Online Master’s in Statistics

By Erika Lasrado

Updated March 15, 2024

Erika Lasrado

Erika has broad experience in counseling, psychology, and human resources. Although she has done a master’s in psychology, she is currently pursuing a master’s in educational psychology to change careers. Erika is a foodie and reader and loves to research and write about various topics when time permits.


Master of Psychology, Master of Educational Psychology

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.

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Statistics is a science concerned with developing and studying methods for analyzing, interpreting, presenting, and collecting empirical data in various formats. A master’s level of study in statistics will help one specialize in a domain of research or professional field practice. The online master’s in statistics program helps students gain knowledge that will prepare them for careers in occupations that demand advanced statistical skills. Students can expect a master’s in statistics online to provide in-depth statistical knowledge, hands-on and practical experiences in statistical methods, and methods that can help apply theories to real-world challenges. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job growth for statisticians is projected to be 31%, which is much faster than the average for other occupations[1].


Find the Best Online Master’s in
Statistics Programs

The master’s in statistics degree is one of the best programs for students to develop knowledge and skills in statistics and prepare them for a professional career or doctoral study. Therefore, prospective students must choose a top degree than has a suitable program structure, offers student support services, is taught by qualified and trained faculty, and is accredited. Our team at FBD has evaluated many schools and degrees from all over the U.S. and, using a unique ranking methodology, prepared a list of colleges offering the best online master’s in statistics programs: *

The University of Kansas (KU) is a public research university founded in 1865, with its main campus in Lawrence, Kansas. Classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”, KU offers more than 345 degree programs in various disciplines and at various levels to more than 27,500 students.
Univ Address Tuition Grad Rate
University of Kansas Strong Hall, 1450 Jayhawk Blvd, Room 230, Lawrence, Kansas 66045 $9,989 66%

Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page

What to Expect from an Online Master’s
Degree in Statistics

The master’s in statistics online provides advanced training in exploring topics in statistics, maths and applied statistics to conduct collaborative research environment and specialized coursework in different areas of emphasis. It is intended to prepare students to become practicing statisticians, provide enhanced research expertise and pursue advanced degrees in other domains, and strengthen statistical and mathematical training of students preparing for doctoral studies in statistics or related fields. There can be both thesis and non-thesis requirements for the program, and one can complete it full-time or part-time. Generally, the degree can range from 30 to 50 credits and aims to develop further knowledge and skills in statistics to prepare students for a professional occupation or doctoral study.

Curriculum and

The curriculum of the master’s in statistics degree is very comprehensive and aims to provide an overall understanding of the domain to individuals. The prerequisites for the degree include calculus through linear algebra and multivariable calculus, equivalent to an introduction to mathematical statistics, probability, maths, and more.

Most classes provide students with an experience with statistical practice in an interdisciplinary environment, like statistical consulting, professional statistics, internships, capstones, etc. The curriculum of the master in statistics degree differs from program to program; however, one can find standard courses across most programs, including:

Statistics and Probability

This course focuses on the precalculus level that emphasizes basic statistical concepts. It includes elementary probability, descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing in standard or nonparametric models, and estimations. It is an integral course as it qualifies the general education criteria for quantitative reasoning.

Statistical Modeling

This course helps students understand the mathematical models that embody statistical assumptions concerned with generating data samples. It helps in the mathematical representation or model of observed data. Students learn to summarize the test results in ways in which evaluators can draw conclusions, observe patterns of data, and answer questions.

Advanced Regression Analysis

This course introduces regression methods when data has a nonlinear pattern. Students learn topics like inference about slope in linear regression, a confidence interval for regression line slope, and conditions for inference. Calculating the t-statistic for the slope of the regression line, using P-value to make estimations about the slope, and using the confidence interval to test slopes are also taught.

Analysis of Variance

In this course, students learn to collect statistical models and their corresponding procedures, which are used to analyze differences among means. They learn about various statistical formulae used to compare variance scores across different averages of separate groups.

