F.A.Q. - Entering the Online Learning Program in Statistics


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What degrees can I earn? Are there other programs?

You may take courses at any time without seeking a specific degree, provided you have the background needed for the courses and permission (for STAA courses) to register. Our Master of Applied Statistics (MAS) degree consists of 31 credits of probability, mathematical statistics, methods and data analysis, including linear and generalized linear models, time series, experimental design, survey statistics, multivariate analysis, industrial statistics, spatial and environmental statistics, Bayesian methods, computing, and other topics. This degree normally will require 1 to 4 years to complete, depending on the number of courses taken per semester.

If you would like a plan adapted for a shorter time frame, consider one of our certificate programs. The Certificate in Data Analysis is designed for students who need a solid background in data analysis using modern software. It is intended for professionals or graduate students in diverse fields seeking a short-term program that will strengthen their statistical skills.  This certificate may also be pursued by professionals who already have some background in statistics, but who need to update or improve their skills. The Certificate in Theory and Applications of Regression Models is designed for professionals or graduate students in diverse fields seeking a short-term program that emphasizes practical methods in statistics, focusing on applications and computational aspects. 

Our certificate programs can be completed in 2-3 terms!

What background do I need to succeed in the MAS program?

You should have a math background that includes 1 semester of linear algebra and college calculus through multivariable integration (typically 3 semesters). At least one undergraduate-level statistics course is also required. If you have any questions about your math or statistics background, you should contact Dr. Jana Anderson.

What background do I need to succeed in the certificate program?

For the Certificate in Data Anslysis, you will need to have taken college algebra, at a minimum. In order to have greater flexibility in course selection (e.g. most STAA courses), students should have additional math background, including calculus and linear algebra. The Certificate in Applied Statistics has the same background requirements as the MAS program. For any questions regarding your math background, contact Dr. Jana Anderson. Keep in mind that registration in STAA courses will be limited to admitted MAS students and people who have been given specific permission to take these course.

Do I need to formally apply for admission to earn a certificate?

No. However, it is important that you let us know about your intention to complete the certificate. That way we can advise you on the best approach for your particular background and needs. You may sign up for courses as a non-degree seeking student, provided you have the appropriate prerequisites (and permission for STAA courses). Once you complete the ten credits required for the certificate, you contact CSU Online Plus and request that they issue the certificate. You may also contact our Online Learning office, and we will request the certificate for you.

Is the online MAS program the same as the resident instruction MAS degree?

Yes. The diploma you will receive is no different than the one issued to our resident instruction students. Our MAS courses will be offered 'live', which means you will take each class right along with the resident instruction students. You will view the same lectures, complete the same assignments and take the same exams as the resident instruction students. You are also able to communicate directly with your cohort of on campus students through our learning platform. Exams are proctored and are given in the same manner for both cohorts. For example, exams that are closed book for resident instruction students are also closed book exams for our online students. Since you take the same courses and complete the same degree requirements, there is no reference to online or distance degree on your diploma.

What are the specific program entrance requirements?

There are no entrance requirements for our certificate program. Entrance requirements for the MAS program can be found here. When selecting courses, you should contact Dr. Jana Anderson to inquire about the right class to match your needs and background.

Applying for admission to the graduate program is a necessary step for pursuing the MAS degree. An overall GPA of 3.0 is required for admission. There are no specific course requirements, other than the necessary math and statistics background indicated above. You can take some initial classes in one semester while completing the application process, if necessary, provided space is available in the courses you wish to take.

How much does it cost?

The current tuition rate for all of our courses can be found on the CSU Online website. In addition to tuition, Colorado State University assesses a non-refundable $20 technology fee to help support increasing technological needs, improvements and advancements at the University. The fee will be assessed each term to any student taking academic credit courses through Colorado State University. The University bills this fee separately. Students are responsible for the costs of any textbooks and computer software. Most textbook and software information is provided with the Course Descriptions.

What do I need to send the Statistics Department to apply for graduate admission?

This step is only necessary if you are pursuing the MAS degree. You will need to complete an application form and send a $60 non-refundable processing fee, a statement of purpose, GRE scores, three letters of reference and official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended. You can find additional information regarding the application process at Applying for Admission.

Who processes MAS applications and who do I contact?

If you simply want to take a statistics course, then you do not need to submit an application. You can register as a non-degree seeking student online, provided you have the appropriate prerequisites (and permission for STAA courses). When selecting coursework, you should contact Dr. Jana Anderson to inquire about the right class to match your needs and background.

If you are applying to our MAS program and have any questions about your pre-application, please contact Karena Alons at alons@stat.colostate.edu. She will help guide you through the pre-application process. Once all documents are on file, your pre-application will be reviewed by the Graduate Screening Committee and processed based on their recommendation.  The final degree diploma is no different than the one issued to our on campus students.  There is no reference to online or distance classes.

When can/should I apply?

Our MAS program is designed for a June start, with our two non-credit 'prep' courses, MSSA and CSSA. For this reason, we require students to submit pre-applications for Fall admission by March 31. Applications will be accepted for Spring admissions on a limited basis for students who have completed some of the MAS coursework during the Fall term.

Can I take classes while waiting for my application to be processed?

Yes, students with pending applications may register for classes prior to admission, with departmental permission. Upon admission to the MAS degree program, retroactive credit towards the degree will be given for successful completion (a grade of B or better) of such courses. However, you must complete at least 21 credits toward the MAS through CSU after being formally admitted to the graduate program.

How many credits can I take prior to admission?

Our MAS program requires 31 credits. Since you must complete at least 21 credits through CSU after being formally admitted to the graduate program, you may complete as many as 10 credits prior to admission. Note, however, that grades for courses completed prior to admission are not included in your cumulative CSU GPA.

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