the Master of Applied Statistics (MAS) degree. In addition to the master's degree, we also offer the Certificate in Applied Statistics and Data Analysis. If you would like to take a course without seeking a specific degree, you are welcome to register for any of the courses that we offer, provided you have the necessary prerequisites. Prerequisites for all courses are listed on the Distance Course Descriptions page. You should contact Jana Anderson if you have any doubts about prerequisites.

Will I still be able to pursue the MS degree?
Students who are not currently taking (or who have not already taken) STAT 530 will not be able to pursue the MS degree by distance. However, some credits from the MS program will transfer into the MAS. To find out which credits will transfer, please contact Jana Anderson.

What courses are being offered now/next?
Check the Schedule of Distance Courses page.

What course should I take next?
See the Earning the M.S Degree by Distance or the Admitted MS Students Information page if you are currently pursuing the MS degree. For the MAS degree or the Certificate in Applied Statistics and Data Analysis, please check the requirements for the Certificate in Applied Statistics and Data Analysis, prerequisite information in the Course Descriptions or contact Jana Anderson.

If I'm not pursuing the master's degree or a certificate, what is the best course to enhance my statistical training?
See the Non-Degree page or contact Jana Anderson.

How much time should I expect to devote to a class?
The CSU general catalog says "students should expect that each credit hour will require approximately three hours of effort per week". Since our classes are at the graduate level, some courses might require more. Resident instruction MAS students will generally take 14 credits of coursework per semester.

How long will it take me to earn my certificate?
A certificate requires 10 credits. Depending on the number of classes you can take per term, you could finish as quickly as two terms. That's only 9 months! If you take only one class at a time, it will take 3-4 semesters depending on which courses you take and whether you chose to study during summer term. There are 3 terms per academic year: fall, spring, and summer, though most of our courses are offered during the Fall and Spring semesters.

Will I be provided with a physical certificate and/or have a notation on my transcript once all course requirements are completed?
You will receive a physical certificate signed by the Statistics Department Chair, Dr. Jean Opsomer. The courses you have completed are recorded on an official transcript, identical to the transcripts issued to on-campus students. The transcript will not have a notation about the certificate issued.

How long will it take me to earn the MAS degree?
We prefer to see you finish as quickly as you can, but our overriding concern is to ensure that you successfully complete the degree even if it requires a slower pace. Experience has shown that it can be very difficult to take a regular load of graduate level coursework if you have a job, a family, or other important commitments. In those cases, we recommend taking no more than 7-8 credits per semester, though some students will want to only take 3-4 credits. On-campus students--devoting 40-60 hours/week to their studies--will be able to finish the MAS degree in 11 months. At the rate of 7-8 credits per term, plus 3 credits in the final summer term, distance students can expect to complete the MAS in less than 2 years. It may be possible to draw the MAS out to 4-5 years, if a student has a limited amount of time for coursework.

What if my priorities change while pursuing the MAS degree?
Then you should consider our Certificate in Applied Statistics and Data Analysis. The classes you have already taken for the MAS are likely to qualify you for this certificate, thus providing you with a symbol of your accomplishments that you can proudly cite to employers.

Return to FAQ page.