Advanced-Data Analysis

In this course, students learn about the four analytics types: diagnostic, predictive, prescriptive, and descriptive. The course teaches about the semi-autonomous or autonomous examination of content or data one carries through sophisticated tools and techniques, generally, beyond the traditional forms of business intelligence, which help discover broader insights, generate recommendations, and make predictions.

Some other standard courses in a master’s in statistics online program include:

  • Hierarchical Linear Models
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Risk Modeling and Analysis
  • Probability and Measure
  • Advanced Time Series Analysis
  • Theory of Probability
  • Machine Learning in Data Science
  • Bioinformatics
  • Advanced Regression Analysis
  • Computational Statistics
  • Data Science Programming Methods
  • Data Management
  • Basics of Statistical Learning
  • Applied Bayesian Analysis
  • Statistical Consulting

To understand more about master’s programs, read the Guide to Master’s Programs.

Learning Outcomes and
Skills Gained

Statistics is used in almost every industry to analyze past and present performance and datasets, as well as to forecast future outcomes. The online statistics master’s degree provides students with knowledge and skills they can apply in various situations. Students with a master’s in statistics will be able to:

  • demonstrate technical skills in statistical inference and probability models for practical application of statistical tools and methods to help businesses and organizations;
  • use data and statistical measure tools to solve applied programs in integral, calculus and probability theory;
  • demonstrate in-depth knowledge in probability and statistics, discrete mathematics, optimization and operations research, and develop curricula based on them;
  • communicate and represent their statistical ideas clearly in written and oral formats using correct technical terms and deliver analysis of data to non-statistical individuals;
  • use existing and develop statistical tools involving different computer programming languages, like R and SQL, for addressing problems of data science across different fields;
  • demonstrate understanding of various statistical software packages to manage and enter data, and combine and calculate parameters of descriptive statistics; and
  • demonstrate strong manipulation and data analysis skills including collecting data, undertaking project work, making presentations, and completing numerical measurements.

Types of Master’s Degrees Statistics
Students Can Obtain

Master’s level study involves specialized study in professional practice and research. One needs to choose their master’s degree carefully since it can demonstrate a higher level of mastery in the subject. The most common statistics master’s online is the Master of Science or MS in Statistics, which allows students to learn about statistics applicable to econometrics, finance, and social sciences. Apart from this degree, students can choose from related ones such as an MS in Applied Science, MA in Biostatistics and Data Science, etc.

Master of Science or MS in Statistics

The Master of Science or MS Statistics degree is designed for students preparing to enter professional roles or pursue doctoral education in statistics and other related quantitative fields. One can choose from both thesis and non-thesis options. The degree provides a sound foundation in mathematical statistics, statistical methodology, and probability.

Master of Arts in Biostatistics and Data Science

The Master of Arts in Biostatistics and Data Science provides good learning experiences and focuses on creating a solid theoretical foundation while providing practical experiences. It provides opportunities to develop the necessary communication and analytical skills. It also helps one understand how to use data in cardiovascular diseases, clinical trials, big data, machine learning, genomics, and cancer research. It integrates hands-on experience enabling students to use their acquired knowledge and integrate it into field challenges.

Master of Science in Applied Statistics

The Master of Science in Applied Statistics teaches advanced techniques of quantitative research and how to apply them to essential policy issues across the behavioral, health, and social sciences, which will prepare one for a career as an applied statistician or advanced doctoral studies. It also provides the skills required for statistical analysis that can lead to various roles in healthcare, marketing, insurance, government, and more.

