Resources for Statistics Undergraduate Minors
A minor in statistics is designed to encourage students studying in
another discipline to gain a deeper understanding of statistics than
might be gained from just one or two introductory courses. Colleges and
universities are encouraged to set up minors in statistics so that,
depending on the situation, students either have an opportunity for
focused study in statistics without completing the major or they have
some opportunity if the college or university has no statistics major.
We recommend that colleges and universities follow their own school
guidelines with respect to the number and types of courses required and
the name of the group of courses (e.g., concentration, minor, or track).
It is particularly beneficial for a first course to be available to
freshmen (or at least sophomore) students and for additional courses to
be available immediately after. Students who have an opportunity to
explore their interest in statistics fairly early in their college
career will be more likely to find time for additional courses. What
follows is the description of a minor as we understand it.
The number of courses required for a minor may vary, typically from
five to seven, depending on individual institutions. As students will be
undertaking the coursework for this minor in addition to requirements
for a major in another area, the recommended requirements focus on
courses in statistics, without including other courses in mathematics or
computer science. Although some of the possible statistics electives
might have mathematical prerequisites, a student should be able to
complete a statistics minor without taking a calculus course. Students
should use professional statistical software in their coursework. Note
that courses from several departments might be allowed to count toward a
statistics minor, although care must be taken so the content of each
course differs substantially from the others.
By a concentration, track, or program in statistics, we mean a
collection of courses within the student's major department (such as
mathematics) that demonstrates a special focus in the field of
statistics. We assume additional courses from the discipline would be
used to complete the major.
Curriculum Guidelines for a Minor/Concentration in Statistics
1. Core Statistics Topics (2 courses)
A sequence of two courses (for example, an introductory statistics
course and an applied regression course) structured to cover the core
topics of data production, inference, and applied modeling should be
included. These topics and possible courses are described more fully in
the position papers
on majors in BS and BA programs. Courses in a student's major
discipline that overlap substantially with either course in the core
sequence may be substituted.
2. Electives (3 to 5 courses)
Courses include any that would qualify as electives for the major in
statistics, probability, and, in the case of minors, courses in other
disciplines (e.g., econometrics) that have a substantial statistical
component distinct from the introductory material in the core sequence.
Examples of Statistics Undergraduate Minors/Concentrations/Tracks/Programs