Areas of Specialization for
Statistics Students

Students pursuing a master’s in statistics online can choose specializations to gain domain-specific knowledge and expertise. Specializing in a sub-area of statistics can lead to in-demand, unique, and high-paying jobs. Here are some options to consider:

Area of SpecializationDescriptionCareer Options
Data ScienceThis concentration uses complex machine learning algorithms that help build predictive models. Students learn to use data for analysis from various sources presented in multiple formats.Data Scientist
Decision AnalyticsIn this specialization, students focus on extracting insights from various data sets, including collection, organization, storage, and analysis of data, as well as techniques and tools. Learners also understand visual approaches to evaluate and address important challenges.Decision Analyst
Statistics and Applied MathematicsThis concentration involves using differential equations systems to predict and describe the behavior of complex real-world systems. It prepares students for productive careers in industry, teaching, and research.Various roles in education, industry, and research
Quantitative FinanceIn this concentration, students learn about the various uses of mathematical models and their application in financial markets to support risk management and trading in financial and banking institutions.Quantitative Finance Analyst
BioinformaticsThis concentration teaches how to collect, store, disseminate, and analyze biological information and data. It is an interdisciplinary study area that harnesses mathematics, biology, computer science, and physics. Students learn to use software tools to understand complex and large biological data sets.Research scientist, biostatistician, bioinformatician, molecular biologist, microbiologist
Statistical Biology or BiostatisticsThis concentration integrates with biology to study how to gather and evaluate evidence to make judgments. Students learn quantitative skills that integrate concepts from other fields, like biologists, geneticists, and other health specializations.Biostatistician
Financial MathematicsThis concentration focuses on financial mathematics and quantitative finance and is an extension of the field of applied mathematics. It is concerned with the mathematical modeling of market finances.Various roles in portfolio management, risk management, quantitative research and analysis, data science and analytics, trading

Full-Time and Part-Time

The master’s degree in statistics online takes an average of two years to complete full-time. When taking up part-time, students would require two to three years to finish. It is also possible to finish the degree in 18 months or less when it is pursued online or is fast-tracked.

Accelerated Statistics

An accelerated online master’s in statistics focuses on a rigorous and comprehensive curriculum that will help one complete the program quickly. It is typically preferred by those who want to earn their degree faster to enter the workforce. The Western Michigan University[2] and the University of Arizona[3] are excellent examples of institutions offering accelerated online master’s in statistics programs.

Requirements for Getting into an Online Master’s
in Statistics Program

With the increased use of statistics across various industries and businesses, the outlook for statisticians is rapidly improving. As a result, the demand for people with advanced statistics skills and knowledge has increased, resulting in a rise in the number of schools offering a master’s in statistics program, making the degree competitive. While each institution has its independent requirements for enrollment, some common admission requirements for master’s in statistics online are:

  • An application form and prescribed fee
  • An undergraduate degree with an average 3.0 GPA (varies by school)
  • Official academic transcripts
  • A Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
  • GRE scores (usually required but waived by some schools for a particular academic year)
  • A Statement of Purpose or Personal Statement
  • Two to three Letters of Recommendation
  • Prerequisite courses

No GRE Online Master’s in
Statistics Programs

Most universities require students to submit their Graduate Record Examination[4] or GRE scores during enrollment. However, many master’s programs do not mandate a GRE score or waive off the requirement for a specific year or under special circumstances. Some universities offering online master’s in statistics no GRE programs are the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign[5] and the University of Arizona[6].

How to Ensure an Online Master’s in Statistics
Program Is Accredited

Accreditation is the process of determining and certifying an institution’s educational quality. Employers and universities always prefer students from accredited institutions because they know that students have a good education. Online master’s in statistics degrees can be programmatically accredited by the Data Science Council of America or DASCA[7]. Graduating from an accredited master’s in statistics enables students to seek the PStat credential through the American Statistical Association or SAS Base Programming Certification Exam[8] and qualify as professional statisticians.

Universities can also have additional regional accreditation from one of the six accrediting authorities in the U.S.:

  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

The Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs[9] and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)[10] official websites provide information on whether an institution is accredited or not. Read the Guide to College Accreditation to understand the accreditation process.

Where to Find Free Online Courses for Statistics
Master’s Students

Students can consider taking free statistics courses from many reputed universities and professors. The knowledge these courses provide could extend one’s basic understanding of statistics and help one become an expert in a sub-area of the subject. Some free courses to explore are:

CourseDescriptionProvided by
MicroMasters Program in Statistics and Data Science[11]In this course, students master the concepts of data science, machine learning, and statistics. They learn to analyze big data and make data-driven predictions through statistical inferences and probabilistic modeling. Students also learn how to build machine learning algorithms and extract meaningful data from unstructured information.edX
Statistics Fundamentals[12]This course teaches learners how to quantify mathematical predictions using statistical tools to conduct experiments and discover the truth about various datasets. An essential aspect of the course is learning about tools needed to detect fake data.Class Central
Data Analysis with R Specialization[13]This course explores sampling and datasets and Bayes’ rule and probability theory basics. Learners examine many sampling methods using exploratory data analysis techniques, including basic data visualization and numeric summary statistics.Coursera

Ways to Pay for an Online Master’s
in Statistics

With the rising cost of higher education, most students find it difficult to pay for college. Although online programs are typically less expensive than traditional on-campus programs, many students find themselves in need of financial assistance from outside sources, such as:


Scholarships are financial awards given to students for their academic abilities, achievements, and other contributions to their academic or other communities.


Grants are awarded to students with financial needs by non-profit organizations, federal governments, and foundations, which can be used to pay for tuition or other educational expenses.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are a great way to offset some of the high tuition costs associated with a master’s degree. Students can apply for teaching and research assistantships in exchange for a stipend or a tuition discount/waiver.

Private Student Loans

Students loans are provided by federal governments, banks, private lenders, and credit unions. Students can borrow up to 100% of their total attendance cost, including fees, tuition, and other educational expenses. Loans attract interest, making them an expensive option for students.


Students can determine whether they are eligible for federal aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA form. The form determines one’s eligibility for various types of financial aid such as grants, federal loans, scholarships, work-study benefits, etc.

Read the financial aid guide to understand more about college funding.

Scholarships for Online Master’s in Statistics
Degree Students

Scholarships provide support to pursue higher education and lessen the burden of financial expenses. Examples of some online master’s in statistics degree scholarships include:

Scholarship Description Amount/AwardApplication Deadline
Edward C. Bryant Scholarship for an Outstanding Graduate Student in Survey Statistics[14]This scholarship is usually awarded annually to one scholar, who receives a cash prize and certificate. The awardee should perform well in graduate school, show potential for contributing to the statistical survey, and have applied experience in survey statistics.$2,500March 01, each year
Gertrude M. Cox Scholarship[15]This scholarship is provided to women to encourage their contribution to statistically oriented professions. Two scholars received this award, presented by the Committee on Women in Statistics. The female majors should be legal citizens of the U.S. or Canada and be enrolled in full-time advanced master’s degrees in statistics, including biostatistics.$1,000February 23
John J. Bartko Scholarship Award[16]This scholarship is established to help promising young statisticians enrolled in an accredited master’s degree in statistics or biostatistics. Awardees should have completed a degree two years before being awarded the scholarship.$1,000TBA
Mary G. and Joseph Natrella Scholarship[17]This scholarship supports the participation of students in the Quality and Productivity Research Conference. Awardees receive a stipend towards housing and travel expenses, a grant, and more. They must have shown an interest in the research topic, prior work experience, and coursework.$3,500TBA

Career Opportunities and Salaries
After Graduating

An online master’s in statistics degree arms students with the knowledge and education needed to excel in almost any sector. Some of the most common job roles pursued by graduates in this field include those of a mathematician, applied statistician, economist, sports analyst, and data scientist, among others. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that statistician jobs will increase by 33% by 2031[1], much faster than the average for other occupations. Organizations will increasingly need statisticians to analyze large amounts of data and collected information, making for a promising future. Some of the unique and diverse roles statisticians can take up include:

Occupation Job Description Skills RequiredMedian Annual Salary Job Growth (up to 2031)
Actuaries[18]Actuaries are entrusted with compiling and analyzing statistical data and additional information. They estimate the probability and economic cost of events like sickness, accident, natural disaster, and death. They test and design investments, insurance policies, and other strategies to maximize a business’s profitability and minimize risks.Analytical skills, communication skills, computer skills, interpersonal skills, math skills, problem-solving skills$105,90021% (much faster than average)
Computer Programmers[19]Computer Programmers write programs in many computer languages like Java and C++. They are also responsible for updating and expanding existing programs. Testing programs to fix errors and faulty lines of computer code is also part of their job.Analytical skills, communication skills, problem-solving skills, detail-oriented$93,000-10% (decline)
Statisticians[20]Statisticians apply theories and techniques of statistical models to solve practical problems in engineering, sciences, businesses, and other fields. They also communicate analyses and interpret data to nontechnical and technical audiences using statistical software to create visualizations and analyze data to aid decision-making in various businesses.Analytical skills, math skills, communication skills, logical thinking skills, problem-solving skills$96,28031% (much faster than average)
Economists[21]Economists typically analyze data using statistical techniques, software, and mathematical models. They also present research results in charts, tables, and reports, collect data, and conduct surveys aligned with recommending solutions to problems of the economy.Analytical skills, speaking skills, critical-thinking skills, writing skills$105,6306% (as fast as average)
Financial Analysts[22]Financial analysts evaluate historical and current financial data and study various business and economic trends. They examine financial statements to determine their value, assess a business’s strengths, and prepare written reports.Analytical skills, math skills, detail-oriented, computer skills, communication skills, decision-making skills$95,5709% (faster than average)
Survey Researchers[23]Survey researchers design and plan surveys and determine appropriate methods to do so. Their role is also to test surveys to ensure one can understand the questions asked and coordinate the work of data collectors and survey interviewers. Additionally, they summarize survey data, graphs, and fact sheets and use tables to visualize data.Analytical skills, communication skills, critical-thinking skills, problem-solving skills, detail-oriented$59,7406% (as fast as average)

Certifications and Licensing for Online Master’s
Students in Statistics

Professional certification is a process through which one proves that one has the skills, experience, and knowledge to perform unique jobs and tasks for which one has been preparing. Usually, this proof comes from certifications earned by passing one or more examinations and developed by specific organizations that monitor and uphold the standards for that industry. Although professional certification, state registration, and licensure are not necessary to work as a statistician, certification can lead to better jobs and higher pay.

Those finishing a statistics master’s online can consider the certifications provided by the American Statistical Association or ASA. Graduates must first obtain a GStat certification to apply for PStat certification:

PStat® Certification[24]

To qualify for this certification, candidates must submit work experience and show a commitment to the development of their profession. Supporting letters from relevant references and work samples are also needed.

SAS Certified Statistical Business Analyst Using SAS 9[25]

SAS administers this certification, specifically aimed at professionals who use STAT/SAS software to conduct or interpret complex statistical data analyses. Candidates must provide expertise in regression, predictive modeling, and logistic regression.

The Institute for Statistics Education’s[26] Analytics for Data Science Certificate[27]

This certification covers fundamental analytical tools and concepts that can help in managing, classifying, and interpreting extensive data to uncover correlations, hidden patterns of data, and other data insights.

Biostatistics Certificate[28]

This certification covers the skills needed to analyze, assess, and gather data for epidemiology studies, medical research, and clinical trials. It also covers the crucial concepts in statistics that one can use in both health and medical sciences.

Additional Resources for Master’s
Students in Statistics Degree

Individuals interested in statistics can find many additional resources, such as seminars, events, publications, and meetings. These resources can be obtained by becoming a member of professional organizations, which increases networking opportunities, knowledge, and skill. Students pursuing a master’s degree in statistics online should consider joining one or more of the following organizations:

Organization Job Description
American Statistical Association[29]The American Statistical Association is one of the largest organizations of statisticians and aims to promote the profession and practice of statistics. They connect their members to communities of statisticians all over the globe, most of them serving in governments, industries, and academia.
International Statistical Institute[30]The International Statistical Institute heads global research amongst a wide range of statisticians. They aim to connect various national and international organizations that support developing areas. The organization provides a hospitable environment for advancing statistical knowledge, sharing state-of-the-art developments, and learning best practices to create networking opportunities.
Institute of Mathematical Statistics[31]The Institute of Mathematical Statistics provides free student membership. One can enjoy membership benefits like an annual subscription to a news bulletin and electronic access to journals, publications, and meetings.
Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences[32]The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences has members from various operational research and analytics fields who work in corporations, consulting groups, the military, government, health care, and universities. Members can benefit from the vast networking opportunities the organization provides.
International Association for Statistical Computing[33]The International Association for Statistical Computing aims to promote collaborative efforts between national, international, regional, and other institutions with a similar aim of fostering statistical computing techniques and the exchange of computer programs and meetings.

FAQs About Online Master’s in
Statistics Programs

What does a statistician do?

A statistician analyzes and applies data using computational techniques to solve challenges. They decide what data is needed to answer specific problems and develop statistical models which can be used to analyze data.

Why should you do a master’s in statistics degree online?

What is the difference between a master’s in statistics and a master’s in applied statistics?

What can you do with an online statistics master’s degree?

Is an online master’s degree in statistics worth it?

Can I do a statistics master’s without a bachelor’s?

Author Bio:

Erika Lasrado

Erika has broad experience in counseling, psychology, and human resources. Although she has done a master’s in psychology, she is currently pursuing a master’s in educational psychology to change careers. Erika is a foodie and reader and loves to research and write about various topics when time permits.


Master of Psychology, Master of Educational Psychology

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.


  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics-Occupational Outlook for Statisticians
  2. Western Michigan University
  3. The University of Arizona
  4. Graduate Record Examination
  5. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  6. University of Arizona
  7. Data Science Council of America
  8. American Statistical Association
  9. Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs
  10. Council for Higher Education Accreditation
  11. edx-MicroMasters Program in Statistics and Data Science
  12. Class Central-Statistics Fundamentals
  13. Coursera-Data Analysis with R Specialization
  14. Edward C. Bryant Scholarship for an Outstanding Graduate Student in Survey Statistics
  15. Gertrude M. Cox Scholarship
  16. John J. Bartko Scholarship Award
  17. Mary G. and Joseph Natrella Scholarship
  18. U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics- Occupational Outlook for Actuaries
  19. U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics- Occupational Outlook for Computer Programmers
  20. U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics- Occupational Outlook for Statisticians
  21. U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics- Occupational Outlook for Economists
  22. U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics- Occupational Outlook for Financial Analysts
  23. U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics- Occupational Outlook for Survey Researchers
  24. PStat® Certification
  25. SAS Certified Statistical Business Analyst Using SAS 9
  26. The Institute for Statistics Education
  27. Analytics for Data Science Certificate
  28. Biostatistics Certificate
  29. American Statistical Association
  30. International Statistical Institute
  31. Institute of Mathematical Statistics
  32. Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences
  33. International Association for Statistical Computing


The average tuition (based on degree type for in-state students), average graduation rates, and rankings are based on data from various sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and are variable over time. All rankings and statistics are subject to change. The rankings are solely the opinion of Find Best Degrees (FBD) and are based on our proprietary methodology. They do not represent the views of the institutions or organizations mentioned, nor do they represent any official government census or survey. Furthermore, any views or opinions expressed on this page are of FBD’s researchers and teams. Unless otherwise specified, they do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the individuals, institutions, or organizations mentioned. This page’s content is provided solely for informational purposes, with data drawn from various sources, including IPEDS. FBD and its employees make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information found on this page or by following any link. FBD will not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this material nor any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the exposure or use of this information. Although the information on this page is/was correct at the time of publication, readers should exercise caution because some or all of the provided information may have changed over time, potentially resulting in inaccuracies. For more information, please read our Terms of Service. Trademarks and logos are the property of their registered owners.